Jonathan Coop

Jonathan Coop
Assistant Professor in Biology and Environment & Sustainability
B.A., Biology, University of California–Santa Cruz, 1995
Ph.D., Botany, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2005
(970) 943-2565
Office Location: 
Kelly Hall 105
Environment & Sustainability Department
Master in Environmental Management Department
Natural & Environmental Sciences Department

View Dr. Coop's Curriculum Vitae.

Teaching and Research Interests

My teaching and research interests revolve around the ecology, dynamics, conservation, and restoration of plant communities and landscapes in the southern Rocky Mountains. I teach introductory and advanced courses in biology and environmental studies and lead many field trips to wild places near and far. I work with undergraduates in Biology and ENVS, and graduate students in the Master of Enviromental Management Program, to explore how disturbance regimes, climate, and spatially-structured abiotic gradients interact to shape diversity, community composition, and landscape dynamics; human influences on ecological systems; and management for a future of certain change but of a less than certain direction and magnitude. 
Recent research topics include:

  • Wildfire and climate-driven conversions of southwestern ponderosa pine and mixed conifer forests to alternate, non-forested states.
  • The role of forest residuals and refugina in maintaining species and promoting forest recovery fallowing fire.
  • Prescribed fire as a tool for increasing forest resistance to subsequent fire.
  • Impacts of fuel reduction treatments on ecological communities, fuels, and modeled wildfire behavior in pinyon-juniper woodlands.
  • Dendroecology and historical dynamics of sagebrush in the Upper Gunnison Basin.
  • Historical dynamics of aspen forests on Colorado's western slope.
  • Riparian restoration in the Valles Caldera Natinoial Preserve.

Beyond these topics, graduate students working with me in the MEM program have the opportunity to develop research and applied projects of that reflect their own interests and professional aspirations. Recent examples of these include some of the following subjects:

  • Potential impacts of ski area expansion on snowshoe hare and Canada lynx habitat in Colorado.
  • Effects of high-severity wildfire on woody debris and ground-dwelling arthropod assemblages.
  • Potential impacts of climate change on recreational impacts to alpine landscapes and Colorado 14ers.
  • Development of local food systems and sustainable agriculture in the Gunnison Valley.

Courses Taught

Applied Environmental Studies, Ecology, Environmental Biology, Environmental Biology Lab, Environmental Monitoring, Forest Ecology, Natural History of the Gunnison Basin, Rocky Mountain Flora, Rocky Mountain Natural History, Science of Sustainability and Resilience, Watersheds of the World, and senior seminars in Biogeography, Ethnobotany, Fire Ecology, Forest Dynamics, and Landscape Ecology.

Recent Publications

Coop, J. D., Parks, S. A., McClernan S. R., & Holsinger, L. M. 2016. Influences of prior wildfires on vegetation response to subsequent fire in a reburned southwestern landscape. 
Ecological Applications 26:346-354

Whitman E., Batllori, E., Parisien, M.A., Miller, C., Coop, J.D., Krawchuk, M.A., Chong, G.W. and Haire, S.L., 2015. The climate space of fire regimes in north-western North America.
Journal of Biogeography 42:1736-1749.

Coop, J.D., Barker, K.J., Knight, A.D., and J.S. Pecharich.  2014.  Aspen (Populus tremuloides) stand dynamics and understory plant community changes over 46 years near Crested Butte, Colorado, USA.  Forest Ecology and Management 318: 1-12

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