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Kate Jones

Graduate Student | Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources | NC State University

2019-20 Global Change Fellow

Statement of purpose:

I am interested in how scientists, managers, and landowners can unify their knowledge of place and their value systems to increase positive outcomes of the decision making process. Through enhancing scientific communication and integration, I aim to identify drivers and barriers to effective climate-adaptive management strategies and to assess whether these drivers and barriers are unique to the place and specific stakeholders or whether they are bridged by regional and global commonalities. Specifically, my work will improve manager’s and communities’ understandings of the range and variation of possible future landscapes and clarify the uncertainty of these landscape scenarios in decision-making tools. Progressive, resilient climate change solutions of the future will rely on research strategies that equivalently weigh knowledge of place – the people and existing circumstances – with data and ecological forecasts

Description of research:

My research will take a multi-scale approach to studying forest health in the southern Appalachians by integrating satellite remote sensing and finer scale (spatial and spectral) data to identify and understand forest change. These observations of forest change and responses to disturbance (i.e. fire) can then be used to validate and feed landscape models that ingest spatio-temporal social, ecological, and climate data to predict and quantify landscape evolution. This work aligns with Strategic Science Priorities 2 and 3 – the goal is to quantify forest change and its uncertainties, but also, share this knowledge with local communities and managers to lessen impacts of climate vulnerability through forward-thinking, science-based adaptation plans. This work also supports the Secretary of the Interior priorities  2) Utilizing our natural resources and 3) Restoring trust with local communities.

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