Mark Johnston

Lead GIS Analyst

Keller Science Action Center
Science Focus

    Mark is a Geographic Information Manager and Conservation Ecologist for the Keller Science Action Center where he oversees the Center’s Geospatial Team. Mark supports research and analysis on many geospatial projects at the Center and is constantly working to advance the museum's use of geospatial technology.

    Mark received his undergraduate in Biology from Knox College where he also worked in a plant research lab before moving to Chicago where he received a doctorate in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Illinois at Chicago under co-advisors D. Doel Soejarto and Joel Brown. Mark’s graduate studies were on the ethnobotany and ecology of the Awá indigenous people of Carchi in northern Ecuador. After graduate school, Mark worked in the private sector doing GIS analysis work focused on watershed planning, stormwater compliance and database design.
    Mark was hired by The Field Museum in 2010 in his current role where he oversees the Science Action Geospatial Team. Mark is constantly working to advance the Center and museum's use of geospatial technology (online mapping tools, mobile data collection, image classification, conservation drones) combined with the human aspects of implementing on-the-ground conservation (participatory mapping, prioritization, and coordinated conservation efforts) ultimately to help mitigate some effects of our changing climate.

    Past research has included a heavy focus on urban pollinators, rights-of-way as habitat, urban forest composition, mapping invasive species, mapping green infrastructure, and leveraging the museum's collections and research records for niche modeling.

    Education and Work

    Johnston received his B.A. in biology from Knox College in 1993, and a Ph.D. in ecology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2003.