Kris Covey

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Skidmore College

Kris Covey is an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Studies and Sciences Program at Skidmore College where he studies terrestrial ecosystems and their role in climate and life. An Applied Ecologist, and a Biogeochemist, Kris works to integrate his research into solutions for managing human-dominated landscapes for multiple values.

After designing the global study that provided the first robust estimate of number of trees on earth (3.04 trillion), Kris turned his focus to large-scale, soil-carbon mapping using a novel combination of existing technologies. Prior to joining the faculty at Skidmore College, Dr. Covey was the lead scientist at the Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative and a Lecturer in Forest Dynamics at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. There, he co-founded the Western Research Fellowship at the Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative and the Quick Carbon research program, served as a member of the School’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategy Committee, and as a member of Yale University’s Carbon Offset Task Force. As a contributor to the Global Carbon Project’s Methane Working Group, he authors the vegetation section of the Global Methane Budget. He serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for The Adirondack Nature Conservancy and the New York State Wood Products Development Council.

In 2020, Kris co-founded The Soil Inventory Project (TSIP) along with Bruno Basso. Together with private, industry, academic, and foundation partners they are building a distributed national-scale soil inventory system to inform soil management and markets. Through a novel combination of app-based automated sampling design, and distributed soil sampling tools allowing anyone to collect near-surface soil samples, TSIP is building regional scale models capable of linking individual producer practices to measurable outcomes.