Lydia Vaughn's picture

Lydia Smith Vaughn, PhD

Environmental Scientist
Resilient Landscapes Program
Delta Science & Management
Terrestrial Ecology

Lydia Smith Vaughn is an environmental scientist in the Resilient Landscapes program at SFEI, where she works on projects related to ecosystem carbon storage and greenhouse gas dynamics.  With a background in soil biogeochemistry, she is particularly interested in how we can manage ecosystems for carbon storage in ecologically thoughtful ways.  Lydia received her M.S. and Ph.D. from the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley.  There, her research had two primary focus areas: the dynamics and climate-vulnerability of Arctic soil carbon, and ecological considerations for land-based carbon sequestration strategies.  Before coming to SFEI, she conducted postdoctoral research in UC Berkeley’s Integrative Biology department, where she studied dry-season soil carbon dynamics at the Eel River Critical Zone Observatory.

Related Projects, News, and Events

Landscape Scenario Planning Tool (Project)

This project is a tool for planning scenarios of landscape-scale restoration. The tool is designed to inform ongoing and future restoration planning efforts. In particular, this tool will help inform implementation of restoration objectives as described in the Delta Plan, as well as the ongoing Ecosystem Amendment to Chapter 4.

Suisun Landscapes (Project)

As the largest brackish marsh on the West Coast, Suisun Marsh is a unique transitional landscape between the Bay and the Delta portions of the Estuary. The Marsh has long been managed for recreational hunting and native biodiversity, yet it is threatened by an uncertain future under climate change. Sea level rise and increasing salinity pose significant threats to the current structure and uses of the Marsh. Likely impacts include conversion of wetlands to open water, changes in species composition, increased flood risk, and drainage challenges in managed wetlands.

Introducing the Landscape Scenario Planning Tool Version 2.0 (News)

In partnership with the Delta Stewardship Council, the San Francisco Estuary Institute has developed version 2.0 of the Landscape Scenario Planning Tool, a GIS-based analysis toolkit to evaluate user-designed land use and restoration scenarios for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Marsh. This free mapping toolbox brings together ten years of science-based research and peer-reviewed methods for California’s Delta-Suisun region. 

Peninsula Watershed Historical Ecology Study (Project)

Nestled in the rugged coastal mountains between San Francisco and Silicon Valley lies one of the ecological treasures of the San Francisco Bay Area: the Peninsula Watershed. Home to mountain lions, marbled murrelets, towering old-growth Douglas-firs, and an immense diversity of other plants and animals, the Peninsula Watershed is a unique and wild expanse of open space just minutes from one of the most urbanized parts of California.