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Caitlin Kontgis

Graduate student (Ph.D.)

Photo of Caitlin Kontgis

Past Education

M.S., Environmental Health, UC Berkeley,
B.A., Geography, UC Santa Barbara


The overarching goal of my PhD research is to investigate how urbanization and climate change are impacting agricultural systems, using rice paddies in the Mekong River Delta region of Vietnam as a case study. The nearby metropolitan region of Ho Chi Minh City has expanded rapidly since economic reforms were put into place in the late 1980s. Because extreme land cover changes have taken place since the 1990s, Landsat imagery is a useful tool for monitoring how much loss of agricultural land this urbanization has caused. In addition, I utilize satellite imagery to track whether declines in agricultural land area have been associated with intensification of rice farming by differentiating between single-, double, and triple-cropped rice fields. The primary goal of my research is to map past land cover change patterns, forecast how future land cover change can occur in a way that will enhance rice production, and model how different climate change scenarios will impact rice production and yields.

Awards and Honors

NASA Earth and Space Science Fellow


Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE)

Contact Information

Office: Enzyme Institute (SAGE), Room 207

Email: : kontgis@wisc.edu