Seth Munson is an ecologist with the Southwest Biological Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona. His research focuses on plant-soil interactions in dryland ecosystems and how these interactions are affected by climate and land use changes.
Much of Seth's research aims to understand the dynamics of dryland ecosystems at long temporal and broad spatial scales, and employs a multidisciplinary approach. His work seeks to improve the management of arid and semi-arid lands, including determining effective ecological restoration strategies, and is done in close collaboration with several land management agencies.
Check the Science Tab for a List of Current Research Projects.
Plant Ecology, Ecosystem Ecology, Dryland Ecology, Restoration Ecology, Soil Erosion
Research Ecologist, US Geological Survey, Southwest Biological Science Center, Flagstaff, AZ
Adjunct Faculty, Northern Arizona University, Department of Biological Sciences, Flagstaff, AZ
Adjunct Faculty, Arizona State University, School of Life Sciences, Phoenix, AZ
Jan 2011 - Dec 2013; Research Ecologist (Mendenhall Fellow), US Geological Survey, Geology and Environmental Change Science Center, Denver, CO
Dec 2008 - Jan 2011; Ecologist, US Geological Survey, Canyonlands Research Station, Moab, Utah
May 2004 - Nov 2008; Research Assistant, Colorado State University, Forest and Rangeland Stewardship, Fort Collins, CO
Sep 2002 – May 2004; Research Associate, University of New Mexico, Biology Department, Albuquerque, NM
Education and Certifications
Ph.D. Ecology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, May 2009
B.A. Biology, Earlham College, Richmond, IN, May 2001
Science and Products
Science and Products
Pre-USGS PublicationsBontti, E.E., J.P. DeCant, S.M. Munson, M.A. Gathany, A. Przeszlowska, M.L. Haddix, S. Owens, I.C. Burke, W.J. Parton, and M.E. Harmon. 2009. Litter decomposition in grasslands of Central North America (US Great Plains). Global Change Biology 15: 1356–1363.Munson, S.M. and W.K. Lauenroth. 2009. Plant population and community responses to removal of the dominant species in the shortgrass steppe. Journal of Vegetation Science 20: 224–232.Munson, S.M. and W.K. Lauenroth. 2012. Plant community recovery following restoration in semiarid grasslands. Restoration Ecology 20: 656–663.Munson, S.M., W.K. Lauenroth, and I.C. Burke. 2012. Soil carbon and nitrogen recovery on semiarid Conservation Reserve Program lands. Journal of Arid Environments 79: 25–31Munson, S.M. 2013. Plant responses, climate pivot points, and tradeoffs in water-limited ecosystems. Ecosphere 4: 109.Li, J., G.S. Okin, J.E. Herrick, J. Belnap, S.M. Munson, and M.E. Miller. 2010. A simple method to estimate threshold friction velocity of wind erosion in the field. Geophysical Research Letters 37: L10402.