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Carolyn H. Sieg

Carolyn H. Sieg
Research Plant Ecologist
Forest and Woodland Ecosystems
2500 South Pine Knoll Drive
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
United States
Current Research
Plant community and fuels changes through time following severe wildfires and how spatial patterns in forests and regeneration are altered by such disturbances and subsequent management actions. Currently using physics-based fire behavior models to explore effects of disturbances such as bark beetle outbreaks and management practices on fire spread.
Past Research

Past research focused on northern Great Plains ecosystems and explored the role of natural processes such as fire in shaping ecosystems, and developing management options for introducing these processes into altered systems without severe impacts such as enhancing populations of exotic plant species. I also have extensive research experience with rare plants such as the federally listed western prairie fringed orchid.

Research Interest

I am interested in exploring interacting natural disturbances such as fires following bark beetles, or fires following fires.  I particularly enjoy working in interdisciplinary research teams, even though it can be challenging!

Why This Research Is Important
Changing disturbance regimes, introduction of exotic species, and rarity of some native species in Western Forests present challenges for land managers. We need a better understanding of how to manage forests impacted by severe wildfires, whether beetle-infested areas present serious fire threats, and strategies for lessening the impact of exotic invasive species.
  • Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Ph.D., Range and Wildlife Management (Fire Ecology), 1991
  • Colorado State University, Fort Collins, M.S., Rangeland Ecology, 1981
  • Colorado State University, Fort Collins, B.S., Wildlife Biology, 1975
Professional Organizations
  • Editorial Advisory Board,  Forest Ecology and Management,  2014 - Current
  • Subject Matter Editor,  Ecological Society of America,  2012 - Current
  • Associate Editor,  Association for Fire Ecology,  2007 - Current
  • Adjunct Faculty,  Northern Arizona University,  2001 - Current
  • Associate Editor, Chair Of Associate Editors For 2 Years,  Journal of Range Management/Rangeland Ecology and Management,  2001 - 2006
  • Adjunct Faculty,  Colorado State University,  1995 - 2006
  • Adjunct Faculty,  North Dakota State University,  1996 - 2003
  • Adjunct Faculty,  University of Wyoming,  1998 - 2001
  • Adjunct Faculty,  South Dakota State University,  1985 - 1988
Awards & Recognition
  • Certificate of Appreciation, 2010
    Customer Appreciation (Rocky Mountain Research Station)
  • Fellow Award--Society of Range Management, 2007
    For recognition of exceptional service to the Society and its programs in advancing the science and art of range-related resource management.
  • US Forest Service Research and Development , 2005
    For contributions to the development of the USDA Forest Service Interim Update of the RPA Assessment, including the biodiversity components
  • Top Hand Award--South Dakota Section of the Society for Range Management, 2001
    For outstanding contribution to the South Dakota section and parent organization.
  • Charles E. Bessey Award, 2000
    For outstanding regional scholarship and best natural science article. Awarded by The Center for Great Plains Studies for the paper: Recent biodiversity patterns in the Great Basin: implications for restoration and management.
  • Wildlife Professional of the year, 1999
    For year 1999
  • US Forest Service Research and Development, 1997
    For outstanding contribution to the Forest Service Research and Development strategic planning effort (U.S.Forest Service Research and Development).
  • US Forest Service Chief's Award, 1995
    Unit award for exceptional leadership, committment, and accomplishments in the conservation and recovery of threatened, endangered, and sensitive species
Featured Publications
Other Publications
Research Highlights

Remnant Old-growth Ponderosa Pine Forests Provide Insights on Spatial Patterns

Year: 2019
Researchers are increasingly recognizing that ponderosa pine forests naturally occur in clumps of trees with isolated single trees in a matrix of non-forested openings. This spatial pattern is important in sustaining ecological processes such as fire spread, tree growth and regeneration, and creates...

Bark Beetles and Wildfires: New Tools Provide Insights

Year: 2016
Bark beetles have affected millions of acres of western forests and sometimes contribute to highly unpredictable fire behavior. Two new models improve understanding of bark beetle effects on fire behavior.

Insects Associated with Fire-injured Ponderosa Pine

Year: 2016
Forest Service scientists examined various aspects of the interaction between fire injury and subsequent insect infestations. Different types of fire injury and tree characteristics, such as the extent of bark damage, crown injury, and tree size, were correlated to infestations by different bark bee...

Spatial patterns of ponderosa pine regeneration in high-severity burn patches

Year: 2017
Over the past three decades, wildfires in Southwestern United States ponderosa pine forests have increased in size and severity, leaving large patches of tree mortality. Ponderosa pine evolved under fire regimes dominated by low- to moderate-severity wildfires, and they are poorly adapted to regener...