Holly R. Barnard

Holly R. Barnard CV


  • Assistant Professor of Geography



  • PhD: Oregon State University, 2009
  • MS: Colorado State University, 2000
  • BS: University of Washington, 1998

Contact Information

(Office) 303 735-7062
Campus Box 450, Boulder, CO 80309


Ecohydrology, forest hydrology, tree physiology, stable isotope geochemistry.

Research Interests

Investigating water flow dynamics and pathways in vegetation, soil and streams.


  • Post-doctoral Fellow, National Science Foundation, 2009
  • Horton Research Grant, American Geophysical Union, 2007
  • Pre-doctoral Fellow, Ford Foundation , 2005
  • Minority Pipeline Fellow , Oregon State University, 2004
Photo Gallery


Research Statement

My research is focused on investigating how vegetation processes affect water flow dynamics and pathways in soil and streams, and conversely, how water flow paths affect vegetation function in mountainous terrain. The ultimate goal is to improve our knowledge of how changes in land-use and/or climate will affect water resources and ecosystems. This interdisciplinary research uses state-of-the-art techniques to reveal patterns and processes at scales ranging from the leaf to the watershed. Some current topics include: evapo-transpiration partitioning using stable isotopes; linking carbon and water dynamics in the critical zone; and examining the influence of micro-climate on tree function using stable isotope analysis of tree rings.


Active Research

Research Programs

Research Labs and Groups



Holly R. Barnard,Findley, M. C.,Csavina, J, 2014: PARduino: A simple and inexpensive device for logging photosynthetically active radiation. Tree Physiology, 34(6): 640-645. DOI: 10.1093/treephys/tpu044

Berkelhammer, M.,Hu, J.,Bailey, A.,Noone, D. C.,Still, C. J.,Holly R. Barnard,Gochis, D.,Hsiao, G. S.,Rahn, T.,Turnipseed, A, 2013: The nocturnal water cycle in an open-canopy forest. Journal of Geophysical Research—Atmospheres, 118(17): 10225-10242. DOI: 10.1002/jgrd.50701

Holly R. Barnard,Brooks, J. R.,Bond, B. J, 2012: Applying the dual-isotope conceptual model to interpret physiological trends under uncontrolled conditions. Tree Physiology, 32(10): 1183-1198. DOI: 10.1093/treephys/tps078

Brooks, J. R.,Holly R. Barnard,Coulombe, R.,McDonnell, J. J, 2010: Ecohydrologic separation of water between trees and streams in a Mediterranean climate. Nature Geoscience, 3(2): 100 104, DOI: 10.1038/NGEO722

Holly R. Barnard,Graham, C. B.,Van Verseveld, W. J.,Brooks, J. R.,Bond, B. J.,McDonnell, J. J, 2010: Mechanistic assessment of hillslope transpiration controls of diel subsurface flow: a steady-state irrigation approach. Ecohydrology, 3(2): 133-142 DOI: 10.1002/eco.114

Allen, S. T.,Keim, R. F.,Holly R. Barnard,McDonnell, J. J.,Brooks, J. R, 2017: The role of stable isotopes in understanding rainfall interception processes: A review. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews—Water, 4(1): article e1187. DOI: 10.1002/wat2.1187

All publications by Holly R. Barnard >


Teaching Statement

Dr. Holly Barnard introduces transpiration measurement techniques to graduate students at the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest.
Students in Forest Geography examine soils in the sub-alpine of the Niwot Ridge LTER (Sept. 2011).





Current Courses

  • GEOG 5100-002: Writing and Presenting in Physical Science Graduate seminar on scientific writing and presentation skills, with focus on clarity, structure and common pitfalls in our communications. We will also discuss approaches to reviewing papers, writing reviews, and responding to reviewers.

Past Courses

  • GEOG 4371/5371: Forest Geography Examines of principles of forest ecology with focus on individual tree responses to environmental factors and species interactions within communities
  • GEOG 1001: Environmental Systems I: Climate and Vegetation Introduction to the atmospheric environment of the Earth: elements and controls of climate and their implications for weather, vegetation and biodiversity
  • GEOG 3511: Introduction to Hydrology Introduction to both the principles of hydrology as well as the techniques that can be used to solve hydrologic problems. The goal is to give students a balanced view of hydrology- one that includes a description of the physical processes as well as a coherent presentation of the theories and techniques that are used in practice.
  • GEOG 5100: The Earth's Critical Zone A graduate level reading, writing, and discussion course focused on catchment scale critical zone processes with specific attention given to carbon-water interactions.
  • GEOG 5241: Stable Isotopes in Environmental Science Survey of recent topics and literature involving applications of stable isotope ratio method in ecological and environmental science
  • GEOG 5241: Ecohydrology and Soils Survey of current topics and literature related to ecohydrology, soil, and disturbance

Postdocs & Students