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Ross Virginia

Professor Virginia

Myers Family Professor of Environmental Science and Director, Institute of Arctic Studies- within the Dickey Center for International Understanding

Professor Virginia’s research examines how climate change affects elemental cycling in terrestrial systems, especially in the polar regions. Much of this work is focused on soil biodiversity and carbon cycling in Antarctic polar deserts and tundra ecosystems in Greenland. Another line of work focuses on Arctic environmental policy.

Selected Publications

  • Ball, B. A. and R. A. Virginia. 2014. The ecological role of moss in a polar desert: implications for aboveground- belowground and terrestrial -aquatic linkages. Polar Biology 37:651-664, DOI 10.1007/s00300-014-1465-2
  • Virginia, R. A. and D. H. Wall. 2013. Ecosystem function, principles of. pp. 90-95. In: Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, 2nd Edition, S. A. Levin (Editor). Elsevier Inc.
  • Collins, J. F., M. Sfraga, R. A. Virginia and K. S. Yalowitz. 2013. A Euro-Atlantic Action Plan for Cooperation and Enhanced Arctic Security. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington D.C.
  • Ball, B. A. and R. A. Virginia. 2012. Meltwater seep patches increase heterogeneity of soil geochemistry and therefore habitat suitability, Geoderma 189-190: 652-660.
  • Levy, L. B., M. A. Kelly, J. A. Howley, and R. A. Virginia. 2012. Age of the Orkendalen moraines, Kangerlussuaq Greenland: constraints on the extent of the southwestern margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Quaternary Science Reviews 52:1-5.
  • Ball, B. A., R. A. Virginia, J. E. Barrett, A. N. Parsons, and D. H. Wall. 2009. Interactions between physical and biotic factors influence CO2 flux from Antarctic dry valley soils. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 41(7): 1510-1517.
  • Virginia, R. A. 2009. An ecosystem approach to mountain resorts. pp. 24-38, In: Milne, J. E., J. LaMense, and R. A. Virginia (editors). Mountain Resorts: Ecology and the Law. Ashgate Publishers Ltd.: Aldershot, Brookfield USA, Singapore, Sydney. For the Series: Ecology and Law in Modern Society, edited by R. O. Brooks and R. A. Virginia.
  • Barrett, J. E., R. A. Virginia, D. H. Wall, P. T. Doran, A. G. Fountain, K. A. Welch, and W. B. Lyons. 2008. Persistent effects of a discrete climate event on a polar desert ecosystem. Global Change Biology 14: 2249-2261.
  • Virginia, R. A., K. S. Yalowitz, and I. Krupnik. 2007. Introduction: Perceptions of climate change. In: Stuckenberger, N. (ed.). Thin ice: Inuit traditions within a changing environment. University Press of New England, Hanover, NH.
  • Chapin, F. S. III, 2005. Polar Systems. Chapter 25, pp. 717-743. In: Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Current State and Trends. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Series, Vol 1., R. Hassan, R. Scholes and N. Ash (eds.). Island Press, Washington D.C.
  • Doran, P. T, et. al. 2002. Antarctic climate cooling and terrestrial ecosystem response. Nature 415:517-520

Current Courses:

  • ENVS 15- Environmental Issues of the Earth's Cold Regions

Past Courses:

Contact Information

Professor Ross Virginia
Environmental Studies Program
109 Steele Hall
HB 6182
Hanover, NH  03755
Phone: 603-646-0192
Fax: 603-646-1682


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Last Updated: 9/22/14