Image: Science Instructor Richard Boone

Richard Boone is Chair of the Biology & Wildlife Department at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) and Associate Professor of Ecosystem Ecology in the Institute of Arctic Biology, and the Department of Biology and Wildlife. He acquired early training in ecology as a student and later a research assistant at The Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts. He received his A.B. in Biology from Oberlin College, his M.S. in Forest Ecology from Oregon State University, and his Ph.D. in Forest Soils from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His research interests include nitrogen cycling, soil respiration, soil organic matter dynamics, science education, fire ecology, global change biology, and the ecosystem-level consequences of land-use change. Current research addresses dissolved organic carbon dynamics in forest watersheds, the response of soil carbon and nitrogen cycling to fire in the boreal forest, and the use of molecular tools to assess soil biogeochemistry. For over 13 years Boone has been teaching UAF courses in Ecology, Global Change Biology, and Research Design; he received the Outstanding Teacher Award for the Department of Biology & Wildlife in 2007. Boone is an affiliate investigator on the NSF-funded Bonanza Creek Long-term Ecological Research project and actively promoted the development of the Schoolyard LTER program locally and nationally. He was Secretary of the Soil Ecology Section of the Ecological Society of America, served as an Alaska Representative to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and is past President (2005-2006) of the Alaska Chapter of the American Society of Microbiology. He has served on numerous advisory panels including NSF Ecosystems Studies, NSF Geosciences, NASA Carbon Program, NSF Collaborative Research at Undergraduate Institutions, and USDA Forest/Range/Crop/Aquatic Ecosystems. Since 2003 Boone has served on the editorial board of the journal Soil Biology & Biochemistry. He currently represents UAF on the Council for the University of the Arctic (UArctic) and is a member of the Core Curriculum Revision Team for the UArctic Bachelor’s of Circumpolar Studies. Boone was appointed as an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow in 2001 and a National Academies Education Fellow in the Life Sciences in 2007.

Boone is serving as a STEP Science Instructor in 2008, when the featured topic is Earth Science.