Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Lab
Seattle, WA 98103
Contact Don McKenzie
The themes of my research are fire, landscape ecology, and climate change. My studies explore spatial pattern and structure in low-severity fire regimes; the effects of wildfire on regional air quality; effects of climate change on disturbance regimes and mountain forest ecosystems in the American West; landscape mapping of wildland fuels at multiple scales; and carbon emissions from wildfire in North America.
Effects of climatic change on disturbance regimes, species, and air quality in protected areas; palaeological fire studies, controls on fire regimes and scaling relationships; forest biogeography and climatic variability; spatial patterns of fire severity in response to topography and fuels; developing a theoretical framework for landscape fire.
My past work has studied climatic variability and tree species' responses, dendrochronological methods, understory plant responses to overstory changes, and empirical models of forest growth.
Why This Research is Important
Throughout the United States, and across the West in particular, the interactions between climate change and disturbance regimes may be the principal forces of change in forest ecosystems. Quantitative predictions of future disturbance regimes and their effects on ecosystems are necessary to inform management.
- University of Washington, Ph.D. Landscape Ecology, 1998
- University of Washington, M.S. Forest Biometrics, 1994
- UCLA, M.F.A. Historical performance practices (music), 1979
- University of California Berkeley, B.A. Anthropology and Psychology, 1974
- Research Ecologist, Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Lab, PNW Station, US Forest Service
2002 - Current
- Post-doctoral Research Associate, College of Forest Resources, University of Washington
1998 - 2002
- American Geophysical Union, Member (2004 - Current)
chairs annual session on "Wildfires on landscapes: theory, models, and management" at the AGU meeting in December
- Us-Iale (Landscape Ecology), Member (1996 - Current)
former program chair (2007) of annual meeting, frequently attends, presents research, and chairs sessions at annual meetings
- Ecological Society of America, Member (1994 - Current)
former associate editor of Ecological Applications, active member
Awards & Recognition
- Chief's Award for Wilderness Stewardship Science, 2011
Award given for research and publications on climate change and wilderness fire regimes
- Best Landscape Ecology paper of the year, 2008
Award given by US-IALE (International Association for Landscape Ecology) for "Cross-scale analysis of ecosystems" published in the journal Ecosystems
Featured Publications & Products
- McKenzie, Donald; Peterson, David L.; Littell, Jeremy J. 2009. Global warming and stress complexes in forests of western North America.
- Littell, Jeremy S.; McKenzie, Donald; Peterson, David L.; Westerling, Anthony L. 2009. Climate and wildfire area burned in western U.S. ecoprovinces, 1916-2003.
- Kellogg, Lara-Karena B.; McKenzie, Donald; Peterson, David L.; Hessl, Amy E. 2008. Spatial models for inferring topographic controls on historical low-severity fire in the eastern Cascade Range of Washington, USA.
- Falk, Donald A.; Miller, Carol; McKenzie, Donald; Black, Anne E. 2007. Cross-scale analysis of fire regimes.
Publications & Products
- McKenzie, Donald; Shankar, Uma; Keane, Robert E.; Stavros, E. Natasha; Heilman, Warren E.; Fox, Douglas G.; Riebau, Allen C. 2014. Smoke consequences of new wildfire regimes driven by climate change.
- Wilsey, Chad B.; Lawler, Joshua J.; Maurer, Edwin P.; McKenzie, Donald; Townsend, Patricia A.; Gwozdz, Richard; Freund, James A.; Hagmann, Keala; Hutten, Karen M. 2013. Tools for assessing climate impacts on fish and wildlife.
- Iverson, Louis R.; McKenzie, Donald. 2013. Tree-species range shifts in a changing climate: detecting, modeling, assisting.
- Raymond, Crystal L.; McKenzie, Donald. 2012. Carbon dynamics of forest in Washington, USA: 21st century projections based on climate-driven changes in fire regimes.
- Cansler, C. Alina; McKenzie, Donald. 2012. How robust are burn severity indices when applied in a new region? Evaluation of alternate field-based and remote-sensing methods.
- McKenzie, Donald; French, Nancy H.F.; Ottmar, Roger D. 2012. National database for calculating fuel available to wildfires.
- McKenzie, Donald; Kennedy, Maureen C. 2012. Power laws reveal phase transitions in landscape controls of fire regimes.
- Evans, Shelley A.; Halpern, Charles B.; McKenzie, Donald. 2012. The contributions of forest structure and substrate to bryophyte diversity and abundance in mature coniferous forests of the Pacific Northwest.
- Littell, Jeremy S.; McKenzie, Donald; Kerns, Becky K.; Cushman, Samuel; Shaw, Charles G. 2011. Managing uncertainty in climate-driven ecological models to inform adaptation to climate change.
- French, Nancy H.F.; de Groot, William J.; Jenkins, Liza K.; Rogers, Brendan M.; Alvarado, Ernesto; Amiro, Brian; De Jong, Bernardus; Goetz, Scott; Hoy, Elizabeth; Hyer, Edward; Keane, Robert; Law, B.E.; McKenzie, Donald; McNulty, Steven G.; Ottmar, Roger; Perez-Salicrup, Diego R.; Randerson, James; Robertson, Kevin M.; Turetsky, Merritt. 2011. Model comparisons for estimating carbon emissions from North American wildland fire.
- Falk, Donald A.; Heyerdahl, Emily K.; Brown, Peter M.; Farris, Calvin; Fule, Peter Z.; McKenzie, Donald; Swetnam, Thomas W.; Taylor, Alan H.; Van Horne, Megan L. 2011. Multi-scale controls of historical forest-fire regimes: new insights from fire-scar networks.
- Littell, Jeremy S.; Oneil, Elaine E.; McKenzie, Donald; Hicke, Jeffrey A.; Lutz, James A.; Norheim, Robert A.; Elsner, Marketa M. 2010. Forest ecosystems, disturbance, and climate change in Washington State, USA.
- Kopper, Karen E.; McKenzie, Donald; Peterson, David L. 2009. The evaluation of meta-analysis techniques for quantifying prescribed fire effects on fuel loadings..
- Heyerdahl, Emily K.; McKenzie, Donald; Daniels, Lori D.; Hessl, Amy E.; Littell, Jeremy S.; Mantua, Nathan J. 2008. Climate drivers of regionally synchronous fires in the inland northwest (1651-1900).
- Baron, Jill S.; Allen, Craig D.; Fleishman, Erica; Gunderson, Lance; McKenzie, Don; Meyerson, Laura; Oropeza, Jill; Stephenson, Nate. 2008. National Parks.
- McKenzie, D.; Raymond, C.L.; Kellogg, L.-K.B.; Norheim, R.A.; Andreu, A.G.; Bayard, A.C.; Kopper, K.E.; Elman, E. 2007. Mapping fuels at multiple scales: landscape application of the fuel characteristic classification system..
- Cushman, Samuel A.; McKenzie, Donald; Peterson, David L.; Littell, Jeremy; McKelvey, Kevin S. 2007. Research agenda for integrated landscape modeling.
- Raymond, Crystal L.; Kellogg, Lara-Karena B.; McKenzie, Donald. 2006. Mapping Fuels on the Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forests.
- Cushman, Samuel A.; McKenzie, Donald; Peterson, David L.; Littell, Jeremy; McKelvey, Kevin S. 2006. Research agenda for integrated landscape modeling.
- McKenzie, Donald; Hessl, Amy E.; Kellogg, Lara-Karena B. 2006. Using neutral models to identify constraints on low-severity fire regimes..
- Peterson, David L.; Johnson, Morris C.; Agee, James K.; Jain, Theresa B.; McKenzie, Donald; Reinhardt, Elizabeth D. 2005. Forest structure and fire hazard in dry forests of the Western United States.
- Halpern, Charles B.; McKenzie, Donald; Evans, Shelley A.; Maguire, Douglas A. 2005. Initial responses of forest understories to varying levels and patterns of green-tree retention..
- Peterson, David L.; Johnson, Morris C.; Agee, James K.; Jain, Theresa B.; McKenzie, Donald; Reinhardt, Elizabeth D. 2003. Fuels planning: Managing forest structure to reduce fire hazard.
- Schmoldt, Daniel L.; Peterson, David L.; Keane, Robert E.; Lenihan, James M.; McKenzie, Donald; Weise, David R.; Sandberg, David V. 1999. Assessing the effects of fire disturbance on ecosystems: a scientific agenda for research and management..
- McKenzie, Donald; Peterson, David L.; Alvarado, Ernesto. 1996. Predicting the effect of fire on large-scale vegetation patterns in North America..