Rodney A. Chimner

Rodney A. Chimner
"We are what we imagine ourselves to be."
—Kurt Vonnegut, Jr


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  • Professor, SFRES
  • PhD, Ecology, Colorado State University
  • MS, Forest Hydrology, Michigan State University
  • BS, Earth Science, Northern Michigan University
  • AA, Philosophy, Kellogg Community College


Michigan Tech is superbly located in an area of high wetland abundance and diversity, facilitating both research and instruction. The proximity and diversity of wetlands is what allows the Wetlands class (FW4220) to spend three hours a week in the lab portion of the class getting dirty, wet and obtaining hands on experience. As an applied ecologist, I feel that the experiential learning is crucial to supplement traditional classroom learning.

My research areas focus on wetland ecosystem science, ecohydrology and wetland restoration. My main goal is to develop ecosystem knowledge of wetlands and use that knowledge to: 1) understand how they will be affected by climate change and other perturbations, 2) improve management and conservation of wetlands and 3) restore disturbed wetlands. I am also interested in some basic wetland science questions, such as, how do tropical peatlands form and function in comparison with cooler climate peatlands? Some of the projects that I am currently working on include: long-term assessment and restoration of mountain fens in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado: wetland restoration in the UP of Michigan: influence of temperature and water table changes on peatland carbon cycling: and the influence of grazing on wetland carbon cycling in Patagonia.

Areas of Expertise

  • Peatland and wetland restoration
  • Peatland and wetland carbon cycling
  • Mountain wetlands
  • Tropical peatlands
  • Ecosystem carbon cycling
  • Wetland ecohydrology