Tamara’s broad research interests include how land use and land cover change, both historic and projected, influence regional environmental processes while identifying the local and non-local drivers of those changes.
Her graduate training at the University of Arizona was in the fields of biogeography, climatology, climate change, paleoclimate, and paleoecology. With her experience examining natural archives of paleo-environmental landscape change, she was able to make the leap to utilizing modern remote sensing based records to examine climate and human-derived landscape level changes and their associated impacts. Her recent work utilizes historic land change records to inform model scenarios of future land change and their potential impacts on natural resources, including habitat and water availability.
Recently, Tamara has expanded her land change scenarios work in California to estimate future land-use related water demand under various land use futures. This work has grown to include funding from California's Strategic Growth Council for examining future water demand in groundwater dependent regions along California's Central Coast. In addition, her modeling work is being used to map future projections of flooded agricultural lands in the Central Valley as part of the NASA Ecoforecasting project, examining the availability of wildlife and migratory bird habitat under varying land use and climate scenarios. This effort involves integrated modeling between a streamflow, runoff, water demand, and water supply model which identifies flooded habitats by land use and land cover type and basin and translating this for use in the spatially explicit LUCAS land change model.
As recently appointed Deputy Director of the National Innovation Center, Tamara is working to expand the reach of the center, helping to forge new and exciting partnerships between USGS scientists and other public, private, academic, and non-profit parties. She is working to develop regional and national communication pipelines as well as coordinating science seminars and workshops to introduce the latest technological advancements in earth science and explore their use in the federal science portfolio.