Ecosystem Science

NAU launched the Center for Ecosystem Science and Society (Ecoss) in FY 2014. The center focuses on how ecosystems respond to and shape environmental change.

In 2016, NAU enhanced its widely recognized expertise in environment, water and land management by increasing the diversity of faculty in this area and recruiting researchers from universities across the United States, some of whom are returning to NAU:

·   Environmental physiologist Loren Buck came to NAU from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Dr. Buck has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals. The Buck Laboratory has been awarded more than $20 million in external funding over the past 17 years. Dr. Buck has several ongoing research projects in the United States, Brazil and Argentina; the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) currently fund his work in the areas of organism/environment interactions, biological timing, and endocrine disruption.

·   Ecologist Scott Goetz came to NAU from the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts. Using information derived from satellite imagery, Dr. Goetz conducts research on ecosystem responses to environmental change. His work as principal investigator and co-principal investigator for many projects has earned more than $15 million in research grants from agencies such as NASA, the NSF and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

·   Ecotoxicologist Frank von Hippel, who came to NAU from the University of Alaska Anchorage, studies a spectrum of problems in environmental toxicology in both lab and field settings. Many of Dr. von Hippel’s projects incorporate community-based participatory research with indigenous peoples, including the Yupik communities of St. Lawrence Island and the Qawalangin community of Unalaska Island, Alaska; the Mayan communities at Lake Atitlán, Guatemala; and the Anindilyakwa communities on Groote Island, Australia.