Dr. Brian Young is a forest ecologist addressing questions related to the ecological processes governing the dynamics of forest communities from the leaf to the landscape scale. He completed his B.S. in Biology from Lewis and Clark College in Portland Oregon and his Master’s degree in Biology from University of Alaska Fairbanks, exploring the impact of the eruption of the aspen leaf miner on ecology of aspen trees in the boreal forest of Alaska. He then continued his exploration into forest ecology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks through an examination of the diversity of the boreal forest, its distribution, and impact on ecosystem services during his Ph.D. He continued his research into the drivers of forest dynamics while working with the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station during his postdoctoral work at the University of Minnesota. Over the past five years he has served as an Associate Professor of Natural Science at Landmark College in Putney, Vermont. During this time, besides teaching, he has conducted research exploring the impact of various disturbance regimes on forest regeneration. As a leaf to landscape level forest ecologist, he employs the use and analysis of big data sets and machine learning algorithms to examine a wide range of species and systems. Through all his research endeavors, he has worked and published with undergraduates and graduate level students. In his teaching, he leads student-centered and active-learning courses ranging from Introductory Biology to Environmental Science, Winter Ecology, Forest Ecology, and Sustainability.
Ph.D., Natural Resources and Sustainability, University of Alaska Fairbanks
M.S., Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks
B.S., Biology, Lewis and Clark College
Published Peer-Reviewed Manuscripts, Books, and Reports
Young, B. D., J. Yarie, D. Verbyla, F. Huettmann, F. S. Chapin. 2018. Mapping aboveground biomass of trees using forest inventory data and public environmental variables within the Alaskan boreal forest. In: Humphries, G., Magness, D., Huettman, F. (Eds.) Machine Learning for Ecology and Sustainable Natural Resource Management. Springer Nature Switzerland AG.
Huettmann, F., E.H. Craig, K.A. Herrick, A.P. Baltensperger, G.R.W. Humphries, D.,Lieske, K. Miller, T.C.Mullet, S. Oppel, C. Resendiz, I. Rutzen, M. Schmid, M. K. Suwalg, B. D. Young. 2018. Use of machine learning (ML) for predicting and analyzing ecological and ‘location only’ data: An overview of applications and an outlook. In: Humphries, G., Magness, D., Huettman, F. (Eds.) Machine Learning for Ecology and Sustainable Natural Resource Management. Springer Nature Switzerland AG.
Young, B. D., A.W. D’Amato, C. C. Kern, D. N. Kastendick, and B. J. Palik. 2017. Seven decades of change in forest structure and composition in Pinus resinosa forests in northern Minnesota, USA: comparing managed and unmanaged conditions. For. Ecol. Manage. 395, 92-103.
Young, B. D., J. Yarie, D. Verbyla, F. Hüttmann, K. Herrick, and F.S. Chapin. 2017 Modeling and mapping forest diversity in the boreal forest of interior Alaska. Landscape Ecology. 32, 397.
Allaby, A. C., G.P. Juday, B.D. Young, and J. A. Yarie. 2017. Mixed species growth and development influences effectiveness of white spruce regeneration treatments: 30-year update from a large replicated experiment in boreal Alaska. For. Ecol. Manage. 403, 79-95.
Morimoto, M., G.P. Juday, and B.D. Young. 2017. Clearcutting and site preparation, but not planting, promoted early tree regeneration in boreal Alaska. Forests. 8,12.
Morimoto, M., G.P. Juday, and B.D. Young, 2016. Early tree regeneration is consistent with sustained yield in low-input boreal forest management in Alaska. For. Ecol. Manage. 373, 116-127.
Young, B.D. 2015. Reforestation Modeling. In M. Freeman and J. Durst (Eds.), Alaska Reforestation Standards Review (pp 244-250). Anchorage, AK: Alaska Department of Natural Resources.
Young, B. D. 2013. Forest Land Use Plans for proposed timber sales within the Fairbanks Area. Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry.
Young, B. D. and A. Ogden. 2011. Vulnerability and Adaptive Capacity of Yukon Tree Species to Climate Change: Summary Report. Yukon Government, Department of Environment's Climate Change Secretariat, Forestry technical report.
Young, B. D., J. Liang, and F.S. Chapin. 2011. Effects of Species and Structural Diversity on Recruitment in the Alaska Boreal Forest: A Geospatial Approach. For. Ecol. Mange. 262(8): 1608-1617.
Young, B. D., D. Wagner, P. Doak, and T. P. Clausen. 2010. Within-plant distribution of phenolic glycosides and extrafloral nectaries in trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides). Am. J. Bot. 97(4): 601-610.
Young, B. D., D. Wagner, P. Doak, and T. P. Clausen. 2010. Induction of phenolic glycosides by quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) leaves in relation to extrafloral nectaries and epidermal leaf mining. J. Chem. Ecol. 36(4): 369–377.
Wagner, D. and B. D. Young. 2014. Induction of aspen chemical defense by leaf mining, tested experimentally in 2006.BNZ-LTER Data Catalog, 2013. Web. 3 Mar. 2014.
Wagner, D. and B. D. Young. 2014. Induction of aspen chemical defense by leaf mining, tested experimentally in 2007. BNZ-LTER Data Catalog, 2013. Web. 3 Mar. 2014.
Wagner, D. and B. D. Young. 2014. Survey of aspen leaf mining and leaf defenses, including foliar phenolic glycosides and extrafloral nectaries. BNZ-LTER Data Catalog, 2012. Web. 3 Mar. 2014.
Refereed Conference Presentations
Young, B. D. and F. Hüttmann. Predicting Time Since Fire from Landscape Level Variables Within the Boreal Forest of Alaska: A Spatial Tobit Modeling Approach. 2018 US-IALE National Convention. Chicago, Il. 2018
Young, B. D., A.W. D’Amato, B. J. Palik, C. C. Kern, and D. N. Kastendick. Seven decades of change in forest structure and composition in Pinus resinosa forests in northern Minnesota, USA: comparing managed and unmanaged conditions. Society of American Foresters 2016 National Convention. Madison, WI. 2016.
Young, B. D. Modeling and mapping forest diversity within the boreal forest of interior Alaska. 2016 US-IALE National Convention. Asheville, NC. 2016
Morimoto, M., G.P. Juday, and B.D. Young. A half-century of harvest, site preparation, and reforestation practices result in successful regeneration in Interior Alaska boreal forest. 2nd Annual Restoring Forests Conference. Lafayette, In. 2014
Young, B.D. Modeling and mapping the forest diversity of interior Alaska at 1-km resolution for current and possible future climate conditions. Society of American Foresters 2012 National Convention. Spokane, WA. 2012.
Bali, A., Butler, A., Dayo, D., Mager, K., Jones, C., Kofinas, G., Maher, K., Marden, B., Powell,J., Snyder, R., Okleasik, T., Weiser, E., and B. D. Young. Partnering with rural communities in the North. Understanding Rapid Environmental and Social Change in the Arctic: Bridging Traditional Knowledge and Interdisciplinary Science across IGERTs. Juneau, AK. 2011.
Young, B.D. and J. Liang. Geospatial effects of species and structural diversity on Alaska forest regeneration. Society of American Foresters 2010 National Convention. Albuquerque, NM, 2010.
Young, B. D., and J. Liang. Species and tree-size diversity influence growth in the boreal forest of Alaska. 2010 Joint Alaska SAF and ANFC annual meeting and symposium. Anchorage, AK, 2010.
Young, B. D., D. Wagner, T. P. Clausen, and P. Doak. Poster. The induction of phenolic glycosides in Populus tremuloides by the aspen leaf miner. 92nd Ecological Society of America Conference. San Jose, CA, 2007.
Young, B.D. Boreal Forest in a time of change. Landmark College Speaker Series. April 11, 2016. Putney, VT. 2016.
Young, B.D. Emerald Ash Borer threat to Ash Trees. Southern Vermont Regional Conservation Commissions Annual Meeting. March 31, 2016. Putney, VT. 2016
Young, B.D. Forest regeneration within commercially harvested stands. Alaska Board of Forestry Meeting November 12, 2013. Fairbanks, AK. 2013.
Student Greenhouse Project: Creating a sanctuary for education and wellbeing.
Landmark College Capital Expense. ($14,000).
PI: B.D. Young. 2017 Communities Caring for Canopy Grant.
Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation. ($2,890).
PI: B.D. Young. 2017 Landmark College Tree Campus USA project.
Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation. ($600).
PIs: B.D. Young and D. Gassaway-Hayward. 2016 Landmark College Tree Campus USA project.
Campuses for Environmental Stewardship. ($4,000).
PIs: P. Alden, D. Gassaway-Hayward, L. Jahn, E Olmstead, A. Stein, and B.D. Young. 2015
Using site and landscape level data to predict diversity in the boreal forest of interior Alaska.
Alaska EPSCoR: Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research NSF award #EPS-0701898.
University of Alaska Fairbanks. ($11,000).
PI: B.D. Young. 2011
The overall goal of my research is to understand the ecological processes governing the dynamics of the botanical aspects of forested communities. I strive to untangle the driving factors of change in natural systems (i.e., endogenous, exogenous or anthropogenic) and to create linkages for the design and implementation of sustainable management.
I hope my research makes a contribution towards a greater understanding of forested ecosystems. I believe that through quantitative analysis and modeling, the dynamic factors that influence forest composition and structure can help in our understanding of the functioning of these vast and botanically rich ecosystems and can lead to adaptation and management strategies. I believe that these goals are ideally suited to the scope of your research program.
My current research interests lie in investigating the effects of botanical diversity on ecosystem function at the stand and landscape scales by using both biological and documental archives (dendrochronology, forest inventory, remote sensing). By focusing on the mechanisms that cause changes in forest botanical diversity through time and across gradients, various forest management scenarios can potentially be evaluated. This field of research is ripe for undergraduate student involvement in that students can be responsible for conducting research, helping to identify conservation priorities using GIS and other analyses, supporting outreach and land protection activities, and coordinating among the collaborators. Collaboration is key to this line of research because its predictions can be improved with more user feedback and through the development of plausible future scenarios. Working with statisticians, economists, sociologists, and various local, state, and federal land management agencies creates an environment in which sustainable solutions can become a reality.