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Research Groups

Our group focuses on social and economic impacts of environmental change, and on the economics of rural development in Africa.

The Caldeira Lab conducts research to try to improve the science base needed to allow human civilization to develop while protecting our environmental endowment.

Our research interests span a range of topics including the scientific basis for water resources management, hydroecology / ecohydrology, surface - groundwater interactions, groundwater allocation policy, fluid flow and solute transport processes, innovative simulation techniques, and cutting-edge technologies in hydrogeophysics and remote sensing in hydrology.

The Jackson lab examines the different ways that people affect the Earth. We seek to produce the building blocks of basic scientific knowledge and to use that knowledge to guide policy solutions for global warming, energy extraction, and other environmental issues. We're currently examining the effects of climate change and droughts on forest mortality and grassland ecosystems. Recently we've also published the first studies looking at fracking and drinking water quality and mapped thousands of natural gas leaks across cities such as Boston and Washington, D.C.

Our group studies biogeochemical and ecological processes in forest and agricultural systems. In particular, much of our research focuses on the effects of land use change and other human caused changes on biogeochemical processes and trace gas exchanges in tropical ecosystems. In the past, most of our work was at the interface between terrestrial ecology, soil science and atmospheric science.

The Vitousek Group and colleagues carry out research related to nutrient cycling, most notably nitrogen and phosphorus, throughout the range of environments and ecosystems. The Hawaiian Islands are the focus of the majority of studies. Our group has looked at nutrient dynamics in the soil profile, litter, native forest ecosystems, forest and grassland systems affected by invasive species and agricultural systems. Studies have documented how an invasive grass has changed the fire frequency and suppressed the ability of the native forest to return.