David Marvin

Climate Change Ecologist
Terrestrial
[email protected]

In The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter, David is leading a technical team of internal and external collaborators in assessing the greenhouse gas mitigation potential of natural and working lands across all of California. He combines advanced remote sensing, statistical modeling, and ecological principles to investigate how changes in land management may increase the land carbon sink while achieving co-benefits such as biodiversity conservation and enhanced ecosystem services.

Prior to the Conservancy, David completed a postdoctoral research fellowship under Greg Asner at the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University. He continues his academic research as a Visiting Investigator with Carnegie’s Department of Global Ecology, where he focuses on large-scale remote sensing of the Earth’s biosphere and its ecological function. David received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Michigan, and his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University.

What David is working on now:

I am creating improved land use classifications across the entire state of California using artificial intelligence algorithms applied to imagery from multiple types of satellites. I am also working on developing an historical inventory and future prediction of the carbon balance (emissions + sequestration of CO2) across all of California’s natural and agricultural lands in collaboration with scientists at TNC and US Geological Survey.


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2018 | Terrestrial | Economics | Science | Publications & Reports

Toward a Carbon Neutral California: Economic and Climate Benefits of Land Use Interventions

David C. Marvin, Dick Cameron, Erik Nelson, Andrew Plantinga, Justin Breck, Gokce Sencan, Michelle Passero

Ecosystems can increase carbon storage under alternative management techniques and land use patterns. But the magnitude, timing, and spatial heterogeneity is uncertain. Assessing the potential and cost of land management and conservation activities to reduce emissions or increase carbon sequestration is needed to help the…


2017 | Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Ecosystem management and land conservation can substantially contribute to California’s climate mitigation goals

D. Richard Cameron, David C. Marvin, Jonathan M. Remucal, Michelle C. Passero

Combatting climate change will require using all available tools, especially those that contribute to other societal and economic goals, such as natural resource protection and energy security. Conserving and managing natural and agricultural lands to retain and absorb greenhouse gasses (GHGs) are tools that have…


2016 | Terrestrial | Technology | Science | Publications & Reports

Integrating technologies for scalable ecology and conservation

David C. Marvin, Lian Pin Koh, Antony J. Lynam, Serge Wich, Andrew B. Davies, Ramesh Krishnamurthy, Emma Stokes, Ruth Starkey, Gregory P. Asner

Integration of multiple technologies greatly increases the spatial and temporal scales over which ecological patterns and processes can be studied, and threats to protected ecosystems can be identified and mitigated. A range of technology options relevant to ecologists and conservation practitioners are described, including ways…


2016 | Terrestrial | Planning | Technology | Science | Publications & Reports

Spatially explicit analysis of field inventories for national forest carbon monitoring

David C. Marvin, Gregory P. Asner

Policies that incentivize forest conservation by monetizing forest carbon ultimately depend on the accuracy of carbon stock estimates. Often, these estimates are based on field inventory sampling. In this paper, the authors assessed the accuracy of two common field-plot carbon sampling approaches when creating large-scale…