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Samantha Jones

Dr. Samantha Jones Associate Professor


Samantha Jones teaches a range of GIS and physical geography courses in the Center for Sustainability Studies. Prior to joining BSU in the fall of 2014, she worked for several years in forest research and management with federal, state, and county agencies. Sam draws from the extensive field and GIS experiences provided by these opportunities to integrate practical concepts and applications into her coursework.

A rural northern Minnesota native, Sam began her academic path in geography and GIS at Itasca Community College and went on to complete the Bachelor of Science in Geography with GIS emphasis at BSU. She earned a Master of Science in Geography at Ohio University in 2013. The path of geography has led to many interesting and rewarding adventures: sampling old growth red pine forests in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, studying sacred forests in the North Pare Mountains of Tanzania, and exploring Buddhist temples in the Kingdom of Bhutan are among the highlights. Her research interests center on forest ecology, dendrochronology, GIS applications, and experiential teaching and learning. Recent work has focused on silviculture and drought response in managed red pine and white spruce forests in collaboration with the USFS Northern Research Station.


  • Doctor of Education, Winona State University, 2021
  • Master of Science, Geography, Ohio University, 2013
  • Bachelor of Science, Geography/GIS, Biology Minor, Bemidji State University, 2011
  • Professional Certificate in GIS, Itasca Community College, 2007


Fall Semesters

  • GEOG 3231/5231 Intro to GIS
  • GEOG 3232/5232 Intermediate GIS
  • GEOG 4130/5130 Biogeography
  • GEOG 4140/5140 Landscape Ecology

Spring Semesters

  • GEOG 2100 Intro to Physical Geography
  • GEOG 3231/5231 Intro to GIS
  • GEOG 3232/5232 Intermediate GIS

Research Interests

Tree ring analysis of white spruce drought response: Dendrochronological analysis of white spruce growth patterns to identify drought response differences relating to stand density. Results seek to inform adaptive forest management.

Teaching trees: Exploration of using dendrochronology field- and lab-based learning activities to teach the foundational theories of landscape ecology. Findings seek to inform teaching practice.

Recent Work

Jones, S.. (2021). Educating for Sustainable Forestry: Perspectives on the Career Readiness of New Professionals. Winona State University Education Doctorate Dissertations. 4.

Westbrooks, D., Guillaume, N., Jones, S., De La Fosse, K.. (2020). Academic residency: Effective engagement and mentorship of doctoral students. Journal of College Teaching and Learning (TLC), 17(1), 1-10.

Holmes, B., Boulton, B., Boysen, B., Perry, C. L., Bailey, D., Durnen, A., Mollner, J., De La Fosse, K., Sinning, M. W., Guillaume, N., Breuninger, R., Jones, S., Webber, S.. (2019) Doctoral student perspectives on motivation and persistence: Eye-opening insights into the ideas and thoughts that today’s doctoral students have about finishing the doctoral degree. Education Doctorate Books. 1.

Jones, S., Bottero, A., Kastendick, D., Palik, B.. (2019). Managing red pine stand structure to mitigate drought impacts. Dendrochronologia, 10th World Dendro Commemorative Issue.

Fraver, S., Gentry, C., Bialecki, M., Brown, J., Brown, S., Jones, S., Kelly, K., Pansing, E., Stine, A., Thronton, M., Tucker, C.. (2015) Seeing the forest and the trees: Stand dynamics of Beech Mountain in Acadia National Park, Maine. 25th Annual North American Dendroecological Fieldweek (NADEF) NSF BCS #1061808.