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Graduate student spotlight – Eric Jensen

Graduate student Eric JensenEric Jensen, a master’s student in the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology (GDPE) co-advised by Dr. Michael Falkowski and Dr. Jody Vogeler (ESS), was recently awarded the Joint Fire Sciences Program’s Graduate Research Innovation award. Congratulations, Eric!

Eric Jensen’s goal is to provide spatial products that improve decision making in ecological management and conservation planning. For his thesis, his research is focused on applying remote sensing and spatial analysis in the Great Basin ecoregion. By drawing on the Landsat archive from 1984–present and LandTrendr analysis available through Google Earth Engine, Eric is working to provide a plant diversity based index of resilience and resistance across the region. The Graduate Research Innovation (GRIN) award—granted based on research proposals that are relevant to wildland fire management and policy—will enable Eric to collect additional vegetation data in Nevada and Utah next summer and to conduct future management-relevant analyses. Ultimately, his project will help agencies like the Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service evaluate the effectiveness of their post-fire restoration techniques in the Great Basin dating back more than three decades.

Salt desert shrub in Nevada, USA
Eric and his crew collecting Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) data in the salt desert shrub of Nevada in 2015—data which Eric is now working to apply to his master’s thesis at CSU