Jill L. Bubier

Professor Emeritus of Environmental Studies
Wetland ecology; biogeochemistry; northern peatlands; plant ecology; greenhouse gases (methane, carbon dioxide); feedbacks to climate change

A field scientist with a passion for northern ecosystems, Jill Bubier researches the responses of ecosystems to climate change, studying the exchanges of greenhouse gases between ecosystems and the atmosphere. She works in northern wetlands—primarily bogs and fens—because northern latitudes respond more dramatically to global warming than other parts of the planet. Bubier's research has taken her to peatlands all around the boreal, subarctic, and arctic Northern Hemisphere in Canada, Alaska, and Scandinavia. She developed her love of wetlands and the North during canoeing expeditions in the Canadian arctic and while teaching in Outward Bound's adventure education programs.

Bubier is committed to involving students in her research, and several students have completed honors theses, presented their research at national conferences, and coauthored papers with her. Because of the complexity of environmental problems, Bubier's teaching and research are by nature interdisciplinary and practical—addressing real problems, not just textbook cases. For example, her students have studied ecosystem responses to global climate change, the impact of deer and beaver populations on forest community structure and water quality at the Quabbin Reservoir, and rates of river migration on the Connecticut River.

In 1999, Bubier was the recipient of a $350,000 NASA Earth System Science grant for her research on carbon dioxide and methane exchange between ecosystems and the atmosphere. In 2004, she received a $500,000 CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation to study the effects of environmental and climate change on northern peatlands. And in 2010, Bubier received a $900,00 grant from the NSF Ecosystems Program to study the effects of atmospheric nitrogen deposition on wetland ecosystems and feedbacks to climate. This work involves collaboration with an international team of scientists and training undergraduates. At MHC, she has received the Meredith E. Cameron faculty award for scholarship.

Bubier is active in the wider scientific community, publishing her research and reviewing manuscripts for several scientific journals and was awarded the editor's citation for Excellence In Refereeing for Global Biogeochemical Cycles. She also served on the Advisory Committee for Environmental Research and Education at the National Science Foundation from 2007-2009, helping shape national research priorities in the increasingly complex and interdisciplinary field of environmental science.

News Links

  • "Faculty Honored for Outstanding Work," College Street Journal, April 21, 2005
  • "Mount Holyoke Trustees Approve 13 Faculty Chairs," College Street Journal, March 12, 2004
  • "New Faculty: Through Many Career Shifts, Jill Bubier Stays Focused on the Environment," College Street Journal, November 13, 1998