Chris Kucharik

Chris KucharikAssistant Professor
Department of Agronomy
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE)
Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies


Ph.D., Atmospheric Sciences with a minor in Soil Sciences, 1997
B.S., Atmospheric Sciences, 1992

Research areas:

Soil-plant-atmosphere Systems, Global Climate Change, Agriculture, Soil Biogeochemistry

Selected Publications:

Serbin, S.P. and C.J. Kucharik (in press). Spatio-temporal mapping of daily temperature and precipitation for the development of a multi-decadal climatic dataset for Wisconsin. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology. DOI: 10.1175/2008JAMC1986.1.

Kucharik, C.J. and S.P. Serbin (2008). Impacts of recent climate change on Wisconsin corn and soybean yield trends. Environmental Research Letters 3 034003 (10pp) doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/3/3/034003.

Kucharik, C.J. (2008). Contribution of planting date trends to increased maize yields in the central United States.  Agronomy Journal 100, 328-336, doi:10.2134/agronj2007.0145.

Kucharik, C.J. (2006). A multidecadal trend of earlier corn planting in the central USA. Agron. J. 98, 1544-1550.


Chris Kucharik is an associate scientist in the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment. During his graduate studies, Chris participated in the BOReal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study (BOREAS), an international field experiment that took place in the Canadian boreal forest. He helped design a high-resolution, two-band, ground-based remote-sensing instrument, called a Multiband Vegetation Imager - which allowed for advanced studies of forest canopy architecture and enabled for more accurate predictions of carbon cycling in high latitude ecosystems.

Currently, his research focuses on integrating field observations and numerical models of natural and managed ecosystems to better understand the influence of changing climate and land management on ecosystem services.

Chris' interests include carbon cycling and sequestration in wetlands, prairie ecosystems, and agricultural landscapes, water quality, biofuels, and how crop yields are affected by climate change and farmer management. This work has been supported by a NASA Interdisciplinary Science (IDS) grant, through the DOE National Institute for Climate Change Research (NICCR), Madison Gas and Electric, S.C. Johnson, and a Wisconsin Focus on Energy grant.

Chris works closely with both undergraduate and graduate students on a variety of field research projects, with the goal of exposing students to field-based ecological research while integrating policy, land management, and natural sciences.