Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory

Carolyn Livensperger

Carolyn received her B.S. in Environmental Science from SUNY Plattsburgh in 2008 and proceeded to work her way around the country as a field biologist in New York, New Mexico, Colorado and Alaska. She began a M.S. in Ecology at CSU in 2012, and is researching how Arctic plants are altering their phenology and growth patterns as climate changes. 


Arctic Plant Response to Altered Seasonality
In the Arctic, climate change is causing alterations in seasonality through warmer temperatures, earlier snowmelt, and later snowfall. Arctic plant growth is strongly controlled by abiotic factors and is therefore sensitive to the ongoing changes in seasonality. Changes in plant phenology and production will impact many aspects of ecosystem function, including carbon storage and cycling, the surface energy balance and its feedback to climate, and trophic interactions between plants and herbivores. I used an existing experiment at Imnavait Creek, Alaska to ask questions about how different species respond to altered seasonality. Which plant species increase production as temperatures rise? Are changes in production related to a phenological shift? How does differential response between species affect the timing and length of the growing season?

Check out some photos from my summer on the North Slope!



PolygonumToolik Field Stationtoolik labVaccinium flowering

Matthew David Wallenstein, PhD

Natural Resource Ecology Lab, B258
Colorado State University
1499 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins CO, 80523-1499
(970) 491 - 1623