William Wallace Covington, Ph.D. - Regents' Professor

covington Director, Ecological Restoration Institute

Research Interests

Ecological Restoration, Evidence Based Conservation, Adaptive Environmental Assessment, Cooperative Conservation

Applied Restoration and Conservation of Frequent Fire Forests of the West

Dr. Covington directs NAU's Ecological Restoration Institute, which provides real work experience, formal course work, and senior practicum or thesis opportunities for undergraduates in virtually all disciplines at the university. He has received national and international recognition for his work in forest ecosystem health, restoration ecology, and fire effects on forest ecosystems. He has been recognized as Outstanding Teaching Scholar by NAU for his dedication to involving undergraduates in his applied research projects and bringing research results into the classroom and into the field.

Dr. Covington presents invited testimony before congressional and state natural resources committees, gives presentations, and provides continuing education at all levels from the Washington Offices of conservation agencies (e.g., the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the National Park Service) to the field level. Annual field trips are attended regularly by leaders such as the Secretary of Interior, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Chief of the Forest Service, the Director of the National Park Service), as well as regional, state, and local stakeholders in conservation management. His work on restoration of ecosystem health and natural resource conservation is often cited in the national news media. As an example, an article from the journal Science discusses Dr. Covington's efforts to restore the fire-adapted ecosystems of the West.


B.A., University of North Texas, 1969
Biology, senior thesis in oncology/tissue pathology

M.D.-Ph.D. program, University of Texas
(1968-1970-not completed) Pediatric oncology

M.S., University of New Mexico, 1972
Watershed ecosystem analysis, physiological ecology

M.Ph. in Forestry, Yale University 1974
Natural resource conservation

Ph.D., Yale University, 1976
Applied forest ecosystem analysis  

Contact Information

Office: Building 82 - Room 121
Phone: 928.523.6635
Email: Wally.Covington@nau.edu 

Select Publications

Profile in Science by Malakoff, David. 2002. Arizona ecologist puts stamp on forest restoration debate. Science 297:2194-2196.

Noss, R.F., P. Beier, W.W. Covington, R.E. Grumbine, D.B. Lindenmayer, J.W. Prather, F. Schmiegelow, T.D. Sisk, and D.J. Vosick. 2006. Recommendations for Integrating Restoration Ecology and Conservation Biology in Ponderosa Pine Forests of the Southwestern United States. Restoration Ecology 14:4-10.

Fulé, P.Z., J.E. Crouse, A.E. Cocke, M.M. Moore, and W.W. Covington. 2004. Changes in canopy fuels and potential fire behavior 1880-2040: Grand Canyon, Arizona. Ecological Modelling 175:231-248.

Covington, W.W. 2003. Restoring ecosystem health in frequent-fire forests of the American West. Ecological Restoration 21:1: 7-11

Covington, W.W., P.Z. Fulé, S.C. Hart, and R.P. Weaver. 2001. Modeling ecological restoration effects on ponderosa pine forest structure . Restoration Ecology 9(4):421-431.

Covington, W. W., 2000. Helping western forests heal. Nature 408:135-136.

Some of Dr. Covington's publications are also listed at the Ecological Restoration Institute's Publication Library.