Worcester State University
Physical and Earth Sciences

Allison L. Dunn

Associate Professor of Physical Geography
Worcester State University
Worcester, MA  01602
Phone: 508-929-8641
Email: adunn at worcester.edu

Office: Ghosh Science and Technology Building, 410-P

Curriculum Vitae


Research Interests

My research uses principles from the geosciences, biology, and chemistry to understand the terrestrial carbon cycle. Areas of focus include ecosystem response to climate, urbanization effects on carbon fluxes and pools, and how forest management affects atmospheric carbon sequestration. Much of my research is locally-based and designed to facilitate undergraduate participation.  Active projects include:

  • Measuring carbon fluxes and pools in regenerating New England forests and system response to disturbance events such as the December 2008 ice storm
  • Assessing and quantifying carbon metabolism across the urban-rural gradient of Boston to Petersham, MA.  This includes installation of a high-resolution atmospheric carbon dioxide sensor on the roof of the Science and Technology building at Worcester State University.
  • Enhancing the diversity of the geosciences with a program integrating teacher training, high school internships, and college credit for high schoolers.
  • Continuing my dissertation research investigating the long-term carbon balance of a boreal black spruce forest, Thompson, Manitoba, Canada.

Teaching Interests

My teaching focuses on engaging students with the process of science.  I do so through data-driven and case-based approaches towards scientific investigation and writing projects emphasizing critical analysis of data and literature. Courses taught include:

  • Physical Geography
  • Meteorology
  • Hydrology
  • Contemporary Climate Change
  • Biogeography


B.A., Oberlin College (1996)
M.A., Ph.D., Harvard University (2003, 2006)

Related Links

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Phone: 508-929-8000