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

Charles C. Rhoades

Research Biogeochemist
240 West Prospect Road
Fort Collins
United States

Phone: 970-498-1250
Fax: 970-498-1212
Contact Charles C. Rhoades

Current Research

Biogeochemistry Lab webpage

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.

Past Research

Briefing Papers

Miller, Sue; Rhoades, Chuck; Schnackenberg, Liz; Fornwalt, Paula; Schroder, Eric. 2015. Slash from the past: Rehabilitating pile burn scars. Science You Can Use Bulletin, Issue 15. Fort Collins, CO: Rocky Mountain Research Station. 9 p.

Rhoades, C.C.; Entwistle, D.; Butler, D. 2012. Water Quality Effects Following a Severe Fire. Fire Management Today 72(2):35-39.

Collins, Bryon J.; Rhoades, Chuck C.; Battaglia, Michael A.; Hubbard, Robert M. 2012. Effects of salvage logging on fire risks after bark beetle outbreaks in Colorado lodgepole pine forests. Fire Management Today. 72(3): 18-22.

Malcolm, Karl; Rhoades, Chuck; Battaglia, Michael; Fornwalt, Paula; Hubbard, Rob; Elder, Kelly; Collins, Byron. 2012. From death comes life: Recovery and revolution in the wake of epidemic outbreaks of mountain pine beetle. Science You Can Use Bulletin, Issue 1. Fort Collins, CO: Rocky Mountain Research Station. 8 p.

Ryan, Mike; Battaglia, Mike; Rhoades, Chuck; Rocca, Monique. Reducing Fuels through Mulching Treatments: What are the Ecological Effects? 2011. Fire Science Brief. Issue 140.

Rhoades, Chuck; Hubbard, Rob; Collins, Byron; Battaglia, Mike; Elder, Kelly; Underhill, Jeff; Cheng, Tony. Signs of Recovery for Colorado Forests in the Wake of the Mountain Pine Beetle. October 2010. Colorado Forest Restoration Institute.

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.

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


  • Colorado State University, B.S. Forest Management 1984
  • Colorado State University, M.S. Forest Ecology 1992
  • University of Georgia, Ph.D. Forest Biogeochemistry and Soil Ecology 1997

Professional Experience

  • Affiliate Faculty, Colorado State University, Department of Forest, Watershed and Range Stewardship, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences and Graduate Degree Program in Ecology
    2003 - Current
  • Research Biogeochemist, US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Air, Water and Aquatic Environments Program
    2003 - Current
  • Assistant Professor of Restoration Ecology, Department of Forestry, University of Kentucky
    1998 - 2003
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, US Geological Survey, Colorado State University
    1997 - 1998
  • Graduate Research Assistant, Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia
    1993 - 1997
  • Agroforestry Researcher, International Centre for Agroforestry Research, Malawi
    1991 - 1992
  • Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Forestry, Colorado State University
    1989 - 1991
  • Forestry and Agroforestry Technician, US Peace Corps, Ecuador
    1986 - 1989
  • Forestry Technician, Colorado State Forest Service
    1982 - 1986

Featured Publications & Products


Citations of non US Forest Service Publications

Research Highlights


Severe Wildfire Has Long-term Consequences for Stream Water Quality

Severe wildfires remove vegetation and organic soil layers and expose watersheds to erosion, which can transport large quantities of soil and as ...


Still Standing: Snagfall the First Decade After Severe Bark Beetle Infestation

Post-bark beetle outbreak snagfall dynamics create a multiple-decade legacy that will persist longer in high-elevation compared to lower-elevati ...


Last updated on : 10/01/2021