SESYNC Welcomes Postdoctoral Fellow Nate Jones


The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) is pleased to welcome Dr. Nate Jones as a new SESYNC Postdoctoral Fellow. Nate is a Hydrological and Ecological Engineer with a Ph.D. in Biological Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech. Prior to Virginia Tech, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering from the University of Arkansas at Fayettville. Get to know our newest researcher:

nate jones

Name: Nate Jones

Ph.D.: Biological Systems Engineering

SESYNC Project: "Hydrologic Connectivity in Wetland Dominated Headwater Catchments"

Mentors/Collaborators: Margaret Palmer, University of Maryland 

How would you describe your primary field of study?

Hydrology and Ecological Engineering 

What does that mean in terms of the broad questions you’re interested in studying?

The primary goal of my work is to identify management variables that can be optimized to improve downstream water quality, and [hopefully!] enable the larger scientific and management communities to better address complex problems at the interface of social and environmental systems.  

What inspired you to choose this field of study?

Growing up in Arkansas, I spent a great deal of time hunting, fishing, and paddling along streams and rivers of both the Ozarks and the Mississippi River Valley. I have a deep appreciation and connection to these beautiful places, which still motivates my work today.  

Can you briefly describe your proposed SESYNC postdoctoral project?

While it is known that upland wetlands provide a wide range of ecosystem services (e.g., critical habitat, carbon storage, and streamflow regulation), we still struggle to quantify the timing, duration, mode, and magnitude of hydrologic connectivity between wetlands and downstream waters, which has implications for both management and regulatory communities. To better address this key uncertainty, we are developing a hydrologic model to explore the effects Delmarva Bay wetlands have on downstream waters across the mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain. 

Why is SESYNC the right place to undertake this research?

Honestly, I can’t imagine a better place to conduct this research [or be a postdoc for that matter!]  While the computational/cyber infrastructure are second-to-none, the diversity of intellectual resources within the SESYNC community are really the key.

Heroes: Luna Leopold and Theodore Roosevelt

Favorite River: Buffalo River (Ponca, AR)

Favorite Sports Team: Arkansas Razorbacks (Woo Pig!)