Kirk Klausmeyer

Senior Spatial Data Scientist
Technology
[email protected]

In The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter, Kirk has interpreted data and developed visual tools to address California’s most pressing environmental challenges like assessing the impact of drought on river flows, mapping important rivers that supply drinking water, cataloging observations of freshwater biodiversity statewide, and analyzing climate change impacts and the resiliency of natural systems to change. Kirk has authored 13 publications in peer-reviewed journals during his time at the Conservancy.  

Before he joined the Conservancy, Kirk worked as an independent developer and consultant. He holds a B.A. in environmental studies and economics from Dartmouth College and M.A. in planning from the University of California, Berkeley.  

What Kirk is working on now:

I am currently working on a database of potential groundwater dependent ecosystems in California, along with an analysis of stream flow impairment for all stream gage locations in the state.  I have also built an experimental water siphon station called StatenX to test IoT technology to measure water diversions in agricultural settings.


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2018 | Freshwater | Science | Microsite

Groundwater Resource Hub

Sandi Matsumoto, Gregg Werner, Melissa Rohde, Kirk Klausmeyer

Groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDEs) are plant and animal communities that require groundwater to meet some or all of their water needs. GDEs provide important benefits to California including habitat for animals, water supply, water purification, flood mitigation, erosion control, recreational opportunities and enjoyment of California’s…


2017 | Freshwater | Science | Data

California Natural Flows Database

Julie K.H. Zimmerman, Daren M. Carlisle, Jason T. May, Kirk R. Klausmeyer, Theodore E. Grantham, Larry R. Brown, Jeanette K. Howard

The Nature Conservancy and the United Stated Geological Survey (USGS) partnered to generate estimates of natural flows (expected streamflow in the absence of human modification) in all the streams and rivers in California (1950-2015). For more details on the methods and results see  Patterns and…


2017 | Freshwater | Science | Publications & Reports

Patterns and magnitude of flow alteration in California, USA

Julie K H Zimmerman, Daren M. Carlisle, Jason T. May, Kirk R. Klausmeyer, Theodore E. Grantham, Larry R. Brown, Jeanette K. Howard

The importance of the natural flow regime to stream and river health has received growing attention in recent years. Understanding natural flows and patterns of flow alteration is an important first step in improving the management of California’s rivers and streams for human and ecosystem…


2017 | Marine | Technology | Science | Video

Aquaculture by Design, Tomales Bay

Serena Lomonico, Robert Jones, Torrey Johnson, Sarah Newkirk, Sarah Lummis, Kirk Klausmeyer, John Finger, Terry Sawyer, Richard James

Aquaculture is becoming an increasingly important global food source. With this growth comes urgent, unanswered questions about the interactions of aquaculture operations—both positive and negative—and ecosystems. This video describes a collaboration between the Conservancy, the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Hog Island Oyster Company aimed at…



2017 | Freshwater | Planning | Publications & Reports

Water for nature: What we can do today to help California’s rivers, streams and wetlands

Burns, C.E., A. Hoss, N. Smith, K. Klausmeyer, K. Fesenmeyer, A. Campbell, J. Carah, E. Forsburg, S. Heard, J.K. Howard, L. Hulette, S. Liu, P. Spraycar, B. Stranko, G. Werner, D. Wordham

This report identifies a set of strategies that will have the greatest impact on environmental flows, and to provide a resource for conservation organizations, resource agencies, and other stakeholders in California that may help create the conditions that allow freshwater species to thrive well into…


2016 | Freshwater | Maps & Webmaps

How and Where Nature Uses Groundwater

Kirk Klausmeyer, Jeanette Howard, Sandi Matsumoto, Sally Liu, Melissa Rohde

Groundwater is essential to the health and viability of plants, animals and ecosystems. Many tree species, like willows and cottonwoods, rely on groundwater to survive seasonal and annual dry spells. Fish and other aquatic life need groundwater to keep rivers flowing. When unsustainable management causes groundwater levels…


2015 | Freshwater | Planning | Maps & Webmaps

California’s Freshwater Conservation Blueprint map

Megan Webb, Kirk Klausmeyer, Jeanette Howard

The transformation of California into one of the most productive agricultural and urban landscapes in the world and a growing population have put unprecedented pressure on freshwater habitats, reducing them to a small fraction of their historic extent. Across the state, freshwater-dependent ecosystems have been…


2015 | Freshwater | Science | Publications & Reports

California Freshwater Blueprint: Phase I Overview

Jeanette K. Howard, Kirk R. Klausmeyer, Kurt A. Fesenmyer

California is one of the most productive agricultural and urban landscapes in the world with a growing population. These pressures have reduced aquatic and wetland habitats to a small fraction of their historic extent. Ecosystems dependent on freshwater have been degraded across the state, with…


2015 | Freshwater | Marine | Publications & Reports

Aligning Natural Resource Conservation and Flood Hazard Mitigation in California

Juliano Calil, Michael W. Beck, Mary Gleason, Matthew Merrifield, Kirk Klausmeyer, Sarah Newkirk

The U.S. National Flood Insurance Program has paid out more than $38 billion in claims since its inception in 1968, more than a third of which has gone to the 1% of policies that experienced multiple, repetitive losses. During the same period, the loss of…


2015 | Freshwater | Planning | Data

California Freshwater Species Database v2

Jeanette Howard, Kirk Klausmeyer, Kurt Fesenmyer

The California Freshwater Species Database is the first comprehensive geospatial database of California’s freshwater species compiled and standardized into single format from nearly 500 sources. It provides a single source for geodata covering the plants and animals that rely on California’s freshwater resources to survive.…


2015 | Freshwater | Planning | Science | Publications & Reports

Patterns of Freshwater Species Richness, Endemism, and Vulnerability in California

Jeanette K. Howard, Kirk R. Klausmeyer, Kurt A. Fesenmyer, Joseph Furnish, Thomas Gardali, Ted Grantham, Jacob V. E. Katz, Sarah Kupferberg, Patrick McIntyre, Peter B. Moyle, Peter R. Ode, Ryan Peek, Rebecca M. Quiñones, Andrew C. Rehn, Nick Santos, Steve Schoenig, Larry Serpa, Jackson D. Shedd, Joe Slusark, Joshua H. Viers, Amber Wright, Scott A. Morrison

The California Freshwater Species Database is the first comprehensive geospatial database of California’s freshwater species compiled and standardized into single format from nearly 500 sources. It provides a single source for geodata covering the plants and animals that rely on California’s freshwater resources to…


2014 | Terrestrial | Planning | Science | Maps & Webmaps

Actions Likely to Increase Plant and Animal Resilience to Climate Change

Kirk Klausmeyer

This webmap provides regional climate projections with information about topography, coastal proximity and level of habitat fragmentation to help land managers identify concrete conservation actions they can take now to help address the threat of climate change to the terrestrial species of California.


2013 | Terrestrial | Planning | Publications & Reports

Laying the Foundation: How Existing Conservation Areas Have Helped Prepare California for Climate Change

Klausmeyer, K, D. Cameron, S. Morrison

This study evaluated the existing network of conservation lands in California to determine the extent to which it includes landscape features that may be especially important for biodiversity conservation in the context of climate change. The authors found that past conservation action has created an…


2013 | Freshwater | Planning | Science | Publications & Reports

Below the Surface: California’s Freshwater Diversity

Jeanette Howard, Kirk Klausmeyer, Kurt Fesenmyer

Californians face profound decisions regarding the management of their state’s increasingly limited water supply. Critical for decision-making is information about the plants and animals that also rely on California’s freshwater resources to survive. This report includes an atlas of the freshwater biodiversity patterns in California,…


2012 | Terrestrial | Planning | Publications & Reports

Economic costs of achieving current conservation goals in the future as climate changes

M. Rebecca Shaw, Kirk Klausmeyer, D. Richard Cameron, Jason MacKenzie, Patrick Roehrdanz

Species will move around the landscape as the climate changes, presenting challenges for traditional conservation strategies like land acquisition. This paper models the cost and total land area that needs to be protected by 2100 to track the changing distribution of 11 focal species of…


2012 | Freshwater | Publications & Reports

Where Does California’s Water Come From? Land conservation and the watersheds that supply California’s drinking water

Kirk Klausmeyer, Katie Fitzgerald

Key to protecting drinking water for all Californians is understanding the sources and health of the thier watersheds. This study maps California's surface drinking water sources, the watersheds that supply water to those sources, and the land protection status of those watershed lands. It includes…


2012 | Freshwater | Maps & Webmaps

California's Flood Risk: Green Solutions for an Uncertain Future

Kirk Klausmeyer, Megan Webb

Almost 9 million acres of California are at risk from flooding. These flood zones cover 16% of the state’s urban and suburban development, and 36% of the state’s land dedicated to cultivated crops. As the climate changes, flooding is likely to be more frequent and…


2011 | Freshwater | Terrestrial | Marine | Planning | Science | Publications & Reports

The impact of climate change on California’s ecosystem services

Shaw, M.R., L. Pendleton, D.R. Cameron, B. Morris, D. Bachelet, K. Klausmeyer, J. MacKenzie, D.R. Conklin, G.N. Bratman, J. Lenihan, E. Haunreiter, C. Daly, P.R. Roehrdanz

As the climate warms, changes in ecosystems will impact human communities and livelihoods. This paper, together with a California Energy Commission Scenarios Report of the same name, explores the broad impacts of climate change on ecosystem services and California’s economy. These publications help direct land…


2011 | Freshwater | Marine | Planning | Publications & Reports

SalmonScape: Priorities for Conserving California’s Salmon and Steelhead Diversity

Jeanette Howard, Kirk Klausmeyer, Sally Liu

This report analyzed Chinook, coho salmon, and steelhead trout population and habitat data across California to identify a portfolio of places called the SalmonScape. SalmonScape identifies areas in California with the greatest potential for habitat restoration and protection, and where wild salmon also have the best…


2011 | Freshwater | Marine | Planning | Maps & Webmaps

SalmonScape map

Megan Webb, Jeanette Howard , Kirk Klausmeyer, Sally Liu

The Conservancy's SalmonScape is an analysis and map that analyzed and ranked the watersheds that support or contribute to salmon habitat in California based on where conservation efforts would have the best return-on-investment. The analysis helped coordinate and direct salmon conservation efforts across the state.


2011 | Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Landscape-scale indicators of biodiversity's vulnerability to climate change

Klausmeyer, K. R., M. R. Shaw, J.B. MacKenzie, D.R.Cameron

This analysis provides an approach for distilling complex climate and landscape data into actions land managers can take to help plants and animals adapt to a changing climate. Based on historical data, climate projections and landscape attributes like topography, coastal proximity and habitat fragmentation that…


2011 | Terrestrial | Planning | Publications & Reports

Northern Sierra Partnership Climate Adaptation Assessment

Cameron, D., K. Klausmeyer, J. Mackenzie, G. Low, L. Provencher

Climate change will impact plants and animals across the state, and conservationists are often unaware of the best way to address this threat. While much of the land in the Northern Sierra is public and protected from development, it is still at risk to changes…


2011 | Terrestrial | Publications & Reports

Planning for Adaptation to Climate Change: Methods and Lessons Learned from Mt. Hamilton, California

Kirk Klausmeyer, Dan Olstein, Terri Schulz, Robin Cox, Sasha Gennet, Jason MacKenzie

While the literature and guidance on traditional conservation planning methods is extensive, there are few case studies on methods for incorporating climate change into conservation planning efforts. This report outlines the methods the Conservancy used to develop strategies to help species adapt in the Mount…


2011 | Freshwater | Science | Publications & Reports

Identifying habitat conservation priorities and gaps for migratory shorebirds and waterfowl in California

Stralberg, D., D. Cameron, M. Reynolds, C. Hickey, K. Klausmeyer, S. Busby, L. Stenzel, W. Shuford, G. Page

This analysis provides the first comprehensive overview of the specific habitats used by 42 different migratory waterbird species throughout California. The authors reveal important gaps in protection for wintering habitat for shorebirds and waterfowl and highlight the importance of agricultural lands in migratory bird conservation. They advocate…


2010 | Terrestrial | Planning | Publications & Reports

Mojave Desert Ecoregional Assessment

John M. Randall, Sophie S. Parker, James Moore, Brian Cohen, Laura Crane, Bill Christian, Dick Cameron, Jason B. Mackenzie, Kirk Klausmeyer, Scott Morrison

Regional conservation planning is critical to inform land and resource use decisions. The Mojave Desert Ecoregional Assessment represents an important advance in such planning, because of how its output  characterized not just areas of high conservation value, but how conservation values distributed and graded across…


2009 | Terrestrial | Planning | Publications & Reports

Threats and biodiversity in the mediterranean biome

E.C. Underwood, J.H. Viers, K.R. Klausmeyer, R.L. Cox, M. R. Shaw

The mediterranean biome is one of the rarest terrestrial ecosystem types on Earth, restricted to only 2% of the world’s land surface. Encompassing portions of southern Australia, central Chile, South Africa’s Cape Region, the Mediterranean Basin, and California and Baja California, the biome is renowned…


2009 | Terrestrial | Planning | Publications & Reports

Expanding the global network of protected areas to save the imperiled mediterranean biome

Underwood, E.C., K.R. Klausmeyer, R.L. Cox, S.M. Busby, S.A. Morrison, M.R.Shaw

Mediterranean habitats are among the rarest on Earth. Characterized by warm dry summers and cool wet winters, they are restricted to only 2% of the Earth’s land surface–portions of southern Australia, Chile, South Africa, California and Baja California, and the Mediterranean Basin. Though small, these…