Donald Falk
Associate Professor, School of Natural Resources and the Environment
Associate Professor, Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research
(520) 626-7201

Don Falk is Associate Professor in the University of Arizona School of Natural Resources and the Environment, with joint appointments in the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research and the Institute of the Environment. He holds degrees from Oberlin College, Tufts University, and the University of Arizona, where he received his PhD in 2004. Don’s research focuses on fire history, fire ecology, and restoration ecology in a changing world. Falk is a AAAS Fellow, and has received the Fulbright Short-Term Scholar award, the Ecological Society of America’s Deevey Award for outstanding graduate work in paleoecology, and awards from his School for both Outstanding Scholarly Contributions and Outstanding Teaching. Don was co-founder and Executive Director of the Center for Plant Conservation; he served subsequently as the first Executive Director of the Society for Ecological Restoration International (SER), of which he was also a founding Board member. He is the author of numerous technical publications and four books, including Genetics and Conservation of Rare Plants (1991, Oxford University Press, with Kent Holsinger,), Restoring Diversity: Strategies for Reintroduction of Endangered Plants (1996, Island Press, with Connie Millar and Peggy Olwell), Foundations of Restoration Ecology (2006, Island Press, with Margaret Palmer and Joy Zedler), and The Landscape Ecology of Fire (2011, Springer, with Don McKenzie and Carol Miller). He is a member of the Editorial Board for the Island Press series in restoration ecology, the Executive Board of the Southwest Fire Science Consortium, and serves as the science lead for the FireScape initiative in the Arizona Sky Islands. Don was selected as a Udall Center Fellow for 2014-15.

Selected Citations: 

McKenzie, D., C. Miller, and D. A. Falk (Eds.). 2011. The Landscape Ecology of Fire. Ecological Studies Series No. 213, Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands.

Falk, D. A., M. A. Palmer, and J. Zedler (Eds.). 2006. Foundations of Restoration Ecology. Island Press, Washington, DC. Journal papers and technical reports: Yocom, L. L., P. Z. Fulé, C. García-Domínguez, D. A. Falk, E. Cornejo-Oviedo, P. M. Brown, J. Villanueva-Díaz, J. Cerano, and C. Cortés Montaño. Comparing the influence of broad-scale and fine-scale factors on fire occurrence in northeastern Mexico. International Journal of Wildland Fire. In press.

Arbellay, E., M. Stoffel, E. K. Sutherland, K. T. Smith, and D. A. Falk. Resin duct size and density as ecophysiological traits in fire scars of Pseudotsuga menziesii and Larix occidentalis. Annals of Botany. In press. doi:10.1093/aob/mcu168

O’Connor C.D., Lynch A.M., Falk D.A., and Swetnam T.W. 2015. Post-fire forest dynamics and climate variability affect spatial and temporal properties of spruce beetle outbreaks on a Sky Island mountain range. Forest Ecology and Management 336: 148-162.

Higgs E., D.A. Falk, A. Guerrini, M. Hall, J. Harris, R. J. Hobbs, S. T. Jackson, J. M. Rhemtulla, and W. Throop. 2014. The changing role of history in restoration ecology. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 12(9): 499–506, doi:10.1890/110267.

O’Connor C.D., Falk D.A., Lynch A.M., and Swetnam T.W. 2014. Fire severity, size, and climate associations diverge from historical precedent along an ecological gradient of the Pinaleño Mountains, Arizona, U.S.A. Forest Ecology and Management 329: 264–278.

Swetnam, T. L., D. A. Falk, A. M. Lynch, and S. R. Yool. 2014. Estimating individual tree mid- and understory rank-size distributions from airborne laser scanning in semi-arid forests. Forest Ecology and Management 330: 271-282.

Arbellay E, M Stoffel, EK Sutherland, KT Smith, and DA Falk. 2014. Changes in tracheid and ray traits in fire scars of North American conifers and their ecophysiological implications. Annals of Botany. doi:10.1093/aob/mcu112.

Swetnam TL and DA Falk. 2014. Application of Metabolic Scaling Theory to reduce error in local maxima tree segmentation from aerial LiDAR. Forest Ecology & Management 323: 158–167.

Heyerdahl EK, RA Loehman, and DA Falk. 2014. Lodgepole pine-dominated forest in central Oregon's Pumice Plateau: Historical mixed-severity fires are resistant to future climate change. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 44: 593–603.

Fulé PZ, Swetnam TW, Brown PM, Falk, DA, Peterson DL, Allen CD, Aplet GH, Battaglia MA, Binkley D, Farris C, Keane RE, Margolis EQ, Grissino-Mayer H, Miller C, Sieg CH, Skinner C, Stephens SL, and Taylor AH. 2013. Unsupported and inaccurate inferences of high severity fire in historical western United States dry forests: Response to Williams and Baker. Global Ecology and Biogeography 23 (7): 825-830. doi:10.1111/geb.12136.

Falk DA. 2013. Are Madrean ecosystems approaching tipping points? Anticipating interactions of landscape disturbance and climate change. In Gottfried GJ, Ffolliott PF, Gebow BS, Eskew LG, and Collins LC, Merging science and management in a rapidly changing world: Biodiversity and management of the Madrean Archipelago III. RMRS P-67. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. Fort Collins, CO.

Friggens, M.; Bagne, K.; Finch, D.; Falk, D.A.; Triepke, J.; Lynch, A. 2013. Review and recommendations for climate change vulnerability assessment approaches with examples from the Southwest. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-309. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 106 p.

Farris C.A., C. H. Baisan, D. A. Falk, M. L. Van Horne, P. Z. Fulé, and T. W. Swetnam. 2013. A comparison of targeted and systematic fire-scar sampling for estimating historical fire frequency in south-western ponderosa pine forests. International Journal of Wildland Fire 22(8): 1021-1033. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF13026 .

Cortés Montaño, C., Fulé, P. Z., D. A. Falk, J. Villanueva-Díaz, and L. L. Yocom. 2012. Linking old-growth forest composition and structure to fire history, climate and land-use in a mountain range of northwestern México. Ecosphere 3(11): 106.

Fulé, P. Z., L. L. Yocom, C. Cortés Montaño, D. A. Falk, J. Cerano, and J. Villanueva-Díaz. 2012. Testing a pyroclimatic hypothesis on the México-U.S. border. Ecology 93(8): 1830–1840.

Maschinski, J., D. A. Falk, S. J. Wright, J. Possley, J. Roncall, and K. S. Wendelberger. 2011. Optimal locations for plant reintroductions in a changing world. In J. Maschinski and K. E. Haskins (Eds.), Plant Reintroduction in a Changing Climate. Island Press, Washington, DC.

Falk, D. A., E. K. Heyerdahl, P. M. Brown, C. A. Farris, P. Z. Fulé, D. McKenzie, T. W. Swetnam, A. H. Taylor, and M. L. Van Horne. 2011. Multiscale controls of historical fire regimes: New insights from fire-scar networks. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 9(8): 446-454. doi:10.1890/100052.

Research Themes: 
Adaptation
Borderlands
Climate variability
Dendrochronology
Drought
Ecosystem management
Fire management
Floods
Impacts
Land use
Microclimate
Natural resource management
Paleoclimatology
Scenario planning
Species adaptation
Climate change impacts
Conservation policy
Fire management
Biogeochemical processes
Borderlands
Carbon cycling
Conservation biology
Deforestation
Ecohydrology
Ecological behavior
Ecosystem disturbances
Ecosystem ecology
Ecosystem physiology
Ecosystem restoration
Erosion and sedimentation
Fire ecology
Fire management
Genetics
Grasslands and savannas
Growth and reproduction
Land use change
Landscape restoration
Modeling and simulation
Natural resource management
Plant ecology
Population biology
Sky Islands
Species adaptation
Terrestrial ecology
Wildfire

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