Kristal Jones

Principle Researcher, JG Research and Evaluation, Bozeman, MT, and Assistant Research Scientist, SESYNC

Dr. Kristal Jones was a research affiliate at SESYNC from 2018 to 2022 and spent 2015 to 2018 as an assistant research scientist at the Center. At SESYNC, Kristal focused her own research on the socio-environmental dimensions of food systems in both domestic and international contexts. While at SESYNC, Kristal also led the development of the Data to Motivate Synthesis project and the Qualitative Data Initiative, and she co-led the first year of the Postdoctoral Immersion Program. In all of these roles, Kristal focused on integrating social science theories and methods into socio-environmental research and on developing tools and processes that can build individuals’ and teams’ capacity to draw on diverse data sources and methods to enhance socio-environmental research outcomes. Kristal’s work in leading SESYNC initiatives has led to peer-reviewed publications focused on open data and privacy, as well as conceptualization of the food-energy-water nexus. In addition, her participation in research teams has led to papers on a wide range of topics related to food systems and managing natural resources. 

Kristal has a PhD in Rural Sociology and International Agriculture and Development from The Pennsylvania State University. Prior to her time at SESYNC, Kristal spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow working on the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Innovation for Agricultural Training and Education project, which supported capacity building in agricultural education and training. Currently, Kristal co-owns an applied research and evaluation consulting firm. Kristal is also a research affiliate at the University of Vermont.

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Photo of Kristal Jones
2015 - 2022
Areas of Expertise
rural sociology
international development
Research Interests
Food Systems
Landscape Conservation
Climate Mitigation
Methods of Expertise
inferential statistics
qualitative analysis
mixed methods