Kimberly Carlson

New York University
Assistant Professor
Kimberly Carlson Image

Kimberly Carlson is an Assistant Professor at New York University’s Department of Environmental Studies. As a land systems scientist with a focus on tropical agriculture, Carlson’s interdisciplinary research addresses the drivers of tropical agricultural land use, the relationships between agricultural land use and ecosystem processes, and the governance interventions that aim to mitigate agriculture’s perceived negative impacts. She applies multiple methods ranging from remote sensing, earth system modeling, and ethnographic analysis to better understand these processes. The goal of her work is to advance fundamental scientific knowledge in the field of land systems science while informing decisions about how to enhance the sustainable and equitable management of agricultural lands. Her research has improved the accuracy of estimates of how cropland agriculture – especially tropical commodity crops like oil palm and soybean - affects our environment. Carlson received her PhD from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in 2012. She holds a Bachelor of Science with Honors from Stanford University and was a Global Landscapes Initiative Post-doctoral Research Scholar at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment. Most recently, she was an Assistant Professor at the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management at the University of Hawai’i Mānoa. Her research has been funded by NASA, NSF, USDA, and Google, among others.