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Diane M. Styers - Western Carolina University. Cullowhee, NC, US

Diane M. Styers

Associate Professor | Western Carolina University


Diane Styers's current research focuses on analyzing ecosystem structure and function and examining changes over space and time.





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Diane is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resources at WCU. She uses remote sensing and geospatial approaches to analyze patterns of social and ecological processes that drive landscape changes affecting earth's resources. Her current research focuses on analyzing ecosystem structure and function and examining changes over space and time, particularly in response to natural and human disturbances. This information will help support her ultimate goal of mapping, quantifying, and valuing ecosystem services. Diane's areas of expertise include: LiDAR data analysis, object-based image analysis (OBIA), MODIS and Landsat phenology and other time series analysis, multi-sensor integration, forest ecology (structure and function), human ecology mapping, air pollution effects on forest ecosystems, and dendroecology.

Industry Expertise (2)



Areas of Expertise (5)

Human Ecology Mapping

Multi-Sensor Integration

LiDAR Data Analysis

Object-Based Image Analysis (OBIA)

Forest Ecology

Accomplishments (3)

Keynote Speaker Research Award (professional)

22nd Annual Undergraduate Exposition

Faculty Institute on Community Engagement Project Award (professional)

Western Carolina University

Community Engagement STAR Project Award (professional)

Western Carolina University

Education (3)

Auburn University: Ph.D., Forestry and Ecology 2008

Georgia State University: M.A., Geography 2005

University of North Carolina, Greensboro: B.S., Human Development & Family Studies 1997

Affiliations (3)

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Association of American Geographers
  • Ecological Research as Education Network

Languages (1)

  • English

Event Appearances (3)

Using National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) open-access nested-plot vegetation datasets to teach biological diversity and spatial scale concepts

Ecological Society of America 105th Annual Meeting  Salt Lake City, UT


Macroscale Ecology in the Classroom: An EREN Partnership Using NEON Data

Northeast Natural History Conference  Springfield, MA


Utilizing a remote sensing derived NDVI normal dataset and vegetation field data to assess post-fire effects and ecosystem recovery in the southern Appalachians

Association of Southeastern Biologists 80th Annual Meeting  Memphis, TN


Research Grants (3)

Revitalization of Traditional Cherokee Artisan Resources Grant

Cherokee Preservation Foundation $39,998

Rivercane: New Geospatial Tools and Approaches

North Carolina Urban and Community Forestry Grant

Western Carolina University $29,376

WCU Campus Tree Inventory, Assessment, and Geodatabase Construction

Sustainable Energy Initiative Project Grant

Western Carolina University $20,927

WCU Campus Tree Inventory Expansion and Geodatabase Enhancement

Articles (5)

Diel discharge variations in dormant and growing seasons in a headwater catchment suggest potential sources of an evapotranspiration signal

Hydrological Processes

2019 Diel fluctuations in discharge not associated with precipitation have been identified in streams around the world and attributed to evapotranspiration of both hillslope and near-stream vegetation. Several mechanisms have been hypothesized to explain the generation of these signals, but a consensus has not been reached.

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Is recreation a landscape value?: Exploring underlying values in landscape values mapping

Landscape and Urban Planning

2019 Landscape values mapping (LVM) is a participatory process used to gather public input for park and forest management. Respondents assign landscape values or ecosystem benefits to places on a map using a typology that usually includes the value “recreation.”

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A Macroscopic Charcoal and Multiproxy Record from Peat Recovered from Depression Marshes in Longleaf Pine Sandhills, Florida, USA


2018 Science-based information on historical fire frequency is lacking for longleaf pine sandhills. We undertook a high-resolution macroscopic charcoal and geochemical analysis of sediment cores recovered from three depression marshes located within a longleaf pine sandhill ecosystem in Florida, USA.

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Short-Term, Large-Area Survey of Container Aedes spp. (Diptera: Culicidae): Presence and Abundance is Associated with Fine-scale Landscape Factors in North Carolina, USA

Environmental Health Insights

2020 Container Aedes mosquitoes are responsible for the transmission of anthroponotic and zoonotic viruses to people. The surveillance and control of these mosquitoes is an important part of public health protection and prevention of mosquito-borne disease.

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Geovisualization of Socio-Spatial Data on Outdoor Activities and Values in the Southern Appalachians

International Journal of Applied Geospatial Research

2018 This article describes how GIS is increasingly being used to explore, analyze, and visualize qualitative social data across space. The authors applied a number of geovisualization and analysis approaches to spaces identified on maps by survey participants, in the context of a Human Ecology Mapping (HEM) project in western North Carolina.

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