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Faculty Directory

Burnell C. Fischer

Clinical Professor
Co-director, Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis
(812) 855-0441
Ostrom Workshop, RM 201, 513 N. Park Ave.

Ph.D., Purdue University, 1974
M.S.F., Purdue University, 1971
B.S.F., Purdue University, 1969

Professional Experience

  • Co-director, The Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, 2012- present
  • Clinical Professor, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, 2005-present
  • Affiliated Faculty Member and Co-coordinator Indiana IFRI CRC, Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, 2005-present
  • Affiliated Faculty Member, Center for the study of Institutions, Population and Environmental Change (CIPEC), 2008-present
  • Director, Undergraduate Programs, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, 2008–2011
  • State Forester & Director Division of Forestry, Indiana DNR, 1990-2005
  • The Nature Conservancy Sustainable Forestry Review Team, South America Projects, 2005
  • Co-coordinator, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Program, 1985-1989
  • Professor and Extension Forester, Purdue University, 1977-1997
  • Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, 1974-1977

Awards, Honors & Certifications

  • Frederick Law Olmsted Award, Arbor Day Foundation, 2013
  • IUB Office of Sustainability Research Award to Bloomington Urban Forestry Research Group at CIPEC (Fischer lead PI), 2012
  • IU-B Freshman Learning Program Fellow, 2008
  • SPEA Teaching Award, Undergraduate Instruction, 2008
  • Indiana Urban Forest Council “Outstanding Government Entity – in Promoting the Principles of Urban Forestry in Indiana to Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs Urban Forestry Course,” 2007
  • NASF Burney Fischer Current Achievement Award in Urban Forestry, established 2006
  • Indiana Arborist Association Distinguished Service Award, 2004
  • President, National Association of State Foresters (NASF), 2003-2004
  • Purdue University Distinguished Agricultural Alumni, 2003
  • USDA National Urban Forestry & Community Advisory Council (NUCFAC), 2000-2003
  • Elected Fellow, Society of American Foresters, 1998
  • Society of American Foresters Certified Forester, 1997- present
  • Indiana Society of American Foresters Meritorious Service Award, 1996
  • Co-chair Indiana Governor’s Conference on the Environment, 1994
  • General Chair, Society of American Foresters National Convention, 1993
  • Society of American Foresters Technology Transfer and Extension Award, 1985

Professional Interests
Forestry, particularly community and urban forest management practices and policies; natural resource governance and policy; silviculture and growth and development of Central Hardwood forest stands

Current Projects
Grant Contract

  • USFS NUCFAC “Trees and People, A Two Way Street: A Research Program to Assess the Direct and Indirect Effects of Urban Tree Planting Programs in the Face of Climate Change” PI B.C. Fischer, Co-PI’s J.M. Vogt, S.K. Mincey, S. Watkins. 2012-15, $173,206 (plus $188,365 in matching funds).
  • Member, Board of Directors, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. 2011-present
  • Member, Board of Directors, Alliance for Community Trees, 2010 – present
  • Bloomington Urban Forestry Research Group at CIPEC (PI), 2009 – present
  • Evaluation of the USFS State & Private Forestry Redesign Program (PI), 2009 – present
  • Chair, Workshop Advisory Council, IUB The Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, 2009 – present
  • President and member, Board of Directors, Indiana Urban Forest Council, 2007 – 2012
  • National Arbor Day Association Tree Campus USA Advisory Committee, 2007 – present
  • President, National Association of State Foresters Foundation, 2006 – 2012, continuing member
  • IU-B SPEA and City of Bloomington, IN: Partnering for the Urban Forest, 2006 - present
  • Dynamics of Reforestation in Coupled Social-Ecological Systems: Modeling Land-Use Decision Making and Policy Impact, National Science Foundation Grant (co-PI), 2007-09
  • US Forest Service NEPA for the 21st Century Initiative (co-PI), 2006-09
  • Member, City of Bloomington Tree Commission, 2005 - 2010
  • Member, HP&VA Hardwood Forestry Fund Board, 1999 - present
  • Member, Indiana Forestry Education Foundation, Life Trustee
OnTOPIC Podcast
SPEA Podcasts Urban Forests

Selected Publications
Full Vita (pdf)

  • Cox, M., B.C. Fischer, S.K. Mincey, T.B Ruseva, S. Tomas-Villamayor. 2013. Evaluating the USFS State & Private Forestry Redesign Program: A first look at policy implications. Ecological Economics 85:35-42.
  • Epstein, G., J.M. Vogt, S.K. Mincey, M. Cox, B.C. Fischer. 2013. Missing ecology: Integrating ecological perspectives with the social-ecological systems framework. International Journal of the Commons, 7(2) 432-453 (online)
  • Mincey, S.K., M. Hutten, B.C. Fischer, T. Evans, S. Stewart, J.M. Vogt. 2013. Structuring institutional analysis for urban ecosystems: A key to sustainable urban forest management. Urban Ecosystems, 16:553-571.
  • Ruseva, T.B., B.C. Fischer. 2013. Public-private interactions in the conservation of private forests in the United States. In E.S. Brondizio & E.F. Moran (Eds.) Human Environment Environment Interactions: Current and Future Directions, Newark, NJ, Springer, pp141-164.
  • Schmitt-Harsh, M., S.K. Mincey, M. Patterson, B.C. Fischer, T. Evans. 2013. Private residential urban forest structure and carbon storage in moderate-sized urban area in the Midwest United States. Urban Forests & Urban Greening 12(4) 454-463.
  • Ruseva, T.B., B.C. Fischer. 2012. The shared stewardship and leadership of our private forests: Insights from forest landowners’ personal networks. In D.R. Gallagher (Ed.), Environmental Leadership: A Reference Handbook, Thousand Oaks CA, Sage. pp 673-681.
  • Coleman, E.A., B.C. Fischer, J.A. Kershaw. 2012. Using stocking guides to take stock of forest institutions. Society and Natural Resources 25:2009-15.
  • Vogt, J.M., B.C. Fischer. 2012. Exploring the relationship between the urban forestry and community sustainability programs of Tree City USA municipalities in Indiana. Bloomington Urban Forestry Research Group White Paper, November 2012.
  • Farmer, J.R., D. Knapp, V.J. Meretsky, C. Chancellor, B.C. Fischer. 2011. Place attachment and the adoption of conservation easements. Conservation Biology 25(4): 827-834.
  • Farmer, J.R., C. Chancellor, B.C. Fischer. 2011. Space to romp and roam: How open space and natural areas may impact land conservation behavior. Natural Areas Journal 31(3):340-348.
  • Farmer, J., Chancellor, C., Fischer, B. 2011. Motivations for using conservation easements as a land protection mechanism: a mixed methods analysis. Natural Areas Journal 31(1), 80-87.
  • Auer, M., K. Richards, D. Seesholtz, B. Fischer, C. Freitag, J. Grice. 2011. The U.S. Forest Service and Its Responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act: A Work Design Problem. Public Organization Review DOI 10.1007/s11115-010-0115-6, p.135-153.
  • Fleischman, F.D., K. Boenning, G.A. Garcia-Lopez, S. Mincey, M. Schmitt-Harsh, K. Deadlow, M.C. Lopez, X. Basurto, B.C. Fischer, E.O. Ostrom. 2010. Disturbance, response and persistence in self-organized forested communities: Analysis of robustness and resilience in five communities in Southern Indiana. Ecology and Society 15(4): 9, 21p.[online] URL:
  • Tucker, C.M., A. Agrawal, B.C. Fischer. 2010. The International Resources and Institutions Research Program: An Elinor Ostrom Creation. Transnational Corporations Review 2(2):79-83.
  • Fischer, B.C., T.B. Ruseva. 2010. What is happening in and outside America’s private woodlands. (Invited Response to: Coufal, J.E., C. Wiedemann and M. Gleason, What’s happening in the woods). J. Forestry 108(6):304-306.
  • Mincey, S.K., B.C. Fischer. 2009. The Woodland Campus: A historic walking tour of Indiana University-Bloomington. IU-B School of Public and Environmental Affairs (1st ed,) 20p.
  • Morrissey, R.C., M.M. Gauthier, J.A. Kershaw, Jr., D.F. Jacobs, J.R. Seifert, B.C. Fischer, 2009. Grapevine dynamics in association with manual tending, physiography, and host tree associations in temperate deciduous forests. Forest Ecology & Management 257:1839-1846.
  • Richards, K. D. Seesholtz, C. Freitag, M. Auer, J. Barbour, B.C. Fischer, G. McCardle. 2009. Contrast in NEPA: Approaches by the U.S. Forest Service Region 1 and Region 6 – a pilot study. A report to the U.S. Forest Service, Washington Office; USDA Forest Service.
  • Morrissey, R.C., M.M. Gauthier, J.A. Kershaw, Jr., D.F. Jacobs, B.C. Fischer, J.R. Seifert. 2008. Grapevine dynamics after manual tending of juvenile stands on the Hoosier National Forest, Indiana. In: Jacobs, D.F. and Michler, C.H., eds., Proceedings of the 16th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 2008 April 8-9, West Lafayette, IN. USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-24.
  • Morrissey, R.C., D.F. Jacobs, J.R. Seifert, B.C. Fischer, J.R. Kershaw. 2008. Competitive success of natural oak regeneration in clearcuts during the stem exclusion state. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 38:1419-1430.
  • Richards, K., D. Seesholtz, J. Grice, M. Auer, J. Barbour, B.C. Fischer, C. Freitag, G. McArdle. 2007. Internal organization and external contracting for the NEPA process: Lessons from new institutional economics and strategic organization design. A white paper prepared for the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 49p.
  • Fischer, Burnell C., Michael Steinhoff, Sarah Mincey, Lance Dye. 2007. The 2007 Bloomington Street Tree Report: An Analysis of Demographics and Ecosystem Services. Bloomington Urban Forestry Report 01-07. 30 pp. Available at
  • Fischer, B.C. 2006. Forest management in the upland central hardwoods: a suggested status report. The Indiana Forester, pp. 2-3.
  • Fischer, B.C. 2005. State trends in Forest/Wildlife Issues - An Indiana Division of Forestry Perspective. Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service Bulletin, FNR – 258. p. 11.