Dale Johnson

Emeritus Professor

Contact Information


  • B.S. 1969, University of Washington
  • Ph.D. 1975, University of Washington


My research interests fall into two basic categories: 1) biogeochemical cycling and 2) soils. With regard to the former, my interests include effects of both regional and global phenomena (such as atmospheric pollution, increased carbon dioxide and climate change) as well as more localized influences (such as harvesting, fire, fertilization) on biochemical cycling, primarily in forest ecosystems. With regard to the latter, my interests include soil-soil solution chemical interactions, factors affecting organic carbon accumulation and loss, nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus transformations, and trace gas emission from soils.


  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory:
  • Eugene P. Wigner Fellowship, 1977-1979
    Annual Scientific Achievement Award, Environmental Sciences Division, 1983
    Publication Award, Martin Marietta Energy Systems, May 1985
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory:
  • Technical Achievement Award, Martin Marietta Energy Systems, May 1986
    Publication Award, Martin Marietta Energy Systems, May 1987
  • Desert Research Institute/University of Nevada, Reno:
  • Dandini Medal of Science, October 1993
  • Outstanding Faculty Member, Board of Regents, University and Community College System of Nevada, March 1997
  • Regents Researcher Award, Board of Regents, University and Community College System of Nevada, 1999
  • Outstanding Faculty Member, Board of Regents, University and Community College System of Nevada, March 2000


  • Johnson, D. W., Hunsaker, C. T., Glass, D. W., Rau, B. M., Roath, B. A. 2011, Carbon and Nutrient Contents in Soils From the King's River Experimental Watershed, Sierran Nevada Mountains, California., Geoderma, 160, 490-502.
  • Johnson, B. G., Johnson, D. W., Chambers, J. C., Blank, R. R. 2011, Fire Effects on the Mobilization and Uptake of Nitrogen by Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.), Plant and Soil, 341, 437-445
  • Rau, B. M., Melvin, A. R., Johnson, D. W., Goodale, C. L., Blank, R. R., Fredriksen, G., Miller, W. W., Murphy, J. D., Todd, D. E., Walker, R. F. 2011, Revisiting Soil Nutrient Sampling: Quantitative Pits vs. Rotary Cores, Soil Science, 176(6), 273-279.
  • Johnson, D. W., Murphy, J. D., Rau, B. M., Miller, W. W. 2011, Subsurface Carbon Contents: Some Case Studies in Forest Soils, Forest Science, 57(1), 3-10
  • Johnson, B. G., Johnson, D. W., Miller, W. W., Carroll-Moore, E. M., Board, D. I. 2011, The Effects of Slash Pile Burning on Soil and Water Macronutrients, Soil Science, 176(8), 413-425
  • Johnson, D. W., Miller, W. W., Rau, B. M., Meadows, M. W. 2011, The nature and potential causes of nutrient hotspots in a Sierra Nevada forest soil, Soil Science, 176(11), 596-610
  • Johnson, D. W., Glass, D. W., Murphy, J. D., Stein, C. M., Miller, W. W. 2010, Hot Spots and Hot Moments: Another Look at Nutrient Variability in Sierra Nevada Forest Soils., Biogeochemistry, 101, 93-103
  • Rau, B. M., Tausch, B. j., Reiner, A. L., Johnson, D. W., Chambers, J. C., Blank, R. R. 2010, Influence of Prescribed Fire on Ecosystem Biomass, Carbon, and Nitrogen in a Pinyon Juniper Woodland., Rangeland Ecology and Management, 63, 197-202
  • Stein, C. M., Johnson, D. W., Miller, W. W., Powers, R. F., Young, D. A., Glass, D. S. 2010, Snowbrush (Ceanothus velutinus Dougl) Effects on Soil Leaching and Water Quality in a Sierran Ecosystem., Ecohydrology, 3, 79-87.
  • Johnson, D. W., Miller, W. W., Susfalk, R. B., Dahlgren, R. A., Murphy, J. D., Glass, D. W. 2009, Biogeochemical Cycling in Forest Soils of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, USA, Forest Ecology and Management, 258, 2249-2260.
  • Johnson, D. W., Todd, D. E., Trettin, C. F., Mulholland, P. J. 2008, Decadal changes in potassium, calcium, and magnesium in a deciduous forest soil., Soil Science Society of America, Journal, 72(6), 1795-1805.
  • Froberg, M., Hanson, P. J., Todd, D. E., Johnson, D. W. 2008, Evaluation of effects of sustained decadal precipitation., Biogeochemistry, 89, 151-161.
    Book or Chapter(s) in Books
  • Johnson, D. W. 2010, Some Basic Considerations and Case Studies., In Page-Dumrose, D., D. Neary, C. Trettin (Ed.), Scientific Background for Soil Monitoring on National Forests and Rangelands (pp. pp. 1-12)
  • Johnson, D. W., Fenn, M. A., Miller, W. W., Hunsaker, C 2009, Chapter 18: Fire Effects on Carbon and Nitrogen Cycling in Forests of the Sierra Nevada Mountains., In Andrzej Bytnerowicz, Michael Arbaugh, Christian Andersen and Allen Riebau (Ed.), Wildland Fires and Air Pollution. Developments in Environmental Science 8.
  • Johnson, D. W., Walker, R. F., Miller, W. W. 2009, AD-421 Progress Report-The Effects of Broadcast and Slash Pile Burning on Soil Properties, Nutrient Budgets, Fuels, Vegetation Growth, and Water Quality in Sierran Forests., Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    Older Publications
  • Caldwell. T.G., D. W. Johnson, W. W. Miller, and R. G. Qualls. 2002. Forest Floor Carbon and Nitrogen Losses Due to Prescription Fire. Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. J. 66:262-267
  • Johnson, D.W., J.D. Knoepp, W.T. Swank, J. Shan, L.A. Morris, D.H. Van Lear and P.R. Kapeluck. 2002. Effects of Forest Management on Soil Carbon: Results of Some Long-term Resampling Studies. Env. Pollut. 116: S201-S208.
  • Norby, R.J., D.E. Todd, J. Fults, and D.W. Johnson. 2001. Allometric determination of tree growth in a CO2-enriched sweetgum stand. New Phytol. 150: 477-487.
  • Johnson, D.W., R.B. Susfalk, R.A. Dahlgren, T.G. Caldewell and W.W. Miller. 2001. Nutrient fluxes in a snow-dominated, semi-arid forest: Spatial and temporal patterns. Biogeochemistry 55:219-245
  • Johnson, D.W., B.A. Hungate, P. Dijkstra, G. Hymus, and B. Drake. 2001. Effects of Elevated CO2 on Soils in a Florida Scrub Oak Ecosystem. J. Environ. Qual. 30: 501-507.
  • Johnson, D.W., R.B. Susfalk, H.L. Gholz, and P.J. Hanson. 2001. Simulated effects of temperature and precipitation change in several forest ecosystems. J. Hydrology 235: 183-204.
  • Johnson, D.W., W. Cheng, and I.C. Burke. 2000. Biotic and Abiotic Nitrogen Retention in a Variety of Forest Soils. Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. J. 64: 1503-1514.
  • Johnson, D.W., T. Sogn, and S. Kvindesland. 2000. The Nutrient Cycling Model (NuCM): Lessons learned. For. Ecol. Managem. 138: 91-106.
  • Johnson, D.W., and P.S. Curtis. 2001. Effects of forest management on soil carbon and nitrogen storage: Meta Analysis. For. Ecol. Managem. 140: 227-238.
  • Shawel, H-M., W. Cheng, D.W. Johnson, J.T. Ball, and E.A. Paul. 2000. Use of carbon-13 and carbon-14 to measure the effects of carbon dioxide and nitrogen fertilization on carbon dynamics in ponderosa pine. Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. J. 64: 1984-1993.
  • Johnson, D.W., W. Cheng, and J.T. Ball. 2000c. Effects of CO2 and N fertilization on decomposition and N immobilization in ponderosa pine litter. Plant Soil 224: 115-122.
  • Johnson, D.W., W. Cheng, and J.T. Ball. 2000a. Effects of [CO2] and nitrogen fertilization on soils planted with ponderosa pine. Plant Soil 224: 99-113
  • Johnson, D.W. 1999. Simulated effects of elevated CO2 on nitrogen cycling using the NuCM model. Tree Physiol. 19: 321-327.
  • Johnson, D.W., and D.E. Todd. 1998. The effects of harvesting on long-term changes in nutrient pools in a mixed oak forest. Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. J.62: 1725-1735.
  • Johnson, D.W., R.B. Thomas, K.L. Griffin, D.T. Tissue, J.T. Ball, B.R. Strain, and R.F. Walker. 1998. Effects of CO2 and N on growth and N uptake in ponderosa and loblolly pine. J. Environ. Qual. 27: 414-425.
  • Johnson, D.W., R.B. Susfalk, R.A. Dahlgren, and J.M. Klopatek. 1998. Fire is more important than water for nitrogen fluxes in semi-arid forests. Environ. Sci. Pol. 1: 79-86.
  • Johnson, D.W., R. B. Susfalk, and R.A. Dahlgren. 1997. Nutrient fluxes in forests of the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, USA. Global Biogeochem. Cy. 11: 673-681.
  • Johnson, D.W., J.T. Ball, and R.F. Walker. 1997. Effects of CO2 and nitrogen fertilization on vegetation and soil nutrient content in juvenile ponderosa pine. Plant Soil 190: 20-40.