Central Valley Water Resources
Using remote sensing (satellite) data to monitor groundwater conditions in California's Central Valley.
UC Davis Population Biology Graduate Group
Hi, my name is James Kitchens, and I am a second year graduate student studying population genetics in the Coop Lab through the UC Davis Population Graduate Group. Before graduate school, I interned at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California, researching the application of remote sensing for groundwater observation and management. In December 2019, I graduated from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina, where I earned a B.S. in Biology and B.S. in Chemistry. While in undergraduate, I worked in the Warren Wilson College Genetics and Plant Physiology Laboratory as a Research Assistant on projects focused around the conservation of human-impacted species in the United States.
3. Whipple, A.L., C. Ray, et al. (2021) Temporal vs. spatial variation in stress-associated metabolites within a population of climate-sensitive small mammals. Conservation Physiology, Volume 9, Issue 1
2. Kim et al. (2021) An evaluation of remotely sensed and in-situ data sufficiency for SGMA-scale groundwater studies in the Central Valley, California. Journal of the American Water Resources Association, Volume 57, Issue 5
1. Webb et al. (2017) Molecular Genetic Influences on Normative and Problematic Alcohol Use in a Population-Based Sample of College Students. Frontiers in Genetics, Volume 8, Article 30
Visualizing Human Genetic Diversity
May 16, 2023
A key insight from human genetics is that, as a species, we are all very genetically similar to one another and share much of our genetic variation. Our genome can be depicted as a string of letters (A, T, G, and C), referring to the four nucleobases found in DNA.
Why Are There So Many Gene Trees?
September 13, 2022
In evolutionary biology, we often think about the phylogeny of a group, the underlying relationships between the samples. When the comparison is of species (particularly those that are distantly related), it is common for these relationships to be relatively well-defined, allowing researchers to represent the shared history as a single phylogenetic tree of life.
Flexbox Solves All
May 24, 2022
I really like when I get to see clear progress in my programming abilities. When I first created this website, I had relatively little experience with website design, so I was drawing a lot of code and inspiration from YouTube tutorials and Stack Overflow. There are a few aspects of the website that I would categorize as "good enough", falling so perfectly at the intersection of annoyance and complacency that they will likely never be updated. But there was one particular issue that has always bothered me... the blog post thumbnail images.
May 22, 2022
I was looking for website design inspiration and came across this [website](https://crustac.fr/en/home/) with a really interesting landing page. This site has clearly had a lot of thought put into its design, and I wanted to dissect their methods for masking the video within the company logo. I bounced between parsing through the websites source code and various YouTube videos to develop my own take on the method; the above animation is a gif of the resulting design.
Irregularly Shaped Leaflet Maps
June 25, 2021
September 3, 2020
Genetic algorithms are a Darwinian-inspired method finding optimal, or near-optimal, solutions to complex problems. Mirroring natural selection, a population of potential solutions is generated and then repeatedly combined and mutated at a variable rate corresponding to their fitness at solving the problem.
National Parks Gallery
August 24, 2020
During the summer of 2019, I was an intern in the Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute summer internship program at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. At the end of the summer, my partner (Margaret Graham) and I went on a two week-long road trip around the western United States before heading back east.
Phenology, Climate, and Citizen Science
August 10, 2020
Phenology, in its simplest definition, is the study of nature's calendar. It seeks to answer questions such as "what signals tell birds that it is time to migrate south for the winter?", "why spring cold snaps can ruin a year's crop yield?", and most importantly, "how accurate have Punxsutawney Phil's predictions been over the years?".
Animated Website Background
August 3, 2020