Dr. Smukler, Principal Investigator of the Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes Lab; Assistant Professor and Junior Chair of Agriculture and Environment, Land and Food Systems.
Dr. Smukler's research program is focused on working with farmers, and other managers of agricultural landscapes to find ways to better monitor, protect and enhance biodiversity and the availability of ecosystem services including food, fiber, fuel and timber production, greenhouse gas mitigation, and water quality and quantity regulation. His research has been concentrated on assessing the impact of farm management practices on plant biomass and biodiversity, soil physical and chemical properties, nutrients in water (leaching, and storm and irrigation runoff), and carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. Dr. Smukler is interested in developing methods to translate these measures of ecosystem function into estimates of the availability of ecosystem services; then to figure out how to accurately bridge results from plot and farm level to those at larger scales, at the watershed, landscape and region using geospatial statistics, remote sensing and geographical information system tools. By providing landscape level assessments he sees the possibility for farmers to not only better understand wider implications of their management practices but also to provide decision makers tools to address the increasing need for agricultural landscape to meet multiple societal objectives beyond just food production.