Norman L. Christensen

Norman L. Christensen

Professor Emeritus in the Division of Environmental Sciences & Policy

Christensen's research focuses on the effects of disturbance on structure and function of populations, communities and ecosystems. On going studies include an analysis of patterns of forest development following cropland abandonment as these are affected by environment, stand history and plant demographic patterns. He and his students are pursuing comparative studies of ecosystem responses to varying fire regimes across temperate North America. He is conducting research on the utilization of remote sensing systems such as synthetic aperture radar to evaluate long-term changes in forest ecosystems. In addition to these interests in basic ecological science, Christensen has written widely on the importance of natural disturbance in the management of forests, shrublands, and wetlands. He is interested in the application of basic ecological theory and models to management, and has collaborated with others in the development of the concept of ecosystem management.

In The News


Smart, LS, Swenson, JJ, Christensen, NL, and Sexton, JO. "Three-dimensional characterization of pine forest type and red-cockaded woodpecker habitat by small-footprint, discrete-return lidar." Forest Ecology and Management 281 (2012): 100-110.
Jr, NLC. "The road to sustainable development and conservation." Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 9, no. 2 (2011): 134-135.
Karanth, KK, Nichols, JD, Karanth, KU, Hines, JE, and Christensen, NL. "The shrinking ark: patterns of large mammal extinctions in India." Proc Biol Sci 277, no. 1690 (July 7, 2010): 1971-1979.
Fesenmyer, KA, and Christensen, NL. "Reconstructing Holocene fire history in a southern Appalachian forest using soil charcoal." Ecology 91, no. 3 (March 2010): 662-670.
Conde, DA, Colchero, F, Zarza, H, Christensen, NL, Sexton, JO, Manterola, C, Chávez, C, Rivera, A, Azuara, D, and Ceballos, G. "Sex matters: Modeling male and female habitat differences for jaguar conservation." Biological Conservation 143, no. 9 (2010): 1980-1988.

Contact Information

Box 90329
Durham, NC 27708-0329
Durham, NC 27708


Ph.D., University of California at Santa Barbara (1973)
M.A., California State University at Fresno (1970)
B.A., California State University at Fresno (1968)