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Lee H. MacDonald, PhD.


Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Scientist Ecosystem Science and Sustainability

Contact Info

Phone: (970) 491-6109   Office: B212 NESB

Email:   Lab:


Areas of Interest

 Cumulative watershed effectsForest managementMonitoringPost-fire runoff, erosion, and rehabilitationRoad erosion


Dr. Lee MacDonald is professor emeritus after having worked for over 20 years as a professor of land use hydrology in the Watershed Science Program. He has a B.S. in human biology from Stanford, a M.S. in resource ecology from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in forest hydrology from the University of California at Berkeley. Before his Ph.D. he spent five years setting up research and training programs in developing countries for the United Nations University in Tokyo. He also has worked as a consultant and a hydrologist for the U.S. Forest Service. Dr. MacDonald's research focuses on the effects of forest management, fire, and roads on runoff, erosion, sediment yields, and stream channel characteristics. He has published about 50 peer-reviewed articles, monographs, and invited book chapters. His work has achieved international recognition, as he has given over 100 invited lectures and workshops throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, and the Pacific. He has advised over 40 graduate students, and received over $3 million for his research ranging from Antarctica to Portugal, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Vietnam. He taught courses in land use hydrology, field measurements, watershed problem analysis, and developed graduate courses in hillslope hydrology and cumulative watershed effects. He has been nominated for the university's Best Teacher Award, and has more recently been teaching and working on a curriculum development project in Vietnam. He has extensive international experience and travelled and worked in more than 60 countries and all seven continents.