JENNIFER K. BALCH

 
 

My research looks at the patterns and processes that underlie fire disturbance and ecosystem recovery, particularly in tropical forests. The tropics is a region marked by rapid landscape transformation and waves of frontier expansion that leave a patchwork of degraded and recovering forests amidst a matrix of human-dominated land uses. Fire is an integral tool in the transformation and management of these landscapes, as well as a pervasive threat to the longevity of tropical forests. Yet, our understanding of natural fire regimes and the consequences of human-altered fire frequencies in tropical forests is limited.

 








Jennifer K. Balch, Ph.D.

Department of Geography

Penn State University

302 Walker Building

University Park PA 16802


814-863-8571

jkbalch@psu.edu


Twitter: Fire Works Lab @DrBalch

Research highlights:


Abrupt increases in Amazonian tree mortality due to drought–fire interactions by Paulo Brando, Jennifer Balch and colleagues. PNAS Open Access


Drought and fire change sink to source by Jennifer Balch.

Nature Article


Cheatgrass increases fire across the U.S. Great Basin by Jennifer Balch and colleagues. Global Change Biology Abstract


Predictors of tree mortality from experimental Amazon fires by Jennifer Balch and colleagues. Forest Ecology & Management Abstract


Fire in the Earth System by David Bowman, Jennifer Balch, et al. Science 24 April 2009: 481-484.

Abstract--Press Release...and see story at Reuters--San Francisco Chronicle--Miller-McCune--KCLU interview


Press coverage:

The perfect Amazon fire storm...

Penn State press release and NSF highlight


Cheatgrass turns fires into infernos...

Hear story on NPR


Burning issues...experiment sets the Amazon on fire...

See story at the Economist


To slow Amazon fires, scientists light their own...

See story on NPR and the Boston Globe


Chasing fire in the Amazon...

Hear story on NPR


The last experimental burn...

See story in Brazil’s major newspaper Folha de São Paulo


Scientists start fires in Mato Grosso...

See video on Brazilian primetime TV show Jornal Nacional

All photos © Jennifer K. Balch 2009