Dr. Burke is an ecosystem ecologist whose research has focused on carbon and nitrogen cycling in dryland ecosystems. She received her B.S. in Biology from Middlebury College and her Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Wyoming, and has taught at Colorado State University and the University of Wyoming. Her work with graduate students, postdoctoral associates, and colleagues has addressed how drylands are influenced by land use management, climatic variability, and regional variability. She teaches in the fields of environmental science, ecosystem ecology, and biogeochemistry.
She has received over $20m in grant support for research, and published over 150 peer-reviewed articles, chapters, books, and reports. Burke has served as a member of several National Research Council (NRC) committees to review national environmental research programs and policies, as a member of the NRC Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, on the national Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board, and as a member of numerous National Science Foundation, NASA, EPA, and other advisory panels. She has served on editorial boards for a number of nationally ranked scientific journals.
A respected educator and intellectual leader in the U.S. and internationally, Dean Burke is particularly interested in fostering interdisciplinary scholarship. She came to F&ES in 2016 from the University of Wyoming, where she was the dean of the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, one of the leading institutions in the western U.S. for research, teaching, and outreach on natural resource issues.
Selected Honors and Awards
- 2010 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Sciences
- 2004–’05 National Academy of Sciences Education Fellow in the Life Sciences
- 1993–’98 National Science Foundation Presidential Faculty Fellow Award
- 2012 Promoting Intellectual Engagement Award, University of Wyoming
- 2008 USDA Agricultural Research Service, Rangeland Resources Unit: Award for Enhancing Collaborative Research Partnerships
- 2007 Colorado State University, Warner College Distinguished Teaching/Advising Award
- 2005 & 1995 Colorado State University Honors Professor
- 2001 University Distinguished Teaching Scholar, Colorado State University (lifetime title)
- 2000 Mortar Board Rose Award, Colorado State University
- 1997 Outstanding Woman Scholar Award, Virginia Commonwealth University