Profile of Dr. Norman Christensen
School of the Environment & Earth Sciences
Durham, NC 27708-0328
Fax: 919 684-8741
Current position: Professor of Ecology and Founding Dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University
Dr. Christensen’s research focuses on the effects of physical disturbance on ecosystems. His studies include analysis of patterns of forest development following cropland abandonment, comparative studies of ecosystem responses to varying fire regimes across temperate North America, and the use of remote sensing to evaluate long-term changes in forest ecosystems. Dr. Christensen has also 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 to develop the concept of ecosystem management. He has served on the US Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board (appointed by former President Clinton), as the Chair of Science Panel for the National Commission on Sustainable Forestry, and as the Dean for the Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment. Dr. Christensen also served as a president for the Ecological Society of America.