Jesse Minor

About Jesse Minor

Forest ecology; disturbance in forests and woodlands; fire history; dendroecology; political ecology; sociology of scientific knowledge

Jesse Minor on Research Gate and Google Scholar

Areas of Study

My interests and experiences lie at the intersection of science, natural resource management, and environmental change. Current research topics include natural and anthropogenic forest disturbances such as wildfire, prescribed burning, and insect outbreaks, coupled with forest restoration techniques and land-use priorities. I have broad interests in nature-society interactions, particularly with a focus on resource extractive industries such as fishing, forestry, grazing, and harvesting.


Chiricahua-Dragoon FireScape

Ecological novelties created by modern water management of the Santa Cruz River, Arizona

Socioecology of sacred fengshui forests in southern China

Rural Development and Ecological Change in Montana

Cryptoclimatology in the Pacific Northwest

Research Interests

My dissertation work centers on a multi-agency landscape-scale forest restoration project in the Chiricahua and Dragoon Mountains of southeastern Arizona.  Arizona FireScape involves partners from the Forest Service, Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Nature Conservancy, and numerous private landowners and public-land permit holders.

I am studying the post-disturbance ecological trajectories of montane Sky Island forests following multiple mixed-severity wildfires. Using fine-grained community ecology data, this study will provide managers and ecologists with detailed information about regeneration rates, vegetation community composition, and structural conditions (forest versus shrubfield) after various combinations of fire severity.

I am also conducting a spatially extensive fire history reconstruction of the Chiricahuas, Dragoons, and Dos Cabezas mountains, with the goal of providing information on historical age structure, species competition, and disturbance histories of forest stands from oak-juniper woodlands up to high-elevation mixed-conifer forests. In the process, we attribute changes in fire frequency and fire regime to the removal of indigenous fire practices and replacement by of EuroAmerican fire use. 

In addition to fire history and dendroecological work, my disseratation includes investigation into the effects of aridity and climate on the tree taper (allometry) of Madrean Sky Island trees compared to the same species growing at higher latitudes and more mesic conditions. My dissertation also contains a paper on the effects of fire severity and post-fire regeneration strategy of woody shrub species on patch size and architecture following wildfire.

Selected Publications

Minor, J. and Boyce, G.A. 2018. Smokey Bear and the Pyropolitics of United States Forest Governance. Political Geography 62: 79:93.

Minor, J., Falk, D.A. and Barron-Gafford, G.A., 2017. Fire Severity and Regeneration Strategy Influence Shrub Patch Size and Structure Following DisturbanceForests8(7): 221.

Minor, J.J. and Arizpe, A.H. 2015. Trimming and Planing Rough-Cut Wood for Efficient Dendrochronological Sample Preparation and Storage. Tree-Ring Research 71(2): 130-134.

House-Peters, L., Kelly-Richards, S., Minor, J., Radonic, L., and Quinn, J. October 22, 2013. Public Political Ecology Field Course: Report on a two-day Critical Theory and Mixed Methods Course. Public Political Ecology Lab.

Hudson, A.M., Minor, J.J., and Posthumus, E.E. 2013. Stories of the Sky Islands: Exhibit Development Resource Guide for Biology and Geology at Chiricahua National Monument and Coronado National Memorial. Prepared for the National Park Service under terms of Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit Agreement H1200-05-0003,Task Agreement J8680090020. May 17, 2013

Minor, J.J. 2011.  "Adaptive Management" in Newman, J. (ed), Green Ethics and Philosophy: An A-to-Z Guide. 2011. SAGE Publications <>.

Anderson, G., Dick, E., Minor, J., and Pritchard, A. 2010. "Rethinking Water in the Arid Southwest: The Need for a New Framework for Managing Water in Arizona." Central Arizona Project Award for Water Research. (Corresponding author). Published online: AwardForResearch.aspx.

Minor, J.J. 2008. “Scientific Research across Socialist Transitions: The Shifting Focus of Ecological Research in Mongolia.” M.A. Thesis. University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona. pp. 1-69.

Minor, J. 2007. “Brucellosis”: in Encyclopedia of Environment and Society, vol 1.  Robbins, P. (ed). Sage: Thousand Oaks, CA, p. 171-172.

Minor, J. 2007. “Ecotone”: in Encyclopedia of Environment and Society, vol 2.  Robbins, P. (ed). Sage: Thousand Oaks, CA, p. 534-535.

Minor, J. 2007. “Fecal Coliform Bacteria”: in Encyclopedia of Environment and Society, vol 1.  Robbins, P. (ed). Sage: Thousand Oaks, CA, p. 651.

Minor, J. 2007. “Fire Ant”: in Encyclopedia of Environment and Society, vol 2.  Robbins, P. (ed). Sage: Thousand Oaks, CA, p. 673-674.

Minor, J. 2007. “Quinine”: in Encyclopedia of Environment and Society, vol 4.  Robbins, P. (ed). Sage: Thousand Oaks, CA, p. 1456.

Eusden, J.D., Jr., Anderson, K.B., Beaudry, E., Dupee, M., Larkin, R.R., Minor, J.J., and Welling, D.E. 2006. Domes, Volcanics, Migmatites, Refolded Folds and Granites: A Transect from the Bronson Hill Arc into the Central Maine Cover, Northern Presidential Range, New Hampshire: in Gibson, D., Daly, J. and Reusch, D., eds., New England Intercollegiate Geological Conference Guidebook for Field Trips in Western Maine 98(1), p. 167-180, Trip C-1.

Minor, J.J. 2002. P-T Paths for Acadian Migmatites of the Presidential Range, NH. The Maine Geologist 28(2), p. 6.

Dupee, M., Minor, J.J. and Eusden, J.D., Jr. 2002. Continued Bedrock Geologic Mapping in the Presidential Range, NH.: A Progress Report for EDMAP 2001: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs 37(2), p. A-68.

Minor, J.J. 2002 “P-T Paths of Acadian Migmatites of the Presidential Range, NH.” B.A. Thesis (honors). Bates College, Lewiston, Maine. pp. 1-150. 

Jesse Minor's picture

Contact Information

Jesse Minor
Assistant Professor of Geography, University of Maine at Farmington
Telephone: 207 778-7443
Office: Roberts Learning Center #316


Ph.D. Geography, December 2017, University of Arizona
School of Geography and Development
Minor: Natural Resources
Dissertation: Anthropogenic Influences on Fire Regimes and Post-Fire Ecological Communities in an Arizona Sky Island
Committee: Greg A. Barron-Gafford, Don A. Falk, Stephen R. Yool

  • Graduate Certificate in Dendrochronology, May 2014, University of Arizona
  • Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science (GIS), May 2012, University of Arizona

M.A. Geography, December 2008, University of Arizona
School of Geography and Development
Thesis: Scientific research across socialist transitions: The shifting focus of physical science research in Mongolia
Committee: Paul F. Robbins, Barbara J. Morehouse, Jennifer L. Croissant
B.A. Geology, magna cum laude, May 2002, Bates College,
Department of Geology
Minor: Philosophy
Thesis: P-T paths of Acadian migmatites of the Presidential Range, NH
Committee: J. Dykstra Eusden, Carl B. Straub, Charles Guidotti

Dissertation Title

Anthropogenic Effects on Fire Regimes and Ecological Communities in an Arizona Sky Island

Courses Taught


Our Changing Climate (GEOG 230)  Topics in atmospheric circulation, weather and climate on a variety of spatial and temporal scales. Enrollment: 40. Instructor Winter 2012 (online), Spring 2012, Winter 2013 (online), Spring 2013. Adjunct Instructor Fall 2017 (Enrollment: 80).

Dendroecology (GEOS 597)  Dendroecology is the study of ecology through the use of the tree-ring record. Ecological variables in the tree-ring record, theory and techniques of dendrochronology, applications to forest ecology. Lectures, laboratory training, and a multi-day field trip including data collection. Graduate-level requirements include a brief paper on an applied problem in dendroecology and make a presentation to the class. Enrollment: 15. Coinstructor Summer 2017.

Our Dynamic Landscape (GEOG 240)  Critical perspectives on complex environmental problems; issues include environmental hazards, renewable and nonrenewable resources; global, regional, and local patterns, and geographic scale are emphasized. Course is taught in four modules: Geomorphology, Biogeography, Disturbance, and Human Landscapes. Enrollment: 45. Coinstructor Fall 2011, Instructor Fall 2016.

Introduction to Dendrochronology (laboratory sections) (GEOG/GEOS/ANTH 439-539)  The scientific basis, techniques, and applications of dendrochronology. Intensive, weekly laboratory sessions teach the practical skills of specimen collection, preparation, observation, and crossdating. Co-convened graduate and undergraduate course. Enrollment: 20. Laboratory Instructor Fall 2015.

Earth’s Environment: Introduction to Physical Geography (GEOG 170)  Introduction to fundamental laws of nature as expressed by physical processes that govern the spatial distribution of Earth's land, sea, air, and biological environments. Focus on fluxes and feedbacks among these systems, and interactions with humans. Enrollment: 20. TA Fall 2008, Instructor Winter 2014. 

Biogeography (ECOL/GEOG/GEOS 438-538)  The role of historical events and ecological processes in determining the past and present geographic distribution of plants and animals. Co-convened graduate and undergraduate course. Enrollment: 35. Instructor Fall 2012.



Field Study in Environmental Geography (GEOG 303)  Methods used in environmental geography, including mapping techniques, use of global positioning systems, collection of various types of environmental data and basic data analysis methods. Enrollment: 30. TA Spring 2009, Instructor Spring 2010, Summer 2010, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Adjunct Instructor Spring 2018.

Landscapes and Watersheds from the San Juan Mountains to the Grand Canyon (HIST 495)  13-day, intensive experiential field course in environmental history and political ecology covering changing relationships to landscapes and watersheds in the Four Corners region. Enrollment: 5. Coinstructor Summer 2013.

Environmental History of the Santa Cruz River (GEOG 455)  Experiential field site and classroom based course on the ecology and environmental history of a dry river and its connections to multiple communities, ecologies, and narratives through time. Enrollment: 12. Coinstructor Summer 2011, Summer 2012.

Fire Effects and Ecological Recovery in the Chiricahua Mountains (GEOG 397)  Seminar-style class covering landscape change and ecological disturbance in sky island ecosystems, culminating in a 2-day overnight field trip to the Chiricahua Mountains, where students experienced first-hand the mosaic of ecological and landscape effects caused by the Horseshoe 2 fire and post-fire geomorphic changes. Enrollment: 8. Coinstructor Fall 2011.

Field Study in Geography (GEOG 397)  1-unit fieldtrip experience offered in conjunction with a regular semester course. Course was used to support field site visits for an environmental history course and to provide a weekend-long field trip associated with a general-education science class. Enrollment: 8-12. Instructor Summer 2011, Fall 2011, Summer 2012.

Preceptorship (GEOG 391)  Training and mentoring undergraduate preceptors in pedagogical skills, including instruction in laboratory and field methods, evaluating student research and presentations, and associated instructional practices. Enrollment: 1-3. Instructor Spring 2010, Summer 2010, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2015.



Introduction to Global Change (GC 170)  Global environmental changes that impact Earth systems and its inhabitants. Hands-on activities, discussions, writing exercises, and problem sets. TA Spring 2016.

Human Geography and Global Systems (GEOG 150)  Maintaining course website, coordinating a team of graduate TAs and undergraduate preceptors, instructing four sections of 20 students, including honor sections; grading exams and writing assignments, and evaluating student progress. TA Fall 2006, Spring 2007, Lead TA Fall 2007, Spring 2008.

Structural Geology (GEO 230)   Instructing geological field methods and the interpretation of geologic structures. TA Spring 2002.

Plate Tectonics and the Earth's Interior (GEO 104)  Assisting in field methods instruction and geologic mapping. TA Fall 2001.