What is Ecoinformatics?

We view ecoinformatics as integrating cutting-edge informatics tools (data analytics, computing, statistical analysis, and modeling) with knowledge, theory, and data from ecology, climate science, and other environmental science disciplines to address pressing environmental issues. 


The Ecological and Environmental Informatics (“Ecoinformatics”) research group at NAU employs cutting-edge computational, analytical, and modeling (“informatics”) tools to conduct research in major terrestrial biomes from the tropics to the tundra to deserts. Our ecological expertise spans physiological ecology, ecosystem ecology, forest ecology, biosphere-atmosphere interactions, disease ecology, remote sensing, and more. We augment this expertise by collaborating with other world-class research centers across NAU and other institutions.

We would love for you to join us! Learn more about our research labsfaculty and research staff, new team-science based PhD program (funded by the National Science Foundation), other graduate research and funding opportunities, and our undergraduate program.


On This Page

T3 Statement on Racism and Inequality News Living in Flagstaff


T3 Statement on Racism and Inequality

The T3 Program Advisory Committee (PAC)  recognizes that there are structural inequalities that permeate our society, and the sciences are not immune to racism. As a program supported by the National Science Foundation’s National Research Traineeship (NRT) program, the T3 program is committed to broadening participation in the sciences and to being part of the solution to these systemic problems. T3 Program Affiliates are committed to engaging in training and awareness activities that address issues of racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion in the sciences, and the T3 PAC is discussing concrete actions we can take as a group. We will provide updates about our plans as they take shape.

News

Student News

We would like to extend a warm welcome (and welcome back!) to the three cohorts of students in the T3 Option in Environmental and Ecological Informatics! We are so excited for the 2021-22 academic year to begin!

SICCS News

Congratulations to Drs Yiqi Luo (left), Scott Goetz (middle), and Kevin Gurney (right), who were named as 3 of Reuters’ Top 1000 Climate Scientists

Scott Goetz at computer
Congratulations to Dr. Scott Goetz, new Regents’ Professor

Dr. Scott Goetz was recently promoted to Regents’ professor. Congratulations!

Research News

Broadening Our Impact

 

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Living in Flagstaff

With more than 250 days of sunshine per year, Flagstaff provides a beautiful setting for living and learning. Outdoor opportunities in Flagstaff are unrivaled and include local hiking, running, and biking options, our very own ski resort, and easy access to the world-renowned Grand Canyon National Park and other national parks and monuments around the 4-Corners region. Flagstaff, located at an elevation of 7000 ft, is situated on the edge of the Colorado Plateau. The proximity to lower elevation deserts ensures year-round access to hiking, camping, and world-class rock climbing.

In addition to outdoor activities, there is a vibrant science and arts community in Flagstaff. Annually, the Flagstaff Festival of Science provides free science-related activities for all ages. Lowell Observatory is open to the public with programs for all ages. Arts events include summer festivals, free activities year-round in Heritage Square, art galleries, First Friday Art Walk, the Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival, aerial artists, and much, much more.

Northern Arizona University is an accredited postsecondary minority-serving institution as well as a Hispanic-serving institution and is committed to building a diverse community of scholars and improving opportunities for historically underrepresented students and faculty.

You can learn more about Flagstaff here.

 

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What We Do

Our faculty and affiliates engage in a broad range of collaborative research projects with our academic, government, and industry partners. While most of our projects expand beyond traditional disciplinary divides, projects in this area are closely related to ecology, remote sensing, and environmental modeling.

Our Research Groups

Who We Are

Our ecoinformatics group at NAU includes 17 faculty, representing a broad range of expertise from plant and ecosystem ecology to remote sensing to statistics to ecohydrology to disease ecology, among others. The faculty is paralleled by our diverse group of postdoctoral researchers, research support staff, and graduate students.

Faculty Postdoctoral Researchers Research Staff Graduate Students Recent Graduates & Affiliates


Faculty

Jay Barber
Associate Professor
Bayesian statistics, spatial statistics, ecological and environmental applications
Logan Berner
Assistant Research Professor
Forest ecology, carbon cycling, climate change, satellite remote sensing, geospatial modeling
Daniel Buscombe
Assistant Research Professor
Earth surface processes, coastal and hydraulic engineering, process sedimentology, geomorphology, spatial ecology, machine learning, probabilistic models; founder of Marda Science (not accepting new graduate students)
Chris Doughty
Associate Professor
Climate change, biodiversity loss, forest carbon cycling, remote sensing
Scott Goetz
Regents Professor
Ecosystem responses to environmental change, Arctic biodiversity, remote sensing
Kevin Gurney
Professor
Climate change, biogeochemistry, ecology, energy, science policy
Deborah Huntzinger
Associate Professor
The carbon cycle, climate change, terrestrial biogeochemistry, modeling of land-atmosphere carbon dynamics, carbon footprint analysis
Patrick Jantz
Assistant Research Professor
Forest canopy structure, geoinformatics, remote sensing, sustainable development
Yiqi Luo
Regents Professor
Ecosystem ecology, carbon and nitrogen cycles, ecological modeling, earth system science
Nicholas McKay
Associate Professor
Paleoclimatology, data analysis, paleoclimate informatics
Joseph Mihaljevic
Assistant Professor
Ecological informatics, multi-pathogen communities, infectious diseases
Kiona Ogle
Professor
Ecological synthesis and analysis, Bayesian applications in ecology, plant and ecosystem ecology
Andrew Richardson
Regents Professor
Terrestrial ecosystems, forest ecology and the carbon cycle
Ben Ruddell
Professor, SICCS Director
Urban ecology, complex systems, networks, macroscale ecology, hydrology and water resources, information theory, data science, food-energy-water
Richard Rushforth
Assistant Research Professor
Adaptive water management, socio-hydrology, water policy
Kimberly Samuels-Crow
Assistant Research Professor
Stable isotope geochemistry, climate change, paleoclimate, hydroclimate, science communication and outreach  
Temuulen "Teki" Sankey
Associate Professor
Remote sensing, desert plant communities, cropland distribution and change

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Postdoctoral Researchers

Eric Beamesderfer
Land-atmosphere interactions, atmospheric science, boundary-layer meteorology, phenology, eddy covariance
Pawlok Dass
Carbon cycle; biogeochemistry; terrestrial biosphere; climate change; earth system science; energy; geospatial data science
Katharyn Duffy
Terrestrial biosphere-Earth system interactions; climatic change effects on phenology and land-atmosphere carbon exchange
J. Camilo Fagua
Biodiversity conservation at large scales in tropical ecosystems, spatial analysis and statistics, remote sensing, climate, economics, social systems, hydrology, biophysics
Camille Gaillard
Traits, Functional traits, Trade-offs, DGVM, Ecosystem Services, Biodiversity, Science for Society, Climate Change, Anthropogenic Impact, Ecosystem Models, Data Science, Savanna, Vegetation cover change, Tropical ecosystems
Chris Hakkenberg
Landscape ecology, biodiversity, forest structure and dynamics, remote sensing, geospatial analysis, conservation, urbanization
Anna Kato
Climate change, Carbon cycle, Vegetation Phenology, Remote sensing, Geospatial analysis and mapping
Bhaskar Mitra
Carbon Cycle, Time Series Analysis, Spatial Statistics, Bayesian Analysis
Drew Peltier
Tree physiology under climate change and drought, tree ring syntheses, ENSO ,North American Monsoon, Bayesian hierarchical modelling, non-structural carbohydrates, radiocarbon, drought legacies and memory
Alison Post
climate change, grasslands, precipitation extremes, ecosystem modeling
Geoffrey Roest
Anthropogenic carbon emissions, trace gas emissions, climate change, meteorology, air quality, oil and gas, environmental policy
Yang Song
GIS, remote sensing, environment, transportation, fossil fuel carbon
Jon M. Wells
Earth system modeling, Data-model integration, Global carbon cycling, Bioenergy production
Adam Young
Fire and phenological effects on ecosystem and global carbon, water, and energy flows

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Research Support Staff

Patrick Burns
Research Associate, Goetz Lab
Earth observation, remote sensing, lidar, hyperspectral imaging
Jim LeMoine
Lab Manager, Richardson Lab
Biogeochemistry–specifically C, N, and Hg, forest ecology and management, soil organic matter formation, phenology

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PhD Students

Bilal Aslam
PhD Student
Remote sensing, Geospatial analysis and mapping, Machine learning, Time Series Analysis, Spatial Statistics
Cameron Bodine
PhD Student
River ecology, fisheries, remote sensing, spatial ecology, machine learning
Rohan Boone
MSc Student
Forest ecology, dendroecology, community ecology, drought legacy, tree response to climate change
Abraham Cadmus
PhD Student
Forest tree ecophysiology, community genetics, ecohydrology, plant hydraulics, conservation and restoration.
Jennifer Diehl
PhD Student
Remote sensing, ecological modeling, conservation biology, forest ecology
David Failing
PhD Student
Plant and ecosystem memory
Alicia Formanack
PhD Student
Dendroecology, Bayesian modeling, natural climate solutions, forest carbon
Kat Fowler
PhD Student
Hydrology and water resources; data integration and harmonization; ecological modeling; climate change
Iván González - Garzón
PhD Student
Ecohydrology, remote sensing, land use change, spatial and quantitative ecology
Xin Huang
PhD Student
Tree growth, bayesian statistics, ecological modeling, software engineering, high-performance computing
Jenna Keany
PhD Student
Biodiversity loss, animal-plant interactions, remote sensing, ecosystem ecology, climate change
Blase LaSala
PhD Student
Hazardous environment documentation, geoinformatics, data interface and visualization, high performance computing
Scooter Nowak
PhD Student
Data manipulation and analysis, software tool development, aquatic entomology, aquatic ecology
Anna Odell
PhD Student
Macrosystems ecology, vegetation response to climate and land-use change, satellite remote sensing
Kathleen Orndahl
PhD Student
Arctic vegetation ecology, climate change impacts on arctic ecosystems, UAV operations, satellite remote sensing
Emily Palmquist
PhD Student
Dryland plant ecology, riparian plant ecology, rare plants, plant genetics, Grand Canyon, river regulation
Jeralyn Poe
PhD Student
Carbon cycling, land-atmosphere interactions, geospatial analysis, Arctic vulnerability
Tomos Prys-Jones
PhD Student
Animals transport of microbes and pathogens, impact of animal extinctions on emergent infectious disease
Colin Quinn
PhD Student
Biogeography, Remote Sensing, Environmental response to climate and human impact, landscape archaeology
Emma Reich
PhD Student
Plant ecophysiology, stable isotope analysis, evapotranspiration partitioning, flux tower measurements
Paul Roman
MSc Student
Instrumentation development, isotopic tracing, carbon cycling within plant communities, carbon movement in the soil biome
Melissa Rose
PhD Student
Remote sensing, ecological modeling, conservation biology, consequences of biodiversity change
Vova Saruta
PhD Student
Bayesian statistics, emulators, process based models, terrestrial ecosystems, carbon cycle
Brittany Schweiger
PhD Student
Ecological modeling, climate change, remote sensing, ecosystem ecology, conservation
Shelby Sundquist
PhD Student
Ecological modeling, climate change, and arctic and boreal vegetation
Julia Tatum
PhD Student
Forest ecology, soil moisture dynamics, geospatial analysis, remote sensing, ecological modeling, machine learning
Aaron Teets
PhD Student
Forest carbon dynamics, phenology, woody biomass increment, non-structural carbohydrates, eddy-covariance
Sam Watson
PhD Student
Climate change; forest ecology; phenology; land-atmosphere interactions; data synthesis and statistical modeling
Natasha Wesely
PhD Student
Landscape ecology, fire ecology, abiotic drivers of ecosystem heterogeneity, spatial modeling, remote sensing
Ethan Yackulic
PhD Student
Paleoecology, lake sediments, hyperspectral imaging, water quality, Holocene climate

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Recent Graduates

  • Andrew Abraham (2021) PhD in Informatics
  • Adam Belmonte (2021) Phd in Informatics
  • Laura Puckett (2021) MSc in Informatics
  • Nancy Peterson (2020) MSc in Informatics
  • Jessica Guo (2019) PhD in Biological Sciences

Recent Affiliates

  • Adrianna Forst, former Ecoinformatics postdoc (GEODE [Goetz] Lab), currently at NCAR Boulder
  • Tim Rademacher, former Ecoinformatics postdoc (Terrestrial Ecosystems & Global Change [Richardson Lab])
  • Richard Massey, former Ecoinformatics postdoc (GEODE [Goetz] Lab), currently at BAE systems in Ogden, Utah
  • Bijan Seyednasarollah, former Ecoinformatics postdoc (Terrestrial Ecosystems & Global Change [Richardson Lab]), currently a senior data scientist in the private sector
  • Larissa Yocom, former Ecoinformatics postdoc (Ecological Synthesis Lab), currently at Utah State University
  • Yao Liu , former Ecoinformatics postdoc (Ecological Synthesis Lab), currently at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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