Faculty News: College award to Virginia Matzek
Matzek recognized for outstanding research
Virginia Matzek has emerged as a national leader in restoration ecology, particularly regarding the ecosystem services delivered from habitat restoration. Her scholarship is notable both for its breadth (her research ranges from studies of field ecology and plant chemistry to surveys of land managers and economic analyses) and for the care she takes to address questions of immediate practical value to land managers and policy makers.
Virginia’s work regularly appears in highly-ranked journals, especially the flagship journal for her discipline, Restoration Ecology, and is well-cited: according to Google Scholar her papers have been cited nearly 1100 times since 2014. Of particular note, one of her recent publications was an invited piece for which she was asked to articulate her vision regarding research priorities for restoration over the coming decades. Other recent papers reported research delving into the use of structured decision-making to resolve stakeholder conflicts, the economics of carbon credits as an incentive for restoration, and the recovery (or lack of recovery) of ecosystem function in restored forests. In addition to these peer-reviewed publications, Virginia has developed tools for quantifying the amount of carbon captured by restored forests. Her on-line carbon calculator and associated white papers are key to the State of California’s program for providing carbon credits to farmers willing to restore their lands.
Virginia has also been extraordinarily successful in her efforts to attract external funding. Just in the past five years, Virginia has been the PI on a $43,000 grant from the Mid-Peninsula Open Space District, two grants totaling more than $165,000 from the California Department of Conservation, and a grant for more than $236,000 from the Delta Stewardship Council.
This impressive body of scholarly work makes Virginia Matzek a most deserving recipient of the 2019 Professor Joseph Bayma, S.J., Scholarship Award.