About Kelly

Kelly's research and teaching focus on evidence-based conservation and ecosystem services. She was an Assistant Professor at the University of Idaho for 3 years before joining CSU in 2014. She is originally from North Carolina and enjoys biking, hiking and traveling.

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  • Kelly Jones (formerly Kelly J. Wendland) is an Assistant Professor in Ecological Economics. Her research focuses on the impact of institutions and conservation interventions on environmental and socioeconomic outcomes. Current research projects include evaluations of the impacts of payments for ecosystem services programs in Colorado and Mexico and protected areas effectiveness in Central America. Several of these projects are interdisciplinary collaborations with geospatial, ecological, or other social scientists.


Ph.D., Forestry and Wildlife Ecology - University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI, 2011

M.A., Agricultural and Applied Economics - University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI, 2009

M.S., Natural Resources Management - North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC, 2005

B.S., Biology - Meredith College
Raleigh, NC, 2000

Awards, Honors, Grants

  • “Experimental frameworks for evaluating net effects of hydrologic service payments on coupled socio-ecohydrological systems in Mexico.” NSF Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems. Jones, Institutional PI. $1,475,000., 2014-2018
  • “Land tenure and land cover and land use change at transboundary sites in the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor.” NASA Land-Cover/Land-Use Change Program. Jones, PI. $295,000. , 2013-2015

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