Dr. Daniel Druckenbrod received his Ph.D. in environmental sciences from the University of Virginia in 2003 and currently holds the rank of Professor of Environmental Sciences. Before joining the department in 2009, Dan was an Instructor of Biology at Sweet Briar College in 2001, a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Environmental Sciences Division of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory from 2003 to 2005, and an Assistant Professor of Environmental Sciences at Longwood University from 2005 to 2009. Dan uses tree rings, computer models, historical documents, and geographic information systems (GIS) to study how forests and their environments change over decades to centuries. His projects include studies of forests at historical sites, including George Washington’s Mount Vernon Plantation and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello Plantation. He is also researching the historical connection between Rider University's woods and Aldo Leopold during his time in Lawrenceville over a century ago. Dan has collaborated with other scientists on a National Science Foundation grant to study the growth and water use of eastern deciduous forests in response to acid rain and climate change. He is currently collaborating on a National Science Foundation grant investigating past climate change from tree rings across Australia and southeast Asia. Dan also encourages students to participate in his research or to develop research projects on environmental sciences topics. Previous student projects have led to presentations at regional and national scientific conferences. Dan previously served as the Director of Rider's Sustainability Studies Program from 2012 to 2021 and the Chair of the Department of Geological, Environmental, and Marine Sciences from 2021 to 2022.
Primary Teaching Responsibilities
- Introduction to Environmental Sciences
- Weather and Climate Change
- Environmental Biogeochemistry
- Introductory Oceanography Lab
- Earth Materials and Processes Lab
- General Ecology
Selected Publication Titles and Sources
- Rediscovering Aldo Leopold’s Big Woods. New Jersey Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal.
- Detection and removal of disturbance trends in tree-ring series for dendroclimatology. Canadian Journal of Forest Research.
- A comparison of times series approaches for dendroecological reconstructions of past canopy disturbance events. Forest Ecology and Management.
- The overlooked terrestrial impacts of mountaintop mining. BioScience.
- Experimental response of understory plants to mechanized disturbance in an oak-pine forest. Ecological Indicators.
- Investigating habitat value to inform contaminant remediation options. Journal of Environmental Management.
- Comparing current and desired ecological conditions in the Cumberland Plateau and Mountains, USA. Journal of Land Use Science.
- Geomorphic response to historical agriculture at Monument Hill in the Blue Ridge Foothills of Central Virginia, Catena.
- Dendroecological reconstruction of forest disturbance history using time series analysis with intervention detection. Canadian Journal of Forest Research.
- Spatial pattern and process in forest stands within the Virginia Piedmont. Journal of Vegetation Science.