Ph.D., 2018, Vanderbilt University
I am a geographer and sustainability scientist with research interests in landscape diversity, agricultural adaptation, strategic retreat, vulnerability assessment, and scaling relationships. I lead the SCALes (Sustainability of Communities and Agricultural Landscapes) research group whose work examines the joint influences of environmental hazards, land use, and socioeconomic conditions in socioenvironmental systems. Our goal is to identify policy and practice solutions that promote social equity and the preservation of natural resources and ecosystems for future generations. Current projects include evaluation of scale-based uncertainty in social vulnerability indices, identification of challenges to diversification of agricultural systems, and estimating the transformative potential and spatial variability in biodegradable mulch film adoption for crop production.
- Nelson, K.S., Appuhamilage, B.M., and Yao, B. 2022. Higher landscape diversity associated with improved crop production resilience in Kansas-USA. Environmental Research Letters. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ac7e5f
- Nelson, K.S. and Burchfield, E.K. 2021. Landscape Complexity and U.S. Crop Production. Nature Food 2(5):330-338. https://doi.org/10.1038/s43016-021-00281-1
- Nelson, K. S., & Molloy, M. (2021). Differential disadvantages in the distribution of federal aid across three decades of voluntary buyouts in the United States. Global Environmental Change 68:102278. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2021.102278
- Nelson, K.S., Nguyen, T.D., Brownstein, N., Garcia, D., Walker, H., Watson, J., and Xin, A. 2021. Definitions, measures, and uses of rurality: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of Rural Studies 82:351-365, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2021.01.035.
- Nelson, K. S. and Camp, J. 2020. Quantifying the benefits of home buyouts for mitigating flood damages. Anthropocene 100246. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ancene.2020.100246
Katherine (Kate) Nelson, assistant professor in Geography and Geospatial Sciences at Kansas State University, studies issues related to sustainable agriculture, social vulnerability, community resilience, and flood adaptation with an emphasis on spatial data analytics. She received her bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 2006 and a Master of Science degree in environmental engineering from Washington University in St. Louis in 2009. She earned a Ph.D. in environmental engineering with an emphasis on management and policy at Vanderbilt University in 2018. Her research group studies issues related to community and agricultural landscape sustainability, including equity of strategic retreat policies, the relationship between crop diversity and crop yields, and rural sustainability assessment.
Dr. Nelson’s recent work related to sustainable agriculture and community resilience is supported by the National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Agriculture and her work has been published in highly regarded journals such as Nature Food, Global Environmental Change, the Journal of Rural Studies, and Environmental Research Letters. In addition to research, Dr. Nelson teaches classes related to sustainability and spatial analysis and is engaged in local community issues related to flood resilience.