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Mike Duniway, Ph.D.

Dr. Michael (Mike) Duniway is a soil scientist focused on soils and soil processes in dryland ecosystems and the interactions between environmental and land-use drivers, vegetation, soils, and geomorphology. His areas of focus include restoration, ecohydrology, effects of land-use (grazing, energy, and recreation), dust production, plant-soil feedbacks, and soil mapping and interpretations.

Brief Research Description: In his research and outreach activities, Dr. Duniway seeks to provide information for land managers and owners to facilitate sustainable land-use activities.  He works closely with federal agencies partners (BLM, NPS, NRCS, USFWS, and others) in designing research studies, conducting technology transfer, and outreach activities.  Some primary current research focuses include understanding impacts of drought on Colorado Plateau landscapes, evaluating recovery of oil and gas pads on the Colorado Plateau and opportunities for improved restoration practices, developing novel restoration techniques for highly disturbed lands using biological soil crusts and physical barriers, and basic research into the importance of soils for dryland ecosystem processes. 

  • Learn about our dryland climate and land use change studies


  • B.S., 1994 — Environmental Resource Science, University of California, Davis, CA
  • Ph.D., 2006 — Agronomy (Soil Science), New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM

Research and Professional Experience

  • 2011-Present:  Research Ecologist, USGS SBSC, Moab, UT
  • 2010-2011:  Research Soil Scientist, USDA ARS Jornada, Las Cruces, NM
  • 2006-2010:  Research Soil Scientist (post doc), USDA ARS Jornada, Las Cruces, NM
  • 2012-Present:  Adjunct Faculty, USU, Logan, UT
  • 2007-Present:  Adjunct Faculty, NMSU, Las Cruces, NM

For more information, please reference online:

  • My google scholar page (Michael C. Duniway)
  • The Canyonlands Research Center

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