Welcome to the Lab News Page!

I'll post stuff on occasion about the lab members here.

Lab Meetings are scheduled here. Lab guidelines.


Christine is awarded an NSF graduate fellowship! Congrats to her!

Our own Christine Wilkinson has been awarded the NSF graduate fellowships for her proposal to examine human-wildlife conflict in Africa. Over the past several years, she has been working in various regions of East Africa on wildlife behavioral ecology, human-wildlife conflict issues, and paths to community empowerment and advocacy in the face of conflict. As a PhD student at Cal, she is excited to work with the GIF to apply detailed spatial analyses to these issues. Here is some background to her proposal: 

NSF GRFP Research Background and Questions

Farmers and pastoralists densely populate several key wildlife dispersal areas within the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem of southern Kenya, resulting in consistent human-wildlife conflict. Protected areas are often not able to support wildlife without surrounding unprotected dispersal areas, where wildlife may spend up to 70% of their time. Communities living in the Amboseli-Tsavo dispersal area must cope with a government that largely prioritizes wildlife, which generate national revenue through tourism, over people's livelihoods and basic human rights in human-wildlife conflict situations. This dynamic, along with the absence of community involvement, has led to negative action against wildlife, and resentment of conservation efforts. Mapping landscape permeability for key human-wildlife conflict mammals, instances of human-wildlife conflict, and human resource use, while maintaining constant flows of information to and from stakeholders, is crucial for determining how human-wildlife conflict- impacted wildlife may thrive in this fragmented landscape. Additionally, the recent, rapidly increasing widespread land-use transition from pastoralism to agriculture is projected to exacerbate human-wildlife conflict in this area. My study will therefore explore the following questions: 1) To what extent and severity are pastoralists and agriculturalists experiencing human-wildlife conflict in the Amboseli-Tsavo dispersal corridor?  2) What are seasonal areas of critical resource use for humans and human-wildlife conflict mammals in this area, and how do these uses contribute to human-wildlife conflict?


Proxima joins us for Spring 2016

Proxima DasMohapatra is joining us for the spring semester to work on our IGIS Dark Data project with Kelly, Sean and Shane. She is a graduate student at the School of Information. Prior to joining grad school, she worked as a technology analyst in India. At the I School, she is interested in data analytics and the various domains in which data is heavily used on a daily basis to garner insights and foster growth. Outside of school, she likes to paint, play table tennis and read up about Greek and Roman gods. She is really excited to be a part of the team this semester, and looking forward to working with each one in the team!


Congratulations to Kelly!

Kelly was recently awarded a graduate fellowship with the UC-wide Institute for the Study of Ecological Effects of Climate Impacts (ISEECI). ISSEC serves as a platform for synthesizing past, current, and future environmental change research and for understanding and potentially mitigating future climate impacts. The institute leverages the UC Natural Reserve System as a biologically and geographically diverse laboratory to study the effects of climate change on California ecosystems. Kelly’s research will utilize the VTM collection of maps, plots, and photographs to address a key ISECCI aim of assembling historical records in and around NRS sites to assess ecosystem-wide impacts of climate change. Her work will focus on:

1. The utility of resurveying historical plots to understand change over time.

2. The role of differing management on the structure and composition of California forests.

3. The role of climate water deficit in controlling patterns of fire extent, severity, and regeneration in California forest.


Fall 2015 New Additions

This fall we welcome two new people to the lab.

Marcelo Bueno de Abreu, a doctoral student from the Geography Department at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil will be joining us later in the semester for a one year period. He has been awarded a Science Without Borders Scholarship to work with object-based image analysis of Brazilian and Californian landscapes. 

Christine Wilkinson will be joining us as a PhD student. She comes to us from the Cal Academy, and has research and management experience in East Africa. She is interested in using an integrated approach to human-wildlife conflict analysis, including spatial analyses, behavioral ecology, and stakeholder input, to determine best practices for community-based human-wildlife conflict mitigation in wildlife dispersal areas in East Africa.  Christine is also part of the first cohort of students in the new NSF-funded project on campus Data Science for the 21st Century: Environment and Society (DS421).


Kellys are off to Chicago!

Kelly Easterday, Alice Kelly and Maggi Kelly (it is not required to be named Kelly in the Kellylab, however!) are off to the AAGs in Chicago this week. 

  • Kelly will be presenting on our VTM work: "Quantifying diversity and conservation status of California's Oak trees using the historic Vegetation Type Mapping (VTM) dataset." She will be part of an organized Historical Ecology session. 
  • Alice will be presenting her paper: "Policing Paradise: The Evolution of Law Enforcement in US National Parks" as part of the session on Green Violence 2: Interrogating New Conflicts over Nature and Conservation. 
  • Other former kellylabbers include:
    • Desheng Liu, now at the Ohio State University, who will be presenting on "Spatial-Temporal Markovian Support Vector Classifier: A Next-Generation Classifier" in the Spatial Analysis Methods session. 
    • Ellen Kersten, postdoc at UC Berkeley, who will be presenting on "Spatial triage, spatial justice? A critical evaluation of geospatial approaches to health equity research and policy" in the #CritGIS: Social Justice and GIS: Past, Present, and Future session. 
    • John Connor, graduate student at ASU, who will be presenting on "Co-producing diversity: Land use and livelihoods in Tanzania's Kilombero Valley" in the Agricultural-Rural Production Systems and Livelihoods session.