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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William J. Massman , Jr

240 West Prospect Road
Fort Collins
United States

Phone: 970-498-1296
Fax: 970-498-1212
Contact William J. Massman , Jr

Current Research

I conduct research to quantify atmospheric-biospheric interactions, including the use of eddy covariance technology to study the exchange of trace gases (carbon dioxide, water, ozone) between the atmosphere and the earth's surface (vegetation, soil, and snow). I also research issues involving the physical processes governing CO2 transport in soils and snowpacks and the impact of fire on soil physical properties and microbial populations.

Research Interests

Develop a better understanding of an ongoing spruce beetle epidemic can have on carbon and water cycles at a high elevation subalpine forest.Develop physically-based computer models to improve predictions of and insights into the long-term impacts on soils that extreme heating during a prescribed burn or wildfires can cause.

Past Research

My research focuses on some of the long-term impacts that relatively short-lived, but extreme, events or environmental conditions can have on vegetation and soils. Such events alter ecosystem benefits and resources, such as the potential for carbon sequestration, stream flow amounts and timing, and soil water availability, for decades to centuries. Quantifying these impacts on water and carbon is critical for long-term resource planning and sustainability.

Why This Research is Important

** Theory and practice of eddy covariance(1) A perspective on thirty years of the Webb, Pearman and Leuning density corrections ,(2) The canopy horizontal array turbulence study (CHATS) ** Carbon cycling and climate Climate control of terrestrial carbon exchange across biomes and continents **Fire and soils Advancing investigation and modeling of first-order fire effects on soils ** Beetle impacts on high elevation siteEvapotranspiration response of a high elevation Rocky Mountain (Wyoming, USA) forest to a bark beetle epidemic


  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, Ph.D. Meteorology 1978
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, M.S. Meteorology 1973
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, M.S. Physics 1970
  • University of Missouri, Columbia, B.S. Physics 1969

Professional Organizations

  • American Geophysical Union, Member (1988 - Current)
  • American Meteorological Society, Member (1978 - Current)
  • European Geophysical Union, Member (2008 - 2008)
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Associate Editor (2005 - 2008)
  • Association of Fire Ecology, Member (2007 - 2007)
  • American Meteorological Society, Member (2002 - 2005)
  • Air and Waste Management Association, Member (1994 - 1994)
  • American Society of Agronomy, Member (1992 - 1993)
  • American Meteorological Society, Member (1987 - 1989)

Awards & Recognition

  • American Meteorological Society Outstanding Achievement in Biometeorology, 2016
    For innovative and rigorous theoretical advances that have improved the biomicrometeorological measurement and modeling of mass and energy exchange between plants and the atmosphere
  • American Meteorological Society 32nd Conference on Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 2016
    Special Session Honoring the Contributions of Dr. William J. Massman to Biometeorology
  • Agricultural and Forest Meteorology Outstanding Contribution in Reviewing, 2014
    In recognition of the contributions made to the quality of the journal
  • UN WMO Norbert Gerbier-MUMM International Award 2012, 2012
    For the publication "Climate control of terrestrial carbon exchange across biomes and continents" Environmental Research Letters 5 034007.
  • Rocky Mountain Research Station Best Scientific Publication of the Year 2010, 2011
    Advancing investigation and modeling of first-order fire effects on soils, fire Ecology 6:36-54
  • Distinguished Visiting Scientist Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, CSIRO, 2010
    CSIRO is Australia's national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world. This award is made annually and is competitive across all scientific disciplines within CSIRO.
  • USDA Certificate of Merit, 2007
    For careful and diligent efforts to remove the obsolescent tower at the GLEES research site
  • USDA Certificate of Merit, 2004
    For significant efforts to continue fire ecology research on soils and to initiate new studies in the National Fire Plan Ecology Research Project in FY04
  • USDA Certificate of Appreciation, 1995
    For significant contribution to the understanding and quantification of ozone deposition and its interaction with the plant surface
  • USDA Certificate of Appreciation, 1995
    For contributions to the 1993 RPA assessment update
  • Senior Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1985
    National Research Council
  • Scholastic Achievement, 1969
    Phi Beta Kappa
  • National Mathematics Honor Society, 1969
    Phi Mu Epsilon

Featured Publications & Products


Research Highlights


Ecosystem Fluxes are Underestimated Due to Measurement Tool Errors

The eddy covariance technique is used worldwide to measure the exchange of energy and mass between ecosystems and the atmosphere. Ecosystem flux ...


Modeling Soil Heat, Moisture, and Evaporation Dynamics During Fires

With the increasing use of prescribed fire by land managers and increasing likelihood of wildfires due to climate change there comes the need to ...


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 : 10/02/2021