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Paulette L. Ford Ph.D.

Current research is a comprehensive program focused on the long-term effects of disturbance (drought, disease, fire) on shortgrass steppe and desert grasslands, and pinyon-juniper woodlands. The studies are aimed at understanding how these unique and important systems function in the face of changing disturbance patterns and climate including large and devastating wildfires. Main studies include: (1) landscape-scale patterns of fire and drought in the Great Plains; (2) long-term experimental research on the effects of season and frequency of fire in shortgrass steppe in the southern Great Plains and Chihuahuan Desert grassland; (3) state-transition simulation modeling as a decision support tool for southern Great Plains managers; (4) long-term carbon dynamics in aridland ecosystems; and (5) global-change-type drought in piñon-juniper woodland ecosystems in the American Southwest.


  • Research Ecologist


USDA - Forest Service


333 Broadway SE, Suite 115
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102
United States

Phone Number



Focus Area

  • Research interests focus on the role of disturbance, (i.e., fire, drought, infestations, pathogens), in structuring grassland, desert, and woodland communities; and ecosystem resilience.