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Wrong Lisa Floyd-Hanna?

Dr. Lisa Floyd-Hanna

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Background Information

Employment History


Prescott College

Plant Scientist

Prescott College

Professor and Chair of Environmental Studies

Prescott College


Board Member
Presidents and Human Ecology Review Editorial



Evolutionary Biology

University of Colorado



University of Hawaii

Environmental Studies Program

Prescott College

Web References (23 Total References)

Landscape: Views From Within - Playa [cached]

Lisa Floyd-Hanna, botanist, & David Hanna, environmental science (AZ)

Lisa Floyd-Hanna is an ecologist whose work in pinon-juniper woodlands focuses on fire history and post-fire responses to a changing climate. Dry, hot summers, beetle infestations and invasive plants have altered the scope of the western landscape, and she and colleagues are attempting to sort out some of the effects mediated by these changes in the Four Corners region and in Dinosaur National Park. Lisa studied at University of Hawaii (M.S. Botany) and University of Colorado (Ph.D. Evolutionary Biology) and for the last 22 years has been a professor at Prescott College in the Environmental Studies Program. Her recent publications regarding fire, grazing, beetles, and restoration include: "Revisiting Trends in Vegetation Recovery Following Protection from Grazing, Chaco Culture National Park,New Mexico" in: The Colorado Plateau V: Research, environmental planning, and management for collaborative conservation, University of Arizona Press; "Ecological Restoration Priorities and Opportunities in Piñon-Juniper Woodlands" Ecological Restoration 30 (1):37-49; "Relationship of stand characteristics to drought-induced mortality in piñon-juniper woodlands in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. Ecological Applications 19(5):1223-1230.

Summit Daily News for Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper and Frisco Colorado - News [cached]

Plant scientist Lisa Floyd-Hanna of Prescott College, Prescott, Ariz., said global warming is a factor.

"While we have had droughts of this magnitude before, they have never been coupled with such high temperatures," said she during a meeting scientists and managers."Even seemingly small changes in temperatures have had devastating effect on our vegetation."
Floyd-Hanna said temperatures, on average, were three degrees warmer during the 2002-2003 period than during the last major drought, 1953-1956.

University Press of Colorado - Ancient Piñon-Juniper Woodlands - Product Details [cached]

M. Lisa Floyd is professor and chair of environmental studies at Prescott College in Arizona.

Society for Human Ecology [cached]

Lisa Floyd-Hanna - Prescott College - Arizona

Printer-friendly article page [cached]

Lisa Floyd started researching piñon pine and juniper at the historic park in 1989 for her doctoral dissertation at the University of Colorado.She is now a professor at Prescott College in Arizona.Over nearly two decades, she focused on how fire and drought affect the trees.Her past conclusions have startled some, she said, and her latest are frightening.

People called her study showing piñon and juniper stands have a 400-year cycle "the craziest thing we've ever heard," she said, because they expected it to be much shorter.A fire cycle is defined as the time it takes for a whole area to burn, generally with several fires.
Recently she developed a simulation model that suggests the 400-year cycle may drop to a 45-year cycle that will prevent new piñon and juniper plants from growing once fire burns them.
Floyd has watched fire whittle away Mesa Verde's old growth forest, with major burns occurring in 1996, 2000, 2002 and 2003.Though many worried the frequency of the fires was the beginning of a new pattern, her studies showed otherwise.
However, Floyd spotted an unusual aftermath: An invasive plant called cheatgrass rapidly sprouted wherever fire razed the piñon-juniper woodlands.
"It's making a march all through Colorado," Floyd said.
Floyd described cheatgrass as a fine fuel that lights and spreads easily, fanning fires.That's a problem, she said, because it increases the likelihood of fires and gives piñon pine and juniper less opportunity to regrow after a fire.
Floyd did point out that her predictions were a model, not a fact.
"It's a good tool, but it can be wrong," she said.

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