Spencer Wood

Senior Research Scientist with EarthLab

Spencer Wood is a Research Scientist and Data Science Fellow with the eScience Institute. He is also an Affiliate Assistant Professor in the UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, the Director of the UW Outdoor Recreation & Data Lab, a Senior Fellow with the Natural Capital Project at Stanford University, and a UW Nature & Health Steering Committee member.

Spencer is an interdisciplinary scientist with broad interests and experience in ecology, sustainability, computer science, statistics, and economics. His research and publications have addressed a variety of topics including outdoor recreation, public land management, fire ecology, archaeology, and sustainable development. Since 2020, Web of Science has named Spencer one of the most highly cited researchers of the past decade, placing him in the top 1% of scientists globally.

Spencer’s expertise lies in using data, technology, and quantitative methods to improve policy and management decisions. His work is driven by real-world applications and co-developed through partnerships with non-profits, governments, and corporations who put data science into practice. At eScience, Spencer brings this experience to the mentoring of rising data scientists in the Winter Incubator and the Data Science for Social Good programs.

Before joining the University of Washington, Spencer received his PhD from the University of British Columbia and his postdoctoral training at Stanford University.


  • Ecology and conservation
  • Geospatial data and GIS
  • Statistics
  • Data storage and databases
  • Languages: R, Python, and shell scripts