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Kimberly Wickland

Research Ecologist

Contact Info

Short Biography

I lead field and laboratory studies of biogeochemical cycling of carbon and greenhouse gas exchange in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and terrestrial-aquatic carbon linkages. My degrees are in Zoology, with an emphasis on limnology (Miami University, Ohio), and Biology and Geological Sciences, with an emphasis on biogeochemical cycles (MA, PhD - Univ. Colorado-Boulder). I study carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) production, uptake, and emissions from terrestrial and aquatic systems, and the generation and fate of dissolved organic carbon (DOC). My research covers a large range of ecosystems, including wetlands, forest soils, tundra, lakes, streams, and rivers in temperate and northern high latitude regions. Many of my studies focus on the effects of climate change and land use on ecosystem carbon cycling.

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My Science Topics

Science Topic
Ecology and Environmentaquatic ecosystems
Ecology and Environmentecological processes
Ecology and Environmentecosystem functions
Ecology and Environmentecosystems
Ecology and Environmentforests
Ecology and Environmentfreshwater ecosystems
Ecology and Environmenttundras
Ecology and Environmentwetlands
Environmental Issuesland use change
Environmental Issuessurface water quality
Water Resourcessurface water
Water Resourceswater quality

My USGS Science Strategy Areas

Climate Variability & Change

Understanding Ecosystems & Predicting Ecosystems Change

Terrestrial-Aquatic-Atmosphere Exchange of Carbon

Image of Current Focus for Terrestrial-Aquatic-Atmosphere Exchange of Carbon

The broad objective of my research is to determine rates and controls of organic carbon metabolism, and the subsequent generation and emissions of CO2 and CH4 as components of the terrestrial-aquatic-atmospheric exchange of carbon. I quantify the relative importance of intrinsic substrate properties and environmental variables for carbon metabolism, and the impacts of climate change and other disturbances. My specific research objectives include: 1) quantifying the release of CO2, CH4, and DOC from landscapes experiencing permafrost thaw; 2) quantifying rates and controls of the metabolism of terrestrially-derived DOC in freshwater systems of boreal, arctic, and temperate regions, and the dependence on source and chemical character, and 3) quantifying terrestrial-aquatic-atmosphere C exchange in temperate watersheds. Much of my research focuses on boreal and arctic systems, where nearly ˝ of the global soil organic pool resides and is vulnerable to climate change. These studies are part of the USGS Yukon River Basin Project (2001-2013) and the NASA Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE; beginning 2016). My studies of terrestrial-aquatic carbon cycling in temperate regions are part of the USGS Water, Energy, and Biogeochemical Budgets (WEBB) Program, with a primary focus on sites in northern Wisconsin and Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, and part of the USGS LandCarbon Program with a current focus on the Upper Mississippi River (Wisconsin, Minnesota).

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Generation and Delivery of Carbon from Soils to Surface Waters (Alaska; Wisconsin)

Dissolved Organic Carbon Quality, Transport, and Turnover Across Scales and Land Use (Upper Mississippi River Basin, Wisconsin & Minnesota)

Permafrost Thaw and Mercury Dynamics: Impacts on Atmospheric Emissions and Water Quality, and Links to Carbon Cycling (Denali National Park, Alaska)

Release and Fate of Dissolved Organic Carbon and Nitrogen from Thawing Permafrost Soils (Interior Alaska)

 *USGS Press Release for publication on CO2 from ancient permafrost

Effects of Ice Wedge Degradation and Recovery on Carbon Dioxide and Methane Fluxes (Prudhoe Bay, Alaska)


                     My Google Scholar Profile

Contact Information

Kimberly Wickland
3215 Marine St, Bldg 6
Boulder, CO 80309
303-541-3084 - Fax
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