Jason W. Karl
Jason W. Karl, Ph.D.
Director of the U of I Rangeland Center, Associate Professor of Rangeland Ecology and Harold F. and Ruth M. Heady Endowed Chair of Rangeland Ecology
- Ph.D., Fisheries and Wildlife with specialization in Environmental Science and Public Policy, Michigan State University, 2009
- M.S., Environmental Science University of Idaho, 1998
- B.S., Wildlife Resources University of Idaho, 1996
Rangeland monitoring and assessment
Rangeland management and policy
Rangeland ecology, Envirometrics
Applications of unmanned aerial systems (i.e., drones) in rangeland research
Di Stefano, S., J. W. Karl, S. E. Mccord, N. G. Stauffer, P. D. Makela, and M. Manning. 2018. Comparison of 2 vegetation height methods for assessing greater sage-grouse seasonal habitat: Comparing Vegetation Height Methods. Wildlife Society Bulletin.<http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/wsb.877>. Accessed 30 May 2018.
Jones, M. O., B. W. Allred, D. E. Naugle, J. D. Maestas, P. Donnelly, L. J. Metz, J.W. Karl, R. Smith, B. Bestelmeyer, C. Boyd, J. D. Kerby, and J. D. McIver. 2018. Innovation in rangeland monitoring: annual, 30 m, plant functional type percent cover maps for U.S. rangelands, 1984-2017. Ecosphere 9:e02430.
Karl, J. W. 2018. Mining location information from life- and earth-sciences studies to facilitate knowledge discovery. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0961000618759413.
Webb, N. P., J. W. Van Zee, J. W. Karl, J. E. Herrick, E. M. Courtright, B. J. Billings, R. Boyd, A. Chappell, M. C. Duniway, J. D. Derner, J. L. Hand, E. Kachergis, S. E. McCord, B. A. Newingham, F. B. Pierson, J. L. Steiner, J. Tatarko, N. H. Tedela, D. Toledo, and R. Scott Van Pelt. 2017. Enhancing Wind Erosion Monitoring and Assessment for U.S. Rangelands. <http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0190052817300160>. Accessed 7 Jun 2017.
- USDA Agricultural Research Service Early Career Scientist of the Year, Plains Area 2016
- Federal Laboratory Consortium, Mid-Continent Region, 2014 Notable Technological Development for JournalMap
- Environmental Science and Policy Doctoral Fellowship, Michigan State University, 2007
- ESRI Special Achievement in GIS award for work with Pacific Biodiversity Institute, 2001
Developing and implementing national rangeland monitoring protocols for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Monitoring is a cornerstone of adaptive management, but is often ineffective due to budgetary constraints, fragmented efforts, and the inability to translate data into actionable information. Dr. Karl is collaborating with academic and government researchers and BLM staff to develop and implement the BLM’s national Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) program. AIM uses core monitoring indicators and methods, scalable sampling designs, and remote-sensing-derived indicators to address diverse resource questions at many different scales. AIM is designed to be easily supplemented, repurposed for new monitoring objectives, and interpreted relative to land potential to support land management. Dr. Karl’s work specifically focuses on development of terrestrial monitoring protocols, understanding and reducing sources of monitoring error, multi-scale monitoring sampling designs, and developing analysis workflows to support BLM management decision making. To date, the AIM program has collected monitoring data on over 15,000 plots on BLM lands in the western US and Alaska. In 2016, the BLM issued Instructional Memoranda #2016-139 and #2016-144 directing all BLM offices (248 million acres) to implement AIM for monitoring BLM’s Resource Management Plan effectiveness and for assessing Greater Sage-grouse habitat.
Developing and validating rangeland monitoring techniques using unmanned aerial systems (i.e., drones) very-high resolution aerial imagery. The advent of low-cost, easy-to-fly drones and advances in image processing software have democratized high-resolution remote sensing and opened new possibilities for using high-resolution imagery in rigorous vegetation and soil monitoring to support adaptive management. Dr. Karl’s research seeks to: 1) develop and demonstrate the utility of high-resolution aerial imagery from UAS or manned aircraft for monitoring vegetation cover and structure and soil erosion, and 2) develop a framework for implementing practical and repeatable acquisition and analysis of high-resolution aerial imagery in rangeland monitoring programs.
Developing techniques for analysis of rangeland conditions and trends from hypertemporal remote sensing. Recent advances in computing capacity have made it tractable to decompose and interpret dense time-series of satellite imagery (i.e., hypertemporal remote sensing) relative to changes in ecosystem structure and functioning. Dr. Karl is collaborating with researchers from the USDA Agricultural Research Service to apply hypertemporal remote sensing in low-productivity arid/semi-arid rangeland environments. The objectives of this research are to demonstrate correspondence in image-based indicators with changes in plant biomass and functional group dominance, and to understand how remotely-sensed temporal dynamics relate to the ecological resilience of rangeland plant communities.
Creating geosemantic search tools for the discovery and application of relevant ecological literature - JournalMap. While the ability to search for scientific literature has increased dramatically, the ability to find out what is known about a specific ecosystem, species or type of land is still hindered by current search technologies that rely on keywords, topics, text, and authors. Thus, finding relevant literature from a specific place or from environmentally similar places around the world has been inefficient or impossible. This has often significantly hindered the interpretation of ecological patterns and processes and selection of suitable conservation and management strategies. Dr. Karl created JournalMap as a map-based literature search tool that uses automated geoparsing algorithms as well as manual geotagging to map published articles based on where the study was conducted. Dr. Karl’s research with JournalMap focuses on the development and testing of geoparsing algorithms for automating article geotagging and in exploring applications of geographically-enabled literature databases.
Editor-in-chief of the journal Rangelands
Creator and lead PI for the Landscape Toolbox, an online resource to assist rangeland managers and researchers in identifying appropriate monitoring methods, designing, and implementing monitoring programs, and using monitoring data to support management decisions.
Co-developer and instructor of the Bureau of Land Management’s Assessment Inventory and Monitoring Terrestrial Core Methods trainings.
Member of the Bureau of Land Management’s Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) program core leadership team.
Creator and lead PI for JournalMap, an open web resource for researchers to discover relevant research based on the location of published studies.
Society of Range Management: member of Rangeland Assessment and Monitoring Committee and Remote Sensing/GIS Committee.