Donald Falk

Professor; Chair, Global Ecology & Management

Affiliated Faculty; Arizona Institutes for Resilience

Watershed Management and Ecohydrology

Don Falk is a Professor in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona, with joint appointments in the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research and the Arizona Institutes for Resilience. He holds degrees from Oberlin College, Tufts University, and the University of Arizona, where he received his PhD in 2004. His research focuses on resilience ecology, fire history, fire ecology, global change ecology, ecological restoration, and ecosystem resilience in a changing world. Falk has been a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) since 1991. He has also received the Fulbright Short-Term Scholar award, the Ecological Society of America’s Deevey Award for outstanding graduate work in paleoecology, the William McGinnies Fellowship, Pinchot Institute Conservation Scholarship, and a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant. Award recognitions by his colleagues in the School include Outstanding Faculty Member, Scholarly Achievement, and Course (Introduction to Wildland Fire). In 2015, Falk represented the University as a Research Delegate to the COP21-UNFCCC climate summit in Paris. Falk is the author of more than more than 150 publications including five co-edited books in rare plant genetics and conservation, restoration ecology, and fire ecology. He is a member of the Editorial Board for the SER-Island Press series, Science and Practice of Restoration Ecology, the Executive Board of the Southwest Fire Science Consortium, and serves as science lead for the FireScape initiative in the Arizona Sky Islands. Falk is Chair of the Global Change Ecology and Management degree option in the UA School of Natural Resources and the Environment, and the University of Arizona Minor in Climate Change and Society, launched in 2021. In addition to Introduction to Wildland Fire, Falk teaches Restoration Ecology (with J Fehmi) and The Climate Crisis and How to Solve It (Honors College). He is a member of the SNRE Inclusive Excellence Committee. Prior to coming to the University of Arizona, Falk was co-founder and Executive Director of the Center for Plant Conservation, and a founding Board member and first Executive Director of the Society for Ecological Restoration. Don is married to botanist Mima Falk and has two daughters. He grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and is the son of Leslie and Joy Hume Falk.


Research areas include resilience ecology, fire history, fire ecology, restoration ecology, landscape ecology, and impacts of land management and global change on ecosystems, including dynamics of abrupt change.


I teach courses in wildland fire science, fire ecology, and restoration ecology, including climate solutions and ecological impacts of global change.


  • PhD, 2004, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
  • MA, 1980, Tufts University, Medford, MA
  • BA, 1972, Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH