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Dr. Jones is an Assistant Research Scientist at SESYNC. Her research uses mixed methodologies to analyze the human-environment interactions present in agricultural production, and to identify the impacts of cross-scalar changes and perturbations to the social and ecological foundations of food systems. She is currently the Theme Lead for the Environmental Dynamics and Food Systems theme at SESYNC, where she will coordinate a set of domestic and international synthesis projects that analyze the relationships between human decision making and environmental outcomes in agricultural and natural resource management settings. Her own current projects include characterizing the relationship between types of agricultural operations in the US (small farms, family farms) and ecological outcomes in the surrounding landscape, evaluating consumer preferences and priorities related to nontraditional irrigation water used on food crops (http://www.umdrightnow.umd.edu/news/umd-school-public-health-receives-10...), and identifying clusters of trends in the global food system that can be used for international programming that supports alternative agriculture and food system equity. Past projects have focused on the social dynamics and economic decision-making of smallholder farmers in seed systems in Francophone West Africa, and on social impacts of agricultural technology. Kristal incorporates qualitative and quantitative analysis and modeling techniques into analyses of longitudinal change, with a focus on linking microdata about individuals and households to trends in ecosystem and political system data at the regional and global scales. At SESYNC, Kristal manages the SESYNC-USDA collaborative Data to Motivate Synthesis program (http://www.sesync.org/news/sesync-usda-food-systems-resilience), which supports data integration, analysis and visualization to catalyze research around building resilient food systems, and she co-led the first year of the Postdoctoral Socio-Enviromental Immersion Program (http://www.sesync.org/for-you/educator/programs/immersion). Kristal received her Ph.D. in Rural Sociology and International Agriculture and Development from the Pennsylvania State University in 2014. She also holds an M.S. in Rural Sociology from the Pennsylvania State University and a B.A. in International Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.