US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Chuck Rhoades

Chuck C. Rhoades

Research Biogeochemist
240 West Prospect Road
Fort Collins, CO 80526
Phone: 970-498-1250
Fax: 970-498-1212

Current Research

Current research projects address the following biogeochemical linkages:

  • Watershed biogeochemistry research examines the atmospheric, terrestrial, and aquatic processes that regulate soil and water quality and that sustain forest productivity. Specific studies consider the influence of:
    • Bark beetle outbreak on stream water quality and nutrient export
    • Headwater springs on basin-scale streamwater chemistry
    • Atmospheric dust deposition on snowpack chemistry
    • Snow redistribution on alpine biogeochemistry
    • Wildfire severity on streamwater chemistry
  • Research supporting sound resource management efforts to improve the health of western forests by reducing hazardous fuel loads, decommissioning roads or treating insect infestations will benefit from better understanding of the interplay between natural ecosystem dynamics and management actions. Specific studies assess:
    • The effectiveness of riparian buffers at maintaining aquatic condition and reducing water quality degradation caused by sediment and nutrient movement during timber harvesting operations
    • How recovery of soil nitrogen cycling processes regulates post-harvest nutrient retention and leaching in subalpine forests
    • The consequences of post-beetle outbreak salvage logging on soil and forest productivity
    • How mechanical fuel reduction alters water quality, soil productivity and forest regeneration

Research Interests

My research evaluates biogeochemical linkages between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in managed and unmanaged areas. Much of my work addresses the role of upland and riparian soils and vegetation in regulating nitrogen and carbon retention and export from forest watersheds and how natural and anthropogenic disturbance alters these processes.

Why This Research is Important

Biogeochemical research helps land managers evaluate how well watershed conservation practices protect water quality and other aquatic resources. In snow-dominated watersheds of the central Rockies, the biogeochemical consequences of climate change, wildfire and insect outbreak are poorly understood. Research evaluates the elemental links between atmospheric deposition, vegetation and soil nutrient retention and transformation, and streamwater export. Study findings increase understanding of the natural range of variability in watershed processes and support efforts to monitor the consequences of management manipulations and assess the success of restoration treatments. Such work is also integral to long-term monitoring of Fraser Experimental Forest watersheds.


  • Colorado State University, BS Forest Management, 1984
  • Colorado State University, MS Forest Ecology, 1992
  • University of Georgia, Ph.D. Forest Biogeochemistry and Soil Ecology, 1997

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Last updated on : 10/02/2014