Amanda Stahl, PhD

Amanda Stahl flying a drone at the Hudson Biological Reserve.
Amanda Stahl flying a UAV at the Hudson Biological Reserve. Photo credit: Arjan Meddens.

I apply social-ecological-systems thinking to identify challenges and opportunities for shaping landscape conservation for multiple positive outcomes. For example, wildlife corridors may be most feasible to build where habitat restoration is also likely to improve water quality and salmon habitat.

My PhD work produced innovative techniques for mapping and analyzing spatial patterns in policy, social capacity, and ecosystem functions associated with conservation measures on public and private lands. I continue to develop landscape models that use GIS and remote sensing to intersect knowledge from ecology, policy, and environmental governance scholarship to help inform conservation planning and land management.

Much of my current work focuses on enhancing environmental monitoring strategies by broadening access to technological advances such as cloud computing with free satellite images and the ability to collect UAV-based (drone) images. Ecosystem monitoring provides essential feedback to inform policy and ongoing land management. The products of this work can also be used to refine models for prioritizing conservation actions or identifying promising places to build wildlife corridors.

Recent publications include an article on “Cloud-Based Environmental Monitoring” (BioScience, doi:10.1093/biosci/biab100) to broaden access to satellite imagery for tracking ecosystem condition and an article entitled “Mapping legal authority for terrestrial conservation corridors along streams” (Conservation Biology). This work was also featured in the July 2020 digest of and issue 14.3 of Current Conservation.

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