Dr. Chris Hakkenberg received a Ph.D. in Ecology from UNC-Chapel Hill, a master’s degree from Harvard University, and a bachelor’s degree from Reed College. His research employs techniques of geospatial analysis in the fields of landscape ecology, biogeography, and remote sensing to model complex socio-ecological phenomena at multiple scales.
As a Rice Academy Fellow, Dr. Hakkenberg will focus on two projects: (1) creating a multi-decadal time series of land cover classifications characterizing spatio-temporal dynamics of landcover change in the greater Houston area. The project will focus on developing signature generalization algorithms as well as temporal auto-regressive models to better quantify land cover change and associated uncertainties. In collaboration with colleagues at the Rice Academy and the Kinder Institute, Dr. Hakkenberg will use these fine-resolution land cover classifications as a means to answer questions regarding the spatial distribution and the temporal dynamics of related trends in poverty, health, and environment in the Houston area. (2) In addition, Dr. Hakkenberg will collaborate with colleagues to assess scale-dependent remotely-sensed predictors of forest community properties and forest stand dynamics across biomes. This research is intended to develop methods to better align characteristic spatial scales between forest community patterns with that of the resolution and spatial precision of remotely sensing data in anticipation of the deployment of a fleet of new LiDAR and hyperspectral airborne sensors and spaceborne satellites.