Dr. Justin Derner is the Research Leader for the Rangeland Resources Research Unit of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-Agricultural Research Service (ARS). He received his Ph.D. degree in Rangeland Ecology and Management from Texas A&M University in 1996. Currently, Dr. Derner leads a multi-disciplinary team of scientists developing and providing land managers the necessary tools to address the interface of contemporary production-conservation issues related to provision of ecosystem goods and services on western US rangelands. Research ascertains the effects of livestock as ecosystem engineers, alone or in combination with fire and prairie dogs, to influence vegetation heterogeneity and modify states of vegetation and affect resilience within ecological sites of semi-arid rangelands. Research efforts target management strategies for mitigation and adaptation of climate change on rangelands by evaluating dynamics of soil carbon and nitrogen as influenced by management X environment (weather/climate) effects. Dr. Derner received the "Early Career Scientist of the Year Award" for the Northern Plains Area of ARS in 2006, the "Outstanding Young Range Professional Award from the Society for Range Management in 2002, and the "Outstanding Achievement Award" from the Society for Range Management in 2006. He served as an Associate Editor for Rangeland Ecology and Management from 2007-2010. Dr. Derner is also a co-PI on the National Science Foundation funded Shortgrass Steppe Long-Term Ecological Research Project and is an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Wyoming.