ESS Emeritus Faculty

Dr. Dan Binkley, Professor Emeritus, Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, Colorado State University

Dr. Dan Binkley has worked on forest productivity and nutrient cycling, blending applied and basic.  Some of the applied perspectives have focused on sustaining the productivity of forests by sustaining soil fertility, providing useful information in textbooks and courses for people who manage forests, and working with collaborative citizen groups on forest restoration at landscape scales.  Dan has degrees from Northern Arizona University (B.S. in Forestry), University of British Columbia (M.Sc. Forest Ecology), Oregon State University (PhD Forest Ecology, Soils, Botany), and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (honorary doctorate).  He was a professor of forest ecology and soils at Duke University and Colorado State University for 35 years.  He coauthored 175 journal articles and several books (including The Ecology and Management of Forest Soils (with R.F. Fisher; Wiley 2020), and Forest Ecology:  An Evidence-Based Approach (Wiley 2022).   He was an Editor-in-Chief of the journal Forest Ecology and Management for 15 years, and the founding Editor-in-Chief of Trees, Forests and People.

dan binkley

Dr. Tom Hobbs, Professor Emeritus, Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, Colorado State University

Dr. Tom Hobbs has worked on population and community ecology of large herbivores for the last four decades. He made a variety of contributions to basic theory linking animal populations to their environment and has also worked to apply scientific knowledge to management and policy. Virtually all of his work uses mathematical and statistical models to gain insight from data. He developed the basic theory explaining regulation of food intake by herbivorous mammals and has made important conceptual contributions toward understanding how population dynamics are influenced by spatial heterogeneity of landscapes and habitat fragmentation. His work has been continuously supported by the National Science Foundation since 1995. Dr.  Hobbs has been at Colorado State University since 2001 and before that, he served for 20 years as a research scientist for the Colorado Division of Wildlife. He served as a Program Director in the Population and Community Ecology Cluster of the Division of Environmental Biology at the National Science Foundation during 2008-2009. Dr. Hobbs has     a degree in general biology from Grinnell College and an MS. and Ph.D. from Colorado State University. He enjoys two children, Nick and Sarah, and two grandchildren, Ada and Lucy. He and his wife Saran Twombly divide their time between their home in Fort Collins and a small house at 10,250’ on the edge of the Holy Cross Wilderness.  They are avid wilderness travelers, particularly on skis. They completed the 70-mile Two Ocean Loop in southeast Yellowstone during March of 2020.

tom hobbs

Dr. Melinda Laituri, Professor Emeritus, Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, Colorado State University

Dr. Melinda Laituri is a professor emeritus of geography in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability at Colorado State University. She is the Founding Director of the Geospatial Centroid at CSU that provides support for geospatial research and teaching across the university. She is a Fulbright Scholar having taught GIS at the University of Botswana and conducted research in the Center for Scientific Research, Indigenous Knowledge, and Innovation on participatory mapping and conservation planning. Professor Laituri is a Rachel Carson Fellow for Environment and Society at the Ludwig Maximillian University, Munich.  Laituri is a founding member of the Center for Environmental Justice at CSU.  She is a visiting scientist at the Center for Geographic Analysis at Harvard University.  Laituri was a Jefferson Science Fellow where she was the principal investigator on the Secondary Cities Initiative, part of the State Department’s Office of the Geographer’s Humanitarian Information Unit mapping rapidly growing under-examined cities. She is currently the principal investigator of the Department of State’s Cities’ COVID Mitigation and Mapping program. She received her PhD from the University of Arizona in Geography and held a three-year tenure track position at University of Auckland, New Zealand before joining Colorado State University.

Dr. Lee MacDonald, Professor Emeritus, Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, Colorado State University

Dr. Lee MacDonald is a watershed scientist specializing in how land use and vegetation changes affect runoff, erosion, sediment yields, and stream channels, particularly in forested areas. His initial focus was on runoff processes, hydrologic change, and wetland hydrology, but over the last twenty years, Dr. MacDonald has increasingly studied erosion issues because human activities can cause massive increases in erosion and sedimentation rates, with resulting downstream effects. More specifically, much of his focus has been on the hydrologic and geomorphic effects of wild and prescribed fires, unpaved roads, and timber harvest. Key themes also include how the effects of land use and other changes vary with spatial scale, putting shorter-term anthropogenic changes into a broader temporal context, cumulative watershed effects, and how climate change can further exacerbate the effects of land use. As professor emeritus, Dr. MacDonald now limits his teaching to guest lectures and various other presentations, but he continues to be involved with research in the U.S. and overseas relating to post-fire runoff and erosion, erosion rates from timber harvest, and unpaved road runoff and erosion.

lee macdonald

Dr. Dennis Ojima, Professor Emeritus, Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, Colorado State University