Geology & Earth Science

Geology & Earth Science Experts

Matthew Struckhoff

The U.S. Geological Survey
United States Virgin Islands


My work examines environmental factors affecting plant distribution in natural systems and how plants and plant communities respond to management and environmental stressors. I have helped develop and have applied ecological classification systems to: understand ecosystem composition and function, map vegetation communities, understand differential response of vegetation communities to management actions, and model plant species and community occurrences. This research is intended to provide decision-support tools that encourage efficient management by identifying where on the landscape proposed management activities will be most effective. Other work has focused on the effects of environmental contaminants on growth and survival of individual species and on the floristic quality in forested and grassland ecosystems. Recent research has focused on assessing the relative merits of different methods for monitoring the development of environmental restorations, including the use of tiered sampling techniques and new and emergent technologies such as Unoccupied Aerial Systems (more commonly called “drones”). My USGS career has allowed me to explore and contribute to the conservation of some of America’s beautiful places: from the rolling Ozark hills in my home state of Missouri, to Palmyra Atoll in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.

Research Interest



  • A floral survey of cliff habitats along Bull Run at Manassas National Battlefield Park, Virginia, 2014

  • Vulnerabilities of national parks in the American Midwest to climate and land use changes

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