Member Spotlight

Kristina Bartowitz, University of Idaho

I am a 4th year Ph.D. candidate in Natural Resources, focused on ecosystem ecology and forest carbon cycling, at the University of Idaho. I completed my B.S. degree in Zoology and Environmental Studies and MS degree in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I’m passionate about I have previously spent time conducting fieldwork across the Midwest and PNW and in Central America. I enjoy gardening, playing with my dog and chickens, knitting, and I am currently training for my first ultra-marathon.

My research focuses on the impacts and interactions of climate change, disturbance, and land management on western US forests, specifically forest carbon cycling. I use empirical datasets to better understand past forests and ecosystem models to help predict future forest dynamics. I am also interested in applied, actionable science and science policy. I was able to meet with my congressional delegation in 2019 through the Ecological Society of America Graduate Student Policy Award. This year, I am an AGU Voices for Science Advocate, which is a program that provides scientists with specialized communications training to communicate with decision-makers, journalists, and public audiences. Finally, I am volunteering with a local group to help implement a Climate Action Plan for my rural community in northcentral Washington.

I hope to finish my PhD in the next year. My career goal is to obtain a research scientist position where I can continue ecology research and provide science-based knowledge on critical natural resource issues to policymakers, land managers, and the public. I am passionate about creating lasting, positive change for our environment at the intersection science and management. I live in rural, fire-prone eastern WA, and have firsthand experience dealing with wildfires nearby – from hazardous smoke storms causing my family to stay inside for weeks at a time, to harried evacuations from our home. I hope my research and programming expertise can assist with resilient management of our public lands to ensure resiliency.
Kirstina Bartowitz