Career goals are often inspired by a person’s desire to bring meaning and purpose to their lives, but also the belief in service to something greater than themselves. My career in ecosystem ecology reflects this sentiment and my passion for the environment.
The primary focus of my research has been on dryland systems, both in pristine and highly disturbed or engineered urban and agricultural settings. Drylands are typically limited or co-limited by water and nutrient availability. This makes dryland soils model systems for studying the impacts of shifting climate and changes in nutrient cycling due to invasive species and human nutrient inputs.
I received my Doctor of Philosophy in Biology at Idaho State University in 2017, examining effects of climate and plant community changes on ecosystem water, carbon, and nutrient cycling as part of the Reynolds Creek Critical Zone Observatory. I received my Master of Science in Soil Physics from the Soil and Crop Sciences Department at Colorado State University in 2011, working with engineers to ameliorate salinization of agricultural soils. My Bachelor of Science in Biology at Colorado State University focused on plant population and microbial community ecology.
Although my research is predominately in desert ecosystems and focused on soil hydrological and biogeochemical processes, I have research experience in many different systems and sub-disciplines. My research in Colorado included wetland and alpine plant population ecology. I also examined change in soil physical and hydraulic properties with freeze/thaw cycles and forest fires. In Alaska, I studied the effects of changing climate on plant community composition and losses of dissolved or gaseous carbon at Toolik Lake, part of the Arctic Long-Term Ecological Research site. In Hawaii, I investigated successional changes caused by invasive nitrogen-fixing tree species along a 4.1 million year chronosequence. In a similar study, I examined controls on succession in semi-arid volcanic soils (Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve), contrasting them with previous studies in humid climates.
David P. Huber, Ph.D.
USDA – Agricultural Research Service
800 Park Blvd # 105
Boise, ID 83712
See Huber CV here.