John Knowles

Postdoctoral Research Associate

  • Instructor



  • PhD: University of Colorado, Boulder, 2015
  • MA: University of Colorado, Boulder, 2009
  • BA: Vassar College, 2003

Contact Information

(Office) 303 735 5688


Global Environmental Change; Hydrology; Ecosystems; Micrometeorology; Biogeochemistry; Soil; Mountains; Drought; Science Communication

Research Interests

My research incorporates eddy covariance, isotopic, geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, and modeling techniques to investigate the multi-scale impacts of climate change and management practices on water and nutrient cycling at Earth’s surface.




{playa43ggdwaY:title},Peter D. Blanken,Mark Williams{/exp:playa:children, 2016: Wet meadow ecosystems contribute the majority of overwinter soil respiration from snow-scoured alpine tundra. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 121(4): 1118-1130. DOI: 10.1002/2015JG003081

Max Berkelhammer,David C. Noone,Tony E. Wong,Sean P. Burns,{playa80ChYKIU:title},Aleya Kaushik,Peter D. Blanken,Mark Williams{/exp:playa:children, 2016: Convergent approaches to determine an ecosystem's transpiration fraction. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 30(6): 933-951. DOI: 10.1002/2016GB005392

{playaYEASgfyq:title},Sean P. Burns,Peter D. Blanken,Russell K. Monso, 2015: Fluxes of energy, water, and carbon dioxide from mountain ecosystems at Niwot Ridge, Colorado. Plant Ecology & Diversity, 8(5-6): 663-676. DOI: 10.1080/17550874.2014.904950

All publications by John Knowles >



Past Courses

  • GEOG 1001: Climate and Vegetation This course will provide you with an introduction and overview of Earth’s vegetation and climate system. Throughout the course, we will emphasize the many linkages and feedbacks between Earth’s living biota and climate, and we will discuss the global distribution of vegetation. Topics will include radiation, temperature, winds and pressure, the water cycle, vegetation, and climate change.
  • GEOG 1011: Landscapes and Water This course will introduce you to the sciences of hydrology and geomorphology, which are two branches of physical Geography that deal with Earth surface processes. In the first few weeks, we will discuss deep-seated geologic processes, which build mountain ranges and volcanoes, and generate earthquakes along plate boundaries. For the remainder of the semester, we will focus on near-surface processes that serve to modify and wear down Earth’s surface, such as weathering, soil erosion, landslides, floods, and glaciation.
  • GEOG 3251: Mountain Geography Mountain geography presents a geographic overview of major mountain ranges in the world, and provides an introduction to the physical, biological, and anthropogenic processes that shape these mountain environments. Changes in the mountain environment caused by humans will be evaluated and current strategies to minimize these impacts will be discussed.
  • GEOG 3601/ENVS 3600/ATOC 3600: Principles of Climate This course describes the basic components of the climate system: the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere, and lithosphere. A specific focus is placed on the basic physical processes that determine climate and the link between the components of the climate system, including the hydrologic cycle and its role in climate, climate stability, and global change.
  • GEOG 4241/GEOL 4241: Principles of Geomorphology This course covers glaciers, weathering, tectonic geomorphology, slope processes, rivers, hillslope hydrology, and the effects of wind. The material is based in physics and chemistry, and therefore you must be prepared to think quantitatively. Laboratory exercises will provide experience in making measurements and going through simple calculations relevant to surface processes.
  • GEOG 3511: Introduction to Hydrology The objective of this course is to provide a balanced view of hydrology that includes a description of the physical processes of precipitation, evapotranspiration, snowmelt, infiltration, groundwater and surface water runoff, and a coherent presentation of the theories and techniques that are used in practice.