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Dr. Winslow D. Hansen

Forest Ecologist | PhD, University of Wisconsin, Madison

forest ecology, social-ecological resilience, natural disturbance

External site: | Profile (pdf)

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Forests influence climate and sustain life globally. Trees sequester carbon emissions that cause climate warming, support much of the planet’s biodiversity, and provide essential services such as fuel, food, and clean water and air. Due to climate change, increasing disturbances, and deforestation, many forests are threatened. Winslow Hansen works to understand where and why forests are at risk, and how we can avoid catastrophic losses.

Hansen uses experiments and field observation to reveal how forests are responding to environmental change. He is also developing novel techniques that integrate remote sensing and computer simulations to model forest response – scaling from individual trees up to entire biomes. Together, these complementary approaches paint a picture of current and future forest health across backyards, watersheds, and the planet.

This science is relevant to managers and policy makers tasked with stewarding forests during a time of profound change. Hansen often brings stakeholders into his research process so that results are immediately injected into decision making. For instance, Hansen worked with managers at Grand Teton National Park to evaluate whether different management strategies might reduce wildfire risk to people and help conserve some of America’s last remaining wildlands. Hansen is building on this work to determine where people and forests may be most threatened by fires across the western United States, including California.

Canham, Charles D., L Murphy, and Winslow D. Hansen. 2024. “Successional Dynamics Of Carbon Sequestration In Forests Of The Eastern United States”. Ecosphere 15 (4). Wiley. doi:10.1002/ecs2.4838.
Walker, Xanthe J., Sarah Hart, Winslow D. Hansen, Mélanie Jean, Carissa D. Brown, Stuart Chapin, Rebecca Hewitt, Teresa N. Hollingsworth, Michelle C. Mack, and Jill F. Johnstone. 2024. “Factors Limiting The Potential Range Expansion Of Lodgepole Pine In Interior Alaska”. Ecological Applications. Wiley. doi:10.1002/eap.2983.
Daum, KL, Winslow D. Hansen, J Gellman, AJ Plantinga, C Jones, and AT Trugman. (MAR) 2024. “Do Vegetation Fuel Reduction Treatments Alter Forest Fire Severity And Carbon Stability In California Forests?”. Earths Future 12 (3). doi:10.1029/2023EF003763.
Hansen, Winslow D., A Foster, B Gaglioti, R Seidl, and W Rammer. (APR 13) 2023. “The Permafrost And Organic Layer Module For Forest Models (Pole-Fm) 1.0”. Geoscientific Model Development 16 (7): 2011-2036, . doi:10.5194/gmd-16-2011-2023.
Buch, Jatan, Park Williams, Caroline S. Juang, Winslow D. Hansen, and Pierre Gentine. 2023. “Smlfire1.0: A Stochastic Machine Learning (Sml) Model For Wildfire Activity In The Western United States”. Geoscientific Model Development 16 (12). Copernicus GmbH: 3407-3433. doi:10.5194/gmd-16-3407-2023.
Gill, NS, MG Turner, CD Brown, SI Glassman, SL Haire, Winslow D. Hansen, ER Pansing, SB St Clair, and DF Tomback. 2022. “Limitations To Propagule Dispersal Will Constrain Postfire Recovery Of Plants And Fungi In Western Coniferous Forests”. Bioscience. doi:10.1093/biosci/biab139.
Hansen, Winslow D., Meg A. Krawchuk, Anna T. Trugman, and Park Williams. 2022. “The Dynamic Temperate And Boreal Fire And Forest-Ecosystem Simulator (Dynafforest): Development And Evaluation”. Environmental Modelling &Amp; Software 156. Elsevier BV: 105473. doi:10.1016/j.envsoft.2022.105473.
Hansen, Winslow D., Naomi B Schwartz, Park Williams, Katharina Albrich, Lara M Kueppers, Anja Rammig, Christopher P O Reyer, Carla Staver, and Rupert Seidl. 2022. “Global Forests Are Influenced By The Legacies Of Past Inter-Annual Temperature Variability”. Environmental Research: Ecology 1 (1). IOP Publishing: 011001. doi:10.1088/2752-664x/ac6e4a.
Williams, Park, Ben Livneh, Karen A. McKinnon, Winslow D. Hansen, Justin S. Mankin, Benjamin I. Cook, Jason E. Smerdon, et al. (2022/03/08AD) 2022. “Growing Impact Of Wildfire On Western Us Water Supply”. Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences 119 (10). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: e2114069119+. doi:10.1073/pnas.2114069119.
Abatzoglou, JT, DS Battisti, AP Williams, Winslow D. Hansen, BJ Harvey, and CA Kolden. (NOV 2) 2021. “Projected Increases In Western Us Forest Fire Despite Growing Fuel Constraints”. Communications Earth & Environment 2 (1). doi:10.1038/s43247-021-00299-0.
Rammer, Werner, Kristin H. Braziunas, Winslow D. Hansen, Zak Ratajczak, Anthony L. Westerling, Monica G. Turner, and Rupert Seidl. (2021/09/01AD) 2021. “Widespread Regeneration Failure In Forests Of Greater Yellowstone Under Scenarios Of Future Climate And Fire”. Global Change Biology 27 (18). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: 4339-4351, . doi:
Hansen, Winslow D., Ryan Fitzsimmons, Justin Olnes, and Park Williams. (2021) 2021. “An Alternate Vegetation Type Proves Resilient And Persists For Decades Following Forest Conversion In The North American Boreal Biome”. Journal Of Ecology 109 (1): 85-98. doi:
Turner, Monica, Kristin Braziunas, Winslow D. Hansen, Tyler Hoecker, Werner Rammer, Zak Ratajczak, A. Westerling, and Rupert Seidl. 2021. “The Magnitude, Direction, And Tempo Of Forest Change In Greater Yellowstone In A Warmer World With More Fire”. Ecological Monographs 92. doi:10.1002/ecm.1485.
Abatzoglou, John T., David S. Battisti, Park Williams, Winslow D. Hansen, Brian J. Harvey, and Crystal A. Kolden. 2021. “Projected Increases In Western Us Forest Fire Despite Growing Fuel Constraints”. Communications Earth &Amp; Environment 2 (1). Springer Science and Business Media LLC. doi:10.1038/s43247-021-00299-0.
Hansen, Winslow D., Diane Abendroth, Werner Rammer, Rupert Seidl, and Monica G. Turner. (2020) 2020. “Can Wildland Fire Management Alter 21St-Century Subalpine Fire And Forests In Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, Usa?”. Ecological Applications 30 (2). doi:10.1002/eap.2030.
Hoecker, Tyler J., Winslow D. Hansen, and Monica G. Turner. (2020/12/15/AD) 2020. “Topographic Position Amplifies Consequences Of Short-Interval Stand-Replacing Fires On Postfire Tree Establishment In Subalpine Conifer Forests”. Forest Ecology And Management 478: 118523+. doi:
Albrich, Katharina, Werner Rammer, Monica G. Turner, Zak Ratajczak, Kristin H. Braziunas, Winslow D. Hansen, and Rupert Seidl. (2020) 2020. “Simulating Forest Resilience: A Review”. Global Ecology And Biogeography 29 (12): 2082-2096. doi:
Seidl, Rupert, Juha Honkaniemi, Tuomas Aakala, Alexey Aleinikov, Per Angelstam, Mathieu Bouchard, Yan Boulanger, et al. (2020) 2020. “Globally Consistent Climate Sensitivity Of Natural Disturbances Across Boreal And Temperate Forest Ecosystems”. Ecography 43 (7): 967-978. doi:
Turner, Monica G., Kristin H. Braziunas, Winslow D. Hansen, and Brian J. Harvey. (2019/06/04/AD) 2019. “Short-Interval Severe Fire Erodes The Resilience Of Subalpine Lodgepole Pine Forests”. Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences 116 (23): 11319-11328. doi:
Hansen, Winslow D., and Monica G. Turner. (2019) 2019. “Origins Of Abrupt Change? Postfire Subalpine Conifer Regeneration Declines Nonlinearly With Warming And Drying”. Ecological Monographs 89 (1). doi:
manette sandor
Dr. Manette Sandor - Research Associate

Manette is a community and quantitative ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. Her research is focused on how climate change, management, and  feedbacks influence forest and fire dynamics in the western United  States. Prior  to joining the Cary Institute, Dr. Sandor was a Postdoctoral Fellow at  Columbia University as well as a Visiting Scientist at the American Museum of Natural History in the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation. Before that, she was a Postdoctoral Scholar at Landscape Conservation Initiative at Northern Arizona University (now the Center for Adaptable Western Landscapes).  Her postdoctoral research had two foci: the socioecological  repercussions for changing fire regimes in the Sonoran Desert and  anthropogenic impacts on mutualist interactions (seed dispersal and  pollination). She received her M.Sc. in plant ecology and Ph.D. in  ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Connecticut.

lora murphy
Lora Murphy - Programmer

Lora is a research support professional specializing in data analysis, code writing of all kinds, GIS, and high performance computing applications. In her over 20 years in the field, she has contributed to various projects including the creation of the SORTIE-ND forest model, forecasting climate change effects on forests of the eastern US, modeling light availability in agroforestry applications, and government-sponsored efforts to control forest pathogens in both the US and Canada. She has run code on everything from 10-year-old laptops to national supercomputers.

sara germain
Sara Germain - Postdoctoral Associate

Sara’s research focuses on how mechanisms of individual tree survival scale to community-level forest change, particularly in response to climate and climate-altered disturbance regimes. At the Cary Institute, Sara is collaborating with Winslow Hansen and Charlie Canham to study how these dynamics will influence future carbon storage in forests across the northeastern USA. Sara earned her bachelor's in conservation and restoration ecology, and her PhD in ecology from Utah State University. She has conducted plant community research in acacian woodlands of Kenya, sagebrush steppe of the Rocky Mountains, and old-growth forests all across the western USA. Through an NSF-GRFP, Sara’s dissertation work synthesized data from Smithsonian Forest Global Earth Observatory (ForestGEO) monitoring sites. For this work, Sara examined these longterm field observations to identify 1) key pathways by which conventional methods underestimate the potential for forest loss with climate change, and 2) countervailing mechanisms of facilitation that might be harnessed by managers to prevent forest loss.

jazzlyn hall
Jazlynn Hall - Postdoctoral Associate

Jazlynn is a forest and landscape ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. She studies how disturbances like fire and deforestation influence forest carbon sequestration in the western United States and seeks to identify management solutions for maximizing ecosystem services in current and future forest systems. Before her appointment at the Cary Institute, Jazlynn received her PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology from Columbia University. Her dissertation research drew from principles in ecology, hydrology, and geography to determine the effects of forest disturbance from extreme events on carbon sequestration and streamflow in Puerto Rico. She holds a BS in Geography and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Wyoming. Jazlynn is a reading enthusiast, bourgeoning forager and weekend backpacker.