Faculty Profile

Solomon Dobrowski

Solomon Dobrowski

Professor of Forest Landscape Ecology

Email: solomon.dobrowski@cfc.umt.edu
Office: CHCB 438
Personal Website

Current Position

 Professor of Forest Landscape Ecology 


University of Montana (2007-present):

  • FOR 538;ModernApplied Statistical Modeling in Ecology (graduate level)
  • FOR 595;  Landscape Ecology (graduate level)
  • FOR 202; Forest Measurements (undergraduate level)
  • BIO 451; Landscape ecology of the Northern Rockies (summer field course)


PhD, Ecology. University of California, Davis. 2005.

Master of Science, Horticulture. University of California, Davis. 2001.

Bachelor of Science, Resource Management. University of California, Berkeley. 1997.

Research Interests

Tree regeneration dynamics in western US forests

We are examining the demography and timing of recruitment pulses in burned and unburned areas of the western US to understand how annual climate conditions limit tree regeneration.


Modeling plant hydraulic failure and its influence on tree regeneration in low elevation forests

We have coupled a ecohydrological model with a plant hydraulics model to understand how drought constrains tree recruitment in western US forests.


Using historical datasets to test uncertainty in species distribution model projections through time.

We are investigating the predictive ability of species distribution models in novel temporal and spatial domains using historical and contemporary vegetation and climate data from the mountain ranges of California, USA. We are examining how species functional traits, land-use type, and disturbance regime influences model skill and uncertainty.


The role of terrain of terrain in shaping the adaptive response of biota to climate change

University of Montana                                                                                    2009- present

We are quantifying the extent to which landscape physiography influences regional climate patterns and climate displacement rates for both temperature and water balance. We are also examining historical data and paleoecological records to assess how organisms utilized terrain to mitigate against climate changes of the Quaternary. 

 Past, current, and future fire regimes of the western US

University of Montana                                                                                    2007-present

We are quantifying the relative role of anthropogenic, climatic, and biotic influences on fire probability in the western US using multiple modeling approaches. We are also studying the transformation, loss, and recovery of forest carbon resources due to management and wildfire. 



Selected Publications

Simeone, C., M.P. Maneta, Z.A. Holden, G. Sapes, A. Sala, S.Z. Dobrowski(2018) Coupled ecohydrology and plant hydraulics modeling predicts ponderosa pine seedling mortality and lower treeline in the US Norther Rocky Mountains.  New Phytologist. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.15499

Caroll, C., S.A Parks, S.Z. Dobrowski, D.R. Roberts (2018) Climatic, topographic, and anthropogenic factors determine connectivity between current and future climate analogs in North America. Global Change Biology.DOI: 10.1111/gcb.14373 

Hankin, L.E., P.E. Higuera, K.T. Davis, S.Z. Dobrowski(2018) Accuracy of node and bud-scar counts for aging two dominant conifers in western North America. Forest Ecology and Management. 427, 365-371.

Davis, K.T.*, S.Z. Dobrowski, Z.A Holden, P.E. Higuera, J.T. Abatzoglou (2018) Microclimatic buffering in forests of the future: the role of local water balance. Ecography41, 1-11.

Abatzoglou, J.T., Dobrowski, S.Z., Parks, S.A. Hegewisch K.C. (2018) Terraclimate, a high resolution global dataset of monthly climate and climatic water balance from 1958-2015. Scientific Data5: DOI: 10.1038/sdata.2017.191 

Parks, S.A., L.M. Holsinger, M.H. Panunto, W.M. Jolly, S.Z. Dobrowski, G.K. Dillon. (2018) High severity fire: evaluating its key drivers and mapping its probability across western US forests. Environmental Research Letters. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aab791

Parks, S.A., S.Z. Dobrowski, M.H. Panunto. (2018) What drives low severity fire in the Southwestern USA? Forests9(4), 165; doi:10.3390/f9040165

Herring, E., D.G. Gavin, S.Z. Dobrowski, M. Fernandez, F.S. Hu. (2017) Ecological history of a long-lived conifer in a disjunct population. Journal of Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12826

Taylor, P.G., C.C. Cleveland, W.R. Wieder, B.W. Sullivan, C.E. Doughty, S.Z. Dobrowski, A.R. Townsend. (2017) Temperature and rainfall interact to control carbon cycling in tropical forests. Ecology Letters20 (6): 779-788

Morelli, T.L., C. Daly, S.Z. Dobrowski, D.M. Dulen, et al. (2016) Managing climate change refugia for climate change adaptation. PloS-One11(8): e0159909.

Dobrowski, S.Z., S.A. Parks (2016) Climate change velocity underestimates climate change exposure in mountainous regions. Nature Communications7: 12349

Stevens, J.T, H.D. Safford, M.P. North, J.S. Fried, S.Z. Dobrowski, et al. (2016)Average stand age from forest inventory plots does not describe historical fire regimes in ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests of western North AmericaPloS One11(5):e0147688

Parks, S.A., C. Miller, J.T. Abatzoglou, L.M. Holsinger, M.A. Parisien, S.Z. Dobrowski.    (2016) How will climate change affect wildland severity in the western US? Environmental Research Letters 11: doi: 10.1088/1748-9326

Lawler, J.J, D.D. Ackerly, C.M. Albano, M.G. Anderson, S.Z. Dobrowski, J.L. Gill, N.E. Heller, R.L. Pressey, E.W. Sanderson, S.B. Weiss. (2015) The theory behind and the challenges of conserving nature’s stage in a time of rapid change. Conservation Biology29: 618-629.

Gill, J.L., J.L. Blois, B. Benito, S.Z. Dobrowski, M.L. Hunter, J.L. McGuire. (2015) A 2.5 million year perspective on coarse filter strategies for conserving nature’s stage. Conservation Biology29: 640-648.

Dobrowski, S.Z., A.K. Swanson, J.T. Abatzoglou, Z.A. Holden, H.D. Safford, M.K. Schwartz, D.G. Gavin. (2015) Forest structure and species traits mediate projected recruitment declines in western US tree species. Global Ecology and Biogeography24: 917-927.

Oyler, J.W., S.Z. Dobrowski, A.P. Ballantyne, A.E. Klene, S.W. Running. (2015) Artificial amplification of warming trends across the mountains of the western Unites States. Geophysical Research Letters42: 153-161.

Holden, Z.A., A. Swanson, A.E. Klene, J.T. Abatzoglou, S.Z. Dobrowski, S.A. Cushman, J. Squires, G.G. Moisen, J.W. Oyler (2015) Development of high resolution historical daily gridded air temperature data using reanalysis and distributed sensor networks for the US Northern Rocy Mountains. Int. J. Climatology. DOI: 10.1002/joc.4580 

Greenberg, J.A., M.J. Santos, S.Z. Dobrowski, V.C. Vanderbilt, S.L. Ustin. (2015) Quantifying environmental limits on tree cover using geospatial data. Plos One10(2): e0114648. doi:10.1371 

Leirfallom, S.B.*, R.E. Keane, D.F. Tomback, S.Z. Dobrowski(2015) The effects of seed source health on whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) regeneration density after wildfire. Canadian Journal of Forest Research45: 1597-1606

White, A.M., P.N. Manley, G.L. Tarbill, T.W. Richardson, R.E. Russel, H.D. Safford, S.Z. Dobrowski(2015) Avian community responses to post-fire forest structure: implications for fire management in mixed conifer forests. Animal Conservationdoi:10.1111/acv.12237

 Parks, S.A., C. Miller, M.A. Parisien, L.M. Holsinger, S.Z. Dobrowski, J Abatzoglou (2015) Wildland fire deficit and surplus in the western United States, 1984-2012. Ecosphere

Crimmins, S.M.*, S.Z. Dobrowski, A.R. Mynsberge, and H.D. Safford. (2014). Can fire atlas data improve species distribution model projections?  Ecological Applications 24:1057-1069

Gavin, D.G., M.C. Fitzpatrick, P.F. Grugger, K.D. Heath, F. Rodriguez-Sanchez, S.Z. Dobrowski, and 24 others. (2014) Climate refugia: joint inference from fossil records, species distribution models and phylogeography. New Phytologist204: 37-54.

Dolanc, C.R.*, H.D. Safford, J.H. Thorne, S.Z. Dobrowski(2014) Changing forest structure across the landscape of the Sierra Nevada, CA, USA since the 1930s. Ecosphere5(8): article 101.

Dolanc, C.R.*, H.D. Safford, S.Z. Dobrowski, J.H. Thorne. (2014) Twentieth century shifts in abundance and composition of vegetation types of the Sierra Nevada, CA, US. Applied Vegetation Science17: 442-455.

Parks, S.A., M.A. Parisien, C. Miller, S.Z. Dobrowski(2014) Fire activity and severity in the western US vary along gradients representing fuel amount and fuel moisture. Plos One9(6): e99699. doi:10.1371

Crimmins*, S.M., S.Z. Dobrowski, and A.R. Mynsberge.  (2013).  Evaluating ensemble forecasts of plant species distributions under climate change.  Ecological Modelling266:126-130. 

Beever, E.A., S.Z. Dobrowski, J. Long, A.R. Mynsberge, and N.B. Piekielek (2013) Understanding relationships among abundance, extirpation, and climate at ecoregional scales. Ecology. 94 (7): 1563-1571

Kerr, J.T., S.Z. Dobrowski(2013) Predicting the impacts of global change on species, communities, and ecosystems: it takes time. Global Ecology and Biogeography22: 261-263. (Top 20 most downloaded articles in GEB in 2013)

Hampe, A. F Rodriguez-Sanchez, S.Z. Dobrowski, F.S. Hu, D.G. Gavin (2013) Climate refugia: from the last glacial maximum to the twenty-first century. New Phytologist197: 16-18

Swanson, A. K.*, S.Z. Dobrowski, A.O., Finley, J.H. Thorne, and M.K. Schwartz (2013) Spatial regression methods capture prediction uncertainty in species distribution model projections through time. Global Ecology and Biogeography22: 242-251.

Dobrowski, S.Z., J. Abatzoglou, A.K. Swanson, J.A. Greenberg, A.R. Mynsberge, Z.A. Holden, M.K. Schwartz (2013) The climate velocity of the contiguous United States during the 20thcentury. Global Change Biology19: 241-251.

Hampe, A. F Rodriguez-Sanchez, S.Z. Dobrowski, F.S. Hu, D.G. Gavin (2013) Climate refugia: from the last glacial maximum to the twenty-first century. New Phytologist197: 16-18

Gavin, D.G., S.Z. Dobrowski, A. Hampe, F.S. Hu, F. Rodriguez-Sanchez (2012) Climate refugia: Joint inferences from fossils, genetics, and models. PAGES News20 (2): 105

Holden, Z.A., W.F. Kasworm, C. Servheen, B. Hahn, and S.Z. Dobrowski(2012) Sensitivity of berry productivity to climatic variation in the Cabinet-Yaak Grizzly Bear Recovery Zone, Northwest United States, 1989-2010. Wildlife Society Bulletin36: 226-231.

Carlson, C.H.*, S.Z. Dobrowski, H.D. Safford. (2012) Variation in tree mortality and regeneration affect forest carbon recovery following fuel treatments and wildfire in the Lake Tahoe Basin, California, USA. Carbon Balance and Management  7:7 

Dobrowski, S.Z. (2011) A climatic basis for microrefugia: the influence of terrain on climate. Global Change Biology17(2): 1022-1035.  (Faculty of 1000 Biology; featured by Global Change Biology in the 2011 AGU climate change virtual issue)

Dobrowski, S.Z., J.H. Thorne, J.A. Greenberg, H.D. Safford, A.R. Mynsberge, S.M. Crimmins, and A.K. Swanson (2011) Modeling plant ranges over 75 years of climate change in California, USA: temporal transferability and species traits. Ecological Monographs81(2): 241-257.

Crimmins, S.M.*, S.Z. Dobrowski, J.A. Greenberg, J. Abatzoglou, and A.R. Mynsberge (2011) Changes in climatic water balance drive downhill shifts in plant species' optimum elevations. Science331: 324-327. (Faculty of 1000 Biology; featured in Nature Climate Change)

Dobrowski, S.Z., Crimmins, S.M., J.A. Greenberg, J. Abatzoglou, and A.R. Mynsberge (2011) Response to comments on “Changes in climatic water balance drive downhill shifts in plant species' optimum elevations” Science334.

Cleveland, C.C., A.R. Townsend, P. Taylor, S. Alvarez-Clare, M.M.C. Bustamante, G. Chuyong, S.Z. Dobrowski, P. Grierson, K.E. Harms, B.Z. Houlton, A. Marklein, W. Parton, S. Porder, S.C. Reed, C.A. Sierra, W.L. Silver, E.V.J. Tanner, and W.R. Wieder. (2011) Relationships among net primary productivity, nutrients and climate in tropical rain forests: a pan-tropical analysis. Ecology Letters14(9): 939-947.

Parisien, M. A., S. Snetsinger, J. A. Greenberg, C. R. Nelson, T. Schoennagel, S. Z.   Dobrowski, and M. A. Moritz. (2012). Spatial variability in wildfire probability across the western United States. International Journal of Wildland Fire21: 313-327.

Dobrowski, S.Z., J.T. Abatzoglou, J.A. Greenberg, S.G. Schladow (2009). How much influence does landscape-scale physiography have on air temperature in a mountain environment? Agricultural and Forest Meteorology149: 1751-1758

Greenberg, J. A.,S. Z. Dobrowski, and V. C. Vanderbilt (2009).Limitations on maximum tree density using hyperspatial remote sensing and environmental gradient analysis.Remote Sensing of Environment113(1):94-101.

Dobrowski, S.Z., H.D. Safford, C.A. Rueda, S.L. Ustin (2008). Mapping mountain vegetation using species distribution modeling, image-based texture analysis, and object-based classification.Applied Vegetation Science11: 499-508.

Hammersmark, C.T., S.Z. Dobrowski, M.C. Rains, and J.F. Mount (2008). Simulated Effects of Stream Restoration on the Distribution of Wet-Meadow Vegetation. Restoration Ecology. 10.1111/j.1526-100X.2009.00519.x

Malhi, R.S., Gonzalez-Oliver, A., Schroeder, K.B., Kemp, B.M., Greenberg, J.A., S.Z.Dobrowski, Smith, D.G. et al. (2008). Distribution of Y Chromosomes Among Native North Americans: A Study of Athapaskan Population History.American Journal of Physical Anthropology137: 412-424

Dobrowski, S.Z. and S.K. Murphy (2006) A practical look at the variable area transect. Ecology87 (7): 1856-1860.

Dobrowski, S.Z., J.A. Greenberg, C.M. Ramirez, and S.L. Ustin (2006) Improving image derived vegetation maps with regression based distribution modeling. Ecological Modeling192: 126-142.

Greenberg, J.A., S.Z. Dobrowski, C.M. Ramirez, J.L. Tuil, and S.L. Ustin (2006) A bottom-up approach to vegetation mapping of the Lake Tahoe Basin using hyperspatial image analysis. Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing72 (5): 581-589.

Dobrowski, S.Z., J.C. Pushnik, P.J. Zarco-Tejada, and S.L. Ustin (2005) Simple reflectance indices track heat and water stress induced changes in steady state chlorophyll fluorescence at the canopy scale. Remote Sensing of Environment97: 403-414. 

Greenberg, J.A., S.Z. Dobrowski, and S.L. Ustin (2005) Shadow allometry: estimating tree structural parameters using hyperspatial image analysis. Remote Sensing of Environment97: 15-25.

Roberts, D.A., S.L. Ustin, S. Ogunjemiyo, J. Greenberg, S.Z. Dobrowski, J. Chen, and T.M. Hinckley (2004) Scaling up the forests of the Pacific Northwest using remote sensing. Ecosystems7 (5): 545-562.

Dobrowski, S.Z., S.L. Ustin, and J.A. Wolpert (2003) Grapevine dormant pruning weight prediction using remotely sensed data. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research9 (3): 177-182.

Dobrowski, S.Z., S.L. Ustin, and J.A. Wolpert (2002) Remote estimation of vine canopy density in vertically shoot positioned vineyards: determining optimal vegetation indices. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research8(2): 117-125.

Zarco-Tejada, P.J., J.C. Pushnik, S.Z. Dobrowski, and S.L Ustin (2002) Steady-state chlorophyll a fluorescence detection from canopy derivative reflectance and double-peak red edge effects. Remote Sensing of Environment84: 283-294.


Home Department

College of Forestry and Conservation 

Area of Expertise

Assisted Migration Planning; Fire Regimes; Historical Datasets and Species Distribution Models; Terrain and Biota Response to Climate Change; Vegetation Across Environmental Gradients

Systems Ecology Title

Associate Professor, Forest Landscape Ecology

UM Bridges Department

Forest Management