Kathleen M Bergen

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Kathleen M Bergen, PhD, is Associate Research Scientist in the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Dr. Bergen currently has interim administrative oversight of the SEAS Environmental Spatial Analysis Laboratory (ESALab) and is interim Director of the campus-wide Graduate Certificate Program in Spatial Analysis.

Prof. Bergen works in the areas of human dimensions of environmental change; remote sensing, GIS and biodiversity informatics; and environmental health and informatics. Her focus is on combining field and geospatial data and methods to study the pattern and process of ecological systems, biodiversity and health. She also strives to build bridges between science and social science to understand the implications of human actions on the social and natural systems of which we are a part. She teaches courses in Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems. Formerly she served as a founding member of the UM LIbrary’s MIRLYN implementation team, directed the University Map Collection, and set up the M-Link reference information network.

Lydia Beaudrot

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Lydia Beaudrot, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and Postdoctoral Scholar – Michigan Society of Fellows at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Prof. Beaudrot combines observational data with ecoinformatic and modeling approaches to investigate questions at the interface of ecological theory and conservation biology. The primary goals of my research are to 1) identify the mechanisms that structure ecological communities 2) understand how tropical mammals and birds respond to global change and 3) apply results to biodiversity conservation.

In an era of “Big Data,” in which data-driven decisions are pivotal to modern society, the field of conservation trails behind, with critical decisions based on expert opinion, biased information and irreproducible research. Global conservation targets require long-term monitoring of biodiversity trends, and a new paradigm for how these data are collected, shared and synthesized. Prof. Beaudrot conducts research with the TEAM Network, the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring Network, which is a partnership between Conservation International, the Smithsonian Institute and the Wildlife Conservation Society. She creates robust analytics to assess biodiversity change and provide scalable solutions for a vital paradigm shift in conservation biology. She is particularly interested in the effects of global change on tropical biodiversity. One of the ways that she assesses this is by monitoring the population status of ~250 mammal and bird species with the Wildlife Picture Index. See wpi.teamnetwork.org.

William Currie

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Bill Currie studies how physical, chemical, and ecological processes work together in the functioning of ecosystems such as forests and wetlands.  He studies how human impacts and management alter key ecosystem responses including nutrient retention, carbon storage, plant species interactions, and plant productivity.   Dr. Currie uses computer models of ecosystems, including models in which he leads the development team, to explore ecosystem function across the spectrum from wildland to heavily human-impacted systems.  He often works in collaborative groups where a model is used to provide synthesis.  

He is committed to the idea that researchers must work together across traditional fields to address the complex environmental and sustainability issues of the 21st century.  He collaborates with field ecologists, geographers, remote sensing scientists, hydrologists, and land management professionals.


Daniel Brown

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Daniel Brown, PhD, is Professor in the School of Environment and Sustainability and holds a secondary appointment as Research Professor in the Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research. Prof. Brown is also Director of the Environmental Spatial Analysis Laboratory.

Prof. Brown’s research interests focus on land use change and its effects on ecosystems and on human vulnerability. This work connects a computer-based simulation (e.g., agent-based modeling) of land-use-change processes with GIS and remote sensing based data on historical patterns of landscape change and social surveys. Brown and colleagues are working to couple these models with GIS-based data and other models to evaluate consequences of change. They are also working to understand the ways in which land-use decisions are made. Collaborative research investigate the effects of spatial and social neighborhoods on the physical and social risks on human health.

Though most of Professor Brown’s earlier work has been in the US, his work is becoming increasingly international, with projects in China, Africa, and India.

Research on land-cover and land-use change is funded by the NASA Land-Cover Land-Use Change Program and by programs at the National Science Foundation on Human and Social Dynamics (HSD) and the Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems (CNH) and conducted in collaboration with colleagues in SEAS and in the Center for the Study of Complex Systems. Research on spatial aspects of public health is conducted in collaboration with colleagues in the School of Public Health and funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the US Environmental Protection Agency.