Jennifer D. Watts Ph.D.

  • Arctic Program Director, Associate Scientist
Jennifer Watts

Dr. Jennifer Watts grew up in northern landscapes and feels a personal connection to the places and ecosystems she studies. She is interested in patterns and mechanisms of change in terrestrial environments, particularly the tundra, wetlands and forests in the Arctic-boreal regions of Alaska and Canada. She is also very fond of the semi-arid grasslands in the Rocky Mountain West.

Dr. Watts’ work draws on remote sensing, carbon flux measurements, hydrology and ecosystem modeling to understand how climate change and human disturbance are affecting vegetation and soils and ultimately, the carbon cycle.

When she isn’t in the field or at her computer, Dr. Watts enjoys mountain-biking, hiking, and skiing. She is based in Montana, and feels at home in both the Arctic and the open ranges of the Western US.

I’ve seen glaciers retreat. I’ve seen summer get warmer. The fact that I’ve seen the Arctic change with my own eyes is a sign of how quickly it’s happening.


Big sky over lush valley

Carbon Monitoring in Rangelands

Restoring rangelands for climate adaptation and mitigation
A faraway man stands on top of a tall eddy covariance tower jutting out of a green forest

Methane Cycling in Northern Forests

Understanding the biophysical drivers of methane source and sink transitions in a northern forest in Maine.
A severely eroding hillside sloughs land towards the water due to permafrost thaw

Permafrost Pathways

Connecting science, people, and policy for Arctic justice and global climate.

Selected Publications

Permafrost carbon: Progress on understanding stocks and fluxes across northern terrestrial ecosystems

Treat, C.C., A-.M. Virkkala, E. Burke, L. Bruhwiler, A. Chatterjee, J.B. Fisher, J. Hashemi, F-.J.W. Parmentier, B.M. Rogers, S. Westermann, J.D. Watts, et al. (2024). Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences.