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Joseph Yavitt

Joseph Yavitt


G21 Fernow Hall
(607) 255-6601

Yavitt joined the Department of Natural Resources in 1988. His education focused on biogeochemistry and the ecology of forest, wetland, and desert ecosystems.

Research Focus

Yavitt's research seeks to describe and explain relationships and feedbacks between biodiversity and biogeochemical processes in forest and wetland ecosystems. It is a compelling question: how do plant species and the uncounted diversity of smaller organisms in soil influence biogeochemical phenomena, such as nutrient cycling, litter decomposition, and the production and consumption of atmospheric greenhouse gases? Knowing how species composition in a community changes in time has tremendous potential to predict rates of biogeochemical processes, both in the past and in the future. Research sites range from boreal wetlands to tropical forests.

Teaching Focus

Yavitt's teaching goals are to help students learn the process of science and how science is used in the management of natural resources and environmental problems. To this end, his courses encompass biological, physical, chemical, and social sciences. Environmental Conservation (NTRES 2010) examines a host of environmental issues facing society; Global Biodiversity (NTRES 3220) is an in-depth understanding of biodiversity through time; and, Introduction to Biogeochemistry (EAS 3030) examines nutrient and carbon cycles in detail.

Awards and Honors

  • Fellow (2019) American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Teaching Award of Merit (2013) National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture
  • Teaching Award of Merit (2002) National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture

Selected Publications

Journal Publications