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Janette Thompson

Janette R Thompson

  • Morrill Professor
  • Natural Resource Ecology and Management
I hold a BS in Forestry from Michigan Technological University, an MS in Agronomy (Soil Science) from Iowa State University, and a PhD in Forestry (Forest Biology), also from Iowa State.

Contact Info

339 Science 2
2310 Pammel Dr.

More Information


My current research efforts integrate biophysical, social, and economic aspects of natural resource management and land use change, primarily in urban landscapes. I use a variety of quantitative and qualitative research tools to understand human perceptions of and interaction with natural resources in urban environments. I also conduct research examining biophysical relationships between land use, plant community composition, water quality, and habitat conditions of streams, under current and predicted climate scenarios. I am also involved in research using statistical modeling to predict risk of woody plant invasiveness.

Broader Impact

I often use a participatory research approach that directly engages local residents, urban natural resource managers, and land use planners in a collaborative learning process. I also regularly conduct outreach with broader audiences of landowners and land managers, to provide for more informed land use decision making and to minimize or mitigate negative impacts of land use decisions. Ultimately, I expect these efforts will lead to effective preservation of natural areas and better water quality.

Key Environmental Science Publications

Herringshaw, C., T. Stewart, J. Thompson, and P. Anderson. 2011. Land use, stream habitat, and benthic invertebrate assemblages in a highly altered Iowa watershed. American Midland Naturalist 165:274-293

Herringshaw, C., J. Thompson, and T. Stewart. 2010. Learning about restoration of urban ecosystems: A case study integrating public participation, stormwater management, and ecological research. Urban Ecosystems 13:535-562

Gerken, M., J. Thompson, and C. Mabry. 2010. Restoring nutrient capture in forest herbaceous layers of the midwest. Ecological Restoration 28 (1): 14-17

Widrlechner, M., J. Thompson, E. Kapler, K. Kordecki, P. Dixon, and G. Gates. 2009. A test of four models to predict the risk of naturalization of non-native woody plants in the Chicago region. Journal of Environmental Horticulture 27(4):241-250