Mike Mahoney

I'm a PhD candidate at SUNY-ESF, working with Colin Beier and Aidan Ackermanon model interpretability, data visualization, and environmental data science.

In the past I've worked as an analyst for Wayfair's Forecasting and Analytics team, an independent researcher with both the Stella Riparian and Stream Ecology and Yanai Forest Ecosystem Science laboratories, and as the Beaver Impact Assessment intern for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. In all of these roles I've worked to apply data science techniques to large-scale challenges, frequently serving as the statistical and technical expert within my team.

My past projects have included assessing the landscape-level impacts of ecosystem engineers within New York's Adirondack State Park, as well as investigating the impact of fertilization on beech bark disease within the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I've also written a primer on how to use R for data exploration and analysis in both scientific and business contexts.

I post updates to my projects on my blog, and keep a collection of artwork on a portfolio page.


State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Ph.D. in Environmental Science with Area of Study in Coupled Natural and Human Systems
August 2020 - Present
B.S. magna cum laude with honors in Forest Ecosystem Science
GPA: 3.72

Thesis: Beaver Foraging Preferences and Impacts on Forest Structure in New York’s Adirondack Mountains

August 2015 - December 2018


Stem size selectivity is stronger than species preferences for beaver, a central place forager. Mahoney, M. J. and Stella, J. C. 2020. Forest Ecology and Management, 475, 118331. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2020.118331. Link to paper.



Forecasting & Analytics -- Wayfair, Inc.
  • Develop and launch department's first automated streaming data pipelines, connecting BuildKite, Docker, R, Python, Bash, and T-SQL in order to create always-available real-time dashboards.
  • Implement process improvements including automating long-standing reporting (dramatically increasing reporting speed and accuracy) and introducing Git and related workflows to department.
  • Fill role as interdepartmental liaison between partner teams on matters of reporting methodologies, data availability, and data access.
  • Serve as department subject-matter expert on technical matters.

  • June 2019 - Present
    Boston, MA

    Independent Researcher

    Stella Riparian and Stream Ecology Laboratory
  • Spearheaded design and implementation of research plan, including data collection from almost 200 field sites, over 2,000 miles of travel by researchers, data analysis, and statistical modeling to predict beaver impacts in complex natural systems, using R and ESRI GIS technologies.
  • Analyzed complex systems through use of statistical modeling and machine learning algorithms developed in R and Python.
  • Developed data visualizations and detailed reports used to inform policy at the state level.

  • September 2017 - June 2019
    Syracuse, NY

    Research Intern

    Yanai Forest Ecosystem Science Laboratory
  • Analyzed quantitative and qualitative data in R, performing hypothesis testing, statistical estimation, and data visualization using non-parametric statistics in role as data analyst.
  • Improved data collection speed significantly by creating and implementing novel image analysis methods using new technologies.

  • September 2017 - May 2018
    Syracuse, NY

    Beaver Impact Assessment Intern

    New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Spearheaded multi-county environmental research effort in collaboration with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
  • Evaluated field site locations using R and ESRI ArcGIS to select and prioritize areas for data collection.
  • Applied modern statistical techniques and machine learning approaches to analyze data, leading to reports on results for funding agencies, for land managers and practitioners, and for thesis and journal publication (in review at Forest Ecology and Management).
  • Obtained competitve Career Fellowship to fund 13-week field season.
  • Supervised field technician while travelling extensively throughout New York State to gather field data

  • May 2018 - August 2018
    Albany, NY

    Data Scientist / Project Manager (Volunteer)

    Code for Boston - Clean Slate Project
  • Volunteer with civic technology group working with Citizens for Juvenile Justice and Greater Boston Legal Services to making it easier for Massachusetts residents to seal or expunge their criminal records.
  • Manage team of 40 volunteers in developing web applications designed to help speed up and explain the process of applying for record sealing.
  • Mine and wrangle complex data sources to enable analyses into typical offender profiles.
  • Identify most impactful potential changes to law in order to help partners prioritize advocacy work.

  • September 2019 - April 2020
    Boston, MA


    Programming Languages & Tools
    Sample Projects
    • spacey: Geospatial data access and manipulation for use with rayshader mapping.

    • heddlr: Functional programming tools for R Markdown document generation.

    • @ecology_tweets: A tweetbot to amplify ecology and conservation related content on Twitter.


    December 2018: Robin Hood Oak Award for Academic Excellence

    December 2018: Robert M. Hicks Award for Academic Achievement

    May 2018: SUNY-ESF Career Fellowship

    August 2017: Outstanding Student Award for Accomplishments in Field Ecology and Dendrology