Laura M Norman


Laura M. Norman is a Supervisory Research Physical Scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey, where she has worked since 1998. Her research combines remotely-sensed imagery and other geospatial data in complex hydrological, hydraulic, and LULC models to predict the fate & transport of non-point source pollutants and identify their sources, consider potential growth scenarios, and document impacts. The novel application of coupling established methods/models across scientific disciplines allows for a sophisticated synthesis of results that simulate and communicate risk, impacts of land-use and climate change, and proposed interventions. Given the added complexity to consider International cultural and political divisions in the binational Madrean Archipelago (Sky Island) Ecoregion study area, a hotspot of biodiversity and predicted climate change along the US-Mexico border, this research is being used to help establish best management practices in arid lands; characterize trade-offs between ecological, economic, and social values for land use decision support; and the establishment of a binational monitoring and tracking strategy for mitigation of flood risk.


University of Arizona
Watershed Resources, Minor in Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis
PhD 2005

Pima Community College
Programming in Visual Basic
Cert. 2001

University of Arizona
Watershed Management, Advanced Resource Technology Option
M.S. 2000

Oregon State University
Forestry, Minor in Cultural Anthropology
B.S. 1994


  • January 1999 – December 2004: Research Assistant/ GIS Lab Instructor, University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.
  • August 1998 – present: Research Physical Scientist, U.S. Geological Survey, Tucson, Ariz.

Principal Investigator

Student Mentor

  • Academic Affiliate, Adjunct status (Designated Campus Colleague),  School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona (1997-Present)
  • Lab Instructor & Teaching Assistant, GIS for Natural Resources (RNR 417/517). University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (08/00-12/04). 
  • NASA Space Grant Mentor (2010-2011).
  • USGS Mendenhall Fellow (Post-Doc) mentor (FY12-13)
  • Graduate Advisor to students (MS and PhD)