Name: Robert G. Woodmansee
Professor, Department of Rangeland Ecosystem Science
Senior Scientist, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523
Voice Phone (970)491-6824, Fax (970) 491-2339
e-mail -
Web Site -

Bio and Goals
Current Interests
Positions Held
Business and Community Experience
Teaching and Training Experience
Research and Administrative Experience

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Born: 1941, Albuquerque, NM
Raised: Farm boy near Los Lunas, NM
Married: 1963, Two children
"Spirit of Place" Identity": Native, rural, pre-war by three months (The Big One), male, gringo New Mexican (For a warm and humorous sense of what that means read John Nichols' Melagro Beanfield War and/or watch the movie of the same name on video)

Statement of Professional Goals: I believe the most important question facing society is:  CAN IMPORTANT AND DESIRABLE ECOSYSTEMS BE SUSTAINED LOCALLY, REGIONALLY, AND ON EARTH FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS? Seeking effective means of addressing this question I, for the past few years, have been shifting my career emphasis from active science administration and focused field research to exploring new means of integrating of ecosystem science, management and policy at landscape and regional scales. The pahtway to this new emphasis is developing new methodologies for traditional and professional learning, communication  and collaboration. I am making this change because I feel that the science I have devoted a career to and believe in is not being used sufficiently by people who make “on-the ground” decisions about land use planning and management. Until ecosystem science is integrated into practical and useful tools for everyday decision making, our society will continue to manage its resources and the environment based on ignorance, myths and political whim. Recognizing that science is esstntial, but not sufficient alone, the required integration requires cross-boundary perspectives that effectively blend bio-physical, social and cultural, economic, and political realities.

Academic Training:

B.S., 1967, University of New Mexico, Biology

M.S., 1969, University of New Mexico, Botany and Plant Ecology

Ph.D., 1972, Colorado State University, Systems Ecology and Soils

Current Interests:


Collaborative ecosystem management; Development of computer aided group learning and decision making methodologies; Nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems; Distance learning in ecosystem science; Grassland ecology; Landscape to Global change; Land Use Planning and Community Development; andOn-line support for classroom ecological instruction

NREL 30th Anniversary Symposium Talk (October, 1997) (IBP to LTER to IGBP - Birth of Global Programs in System Science)

Family and Personal

Farming, skiing, remodeling, traveling anywhere, botanizing, and handball

Positions Held:

1972-1974 Postdoctoral Fellow, Colorado State University
    Liaison Staff Member, Natural Resource Ecology
    Grassland Biome, USIBP Laboratory

1974-1978 Senior Research Ecologist Natural Resource Ecology

1978-1982 Associate Professor Department of Range Science,
    Colorado State University

1981-1982 Founding Principle Investigator, Shortgrass Steppe Long-Term Ecological Research Program, National Science Foundation

1982-1984 Program Director, Ecosystem Studies Program, Division of Biotic Systems and Resources (now Environmental Biology),  National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C. 20550

1982- Present, Professor Department of Range Science,
    Colorado State University

1984-1992 Director, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory,
    Colorado State University

1993 Executive Director, Sustainable Biosphere Initiative of the Ecological Society of America
    2010 Massachusetts Ave., Suite #410, Washington, D.C. 20036

1994- Returned to RES Dept., Senior Research Scientist, NREL

Business and Community Experience:

With wife, Sarah, proprietors of Quincy Creek Farm, a 65-acre, irrigated, family farm north of Fort Collins. Past-President local Parent - Teachers Organization, member numerous local and Poudre R-1 School District committees.

Currently a Member of the Larimer County Rural Land Use Center Board 1997-2000.

Teaching and Training Experience:


RS351--Grassland Ecosystem Functioning I--Range Science Department, CSU

AG442--Forest and Range Soils--Agronomy Department, CSU

RS660--Nutrient Cycling in Terrestrial Ecosystems--Range Science Department, CSU

AG653--Simulation of Soil-Plant Systems--Agronomy Department, CSU

NR330--Natural Resource Ecology, College of Forestry, CSU

NR340--Natural Resource Measurements, College of Forestry, CSU


Ecology -- BY 220 Syllabus and Notes

Natural Resource Conservation -- NR 120 Syllabus and Notes (Reconstruction Underway)

Land Use Planning -- NR 440 Syllabus and Notes

Internet Training Courses

Collaborative Ecosystem Management (SAM-on-Line)

Shortcourses, Seminars and Workshops for Hire

Managing Ecosystems for Sustainability

This training course was developed to:
  • Provide shared language and concepts about ecosystems and Ecosystem Management in an "institution-neutral" context;
  • Provide common base of information for communications that is cognizant of both internal and external concepts and terminology;
  • Model and facilitate collaborative thinking and analysis;
  • Honor and bridge differences in viewpoint, personal histories, and training;
  • Encourage individuals and agencies to provide leadership in facilitating and collaborating in rational analysis and management of important and desirable ecosystems;
  • Engage training program participants in accomplishing a simple structured analysis (i.e., integrated analysis, comparative risk assessment, etc.) of an issue/problem of the groups choosing.
  • Exploring Rangeland Ecosystems Before You Subdivide Your Land Institutional Change in Environmental Science and Management Computer Aids in Ecosystem Management and Collaborative Land Use Planning

    Previous Professional Research and Administrative Experience: (Selected)

    Chairman, Steering Committee, Scale and Global Change: Spatial and Temporal Variability in Biospheric and Geospheric Processes, SCOPE, Paris

    Association of Ecosystem Research Centers: founding member, Board of Directors; President (1989)

    Member, U.S. National Committee for Man and the Biosphere 1987-92. Chairman, Biosphere Reserve Coordinating Committee.

    SCOPE (Scientific Committee for Problems of the Environment)  Committee, U.S. National  National Academy of Sciences

    Committee on Planetary Biology and Chemical Evolution, Space Science Board, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences.

    Long-Term Ecological Research Advisory Committee, National Science Foundation.

    National Atmospheric Deposition Project, Technical Committee.

    Special Science Advisor, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (World Meteorological Organization and United Nations Environmental Program).

    Advisory Committee, USDI-Geological Survey, Global Change Research Program

    Strategy Review Team and Reviewer, USDA-CSRS, National Agriculture Initiative, Competitive Research Grants Program.

    International Program Review Team, Centro Agronomico Tropical De Investigacion Y Ensenza (CATIE), Costa Rica. Funded       through USAID. Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. July - August 1990.

    Co-Chair Task Force on Sustainable Agriculture Systems - Western Regional Council, USDA-CSRS.

    Special Consultant, Biosphere Reserve Committee, Man and the Biosphere, UNESCO, Paris.

    Member, White House Working Group, Global Carbon Sinks. 1993.

    Publications: (Selected as most influential and/or important from more than 60)


    Rosswall, T., R. G. Woodmansee, and P. G. Risser (eds.). 1988. Scales and Global Change: Spatial and Temporal Variability in Biospheric and Geospheric Processes. SCOPE Report 35. John Wiley & Sons, London and New York. 355 pp.

    Journals and Reviewed Chapters in Books:

    Woodmansee, R. G. 1977. Analysis and critique of the grassland ecosystem model ELM, pp. 257-281. In G. S. Innis (ed.) Grassland simulation model. Springer-Verlag, Inc., New York.

    Woodmansee, R. G. 1978. Additions and losses of nitrogen in grassland ecosystems. BioScience 28:448-453.

    Woodmansee, R. G., J. L. Dodd, R. A. Bowman, F. E. Clark, and C. E. Dickinson. 1978. Nitrogen budget in a shortgrass prairie. Oecologia (Berl.) 34:363-376.

    Woodmansee, R. G., and D. A. Duncan. 1980. Nitrogen and phosphorus dynamics and budget in annual grasslands. Ecology 61(4):893-904.

    McGill, W. B., H. W. Hunt, R. G. Woodmansee, and J. O. Reuss. 1981. PHOENIX: A model of carbon and nitrogen dynamics in grasslands, pp. 171-191. In H. Van Veen and M. Frissel (eds.) Simulation of Nitrogen Behavior in Soil Plant Systems. PUDOC, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

    Woodmansee, R. G., and L. Wallach. 1981. Effects of fire regimes on biochemical cycles, pp. 379-400. In H. A. Mooney, T. M. Bonnicksen, N. L. Christensen, J. E. Lotan, and W. A. Reiners (eds.) Fire regimes and ecosystem properties. USDA Forest Service, General Technical Report, PNW, Washington, D.C. Reprinted (1981), pp. 649-669. In F. E. Clark and T. Rosswall (eds.) Terrestrial Nitrogen Cycles: Processes, Ecosystem Strategies, and Management Impacts. Ecol. Bull. (Sweden).

    Woodmansee, R. G., I. Vallis, and J. J. Mott. 1981. Grassland nitrogen, pp. 443-462. In F. E. Clark and T. Rosswall (eds.) Terrestrial Nitrogen Cycles: Processes, Ecosystem Strategies, and Management Impacts. Ecol. Bull. (Sweden).

    Mosier, A. R., M. A. Stillwell, W. J. Parton, and R. G. Woodmansee. 1981. Nitrous oxide emissions from a native shortgrass prairie. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 45:614-619.

    Woodmansee, R. G., W. J. Parton, and J. L. Dodd. 1982. North American Grasslands. In McGraw-Hill 1982 Yearbook of Science and Technology. McGraw-Hill, New York.

    Bolin, B., R. Cook, P. Crutzen, H. Goldberg, P. Vitousek, and R. Woodmansee. 1983. Introduction, pp. 1-39. In B. Bolin and R. B. Cook (eds.) The Major Biogeochemical Cycles and Their Interactions. SCOPE Report 21. John Wiley & Sons, New York.

    Woodmansee, R. G. 1984. Comparative nutrient cycles of natural and agricultural ecosystems: A step towards principles. In R. Lowrance, G. J. House, and B. R. Stenner (eds.). Agricultural Ecosystems: Unifying Concepts. John Wiley & Sons, New York. pp. 145-156.

    Schimel, D. S., M. A. Stillwell, and R. G. Woodmansee. 1985. Biogeochemistry of C, N, and P in a soil catena of the shortgrass steppe. Ecology 66:276-282.

    Senft, R. L., L. R. Rittenhouse, and R. G. Woodmansee. 1985. Factors influencing patterns of cattle grazing behavior on shortgrass steppe. J. Range Manage. 38:82-87.

    Schimel, D. S., W. J. Parton, F. J. Adamsen, R. G. Woodmansee, R. L. Senft, and M. A. Stillwell. 1986. The role of cattle in the volatile loss of nitrogen from a shortgrass steppe. Biogeochemistry 2:39-52.

    Woodmansee, R. G. 1988. Ecosystem processes and global change. In P. G. Risser, R. G. Woodmansee, and T. Rosswall (eds.). Scales and Global Change: Spatial and Temporal Variability in Biospheric and Geospheric Processes. SCOPE Report 35. John Wiley & Sons, London and New York. pp. 11-27.

    Swanson, F. J., T. K. Kratz, N. Caine, and R. G. Woodmansee. 1988. Landform effects on ecosystem patterns and processes. BioScience 38(2):92-98.

    Woodmansee, R. G. 1989. Biogeochemical cycles and ecological hierarchies. Pages 57-71 in: I. S. Zonneveld and R. T. T. Forman (eds.), Changing Landscapes: An Ecological Perspective. Springer-Verlag, New York.

    Riebsame, W. E. and R. G. Woodmansee. 1993. Mapping Common Ground on Public Rangelands. In Let the People Judge: Wise Use and the Private Property Rights Movement. Island Press, New York. (In Press.)

    Woodmansee, Robert. G. and William E. Riebsame. 1994. Evaluating the effects of climate changes on grasslands. Proc. (1993) International Grassland Congress. Palmerston North , NZ.

    Fisher, Stuart G. and Robert G. Woodmansee.1994. Ecological recovery. In Background Papers for Ecological Risk Assessment Guidelines. USEPA. (EPA Technical Publ. ____).

    Faber, B. G., D. G. Fox, D. G. DeCoursey, R. Watts, R. G. Woodmansee and W. W. Wallace. 1993. The TERRA Laboratory: An Interagency Decision Support Environment, Proc. Air and Waste Management Assoc., 93-WA-85.01., 86th Ann. Mtn., Denver, Co.

    Hautalouma, Jacob E. and Robert G. Woodmansee. 1994. New roles in ecological research and policy making. Ecol. Int. Bull. 21:1-10.

    Christensen, Norman L. (Chair), Ann M. Bartuska,James H. Brown, Stephen Carpenter, Carla D' Antonio, Robert Francis, Jerry F. Franklin, James A. MacMahon, Reed F. Noss, David J. Parsons, Charles H. Peterson, Monica G. Turner, and Robert G. Woodmansee. 1996. The report of the Ecological Society of America Committee on the Scientific Basis of Ecosystem Management. Ecological Applications 6:665-691.