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Norman Christensen

Norman L. Christensen, Jr., is a professor of ecology and founding dean at the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University.  He has studied wildfire ecology for more than 30 years, and in 2003 testified before Congress about the Healthy Forests Restoration Act.

Bio and Research
Christensen's research focuses on the effects of disturbance on structure and function of populations, communities and ecosystems. Ongoing studies include an analysis of patterns of forest development following cropland abandonment as these are affected by environment, stand history and plant demographic patterns.

He and his students are pursuing comparative studies of ecosystem responses to varying fire regimes across temperate North America. He is conducting research on the utilization of remote sensing systems such as synthetic aperture radar to evaluate long-term changes in forest ecosystems.

In addition to these interests in basic ecological science, Christensen has written widely on the importance of natural disturbance in the management of forests, shrublands, and wetlands. He is interested in the application of basic ecological theory and models to management, and has collaborated with others in the development of the concept of ecosystem management.

Christensen, N.L., Jr. and F.S. Gilliam. 2003. Herb diversity and succession in eastern deciduous forests. pp. 224-237 in F.S. Gilliam and M. Roberts (eds.) "The herbaceous layer in forests of eastern North America," Oxford University Press

Jensen, M.E., N.L. Christensen, Jr. and P.S. Bourgeron. 2001. An overview of ecological assessment principles and applications. Pp. 13-28 In M.E. Jensen and P.S. Bourgeron (eds.), A Guidebook for Integrated Ecological Assessments. Springer, New York.

Christensen, N.L. et al. 2000. Environmental Issues in Pacific Northwest Forest Management. National Academy Press, Washington, DC. 259 pp

Christensen, N. L. 2000. Vegetation of the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States. Pp. 397-448 In M. Barbour and W. D. Billings (eds.). Vegetation of North America. Second Edition. Cambridge University Press.

D. Simpson and N.L. Christensen (eds.). 1996. Human Activities and Ecosystem Function. Chapman-Hall, Inc., New York.

Christensen, N.L., A. Bartuska, J.H. Brown, S. Carpenter, C. D’Antonio, R. Francis, J.F. Franklin, J.A. MacMahon, R.F. Noss, D.J. Parsons, C.H. Peterson, M.G. Turner, and R.G. Woodmansee. 1996. The scientific basis for ecosystem management. Ecological Applications. 6:665-691.



What’s fueling all the fires in Florida and the West?
ASK THIS | June 11, 2004
There are stories to be done on why major fires are occurring more frequently, burning hotter and spreading farther and faster than they used to.

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