- Quantifying carbon emissions from fire and exotic annual grass invasion in sagebrush-steppe and Pinyon-juniper woodlands
- Testing BMP effectiveness to remove nitrogen from shallow groundwater and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in intensively managed biomass production systems
- Quantify the long-term impacts of forest management, climate change, and environmental policy on water quantity and quality in the Central Appalachians (Fernow Experimental Forest)
- Nutrient management to increase productivity, improve soil and water quality, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Biogeochemical cycling of Carbon and Nitrogen in managed and un-managed ecosystems.
- Understanding the impacts of climate change, vegetation, and land management on in-stream flows and water quality in headwater streams.
- Quantify the effects of prescribed fire and fire surrogate treatments on soil nutrients and vegetation response to treatments.
- Quantify the factors that make sagebrush-steppe and pinyon-juniper woodland resilient to disturbance and resistant to exotic annual grass invasion.
- Quantify nitrogen uptake and biomss accumulation in intensively managed Loblolly pine plantations.
Why This Research is Important
Forest, rangeland, and agro-ecological systems provide clean water, food, and fiber that are essential to human health, a robust economy, and national security. They also serve an irreplaceable role in the global carbon cycle which regulates Earth’s climate, making it habitable.
We live in a world dominated by anthropogenic influence over our environment and with an ever-increasing pressure on natural resources. Understanding the links between climate, hydrology, soils, vegetation, and management is crucial for continued access to clean water, food, and fiber, and for stabilizing our climate.
My research focuses on long-term data collection, experimental manipulation, and modeling to better understand the links between the biotic and abiotic systems that drive ecosystem services and sustain our quality of life.
- Ph.D. in Hydrology, Soil Science, and System Ecology, 2009
- University of Nevada - Reno
- M.S. in Hydrology, Soil Science, and System Ecology, 2005
- University of Nevada - Reno
- B.S. in General Biology and Ecology, 2000
- University of Nevada - Reno
- Research Hydrologist, USFS Northern Research Station, Timber and Watershed Research Lab
- Supervisory Ecologist, USGS New England Water Science Center
- Research Ecologist, USFS Southern Research Station, Savannah River Forestry Sciences Laboratory
- Post Doctoral Research Soil Scientist, USDA Agricultural Research Service
- Hydrologist, USFS Wallowa-Whitman National Forest
- Soil Scientist / Hydrologist Trainee (SCEP), USFS Flathead and Plumas National Forests
- Graduate Research Assistant, University of Nevada - Reno
- Biological Sciences Technician (STEP), USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station, Great Basin Ecology Laboratory
- Reiner, Alicia L.; Baker, Craig ; Wahlberg, Maximillian ; Rau, Benjamin M.; Birch, Joseph D. 2022. Region-Specific Remote-Sensing Models for Predicting Burn Severity, Basal Area Change, and Canopy Cover Change following Fire in the Southwestern United States.
- Ferreira, Gabriel W.D.; Rau, Benjamin M.; Aubrey, Doug P. 2021. Temporal nitrogen dynamics in intensively managed loblolly pine early stand development.
- Meles Bitew, Menberu ; Jackson, C. Rhett; Goodrich, David C.; Younger, Seth E.; Griffiths, Natalie A.; Vaché, Kellie B.; Rau, Benjamin . 2020. Dynamic domain kinematic modelling for predicting interflow over leaky impeding layers.
- Ferreira, Gabriel W.D.; Rau, Benjamin M.; Aubrey, Doug P. 2020. Herbicide, fertilization, and planting density effects on intensively managed loblolly pine early stand development.
- Roundy, Bruce A.; Miller, R. F.; Tausch, R. J.; Chambers, J. C.; Rau, B. M. 2020. Long-term effects of tree expansion and reduction on soil climate in a semiarid ecosystem.
- Filippelli, Steven K.; Falkowski, Michael J.; Hudak, Andrew T.; Fekety, Patrick A.; Vogeler, Jody C.; Khalyani, Azad Henareh; Rau, Benjamin M.; Strand, Eva K. 2020. Monitoring pinyon-juniper cover and aboveground biomass across the Great Basin.
- Muwamba, Augustine ; Rau, Benjamin ; Trettin, Carl C.; Amatya, Devendra M.; Tollner, Ernest W.; Panda, Sudhanshu . 2019. Regional differences in stream water nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment responses to forest harvesting in the conterminous USA.
- Roundy, Bruce A.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Pyke, David A.; Miller, Richard F.; Tausch, Robin J.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Rau, Ben ; Gruell, Trevor . 2018. Resilience and resistance in sagebrush ecosystems are associated with seasonal soil temperature and water availability.
- Saha, Debasish; Kemanian, Armen R.; Rau, Benjamin M.; Adler, Paul R.; Montes, Felipe. 2017. Designing efficient nitrous oxide sampling strategies in agroecosystems using simulation models.
- Sun, Ge; Zhang, Liangxia; Duan, Kai; Rau, Benjamin. 2017. Impacts of forest biomass removal on water yield across the United States.
- Rau, Benjamin; Muwamba, Augustine; Trettin, Carl; Panda, Sudhanshu; Amatya, Devendra; Tollner, Ernest. 2017. Water Quality Response to Forest Biomass Utilization.
- Germino, Matthew J.; Belnap, Jayne; Stark, John M.; Allen, Edith B; Rau, Benjamin. 2016. Ecosystem impacts of exotic annual invaders in the genus Bromus.
- Griffiths, Natalie; Jackson, C. Rhett; Bitew, Menberu; Du, Enhao; Vache', Kellie; McDonnell, Jeffrey J.; Klaus, Julian; Rau, Benjamin M. 2016. Evaluating the effects of woody biomass production for bioenergy on water quality and hydrology in the southeastern United States.
- Saha, Debasish; Rau, Benjamin M.; Kaye, Jason P.; Montes, Felipe; Adler, Paul R.; Kemanian, Armen R. 2016. Landscape control of nitrous oxide emissions during the transition from conservation reserve program to perennial grasses for bioenergy.
- Belnap, Jayne; Stark, John M.; Rau, Benjamin M.; Allen, Edith B.; Phillips, Susan. 2016. Soil moisture and biogeochemical factors influence the distribution of annual Bromus species.
- Vaillant, Nicole M.; Noonan-Wright, Erin K.; Reiner, Alicia L.; Ewell, Carol M.; Rau, Benjamin M.; Fites-Kaufman, Josephine A.; Dailey, Scott N. 2015. Fuel accumulation and forest structure change following hazardous fuel reduction treatments throughout California.
- Adler, Paul R.; Rau, Benjamin M.; Roth, Gregory W. 2015. Sustainability of corn stover harvest strategies in Pennsylvania.
- McIver, James; Brunson, Mark; Bunting, Steve; Chambers, Jeanne; Doescher, Paul; Grace, James; Hulet, April; Johnson, Dale; Knick, Steve; Miller, Richard; Pellant, Mike; Pierson, Fred; Pyke, David; Rau, Benjamin; Rollins, Kim; Roundy, Bruce; Schupp, Eugene; Tausch, Robin; Williams, Jason. 2014. A synopsis of short-term response to alternative restoration treatments in Sagebrush-Steppe: The SageSTEP Project.
- Roundy, Bruce A.; Young, Kert; Cline, Nathan; Hulet, April; Miller, Richard F.; Tausch, Robin J.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Rau, Ben. 2014. Pinon-juniper reduction increases soil water availability of the resource growth pool.
- Rau, Benjamin M.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Pyke, David A.; Roundy, Bruce A.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Doescher, Paul; Caldwell, Todd G. 2014. Soil resources influence vegetation and response to fire and fire-surrogate treatments in Sagebrush-Steppe Ecosystems.
- Roundy, Bruce A.; Miller, Richard F.; Tausch, Robin J.; Young, Kert; Hulet, April; Rau, Ben; Jessop, Brad; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Eggett, Dennis. 2014. Understory cover responses to pinon-juniper treatments across tree dominance gradients in the Great Basin.
- Rau, B. M.; Tausch, R.; Reiner, A.; Johnson, D. W.; Chambers, J. C.; Blank, R. R. 2012. Developing a model framework for predicting effects of woody expansion and fire on ecosystem carbon and nitrogen in a pinyon-juniper woodland.
- Johnson, D.W.; Hunsaker, C.T.; Glass, D.W.; Rau, B.M.; Roath, B.A. 2011. Carbon and nutrient contents in soils from the Kings River Experimental Watersheds, Sierra Nevada Mountains, California.
- Rau, Benjamin M.; Johnson, Dale W.; Blank, Robert R.; Tausch, Robin J.; Roundy, Bruce A.; Miller, Richard F.; Caldwell, Todd G.; Lucchesi, Annmarie. 2011. Woodland expansion's influence on belowground carbon and nitrogen in the Great Basin U.S.
- Rau, Benjamin M.; Tausch, Robin ; Reiner, Alicia ; Johnson, Dale W.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Blank, Robert R.; Lucchesi, Annmarrie . 2010. Influence of Prescribed Fire on Ecosystem Biomass, Carbon, and Nitrogen in a Pinyon Juniper Woodland.
- Rau, Benjamin M.; Johnson, Dale W.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Blank, Robert R.; Lucchesi, Annmarie. 2009. Estimating root biomass and distribution after fire in a Great Basin woodland using cores and pits.
- Rau, B. M.; Johnson, D. W.; Blank, R. R.; Chambers, J. C. 2009. Soil carbon and nitrogen in a Great Basin pinyon-juniper woodland: Influence of vegetation, burning, and time.
- Rau, Benjamin M.; Blank, Robert R.; Morgan, Tye. 2008. Microsite and time since prescribed fire's influence on soil microbiology in a pinyon woodland.
- Rau, Benjamin M.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Blank, Robert R.; Johnson, Dale W. 2008. Prescribed fire, soil, and plants: burn effects and interactions in the central Great Basin.
- Rau, B. M.; Blank, R. R.; Chambers, J. C.; Johnson, D. W. 2007. Prescribed fire in a Great Basin sagebrush ecosystem: Dynamics of soil extractable nitrogen and phosphorus.
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