Sarah Jovan

  • Editorial Board

    Pacific Northwest Forest Inventory and Analysis (PNW-FIA), Portland, Oregon, USA

  • Dr. Sarah Jovan is a Research Ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service at the Pacific Northwest Research Station in Portland, Oregon. She serves as National Lichen Advisor to the Forest Inventory and Analysis Program, which monitors the condition of epiphytic lichen communities across U.S. forests for tracking forest health. Her research focuses on utilizing non-vascular bioindicators (lichens, bryophytes) as a supplement to air quality and climate monitoring stations to provide a fine-scaled view of conditions affecting forest and urban airsheds. Studies use multivariate analyses of species composition as well as assays of heavy metals, nitrogen, sulfur, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and glyphosate accumulated in lichen and moss samples. She often uses bioindicator data in collaboration with air quality managers, regulators, land managers, and local universities, to inform policy, track emissions sources, and establish management guidelines. Her ongoing research in Portland uses a widespread moss to determine how human exposure to PAHs and heavy metals varies across the city. She has developed models using lichen communities for tracking nitrogen deposition to forests in California’s Central Valley, Sierra Nevada, and mixed conifer forests downwind of the Los Angeles Basin. She has also worked on developing lichen-based critical loads for nitrogen in forest ecosystems of the western U.S. and has conducted calibration studies in Southern California, western Wyoming, and northern New Mexico that use in situ air quality measurements to refine bioindicator metrics. Her collaborations in interior Alaska involve developing methods to estimate landscape-scale biomass/carbon in ground-dwelling non-vascular organisms, with an emphasis on functional groups involved in N fixation, C storage, and used as wildlife forage.

    PAHs, metals, to determine health outcomes using data from the Women’s Health Initiative, birth outcomes, environmental justice/ around schools. How exposure varies across Portland public schools. Helping local regulators investigate the impact of emissions from unregulated point emissions sources.