Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Chapin, F. Stuart
Location University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Primary Field Environmental Sciences and Ecology
Secondary Field Human Environmental Sciences
 Election Citation
Chapin has been a leading force in bringing a mechanistic approach to the study of ecosystem dynamics. Focusing on Alaska, his work has provided us with a new capacity for predicting ecosystem change through successional and evolutionary time, and it has enhanced our understanding of how ecosystems respond to global change.
 Research Interests
My research focuses on ecosystem ecology and on the resilience of social-ecological systems. My ecological research addresses the consequences of plant traits for ecosystem and global processes, particularly vegetation effects on nutrient cycling, fire regime, and biodiversity. I also study vegetation-mediated feedbacks to high-latitude climate warming, as mediated by changes in water and energy exchange. My research on social-ecological systems emphasizes the resilience of northern regions to recent changes in climate and fire regime. This research entails studies of human and climatic effects on fire regime, the resulting effects on ecosystem services, wages, and cultural integrity, and the effects of local opinions about fire and national fire policy on the fire policies developed and implemented at regional scales. Most of my current research focuses on Alaska and eastern Siberia.

 
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