Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

Chelsea Nagy

Research Interests

My background in interdisciplinary studies has guided my research interests to include measures of ecosystem structure and function as products of human-ecosystem interactions. One of my current research projects is looking at the combined effects of invasive grass species and altered fire regimes on carbon storage across U.S. ecosystems. My dissertation examined the influence of land use and management practices on riparian forest structure and composition, secondary forest regrowth, and soil carbon storage in the Brazilian Amazon. I use a combination of geospatial analysis, remote sensing, ecosystem modeling, and field studies in my research. Other recent research projects include the study of 1) global patterns of biomass burning vs. fossil fuel combustion and 2) the role of humans in starting large fires across the U.S. and under what conditions (e.g., biomass, fuel moisture, wind speed) these large fires occurred.  

Current Research

My current research is looking at the combined effects of invasive grass species and altered fire regimes on carbon storage across the U.S. I'm conducting a meta-analysis to compare carbon storage in cheatgrass-invaded vs. native sagebrush ecosystems in the Great Basin.



View Publications

  • Iglesias V; Stavros N; Balch JK; Barrett K; Cobian-Iiguez J; Hester C; Kolden C; Leyk S; Nagy RC; Reid C. (Mar 2022). Fires that matter: Reconceptualizing fire risk to include interactions between humans and the natural environment. Environmental Research Letters. 10.1088/1748-9326/ac5c0c
  • Nagy RC; Balch JK; Bissell EK; Cattau ME; Glenn NF; Halpern BS; Ilangakoon N; Johnson B; Joseph MB; Marconi S. (Dec 2021). Harnessing the NEON data revolution to advance open environmental science with a diverse and data-capable community. Ecosphere , 12(12). 10.1002/ecs2.3833
  • Fusco EJ; Balch JK; Mahood AL; Nagy RC; Syphard AD; Bradley BA. (Nov 2021). The human-grass-fire cycle: how people and invasives co-occur to drive fire regimes. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 10.1002/fee.2432
  • Gill NS; Mahood AL; Meier CL; Muthukrishnan R; Nagy RC; Stricker E; Duffy KA; Petri L; Morisette JT. (Sep 2021). Six central questions about biological invasions to which NEON data science is poised to contribute. Ecosphere , 12(9). 10.1002/ecs2.3728
  • Iglesias V; Braswell AE; Rossi MW; Joseph MB; McShane C; Cattau M; Koontz MJ; McGlinchy J; Nagy RC; Balch J. (Jun 2021). Risky Development: Increasing Exposure to Natural Hazards in the United States. Earths Future|0401 Atmospheric Sciences, 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience, 0502 Environmental Science and Management. 10.1029/2020ef001795
  • Nagy RC; Fusco EJ; Balch JK; Finn JT; Mahood A; Allen JM; Bradley BA. (Oct 2020). A synthesis of the effects of cheatgrass invasion on US Great Basin carbon storage. Journal of Applied Ecology , 58(2), 327-337. 10.1111/1365-2664.13770
  • Balch JK; Nagy RC; Halpern BS. (Feb 2020). NEON is seeding the next revolution in ecology. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment , 18(1), 3-3. 10.1002/fee.2152
  • Fusco, EJ; Finn, JT; Balch, JK; Nagy, RC; Bradley, BA. (Nov 2019). Invasive grasses increase fire occurrence and frequency across US ecoregions. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA , 116(47). 10.1073/pnas.1908253116
  • Joseph, M; Rossi, MW; Mietkiewicz, NP; Mahood, AL; Cattu, ME; St Dents, LA; Nagy, RC; Iglesias, V; Abatzoglou, JT; Balch, JK. (Sep 2019). Spatiotemporal prediction of wildfire size extremes with Bayesian finite sample maxima. ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS , 29(6). 10.1002/eap.1898
  • Nagy, RC, E Fusco, B Bradley, JT Abatzoglou, and J Balch. (Jan 2018). Human-Related Ignitions Increase the Number of Large Wildfires across U.S. Ecoregions. , 1(1). 10.3390/fire1010004
  • Nagy, RC, S Porder, P Brando, EA Davidson, AMES Figueira, C Neill, S Riskin and S Trumbore. (Jan 2018). Soil Carbon Dynamics in Soybean Cropland and Forests in Mato Grosso, Brazil. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-BIOGEOSCIENCES , 123(1). 10.1002/2017JG004269
  • Joseph, M. B., Rossi, M., Mietkiewicz, N. P., Mahood, A. L., Cattau, M. E., St. Denis, L. A., Nagy, R. C., Iglesias, V., Abatzaglou, J., Balch, J. K.. (Jan 2018). Spatiotemporal prediction of wildfire extremes with Bayesian finite sample maxima. , 384115. 10.1101/384115
  • Nagy, RC, EB Rastetter, C Neill and S Porder. (Apr 2017). Nutrient limitation in tropical secondary forests following different management practices. ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS , 27(3). 10.1002/eap.1478
  • Balch, JK, BA Bradley, JT Abatzoglou, RC Nagy, EJ Fusco and AL Mahood. (Mar 2017). Human-started wildfires expand the fire niche across the United States. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA , 114(11). 10.1073/pnas.1617394114
  • Silva Figueira AME; Davidson EA; Nagy RC; Riskin SH; Martinelli LA. (Oct 2016). Isotopically constrained soil carbon and nitrogen budgets in a soybean field chronosequence in the Brazilian Amazon region. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences , 121(10), 2520-2529. 10.1002/2016JG003470
  • Balch, JK, RC Nagy, S Archibald, DMJS Bowman, MA Moritz, CI Roos, AC Scott and GJ Williamson. (Jun 2016). Global combustion: the connection between fossil fuel and biomass burning emissions (1997-2010). PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES , 371(1696). 10.1098/rstb.2015.0177
  • Nagy RC; Porder S; Neill C; Brando P; Quintino RM; do Nascimento SA. (Sep 2015). Structure and composition of altered riparian forests in an agricultural Amazonian landscape. Ecological Applications , 25(6), 1725-1738. 10.1890/14-1740.1
  • Nagy RC; Lockaby BG; Zipperer WC; Marzen LJ. (Mar 2014). A comparison of carbon and nitrogen stocks among land uses/covers in coastal Florida. Urban Ecosystems , 17(1), 255-276. 10.1007/s11252-013-0312-5
  • Nagy RC; Lockaby BG; Kalin L; Anderson C. (Jun 2012). Effects of urbanization on stream hydrology and water quality: the Florida Gulf Coast. Hydrological Processes , 26(13), 2019-2030. 10.1002/hyp.8336
  • Nagy RC; Lockaby BG; Helms B; Kalin L; Stoeckel D. (May 2011). Water Resources and Land Use and Cover in a Humid Region: The Southeastern United States. Journal of Environmental Quality , 40(3), 867-878. 10.2134/jeq2010.0365
  • Nagy RC; Lockaby BG. (Mar 2011). Urbanization in the Southeastern United States: Socioeconomic forces and ecological responses along an urban-rural gradient. Urban Ecosystems , 14(1), 71-86. 10.1007/s11252-010-0143-6