Paul Barten
Professor and ECo Honors Program Director

219 Holdsworth Hall
Links:  Curriculum Vitae

Primary interests

For almost 30 years my graduate students and I have completed a wide range of field and modeling projects that focus on the links between land use, streamflow, water quality, and aquatic ecosystems (as a surrogate for human health). The primary motivation for this work is the protection of drinking water supplies and aquatic ecosystems in collaboration with local communities, water utilities, non-governmental organizations (such as the Trust for Public Land and The Nature Conservancy), and state and federal agencies.  In many cases this involves the development and application of GIS-based analytical methods to identify critical areas for conservation, restoration, and stormwater management and protect or restore ecosystem services in large, diverse watersheds.  Spatial modeling studies are usually augmented with analyses of long-term meteorological and streamflow data, including sensitivity to climate change.  Other studies and long-term projects focus on the continuous improvement of forest conservation and watershed management programs.

Current Projects

    • Understanding the hydrological structure and function of forest and wetland ecosystems
    • Quantifying the effects of land use on streamflow and water quality
    • Watershed protection and management strategies (with a focus on municipal water supplies)
    • Environmental history, indigenous life ways and ecological knowledge, conservation and sustainability

Courses Taught

Recent Publications


Barten, P.K. (in preparation). Same Continent, Different World: Learning with the Cree of Eeyou Istchee. (book manuscript based on Compendia of Essays, 2014-2018, and other resources)

Barten, P.K. and W.R. VanDoren. (in preparation) Modeling wood availability for biomass energy generation.

Berton, R., P.K. Barten, J.L. Campbell, and C.T. Driscoll. (submitted) Climate change and land use effects on streamflow discharge and timing. Journal of Hydrology

Vose, J.M., K.L. Martin, and P.K. Barten (accepted) Applications of Forest Hydrologic Science to Watershed Management in the 21st Century. Chapter 15 in Forest Hydrology, D. Amatya, T. Williams, L. Bren, and C. de Jong (Editors), CBI Publishers, London, UK, 35 pp.

S. Naeem, J. C. Ingram, A. Varga, T. Agardy, P. Barten, G. Bennett, E. Bloomgarden, L. L. Bremer, P. Burkill, M. Cattau, C. Ching, M. Colby, D. C. Cook, R. Costanza, F. DeClerck, C. Freund, T. Gartner, R. Goldman-Benner, J. Gunderson, D. Jarrett, A. P. Kinzig, A. Kiss, A. Koontz, P. Kumar, J. R. Lasky, M. Masozera, D. Meyers, F. Milano, L. Naughton-Treves, E. Nichols, L. Olander, P. Olmsted, E. Perge, C. Perrings, S. Polasky, J. Potent, C. Prager, F. Quétier, K. Redford, K. Saterson†, G. Thoumi, M. T. Vargas, S. Vickerman, W. Weisser, D. Wilkie, S. Wunder. 2015. Getting the science right when paying for nature’s services. Science 347(6227):1206-1207

Barten, P.K., C. Nicolson, W.R. VanDoren. 2013.  Land cover, water resources, and prioritizing parcels. Pages 31-39 in “Natural Infrastructure: Investing in Forested Landscapes for Source Water Protection.”  Gartner, T., J. Mulligan, R. Schmidt, and J. Gunn (Editors), World Resources Institute, Washington, DC, 140 pp.

Barten, P.K. [chairman and principal author], M. Ashton, J. Boyce, R.T. Brooks, J. Buonaccorsi, J. Campbell, S. DeStefano, S. Jackson, M. Kelty, D. King, C.H. Sham, J. Tobiason, and M. Tyrrell. 2012.  Review of Massachusetts DWSP Watershed Forestry Program, Massachusetts DCR Division of Water Supply Protection Science and Technical Advisory Committee, 77 pages. (journal article, in prep.)

Barten, P.K. and W.R. Van Doren.  2012. Wood Availability for UMass Amherst Central Heating Plant Fuel Oil Replacement Project.  Dept. of Environ. Conservation, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 61 pages. (journal article, in prep.)

Brooks, K.N., P.F. Ffolliott, D.P. Guertin, Shiang-Yue Lu, J.L. Nieber, and S.R. Predmore, and P.K. Barten. Multiple resource models for peatland-upland forests of the northern Lake States. 2011.  Chapter 15 in Peatland Biogeochemistry and Watershed Hydrology at the Marcell Experimental Forest. R. Kolka, S. Sebestyen, E.S. Verry, and K.N. Brooks (Editors), Taylor & Francis Group, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, and London, UK

Zhang, Y., R. Sugumaran, M. McBroom, J. DeGroote, R.C. Kauten, and P.K. Barten. 2011.  Web-based Spatial Decision Support System and Watershed Management with a Case Study.  Intl. Journal of Geosciences (2):195-203.

Barten, P.K., and C.E. Ernst. 2010. Land Conservation and Watershed Management for Source Protection. Chapter 24 in Sustainable Water Resources: A Compendium of Issues and Trends. , Frederick Bloetscher (Editor), American Water Works Association, Denver, CO, pages 255-274.

de la Crétaz, A.L., L.S. Fletcher, P.E. Gregory, W.R. VanDoren, and P.K. Barten. 2010. An Assessment of the Forest Resources of Massachusetts. University of Massachusetts Amherst and Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, 274 pp. [Project Leader]

Zhang, Y., and P.K. Barten, 2009. Watershed Forest Management Information System (WFMIS). Environmental Modelling & Software (24):569-575.

Barten, P.K. 2009. Från skogen till kronen: Staden New Yorks vattenförsörjning. [From the Forest to Faucet: A Case Study of New York City’s Water Supply System] Abstract in Ekosystemtjänster – ett verltyg för hållbar utveckling, Sven-Erik Magnusson and Alexandra Odevall (Editors), Proceedings of Ecosystem Services-A Tool for Sustainable Development, Kristianstads Vattenrike and Krinova Science Park, Kristianstad, Sweden. June 11, 2009, pages 9-10.

Barnes, M.C., A.H. Todd, R. Whitney, and P.K. Barten. 2009. Forests, Water and People: Drinking Water and Forest Lands in the Northeast and Midwest United States. US Forest Service, Newtown Square, PA, NA-FR-01-08.

Zhang, Y., R. Sugumaran, P. K. Barten, and R. Kauten, 2009. Web-WMPI: a Web-based Watershed Management Spatial Decision Support System. Environmental Management

Kelty, M., A. D’Amato, and P.K. Barten., 2008. Silvicultural and environmental considerations for forest biomass harvesting in Massachusetts. Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources, Boston, 65 pp.

National Research Council., 2008. Hydrologic Effects of a Changing Forest Landscape. Water Science and Technology Board, National Academies Press, Washington, DC., 180 pp.

Avril L. de la Crétaz and Paul K. Barten., 2007. Land Use Effects on Streamflow and Water Quality in the Northeastern United States. CRC Press-Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton, Florida and London, 319 pp.

Selected older publications

National Research Council., 2004. Atlantic Salmon in Maine. Environmental Studies and Toxicology and Ocean Science Boards, National Academies Press, Washington, 275 pp.

Platt, R.H., P.K. Barten, and M.J. Pfeffer., 2003. New York protège ses sources rurales pour fournir de l’eau potable à ses habitants. [New York City protects rural sources of potable water for its residents]. LaRevueDurable 7: 38-41 [The Sustainability Journal], Fribourg, Switzerland.

National Research Council., 2002. Genetic Status of Atlantic Salmon in Maine. Environmental Studies and Toxicology and Ocean Science Boards, National Academies Press, Washington, 62 pp.

Barten, P.K., D. Damery, P. Catanzaro, J. Fish, S. Campbell, A. Fabos, and L. Fish. 2001. Massachusetts Family Forests: Birth of a landowner cooperative. Journal of Forestry 99(3):23-30*

Platt, R.H., P.K. Barten, and M.J. Pfeffer., 2000. A full, clean glass? Managing New York City’s watersheds. Environment 42(5):8-20.

National Research Council., 2000. Watershed Management for Potable Water Supply: Assessing New York City’s Approach. Water Science and Technology Board, National Academies Press, Washington, DC, 549 pp.

Fraser, R.H., P.K. Barten, and D.A.K. Pinney., 1998. Predicting stream pathogen loading from livestock using a GIS-based delivery model. Journal of Environ. Quality 27:935-945.

Barten, P.K., T. Kyker-Snowman, P.J. Lyons, T. Mahlstedt, R. O’Connor, and B.A. Spencer., 1998. Managing a watershed protection forest. Journal of Forestry 96(8):10-15

Rothrock. J.A., P.K. Barten, and G.L. Ingman., 1998. Land use, aquatic biointegrity, and management in the Blackfoot River watershed, Montana. Journal of the American Water Resources Assoc. 34(3):1-17.


Recent Graduate Students

Meagan M. Mazzarino, Ph.D.  Climate change, water resources, and indigenous communities in the Altiplano of Peru

William R. VanDoren, M.S.  Land prioritization to protect ecosystem services in the Crooked River watershed, Maine (major tributary to Sebago Lake, Portland’s water supply reservoir)