Tamara Wilson


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 land use change.  Her graduate training at the University of Arizona was in the fields of biogeography, climatology, climate change, paleoclimate, and paleoecology.  With her experience examining the connections between biogeographic history and past climate, she was able to make the leap to utilizing modern archives of change derived from satellites to examine climate and human-derived landscape level changes and impacts. She was a co-editor of the USGS Professional Paper titled Status and Trends of Land Use and Land Cover in the Western United States –an unprecedented report documenting nearly three decades of land use and land cover change using the Landsat imagery archive. The report is a culmination of over 10 years of collective work with dozens of colleagues and across multiple science centers.   Her recent work with the U.S. Geological Survey’s LandCarbon project helped to produce the first set of land use and land cover projections out to the year 2100 for the conterminous United States based on four different IPCC scenarios. 

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. Tamara has recently modeled future flooded agricultural lands in the Central Valley as part of the NASA Ecoforecasting project.

As recently appointed Deputy Director of the National Innovation Center, Tamara is working to expand the reach of the center, develop communications pipelines and workshops on the latest technology and its use in the federal science portfolio.