University of Denver: PhD Geography, June 2012, Dissertation title: Nesting in the clouds: evaluating and predicting sea turtle nesting beach parameters from LiDAR data

University of Denver: MS GIS, June 2008, Thesis title: Identifying similar biophysical characteristics among nesting beaches of green turtles of Turkey using remote sensing techniques

University of California, Berkeley: BS Natural Resource Management, May 2003, emphasis in wildlife management


Summer 2012 – present: USGS Geographer. Projects include assessing the positional accuracy of the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) for Alaska using IfSAR data; developing implementation of above research to operations team; revising FGDC orthoimagery standards; extraction of hydro features using LiDAR and IfSAR datasets; and elevation-hydro integration.

Summer 2009 – Summer 2012: USGS Center of Excellence for Geospatial Information Science (CEGIS) Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) Intern. Research included developing soil moisture predictions using Landsat, EO-1 ALI imagery, and hyperspectral bands; tile caching schemas; LiDAR point spacing methods for optimal grid resolution.

Fall 2009, 2010, 2012: Adjunct Professor, The Women’s College, University of Denver. Taught atmospheric science to non-traditional, non-science majors.

Fall 2006 – Spring 2011: TA/Tutor for University of Denver Natural Science/Physical Geography Classes. Classes “Global Environmental Change” and “Our Dynamic Earth” – Lab Instruction, driving university vehicles, grading. Tutor for University of Denver The Women’s College: Environmental Systems and University of Denver Learning Effectiveness Program (LEP).

Summer 2008: Esri Denver Regional Office Intern for Technical Marketing Group. Created an ArcInfo 9.3 demo for wildlife habitat and corridor modeling to be used at Southwestern Users Group Meeting. Created maps for several organizations and businesses, including 4-H and Mother Lode Internet

Winter 2006 –Summer 2008: Southern Rocky Ecosystem Project (SREP). Responsible for database entry and wildlife identification for local Denver nonprofit.

Spring 2004 - Summer 2006: Staff Research Associate for HerpNET, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ), UC Berkeley. A herpetological specimen-based informatics database that provides georeferenced specimen locations from institutions worldwide. Aided in redefining georeferencing protocol and training undergraduates and volunteers. Helped plan and present at six workshops, one for national participants and five for international. Attended and presented at the HerpNET georeferencing workshop in Brussels, Belgium in December 2006 and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) georeferencing workshop in Buenos Aires, Argentina in March 2007 in Spanish on cartography and GIS. Wrote several technical documents defining georeferencing standards.

Winter 2001-Winter 2003: Georeferencer for MaNIS, the Mammal Networked Information System, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, UC Berkeley. Georeferenced museum specimens' localities of collection for various countries and institutions.

Fall 2001-Spring 2003: Research Lab Assistant, George Barlow Fish Behavior Lab, UC Berkeley. Projects included female-male aggression and courting behaviors in checkered julies, Julidochromis marlieri, and possible loss of chromatophores' function in juveniles of the same species.


Master’s research entailed the use of two remote sensing techniques, maximum likelihood classification and multiple endmember spectral mixture analysis, to compare beaches of similar importance to the green turtle, Chelonia mydas, of Turkey. Collaborations with Turkish researchers include using GIS to determine where Chelonia mydas and Carretta caretta prefer to nest on Akytan Beach, Turkey. PhD research involved using LiDAR data to predict nesting tendencies for Chelonia mydas, Carretta caretta, and Dermochelys coriacea in Florida using habitat modeling analyses.


Anderson, S.J.; Neurnberger, S.; Yamamoto, K.H.; and Sutton, P.C. 2013. Evaluating the Compliance of Sea Turtle Light Ordinances in Florida Using Remote Sensing, in press for Geography Compass.

Yamamoto, K.H.; Anderson, S.J ; and Sutton, P.C. 2013. Measuring the Effects of Morphological Changes to Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches over Time with LiDAR Data. in review for Annals of GIS

Finn, M.P. and Yamamoto, K.H. 2013. A Customizable, Optimal Tile Cache Scheme. Paper in work for submission to the journal Cartographica.

Yamamoto, K.H.; Powell, R.L., Sutton, P.C.; and Anderson, S.J. 2012. Using LiDAR to Quantify Topographic and Bathymetric Details for Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches in Florida. Remote Sensing of Environment 125: 125-133.

Finn, M.P.; Steinwand, D.R; Trent, J.R.; Buehler,R.A.; Mattli, D.; and Yamamoto, K.H. 2012. A Program for Handling Map Projections of Small Scale Geospatial Raster Data. Cartographic Perspectives, Number 71, pages 53 – 67.

Finn, M.P.; Krizanich, G.W.; Evans, K.R.; Cox, M.R.; and Yamamoto, K.H. 2012. Visualizing Impact Structures Using High-Resolution LiDAR Derived DEMs: A Case Study of Two Structures in Missouri. Surveying and Land Information Science, Vol. 72, No. 2, pp. 87 - 97.

Finn, M.P.; Liu, Y.; Mattli, D.M.; Behzad,B.; Yamamoto, K.H., Qingfeng,G.; Shook, E.; Padmanabhan, A.; and Stramel, M. 2012. High-Performance Small-Scale Raster Map Projection Transformation Using a System to Share Computing Resources and Data. Paper in work for a chapter in CyberGIS: Fostering a New Wave of Geospatial Discovery and Innovation, Shaowen Wang and Michael F. Goodchild, editors. Springer-Verlag.

Finn, M.P., Reed, M.D, and Yamamoto, K.H. 2012. A Straight Forward Guide for Processing Radiance and Reflectance for EO-1 ALI, Landsat 5 TM, Landsat 7 ETM+, and ASTER. Unpublished Report from USGS/Center of Excellence for Geospatial Information Science, 8 p.

Yamamoto, K.H. and Finn, M.P. 2012. Approximating Tasseled Cap Values to Evaluate Brightness, Greenness, and Wetness for the Advanced Land Imager (ALI). U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2012-5057, 18 p.

Yamamoto, K.H.; Anderson, S.J.; Powell, R.L.; Sullivan, D.; Sutton, P.C. 2011. Identifying Similar Biophysical Characteristics among Nesting Beaches of Green Turtles of Turkey Using Remote Sensing Techniques. International Journal of Remote Sensing Applications. 1(4): 22-29.

Turkozan, O.; Yamamoto, K.; Yilmaz, C. 2011. Nest site preference and density dependent hatching success in green (Chelonia mydas) and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtle nests. Chelonian Conservation and Biology. December 2011, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 270-275.

Finn, M.P.; Lewis, M.; Bosch, D.B.; Giraldo, M.; Yamamoto, K.; Sullivan, D.; and Kincaid, R. 2011. Remote Sensing of Soil Moisture Using Airborne Hyperspectral Data. GIScience & Remote Sensing, 48:(4)522-540

Presentations and Service

• GIS in the Rockies, Denver, CO, 2013, Presenter, Measuring changes to sea turtle nesting beaches and their effects on nesting success using LiDAR data

• Association of American Geographers, AAG, Annual Meeting, New York City, NY, Presenter, “Using LiDAR to Illustrate Differences between Sea Turtle Nesting Areas, paper in Topics in Physical Geography”

• Association of American Geographers, AAG, Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA 2011, Co-organizer/chair/presenter in Remote Sensing/GIS/Cartography of Human Environment Interactions, paper entitled “Using LiDAR Data to Characterize Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches in Florida”

• Association of American Geographers, AAG, Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, 2010, presenter in Shedding Light on Human-Environment Interactions session, paper entitled “Regulating Nighttime Lights and Their Effects on Sea Turtles”

• Association of American Geographers, AAG, Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada, 2009, presenter in RSSG/GISSSG/CSG Student Illustrated Paper Competition, paper entitled “Comparing Nest Success of Green Turtles, Chelonia mydas, of Akyatan Beach, Turkey”

• Tunisia, Summer 2008, poster “Using GIS in green turtle, Chelonia mydas, nests” for 3rd Mediterranean Conference on Marine Turtles

• UC Berkeley, Berkeley, California, Summer 2008, invited speaker to Geolunch seminar, seminar entitled “Hard and fuzzy remote sensing classification of Green Turtle nesting beaches in Turkey”

• Association of American Geographers, AAG, Annual Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts, 2008, presenter in Emerging Topics in Biogeography session, paper entitled “Comparing Nest Success of Green Turtles, Chelonia mydas, of Akyatan Beach, Turkey”

Peer reviewer: ISPRS Annals of Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and the Spatial Information Sciences (2012); PE&RS Special Issue on Natural Disasters (2013), PE&RS (2013)

Judge: ESRI Award for Best Scientific Paper in GIS (2012), and Geoeye Award for the Application of High-Resolution Digital Satellite Imagery (2012)

Awards and Recognition

• University of Denver Dr Robert D Rudd Memorial award, outstanding scholarship, research, and departmental service, 2012

• USGS Student Employee Top Story on the homepage, interview and video

• USGS STAR award for excellence in research, 2011

• University of Denver Dissertation Fellowship, 2011

• USGS Performance-Based Cash Award, 2010, 2011, 2012

• DigitalGlobe 8-Band Challenge Proposal Winner, 2010

• University of Denver Doctoral Fellowship award, 2009

• American Society for Photogrammetry & Remote Sensing (ASPRS) Rocky Mountain Region Scholarship winner, 2008

• Association for Women Geoscientists, Graduate Student Award, 2008

• DU Geography Department, Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award, 2008

Additional Information

Languages: Novice in Turkish, Proficient in spoken and written Spanish. Studied in Guanajuato, Mexico, summer 2001.

Computer skills: Proficient in Esri ArcGIS suite, Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, and Powerpoint, Familiar with LEICA ERDAS, ENVI, and Esri ArcObjects with VBA Certified ScrumMaster® (2013-2015)

PhD Alumni Spotlight Interview, Graduate Career Services Newsletter, DU, May 2013

Volunteer Museum Taxidermist, MVZ (Dec 2004-Aug 2006) Prepared specimens for the ornithological and mammal collection

Volunteer for Animal Shelters: Berkeley Animal Care Services (Dec 2002-Oct 2003, Jul 2004 to Aug 2006) Dog handler, Volunteer mentor, and Adoption Counselor; Denver Municipal Animal Shelter Senior volunteer (Sept 2006-June 2008)

Service: University of Denver Geography Department Faculty-Student representative, 2007-2008 academic year

Service: ASPRS DU Student Chapter Secretary/Treasurer, Spring 2008-Fall 2010