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Dr. Julie Korb

Dr. Julie Korb
Professor of Biology


  • Fire ecology
  • Post-wildfire ecology
  • Forest ecology
  • Forest restoration
  • Restoration ecology
  • Plant community ecology
  • Climate change impacts
  • Phenology


  • Ph.D., Forest Science, Northern Arizona University, 2001
  • Master of Science, Field Studies, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1997
  • Bachelor of Arts, Physical Geography, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1994


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Dr. Julie Korb is available to comment on topics related to areas of interest or expertise. If you need further assistance, contact Public Affairs at 970-247-7401 or by email.

About Dr. Julie Korb

Julie Korb is a professor in the Department of Biology at Fort Lewis College. She joined the college in 2002. She is a fire and forest ecologist, studying the ecological ramifications of climate change, forest restoration, the effects of growing season warming on plant species interactions and other related areas. Currently, Dr. Korb is investigating the effects of restoration treatments in warm, dry-mixed conifer on ecological attributes (with the Ecological Restoration Institute at Northern Arizona University). She also consults with various community partners, including the San Juan National Forest, where she is monitoring vegetation impacted by the Missionary Ridge Fire and quantifying changes in the ecological structure of pure aspen stands with different levels of Sudden Aspen Decline and stands that have received fire treatments, both programs which she helped design.

Dr. Korb involves Fort Lewis students in all of her research with agencies and organizations and has directed numerous independent research projects that have resulted in students publishing and/or presenting their work at national and regional conferences. She is the co-director of the Ecology Field School at Fort Lewis, a four-week, project-based course in which students study plant and animal communities and techniques of environmental monitoring. Outside of Fort Lewis, Dr. Korb teaches fire science to personnel from the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. She has been an invited speaker for various professional associations, community organizations and other institutions, presenting on topics such as forest management, fire ecology, native plants in the San Juan Mountains and the subalpine, and research experiences for undergraduate students. Dr. Korb is the faculty advisor for the FLC chapter of Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity and Sustainability (SEEDS).

Dr. Korb was the 2009-2010 Fort Lewis College Featured Scholar. She received the 2014 Distinguished Alumnus Award from Northern Arizona University’s School of Forestry and the 2014 La Plata County Adult Role Model Award. Dr. Korb is a member of several professional associations, including the Society for American Foresters, the Association for Fire Ecology and the Ecological Society of America, and she is a manuscript reviewer for numerous journals, including Forest Ecology and Management, International Journal of Wildland Fire, Canadian Journal of Forest Research and Journal of Applied Ecology

Selected publications and presentations

“5-year post-restoration treatment conditions and simulated forest trajectories under alternative climate scenarios in a southwestern warm/dry mixed-conifer forest,” Forest Ecology and Management, 2015

“Plant community responses to the coupled effects of dust on snow and warming in alpine environments, southwestern Colorado,” The Colorado Plateau, University of Arizona Press, 2015

“The effect of sudden aspen decline on understory microclimate and vegetation, southwestern Colorado, USA. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 2014

“Variability of warm/dry mixed conifer forests in southwestern Colorado, USA: implications for ecological restoration. Forest Ecology and Management, 2013

“The interplay of plant and animal disease in a changing landscape: the role of Sudden Aspen Decline in moderating Sin Nombre Virus prevalence in natural deer mice populations,” EcoHealth, 2012 

In the news

The Association for Fire Ecology certified Professor of Biology Julie Korb as an AFE Senior Wildland Fire Ecologist for her education, training, and experience. [1/9/19]

Professor of Biology Julie Korb urged southwestern Coloradoans to change their perspective on wildfires and “manage fire for the type we want.” [9/26/18]

Professor of Biology Julie Korb and several of her present and former students are spending the summer researching how controlled burns and forest thinning improve forest health in the San Juan National Forest. [8/1/18]

Biology professors Heidi Steltzer and Julie Korb discussed the potential for longer and more devasting fire seasons in the West with Yale Climate Connections. [7/18/18]