Jones, Kelly

Kelly Jones is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources at Colorado State University (CSU). She has a PhD (2011) and MA (2009) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a MS (2005) from North Carolina State University, and a BS (2000) from Meredith College. Prior to working at CSU, she was a faculty member at the University of Idaho. She has also worked for Conservation International and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo from 2002 to 2004.

Research interest

Kelly’s main research areas are conservation governance and institutions, impact evaluation and evidence-based conservation, and ecosystem services science. Much of her scholarship has been devoted to interdisciplinary collaborations that address applied conservation questions to advance practice and knowledge. Kelly is currently involved in research on collective-action approaches to addressing wildfire risk in the western United States, understanding the effect of institutions on forest conservation in Latin America, and examining wildlife management policies in East Africa. 


Kelly has served as the primary advisor for 6 Ph.D. students and 12 M.S. students at Colorado State University and the University of Idaho. She has served on the committees of an additional 20 graduate students across these two universities. 

Grants and consultancy
•    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-International Office. “Combatting illegal cheetah trafficking: An adaptive management strategy for building regional and national capacity in the Horn of Africa.” (2022-2025)
•    National Science Foundation Sustainable Regional Systems Research Networks. Transforming Rural-Urban Systems: Trajectories for Sustainability in the Intermountain West. (2021-2026)
•    National Science Foundation Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems. Experimental frameworks for evaluating net effects of hydrologic service payments on coupled socio-ecohydrological systems in Mexico. (2014-2018)
•    NASA Land-Cover/Land-Use Change Program. The impact of conservation approaches on land cover and land use change at transboundary sites in the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor. (2013-2016)


•    Outstanding Publication Award, Warner College of Natural Resources, Colorado State University, 2023
•    Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Research Award, Colombia, 2021
•    Interdisciplinary Team Scholarship Award, Office of Vice President for Research, Colorado State University, 2017
•    Outstanding Publication Award, Warner College of Natural Resources, Colorado State University, 2016
•    Breakthrough in Knowledge Award, Conservation International, 2007

People | 8 May 2020