Rachel Mason

Dr. Rachel Mason is a broadly-trained scientist with interests in ecology, agriculture, and data science. She is currently using the latest machine learning techniques to analyze a very large amount of Global Airborne Observatory data for Hawai’i island, with the aim of helping local agencies and communities make decisions around planning and conservation. Before that, Rachel worked on connections between agriculture and climate change, human-induced changes in the global nitrogen cycle, and the evolution of research in agroecology. Earth-based research is a distinct change of direction for Rachel. After a Ph.D. in astronomy, she spent several years as a scientist at some of the world’s major astronomical observatories, before becoming increasingly preoccupied with the question of “How can we have good food, happy people and animals, and a healthy environment—preferably all at the same time?”.  In addition to biophysical questions about changes in (agro-)ecosystems, Rachel is fascinated by the ways in which we frame, debate, and research issues relating to the environment, the food system, and society at large.

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