US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
You are here: Home / People / Profile



The sites listed below are external or third-party sites which the Forest Service has provided for reference only.


Ge Sun

Ge Sun

Research Hydrologist and Project Leader
P.O. Box 12254
3041 East Cornwallis Road
Research Triangle Park
North Carolina
United States

Phone: 919-549-4070
Contact Ge Sun

Current Research

  • Modeling the potential effects of climate change, landuse change, population growth, and urbanization on water supply and demand in the conterminous United States (CONUS)
  • Water use (Evapotranspiration) of southern forests 
  • Measuring and modeling carbon and water fluxes
  • Hydrological effects of longleaf pine restoration in the southern U.S.
  • Effects of precribed burning on mercuy mobility
  • Hydrologic effects of forest conversion from hardwood forests to pine plantations 

Research Interests

  • Effects of climate change and land management on water quantity and quality, and water supply and demand at a regional scale 
  • Application of computer simulation models, GIS, and remote sensing in regional hydrology
  • Evapotranspiration and ecosystem productivity modeling  
  • Effects of urbanization on watershed hydrology and climate  

Past Research

I have worked on various forest hydrology projects in different geophysical settings around the world to understand natural and human impacts on watershed water balances and processes. Models (FLATWOODS, PnET, MIKE SHE, WaSSI), remote sensing, and GIS data have been used to synthesize station-based information toward generalizing and projecting hydrological consequences from disturbances at broader scales and answer practical 'what if' management questions.

Why This Research is Important

Water is the most fundamental component of life. Forests and water are intimately linked at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Global changes in climate and land use have profound impacts on the quantity, quality, and timing of water on Earth. Understanding forest-water-climate-people interactions is critical for sustainable management and conservation of natural resources, and adaptationto environmental change in the 21st century.


  • University of Florida, Ph.D. Forest Hydrology and Watershed Management 1995
  • Beijing Forestry University, M.S. Forest Hydrology 1988
  • Beijing Forestry University, B.S. Soil and Water Conservation 1985

Awards & Recognition

  • Icko Iben Multidisciplinary Communications Award from American Water Resources Association, 2021
    Established in 1971, this award recognizes persons who have made outstanding contributions in promoting communication among the various disciplines concerned with water resources issues.
  • US Forest Service Research & Development Deputy Chief Award's Distingushed Science Award , 2017
    Sustained productivity and leadership in forest hydrology research
  • US Forest Service Chief's Honor Award , 2017
    Applying Knowledge Globally; Forests and Water in a Changing Environment
  • Source Water Protection from North Carolina Source Water Collaborative (Team award), 2017
    for Defining and Understanding How Forests Protect Watersheds and Source Water.
  • Southern Research Station Director's Distinguished Science Award , 2016
    Leadership and productivity in forest hydrology research
  • Certificate of Appreciation, 2016
    An author of "Understanding the Impacts of Drought on the Nation's Forest and Grasslands: Providing a Scientific Foundation for Effective Management Responses", which Received a 2016 Chief's Award for the Category of Sustaining Forests and Grasslands
  • Fellow of American Water Resources Association, 2015
    For outstanding serve to AWRA and an eminent record in forest water resources science and technology.
  • USFS Southern Research Station Director's Global Stewardship Award , 2009
    For global applications of hydrological science and technology

Featured Publications & Products


Research Highlights


Burning forests can impact water supplies

The number of wildland fires and burned areas in the U.S. is on the rise as a result of a warming climate, drought, and increasing human ignitio ...


Climate Change Impacts on Ecosystem Services: water, carbon, and biodiversity

SRS is enhancing one of its models that examines the potential impacts of climate change, land use, and population changes on water supplies. Th ...


Fertilized Pines Use Water More Efficiently But May Suffer Worse in Droughts

Fertilized loblolly pine trees produce more wood than their unfertilized counterparts, even when less water was available, butthis may also indi ...


Forests to Faucets: Visualizing Forests’ Role in Supplying Drinking Water Across the U.S.

Forests provide drinking water and protect drinking water supplies. The USDA Forest Service's 'Forest to Faucets' program is a unique tool for u ...


High Forest Productivity Often Comes at the Expense of Soil Carbon Storage

Forest Service scientists and their research partners are studying the role of managed forests in regional carbon, water, and energy exchange to ...


Impacts of wildland fires on U.S. freshwater resources are variable

Burning forests alters watershed hydrological cycles by modifying soil and forest cover properties. Researchers found that fires with moderate ...


International collaborators develop easy-to-use formulas for water and carbon accounting

Ecosystem water use is closely coupled with ecosystem productivity, water availability, and water supplies, but accurate water use accounting re ...


Quantifying the Role of State and Private Forest Lands in Providing Surface Drinking Water Supply for the Southern U.S.

Forested land owned by states or private and family owners makes up about 44 % of the total land area in the South. This study highlights the co ...


Southern forested wetlands are projected to become drier in the future

Extensive southern forested wetlands provide important ecosystem services. A study of five typical forested wetlands across the Southeast sugges ...


Tools to help international conservation agencies make sound decisions

Researchers with the Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center (EFETAC) applied models they developed with partners to measure water ...


Last updated on : 01/20/2022