Welcome to the Novick Lab

Eco-physiology and Bio-meteorology at Indiana University

We study

interactions and feedbacks between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere.

Our Work...

is focused on understanding the links between climate, land management, and carbon and water cycling in Eastern U.S. forests. Understanding these interactions improves our ability to predict important processes like forest water use, carbon storage, and tree growth across heterogeneous landscapes and for a range of climate scenarios. Much of our research relies on field observations conducted at a range of scales (leaf -> tree -> ecosystem). Often, we leverage these observations with theoretical models to better understand the biophysical mechanisms that determine ecosystem carbon and water cycling, and to better predict these processes in time and space.

Research Projects

Long-term monitoring of land atmosphere exchange of CO2, H2O, and energy

Terrestrial ecosystems are important regulators of atmospheric CO2 concentration, water cycling, and surface and air temperature. In the Eastern U.S., the movement of CO2, H2O, and heat energy between forest ecosystems and the atmosphere can be quite large, but also quite sensitive to variable meteorological conditions. To improve our understanding of the magnitude and variability of these fluxes, our lab supports long-term observations of land-atmosphere mass and energy transport using "Flux Towers" in five Eastern US ecosystems:

Morgan-Monroe State Forest

Active Since 1998 - Central Indiana, USA
~90-year-old eastern deciduous hardwood forest

Visit the MMSF Flux Tower Website
Visit the Ameriflux page for MMSF

Overflow Wildlife Refuge

Active Since 2016 -near Hamburg, AR, USA
Old Field, Mowed Annually

Crossett Experimental Forest

Crossett Experimental Forest - Active since 2012
~65-year-old managed loblolly pine forest

Read more about the Crossett flux tower
Visit the Ameriflux page for Crossett

Rabun Gap

Active since 2016, north GA, USA (about 5 miles form Coweeta Hydrologic Lab
Cow Pasture

Bayles Road Grassland

Active since 2016 - Bloomington, IN, USA
Old Field, mowed annually

Visit the Ameriflux page for Bayles Road

Linking forest cover and temperature in the Eastern United States

Reforestation of grasslands and croplands cools the earth's surface in the tropics, and warms the surface in boreal zones. However, the impact of reforestation on surface temperature in the temperate zone is unclear. This project will test the hypothesis that reforestation in the Eastern U.S. affects energy balance in ways that cool the surface and thus may obscure long-term warming from climate change. Just as human bodies are cooled by sweating or by a fan, forests may be cooled by greater rates of evapotranspiration and wind-driven movement of heat energy when compared to the croplands and grasslands they have replaced. Project outcomes will inform models that reproduce historic climate trends and predict future conditions with more confidence. The research will also inform the development of sustainable agro-ecosystem management strategies that mitigate damaging effects of drought on ecosystem productivity and function. Funding from this project comes from the National Science Foundation, Division of Environmental Biology, CAREER award program

Drought Impacts On Species-Specific Carbon Uptake And Growth In Eastern U.S. Hardwood Forests

Drought events, which are predicted to become more frequent in the future, threaten to disrupt U.S. forest carbon cycling with important ecological and economic impacts. Thus, there is an imperative to obtain a species-specific understanding of the mechanisms determining tree response to drought. Our proposed work will meet this challenge by leveraging a rich collection of eco-physiological data collected from multiple eastern U.S. deciduous forest sites during a severe, naturally occurring drought. These data will be combined with new observations from a proposed rainfall removal experiment, and information on historic forest carbon cycling to be obtained from tree cores. Our focus on Eastern U.S. forests represents a departure from recent work investigating forest drought impacts in more arid regions; in the relatively wet Eastern U.S., drought-driven tree mortality may not be common, but the consequences of drought for forest carbon uptake and timber productivity may nonetheless be profound. Funding from this project comes from the USDA - Agriculture and Food Research Institute (AFRI).

Impacts of Land-Use/Land-Cover and Climate Changes on carbon cycling in the Southeastern USA

The southeastern US is characterized by high precipitation and solar radiation, making the region a major carbon sink and supporting vital food and fiber industries. Over the last two centuries, this region has experienced a remarkable disturbance history characterized by widespread clearcutting and then reforestation under active land management. Regional carbon cycling is undoubtedly linked to this management history, yet the mechanisms by which historical and future land management decisions determine the magnitude and variability of the regional carbon sink have not been elucidated. This project will merge information on regional ecosystem function from satellites, flux towers, and USDA Forest Service inventory data to better understand the carbon consequences of past, ongoing, and future land cover changes in the Eastern US. Funding from this project comes from the NASA-ROSES Carbon Cycle Science Program.



Lab Members

Dr. Kim Novick

Assistant Professor, IU SPEA, 812.855.3010, knovick@indiana.edu Download Kim's C.V.

Dr. Novick joined the faculty of IU’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs in 2012. Her work combines principals from biometeorology, plant physiology, and hydrology. Research interests include: elucidating the biophysical determinants of ecosystem carbon uptake and water use, exploring how drought affects a range of forest processes, advancing biometeorological observation approaches, and advancing the practice of network-enabled ecosystem science.

Michael Benson

MMSF Site Manager, micbenso@indiana.edu

Michael is the current lab and site manager for the MMSF flux tower. Before joining our lab, he received his BS in plant biology from the University of Oklahoma and worked as a research technician at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory. Much of his work is focused on ecophysiology with a particular emphasis on plant-water use and drought stress in eastern deciduous forests.

Koong Yi

PhD Student, IU SPEA, koongyi@gmail.com

Koong is a PhD student in Environmental Science program of SPEA, interested in carbon and water cycle in the forest ecosystem. Before joining our lab, he recieved his M.S. in Forestry from Korea University in Seoul, where his thesis work focused on simulating the soil carbon dynamics of Pinus densiflora forests in central Korea. His current research is about the water use strategies of tree species under drought condition at Morgan-Monroe State Forest. He has been particularly focused on developing and deploying a range of systems for the observation of tree stem water flow (or sap flux).

Sander Denham

PhD Student

Sander recieved her B.S. from Appalachian State University in Geography and Planning, and her M.S. from the University of Helsinki in 2014. She spent several years as a research technician with the USDA Forest Service, and joined our lab in the fall of 2016. Sander's work is focused on interactions between trees and bark boring insects, and on the determinants of species-specific, tree-level water use.

Quan Zhang

Post-Doctoral Research Assistant, quazhang@indiana.edu

Quan’s research interests are mainly on the exchange of water, energy and carbon between the atmosphere and biosphere. Before joining our lab, he received his PhD degree from Tsinghua University, and he had one year experience working at Duke University during his PhD period. His work is focused in understanding hysteresis phenomena in eco-hydrology, and understanding ecosystems response to drought. He is co-adivsed by Dr. Richard Phillips from Department of Biology.

Steve Scott

Steve Scott
Field and Instrument Scientist
IU Department of Geography

Steve has been involved with the operation and management of the Morgan-Monroe State Forest Flux Tower since 1998. Most of his work supports the research activities of IU Department of Geography Faculty, and includes developing physical platforms for remote sensing instrumentation, and serving as pilot for airborne remote sensing campaigns.

Matt Wenzel

Research Technician

Matt joined our lab in the Summer of 2016, after completing his MS in Geography at IU. His thesis was focused on using tree rings to understand the spatiotemporal effects of historic iron production emissions on forest ecosystems. Currently, Matt oversees the operations and maintenance of our three grassland flux towers; he is also responsible for performing quality control and analysis on those data, and interfacing with the AmeriFlux network. Moving forward, Matt will be analyzing data from multiple flux towers to understand how ecosystem energy balance differs between early and late-successional ecosystems.

Tessa Mandra

MPA-MSES Student, tmandra@indiana.edu

Tessa is pursuing her joint Masters of Environmental Science and Masters of Public Affairs in IU's School of Public and Enviornmental Affairs. Her research in the lab is focused on understanding the extent to which long-term trends in both atmosphereic CO2 and vapor pressure deficit contribute to observed trends in plant intrinsic water use efficiency.

Martin Medicus

MPA-MSES Student, mmedicus@indiana.edu

Martin recently earned his joint Masters of Environmental Science and Masters of Public Affairs in IU's School of Public and Enviornmental Affairs. His work in the lab is focused on using forest inventory data to understand the drivers of plant growth and mortality in southern Indiana, through a project undertaken in collaboration with the Indiana Division of Natural Resources. He also plays an important role in training undergraduate students on field research methods.

Lily Young

Undergraduate BSES student, youngll@umail.iu.edu

Lily is pursuing her BS in environmental science. She joined the lab during the first semester of her freshman year through an appointment as a "Sustainability Scholar" with the IU Office of Sustainability. Her work is focused on characterizing the leaf- and plot-level carbon and water cycle fluxes in a new AmeriFlux site located in a grassland near Bloomington, In.


Tyler Roman


Tyler managed the Morgan-Monroe State Forest flux tower site from 2011-2015, and authored a paper detailing species specific responses to the severe 2012 midwestern drought (Roman et al. 2015, Oecologia). He now works as a research ecologist with the USDA Forest Service, based at the Marcell Experimental Forest in Minnesota.

Dr. Ben Sulman

former Post-doctoral research associate

Ben's research in our lab focused on determining how carbon dioxide and water vapor fluxes from plants and the soil differ in their responses to meteorological events such as drought. In 2015, he assumed a position with the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory to continue work to better incorporate soil processes in earth system models.

Haley Waltman Ritger

SPEA MS/MPA 2014 Download Haley's Resume

Haley recently received her MPA-MSES, focusing her coursework in Applied Ecology. Her work in the lab explored resin production in southern pines and its implications for strategic resource management. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Forestry at the University of Georgia Warnell School.

Justine Missik

MSES 2015

Justine was an accelerated, thesis track MS student at IU who graduated in May, 2015. The topic of her master’s thesis was quantifying age-related hydraulic and biochemical restraints on tree photosynthesis, which is currently being prepared for submission. Justine is currently a PhD student in the Atmospheric Sciences program at Washington State University. When not pursuing her academic interests, Justine enjoys playing music.


Missik, J.E.C., Oishi, A.C., Benson, M. Meretsky, V., Phillips, R.P., Novick, K.A. Capturing species-level drought responses in a temperate deciduous forest using ratios of photochemical reflectance indices between sunlit and shaded canopies Submitted

Kannenberg,S., Novick, K.A. , Phillips, R.P., Coarse roots buffer whole-tree non-structural carbohydrate pools from drought in an isohydric and an anisohydric species. Submitted

Montane, F., Fox, A.M., Arellano, A.F., MacBean, N., Alexander, M.R., Dye, A., Bishop, D., Trouet, V., Babst, F., Hessl, A.E., Pederson, N., Blanken, P.D., Bohrer, G., Gough, C.M., Litvak, M.E., Novick, K.A., Phillips, R.P., Wood, J.D., Moore, D.J.P. . Evaluating the effect of alternative carbon allocation schemes in a land surface model (CLM4.5) on carbon fluxes, pools and turnover in temperate forests. Submitted

Hwang, T., Gholizadeh, H., Roman, D.T., Novick., K.A., Capturing species-level drought responses in a temperate deciduous forest using ratios of photochemical reflectance indices between sunlit and shaded canopies Submitted

Denham, S.O., , Coyle, D.R., Oishi, A.C., Bullock, B.P., Heliövaara, A.K., Novick, K.A. Effects of Synthetic, Micro-infestations of Bark Beetles on Tree Resin Dynamics Submitted

Yi, K., , Dragoni, D., Phillips, R., Roman, D.T., Novick, K.A. Dynamics of stem water uptake among isohydric and anisohydric species experiencing a severe drought Tree Physiology, In Press View Online

Burakowski, E., Twafik, A., Ouimette, A., Lepine, L, Zarzycki, C., Novick, K., Ollinger, S., Bonan, G. Simulating surface energy fluxes using uncoupled and coupled Earth System Models and eddy covariance tower clusters. Submitted

Ficklin, D., Novick, K. Historic and projected changes in evaporative demand suggest a continental-scale drying of the U.S. atmosphere. Journal of Geophysical Resarch - Atmospheres, In Press View Online

Tian, C., Wang, L., Novick, K.A. (2016) Water vapor δ(2) H, δ(18) O and δ(17) O measurements using an off-axis integrated cavity output spectrometer - sensitivity to water vapor concentration, delta value and averaging-time Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 30, 2077-2086. View Online

Novick, K.A. , Ficklin, D., Stoy, P.C., Williams, C.A., Bohrer, G., Oishi, A.C., Papuga, S.A., Blanken, D., Noormets, A., Sulman, B., Scott, R.L., Wang, L., Phillips, R. (2016) The increasing importance of atmospheric demand for ecosystem water and carbon fluxes. Nature Climate Change 6, 1023 - 1027. View Online

Novick, K.A., Oishi, AC., Miniat, C.F. (2016) Cold air drainage flows subsidize montane valley ecosystem productivity Global Change Biology 22, 4014-4027. View Online

Wagle, P., Xiao, X., Kolb, T., Law, B., Wharton, S., Monson, R., Chen, J., Blanken, P., Novick, K.A., Dore, S., and Noormets, A. (2016) Biophysical controls on carbon and water vapor fluxes of evergreen needleleaf forests in the United States. Ecological Processes 5, DOI: 10.1186/s13717-016-0053-5 2238-225. View Online

Sulman, B.N., Roman, D.T., Yi, K., Wang, L., Phillilps, R.P., Novick, K. (2016) Atmospheric demand for water can limit forest carbon uptake and transpiration as severely as soil drying. Geophysical Research Letters 43, 9686-9695. View Online

Sulman, B.N., Roman, D.T. , Scanlon, T.M., Wang, L., Novick, K.A. (2016). Comparing methods for partitioning a decade of carbon dioxide and water vapor fluxes in a temperate forest. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology226, 229:245. View Online

Zscheidschler, J., Fatichi, S., Wolf, S., Blanken, P., Bohrer, G., Clark, K., Desai, A., Hollinger, D., Keenan, T., Novick, K.A., Seneviratne, S.I. (2016) Short-term favorable weather conditions are an important control of interannual variability in carbon and water fluxes in temperate forests. Journal of Geophysical Research 121, 2186-2198. View Online

Manoli, G., Domec, J.-C., Novick, K.A. , Oishi, A.C., Marani, M., Katul, G. (2016). Soil-Plant-Atmosphere Conditions Regulating Convective Cloud Formation Above Southeastern US Pine Plantations Global Change Biology,22: 2238-54. View Online

Novick, K.A., Miniat, CF, Vose, JM. (2016). Drought limitations to leaf-level gas exchange: results from a model linking stomatal optimization and cohesion tension theory. Plant Cell & Environment, 39: 583-596. Download PDF

Roman, D.T., Novick, K.A., Brzostek, E., Dragoni, D., Rahman, F., and Phillips, R. (2015). The role of isohydric and anisohydric species in determining ecosystem-scale response to severe drought. Oecologia 179, 641-654. Download PDF

Novick, K.A., Oishi, A.C., Ward, E., Siqueira, M.B.S., Juang, J.-Y., and Stoy, P.C. (2015) On the difference in the net ecosystem exchange of CO2 between deciduous and evergreen forests in the southeastern U.S.“ Global Change Biology 21, 827-842. Download PDF

Matheny, A.M., Bohrer, G., Stoy, P., Baker, I., Black, A., Desai, A., Deitze, M., Gough, C., Ivanov, V., Jassal, P., Novick, K., Schäfer, K., and Verbeek, H. Characterizing the diurnal patterns of errors in the prediction of evapotranspiration by several land-surface models: an NACP analysis. Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences, 119, 1458-1473.View Abstract

Pryor, S.C., Horsby, K. and Novick, K.A. 2014. Multi-year measurements of nucleation mode particles through a deciduous forest canopy. Atmospheric Chemisty & Physics, 14, 18181-18206. View Online

Stoy, P.C., Lin, H., Novick, K.A., Siqueira, M.B.S., and Juang, J.-Y. (2014) The biogeography of the ecosystem entropy budget and trends along ecological sucession. Entropy 16(7), 3710-3731.View Online

Luyssaert, S., Jammet, M., Stoy, P.C., …K. Novick….et al. 2014. Land management and land-cover change have impacts of similar magnitude on surface temperature. Nature Climate Change 4: 389-393. View Online

Kim, D., Oren, R., Oishi, A.C., Hsieh, C.-I., Phillips, N., Novick, K.A., and Stoy, P.C. 2014. The effect of wind velocity on transpiration in a mixed broadleaved deciduous forest. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Volume 187, 15 April 2014, Pages 62-71. View Online

Novick, K.A., Miniat, C.F., Brantley, S.B., Walker, J.T., and J.M. Vose. 2014. Inferring the contribution of advection to total ecosystem scalar fluxes over a tall forest in complex terrain. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 185: 1-13. Download PDF

Novick, K.A., Walker, J.T., Chan, W.S., Sobek, C.M., and J.M. Vose. 2013. Eddy covariance measurements with a new fast-response, closed-path analyzer: spectral characteristics and cross-system. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 181: 17-32. Download PDF

Campbell, P.P.K., E. Middleton, K.J. Thome, R.F. Kokaly, K.F. Huemmrich, D. Lagomasino, K. Novick, and N.A. Brunsell. 2012. EO-1 Hyperion Reflectance Time Series at Calibration and Validation Sites: Stability and Sensitivity to Seasonal Dynamics. IEEE Journal of Select Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing 6: 276.290 View Online

Novick, K.A., G.G. Katul, H.R. McCarthy, and R. Oren. 2012. Increased resin flow in mature pine trees growing under elevated CO2 and moderate soil fertility. Tree Physiology. 32, 752-763. Download PDF

Oishi, A.C., R. Oren, K.A. Novick, S. Palmroth, and G.G. Katul. 2010. Inter-annual invariability of forest evapotranspiration and its consequences to water flow downstream. Ecosystems 13: 421 – 436. View Online

Avissar, R., H.E. Holder, N. Abehserra, M.A. Bolch, K.A. Novick, P. Canning, K. Prince, J. Magalhaes, N. Matayoshi, G. Katul, R.L. Walko, and K.M. Johnson. 2009. The Duke University Helicopter Observation Platform. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 90: 939 – 954. View Online

Novick, K.A., R. Oren, P. Stoy, M. Siqueira, and G.G. Katul, 2009. Nocturnal evapotranspiration in eddy-covariance records from three co-located ecosystems in the Southeastern U.S.: Implications for annual fluxes. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 149:1491-1504. Download PDF

Novick, K.A., R. Oren, P. Stoy, J.Y. Juang, M. Siqueira, and G.G. Katul. 2009. The relationship between reference canopy conductance and simplified hydraulic architecture. Advances in Water Resources, 32:808-819 Download PDF

Katul G and Novick K. 2009. Evapotranspiration. In: Gene E. Likens, (Editor) Encyclopedia of Inland Waters. Volume 1, pp. 661-667 Oxford: Elsevier View Online

Stoy PC, G.G. Katul, M.B.S. Siqueira, J.Y. Juang, K.A. Novick, H.R. McCarthy, A.C. Oishi, R. Oren. 2008. Role of vegetation in determining carbon sequestration along ecological succession in the southeastern United States. Global Change Biology, 14:1409-1427 View Online

Juang J-Y, G.G. Katul, M.B.S. Siqueira, P.C. Stoy, and K. Novick. 2007. Separating the effects of albedo from eco-physiological changes on surface temperature along a successional chronosequence in the southeastern United States. Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L21408, doi:10.1029/2007GL031296. View Online

Stoy, P.C., S. Palmroth, A.C. Oishi, E. Ward, M.B.S. Siqueira, J-Y. Juang, K.A. Novick, K. Johnsen, G.G. Katul, R. Oren. 2007. Are ecosystem carbon inputs and outputs coupled at short time scales? A case study from adjacent pine and hardwood forests using impulse-response analysis. Plant, Cell and Environment, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3040.2007.01655. View Online

Stoy, P., G.G. Katul, M.B.S. Siqueira, J.Y Juang, K.A. Novick, H.R. McCarthy, A.C. Oishi, J.M. Uebelherr, H-S Kim, and R. Oren. 2006. Separating the effects of climate and vegetation on evapotranspiration along a successional chronosequence in the southeastern U.S. Global Change Biology, 12: 1-21 View Online

Stoy, P., G.G. Katul, M.B.S. Siqueira, J. Y. Juang, K.A. Novick, J.M. Uebelherr, and R. Oren. 2006. An evaluation of models for partitioning eddy covariance-measured net ecosystem exchange into photosynthesis and respiration. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 141: 2-18. View Online

Novick , K.A., P. C. Stoy, G. G. Katul, D. S. Ellsworth, M. B. S. Siqueira, J. Juang, R. Oren. 2004. Carbon dioxide and water vapor exchange in a warm temperate grassland. Oecologia, 138:259-274. Download PDF


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E426/E26 – Applied Math for Environmental Science

This course emphasizes the application of basic mathematical operations and principles to problem solving and modeling in the environmental sciences. In the first third of the course, applications will be drawn from a review of calculus. For the remainder of the course, applications will be drawn from a survey of differential equations, including ordinary differential equations, systems of equations, and partial differential equations. Both analytical and numerical solution techniques will be discussed, and students will perform calculations by hand and with the assistance of analysis programs like Mathematica and MatLab. View Applied Math for Environmental Science Syllabus here.

E555 – Watershed Hydrology

The fluxes and pools of the terrestrial hydrologic cycle are important controls on a wide range of environmental variables and processes. Understanding their physical basis is critical for predicting future trends in water availability for human and agricultural use, for predicting the magnitude and timing of flood events, and for understanding interactions between hydrologic cycling and climate change. This course is focused on describing the physical and biological mechanisms controlling the principle terrestrial water cycle fluxes (precipitation, infiltration, runoff, evapotranspiration, groundwater flow, and streamflow) and pools (atmospheric water vapor, soil water, ground water, and surface water). The course also demonstrates how a mechanistic understanding of these processes can be applied to real-world problems and applications. View Watershed Hydrology Syllabus here.

SPEA Math Camp

This one-week course, held during the 2nd week of August, is designed for all SPEA MSES and those MPA Students inclined toward quantitative policy analysis. The SPEA Math Camp – Advanced course will provide an intense review of the mathematical skills – from Algebra to Intermediate Calculus - that you will need for your courses at SPEA. This is an un-graded course that you take purely to prepare you for graduate work. The emphasis will be on identifying your capabilities, comparing those capabilities to the skills that will be required in your course work, and filling in the gaps with instruction, practice and exercises. You will evaluate and monitor your own progress. The course will be centered on classroom activities from 8:30 to 12:30 each morning, Monday through Friday. Activities will include lectures, projects, worksheets, and guest appearances by faculty members who will discuss mathematical applications in the sciences and social sciences. You will use your afternoons to work on mathematical skills and meet with the instructors during their office hours for individual guidance if needed. View Math Camp Syllabus here.