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William A. Gould

William A. Gould
Research Ecologist
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
International Institute of Tropical Forestry, Jardin Botanico Sur, 1201 Calle Ceiba
San Juan, PR 00926-1119
United States
Phone
787-764-7790
Current Research
  • Directing the USDA Caribbean Climate Hub.
  • Arctic Observing Network (AON): Study of arctic ecosystem changes.
Past Research
  • Furthering the science of remote sensing of biodiversity patterns.
  • Documenting long–term response of arctic vegetation to recent climate change.
  • Developing widely used landcover, biodiversity and conservation information for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
  • Developing the Forest Service Research Map Publication Series (RMAP).
Research Interest

My research involves integrating field and remote sensing data to analyze landscape patterns and processes in a wide range of ecosystems including tropical, temperate, boreal and arctic biomes. I am active in studies of conservation science, biodiversity, ecology, land cover mapping, modeling future scenarios for conservation planning, and field education and outreach.

Why This Research Is Important

There are a lot of uncertainties in how natural and social systems will respond to changes in climate and land use. My research helps better understand the current matrix of habitats, species distributions, and human use and infrastructure that make up the landscape - and how these might respond to things like sea level rise, increasing drought or storm frequency, urban growth, and other changes.

Education
  • Department of Environmental, Population and Organismal Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado. , Ph.D., Ecology. Dissertation: A multiple-scale analysis of plant species richness, vegetation, landscape heterogeneity, and spectral diversity along an Arctic river., 1998
  • Plant Biology Department, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota. , M.S., Ecology. Thesis: Macrolichens of the Coppermine, Hood, and Thomsen Rivers, Northwest Territories, Canada., 1992
  • Plant Biology Department, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota. , B.S., Biology., 1988
Professional Experience
  • Director, USDA Caribbean Climate Hub,  USDA Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico.,  2014 - Current
  • Associate Faculty,  University of Puerto Rico - Río Piedras, College of Natural Sciences, Environmental Sciences Program,  2013 - Current
  • Adjunct Professor,  University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras Department of Biology,  2012 - Current
  • GS-0408-14, Research Ecologist,  USDA Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico.,  2009 - Current
  • Adjunct Research Associate,  University of Alaska Fairbanks, Institute of Arctic Biology, Alaska Geobotany Center, Fairbanks, AK.,  1999 - Current
  • Coordinator, Caribbean Lanedscape Conservation Cooperative,  USDA Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico.,  2012 - 2017
  • GS-0408-13, Research Ecologist,  USDA Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico.,  2003 - 2009
  • GS-0408-12, Research Ecologist,  USDA Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico.,  2002 - 2003
  • GS-0408-12, term appointment, Research Ecologist,  USDA Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico.,  2001 - 2002
  • Adjunct Scientist and National Science Foundation SMETE Postdoctoral Fellow,  USDA Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico.,  2000 - 2001
  • National Science Foundation SMETE Postdoctoral Fellow,  Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska.,  1999 - 2001
  • Research Associate,  University of Colorado, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR). Boulder, CO.,  1998 - 1999
  • Graduate Research Assistant,  University of Colorado, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR). Boulder, CO.,  1996 - 1998
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant,  University of Colorado, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR). Boulder, CO.,  1992 - 1997
  • Instructor,  Arctic Field Ecology Course, University of Colorado, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR). Boulder, CO.,  1987 - 1994
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant,  Department of Plant Biology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota.,  1988 - 1992
  • Undergraduate Research Assistant,  Cedar Creek Natural History Area (LTER site).,  1986 - 1986
Professional Organizations
  • Editorial Board Member,  International Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation,  2009 - Current
    Serve as reviewer.
  • Editorial Board Member,  Journal of Landscape and Urban Planning,  2007 - Current
    Serve as reviewer.
  • Member,  American Geophysical Union,  2000 - Current
    AGU member.
  • Member,  Ecological Society of America,  2000 - Current
    ESA member.
  • Board Member,  Ecological Society of America,  2009 - 2012
    Serve as board member on panel
  • Member,  Ecological Society of America,  1997 - 2002
    IAVS member
  • Member,  American Bryological and Lichenological Society,  1992 - 1998
    ABLS member
Featured Publications
Other Publications
Research Highlights

Climate Change Implications for Tropical Islands

Year: 2016
Interpolating and Interpreting Statistically Downscaled General Circulation Model Projections for Management and Planning

Climate Change and Water Resources in a Tropical Island System

Year: 2016
Forest Service scientists study propagation of uncertainty from statistically downscaled climate models to hydrologic models.

The Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperative

Year: 2016
A New Framework for Effective Conservation of Natural and Cultural Resources in the Caribbean.

Characterization of the Network of Protected Areas in Puerto Rico

Year: 2016
Scientists Analyze the biodiversity, landscape diversity and forest cover in terrestrial protected areas in Puerto Rico to anser the question: What are we protecting?

Analyzing drought exposure and vulnerability in a tropical agricultural system

Year: 2018
Correlating conservation practices and drought vulnerability in Puerto Rico to highlight agricultural areas vulnerable to drought conditions

Climate Change Affects Potential Plant Species Distribution and Richness on Puerto Rican uplands.

Year: 2019
Drier conditions projected by climate models favor dryland tree species and higher species richness over tree species adapted to high rainfall environments in Puerto Rican uplands.

Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Climate Change: Shared Challenges in Agriculture, Forestry, and Opportunities for Collaboration

Year: 2020
Throughout their histories, Cuba and Puerto Rico have faced similar challenges in maintaining food security and ecosystem health. Climate change now threatens both islands with parallel challenges to their similar crops, forests, and demographics. This report looks at the history that has shaped the...

Mapping snags and understory shrubs with LiDAR to assess wildlife habitat suitability.

Year: 2010
Forest Service scientists evaluated the use of LiDAR data for mapping the presence/absence of understory shrub species and different snag diameter classes in a mixed-conifer forest in Northern Idaho (USA).

Protected areas of Puerto Rico: Terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity protection.

Year: 2010
Forest Service scientists have mapped public and private lands designated for special protection in Puerto Rico. We identified 115 terrestrial and marine protected areas with 13 of them being exclusively marine.

Climate and vegetation change in Alaskan tundra.

Year: 2010
Studies of tundra vegetation changes in recent decades have predicted an increase in the relative abundance of shrubs in response to climate warming. In contrast, a detailed analysis of a 20-year record of tundra vegetation structure and composition from a set of permanent monitoring plots at Toolik...

Integrating Research, Education, and Traditional Knowledge in Ecology

Year: 2011
Integrating research and education is a fundamental goal of research institutions and agencies but specific approaches not widely published in environmental research journals. In this study, Forest Service scientists documented the costs and benefits to the public of engaging researchers, university...

Scientists Complete New Database for Modeling and Mapping Species Distributions

Year: 2013
Forest Service scientists completed two large project reports: The U.S. Virgin Islands Terrestrial Gap Analysis Project delivered to the USGS National Gap Program; and, Sportfish Gap: Conservation of Puerto Rico's Freshwater and Marine Recreational Fisheries Resources delivered to the Puerto Rico De...

Scientist Develops Fire Danger Rating System and Fire Weather Zones for Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands

Year: 2013
New Fire Weather Zones and a Fire Danger Rating System Developed for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The effects of changing land cover on stream flow simulation in Puerto Rico

Year: 2014
Rainfall, terrain, and use of the landscape affect stream flow and water resources availability.

The Effects of Changing Land Cover on Streamflow Simulation in Puerto Rico

Year: 2015
Streamflow models were developed for Puerto Rico, Vieques, and Culebra simulating historic conditions from 1953 to 2012. When land cover was included in the model as changing with time, streams such as the Río Piedras with a high amount of human-ecosystem interaction were much better simulated. Thes...

Assessing Vulnerabilities to Climate Change in Tropical Agriculture and Forestry

Year: 2015
New Vulnerability Assessment from the USDA Caribbean Climate Sub Hub.

Climate space for fire occurrence and extent in Puerto Rico

Year: 2018
The cumulative effect of small frequent fires found in the Caribbean can shape large landscapes. Relationships between weather patterns and the likelihood of these fires can help understand the implications of climate change

El Yunque National Forest Atlas release

Year: 2018
Publication of an atlas about El Yunque National Forest, a collaboration between the International Institute of Tropical Forestry and El Yunque National Forest.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/research/about/people/wgould