Research Scientist; Senior Research Scientist with EarthLab
Spencer is a senior research scientist with EarthLab in the UW College of the Environment, where he studies the ways that people interact with and benefit from nature. Recently he has been researching outdoor recreation, using empirical and mathematical approaches to model the distributions, behaviors, and preferences of park visitors. As another ongoing line of research, Spencer uses ecological networks as tools for modeling the outcomes of humans’ positive and negative effects on ecosystems.
In partnership with outside organizations, governments, and corporations, Spencer develops software and tools to make information accessible to decision-makers. He contributes to open-source software for mapping and modeling ecosystem services, and leads development of software for analyzing and visualizing geolocated social media and crowd-sourced data from parks and green-spaces. Spencer earned his PhD in Zoology from the University of British Columbia and has experience studying marine biodiversity, nearshore wave transformation, coastal sedimentation, and fire ecology.
- Tuesdays, 12 to 1 p.m.
- Ecology and conservation
- Geospatial data and GIS
- R, Python, shell scripts
- Data storage and databases