Geology & Earth Science

Geology & Earth Science Experts

Tamara Wilson

Research Geographer
Western Geographic Science Center
The U.S. Geological Survey
United States Virgin Islands


Tamara’s broad research interests include how land use and land cover change, both historic and projected, influence regional environmental processes while identifying the local and non-local drivers of land use change. Her graduate training at the University of Arizona was in the fields of biogeography, climatology, climate change, paleoclimate, and paleoecology. With her experience examining the connections between biogeographic history and past climate, she was able to make the leap to utilizing modern archives of change derived from satellites to examine climate and human-derived landscape level changes and impacts. She was a co-editor of the USGS Professional Paper titled Status and Trends of Land Use and Land Cover in the Western United States –an unprecedented report documenting nearly three decades of land use and land cover change using the Landsat imagery archive. The report is a culmination of over 10 years of collective work with dozens of colleagues and across multiple science centers. Her recent work with the U.S. Geological Survey’s LandCarbon project helped to produce the first set of land use and land cover projections out to the year 2100 for the conterminous United States based on four different IPCC scenarios. She recently published a subset of this data for the forested region of the West Coast in USGS report titled, Future Scenarios of Land-Use and Land-Cover Change in the United States: The Marine West Coast Forests Ecoregion. She is currently examining how these projections may influence changes in California’s conservation lands and plans to expand this research to the national scale.

Research Interest

land use and land cover change land change modeling water demand/use protected areas geospatial analysis


  • Wilson, T.S. (2017) Mediterranean California’s water use future under multiple scenarios of developed and agricultural land use change: U.S. Geological Survey Data Release,

  • Wilson, T.S., Sleeter, B.M., and D.R. Cameron (2017) Mediterranean California’s water use future under multiple scenarios of developed and agricultural land use change, PLOS One 12(10): e0187181

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