John D. Aber
Forest Ecosystem Analysis
Joint Appointment Department of Natural Resources and the Environment
Ph.D., Yale University
John Aber earned a Bachelor's degree in Engineering and Applied Science (Computer Science) from Yale University in 1971, and Master's and Ph.D. degrees in 1973 and 1976 also from Yale in Forestry and Environmental Studies. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the Ecosystem Center in Woods Hole, MA for a year, and Assistant Professor in Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia for 15 months before joining the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he was Assistant (1979-1982) and Associate (1982-1987) Professor in the Forestry Department. In 1987 he moved to the University of New Hampshire where he is a Professor of Natural Resources. He served for 15 years as Chair of the inter-college Natural Resources Ph.D. Program, and 4 years as the University's Vice President for Research and Public Service. For two years, he lead a new undergraduate major in Environmental Science, before being selected as Provost and VP for Academic Affairs in 2009.
Dr. Aber's research has focused on the biogeochemistry of forest ecosystems, with particular emphasis on nitrogen cycling and the process of nitrogen saturation. He has initiated both site- and field-level investigations on the effects of long-term N deposition of forest carbon, water and nitrogen balances. He has developed simple, validatable computer models of ecosystem function which can be linked to geographic information systems for regional and spatial applications, and extended to examine the impacts of environmental change. He has also explored the potential for emerging high spectral resolution remote sensing to provide data on foliar chemistry over large areas for inputs to these models. His major region of interest is the northeastern U.S., but he has conducted research throughout the eastern U.S. and in Ireland. His most recent research is in the area of sustainable agroecosystems.
In 2003, he received the University's Distinguished Professor Award, and also the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. In that year he was cited as one of the top 10 scientists in the field of Ecology and Environmental Science by the Institute for Scientific Information. In 2009 he was awarded a University Professorship at UNH. In 2012 he will receive the Wilbur Cross Medal from Yale University for distinguished academic achievement.