Threat Assessments on California Rangelands

About Us

Project Team

Kristin Byrd (USGS Western Geographic Science Center) is the project lead for the California LCC-funded project on Integrated Scenarios for Rangeland Threat Assessment. She has expertise in spatial analysis, remote sensing, and land use change modeling. Kristin completed a Ph.D. and post-doctoral research at U.C. Berkeley in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management.

Lorraine Flint (USGS California Water Science Center) has expertise in downscaling climate data for application to regional water balance models to calculate the hydrologic response of watersheds and landscapes to current and future climates at very fine spatial scales. Lorraine Flint and Alan Flint have developed approaches for establishing impacts of future climate on stream temperature, water availability, and vegetation. Relevant ongoing projects include climate change and hydrology investigations for the State of California, including regional studies in the Sierra Nevada, Klamath River, Central Valley, and Russian River basins, evaluating impacts of climate change on wolverine and waterbird habitats, springtime snowmelt, runoff and recharge, and distribution of vegetation.

Frank Casey (USGS Science and Decisions Center) is the Ecosystem Services Theme Lead at the USGS Science and Decisions Center. Dr. Casey has experience in the market and non-market valuation of ecosystem services, including those services associated with California rangelands located in the California Landscape Conservation Cooperative. He has also developed expertise in the development and implementation a comprehensive system of public and private land owner economic incentives at the federal and state level for wildlife habitat and biodiversity conservation, including the estimation of ecosystem service benefits and the application of ecosystem service markets to wildlife habitat and other resources. Dr. Casey has provided policy assistance to the conservation community and relevant government agencies in selecting and implementing economic incentives for the conservation and protection of wildlife habitat and biodiversity. Relevant publications include Flexible Incentives for the Adoption of Environmental Technologies and Agriculture (Kluwer Academic Press) and Defender of Wildlife reports entitled Incentives for Biodiversity Conservation: An Ecological and Economic Assessment and An Economic Analysis of the Benefits of Habitat Conservation on California Rangelands. One of Dr. Casey's publications in the area of ecosystem services as co-author is the article "An assessment of market-based approaches to providing ecosystem services on agricultural lands", published in Ecological Economics (2007). He has a PhD in Food and Resource Economics from the University of Florida and an MS in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University.

Pelayo Alvarez (Defenders of Wildlife) oversees research and outreach activities for the California Rangeland Conservation Coalition. He coordinates stakeholder meetings, field trips, conferences on a variety of topics including, conservation, ecology, ecosystems services and he also manages the Coalition's website. Pelayo has given presentations providing technical information to diverse groups including landowner organizations, land trusts, resource conservation districts, federal, state and local agencies, research institutions and legislators.

Christopher Soulard (USGS Western Geographic Science Center) has been employed with the USGS since 2002. As a physical scientist with the Western Geographic Science Center, Chris' research has focused on multi-temporal change analysis in the Western United States using Landsat imagery and aerial photography. Chris primarily works on the Land Cover Trends Project, a national effort focused on understanding the rates, trends, causes, and consequences of contemporary U.S. land use and land cover change between 1973 and 2000. In 2010, Chris expanded Land Cover Trends research to help develop spatially explicit land use and land cover change and models based on future climate scenarios. These models are being used by the USGS LandCarbon Project to produce carbon and greenhouse gas estimates.

Adam McClure (USGS Western Geographic Science Center) is a Student Contractor and is currently completing his masters degree in Geography at San Francisco State University with an emphasis in remote sensing. He has worked in the geospatial field for over 10 years and has experience with GIS management and analysis, aerial photography operations and orthophotography production. In the past year, Adam has worked on California rangeland analysis, PHP data storage, and landslide analysis.

Mike Gould (USGS Western Geographic Science Center) is a geographer with extensive experience in computer programming, GIS, and web development, including the development and maintenance of several high profile USGS Websites.


The USGS Landcover Trends project is a research project focused on understanding the rates, trends, causes, and consequences of contemporary U.S. land use and land cover change.

The USGS Landcarbon Project is a national assessment focusing on two interrelated objectives: 1) implementation of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, Section 712; and 2) improved understanding of carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas fluxes in and out of ecosystems related to land use.

USGS EROS Data Center


California Landscape Conservation Cooperative

USGS Geographic Analysis and Monitoring Program (Now Land Change Science Program)

Photo Credits

Photo credit: Stuart Weiss, Tracy Schohr, David Amme, and Leslie Koenig.