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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Electronics Engineer

John M. Frank

Electronics Engineer
240 West Prospect Road
Fort Collins
United States

Phone: 970-498-1319
Contact John M. Frank

Current Research

I study ecosystem involving atmosphere-biosphere interactions, soils, snowpack, and plant physiology. I do this primarily with the eddy covariance technique at the GLEES AmeriFlux site in southeastern Wyoming where I am quantifying the changes in ecosystem fluxes in response to a spruce beetle epidemic. I also study the uncertainty in the eddy covariance with sonic anemometry and through Bayesian statistical analysis.

Research Interests

As an ecologist I have interests in micrometeorology, eddy-covariance, subalpine forests, spruce bark beetle, Bayesian statistics, stable isotopes, plant physiology, sublimation, environmental physics, and soil physics. The engineer in me appreciates electronics and instrumentation, sonic anemometry, data analysis, signal processing, non-linear filters, and wavelets.

Past Research

I am an electrical engineer and have previously worked in soil physics evaluating methods of measuring soil moisture in eastern Kansas croplands.

Pre Forest Service

Basinger J.M., G.J. Kluitenberg, J.M. Ham, J.M. Frank, P.L. Barnes, and M.B. Kirkham. 2003. Laboratory evaluation of the dual-probe heat-pulse method for measuring soil water content. Vadose Zone Journal. 2:389-399.

Heitman, J.L., J.M. Basinger, G.J. Kluitenberg, J.M. Ham, J.M. Frank, and P.L. Barnes. 2003. Field evaluation of the dual-probe heat-pulse method for measuring soil water content. Vadose Zone Journal. 2:552-560.

Why This Research is Important

Within the context of climate change, understanding the fundamental interactions of an ecosystem is critical for predicting future forest conditions. The eddy covariance technique provides unique and invaluable information about processes underlying the exchange of energy and mass between the atmosphere and biosphere. For example, our research following a spruce beetle epidemic was instrumental in linking changes in plant physiology, ecosystem water use, and the forest carbon sink.


  • University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, Ph.D. Ecology 2016
  • Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, M.S. Electrical Engineering 1999
  • Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, B.S. Electrical Engineering 1997

Professional Experience

  • Eddy Covariance Specialist/Electronics Engineer, United Stated Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station - June 1999 to Present
    1999 - Current

Professional Organizations

  • Ecological Society of America, Member (2012 - Current)
  • American Geophysical Union, Member (2010 - Current)

Awards & Recognition

  • Rocky Mountain Research Station, 2019
    Outstanding Science Support Award
  • World Meterological Organization Nortbert Gerbier-Mumm International Award, 2012
    In recognition of the paper entitled 'Climate control of terrestrial carbon exchange across biomes and continents"
  • United States Forest Service, 2007
    Certificate of Merit
  • United States Forest Service, 2004
    Certificate of Merit
  • United States Forest Service, 2001
    Certificate of Merit

Featured Publications & Products


Research Highlights


Spruce Beetles Reduce Sublimation, Causing Increasing Snowpack in the Wyoming Mountains

Snow sublimation, the process of snow changing into water vapor in the air, is a major component of the annual water budget across the Front Ra ...


Last updated on : 06/10/2021