Photo of David Bart

David Bart

Assistant Professor
Landscape Architecture
Degrees/Academics
BS Human Ecology, MA Anthropology, PhD Ecology and Evolution
Office
42c Agricultural Hall

My interest is in understanding human causation of environmental change and applications of this knowledge to the fields of conservation and restoration ecology. With my solid background in social sciences, ecology, and philosophy of science, I address many of the methodological and conceptual challenges to making studies of human-environmental interactions causally relevant. My goal is to use this knowledge to understand how future actions will affect undesirable environmental changes, thereby enhancing conservation and restoration project designs and implementation. My interdisciplinary training and attention to causation provide unique tools for students to use in site analyses, planning, and management in order to prevent the recurrence of problems. I have mostly applied this approach to plant invasions and changes in wetland-plant diversity.

I have conducted research on human-environmental interactions in the United States, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Newfoundland Canada. I have published articles on the causes and management of plant invasions, wetland ecology, concepts in human ecology, and the uses and limitations of local ecological knowledge (knowledge produced outside of the scientific community) in causal studies and ecological restoration.

My teaching emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding environmental problems and restoration design.

Courses to which I will contribute include:

-LA 710: Theories of Landscape Change

-LA 651: Restoration Ecology Workshop

-LA 866: Restoration Ecology Seminar

-LA 920: Graduate Workshop 

In addition, I am developing a course titled: “Human-Environmental Interactions”, an introductory course that will allow students to explore how humans use and shape the natural world, and, in turn, how the natural world has shaped human culture and society.

I am a member of the Ecological Society of America, the Society for Ecological Restoration,  Society of Wetland Scientists, the Estuarine Research Federation, and the Nordic Society Oikos. 

In recent years I have focused on the effects of land-use legacies (long-lasting effects of abandoned land use) on plant invasions, invasion resistance, and current community structure in wetlands. In turn, I focus on how these legacies impact the efficacy of standard restoration practices (such as hydrologic restoration, grazing release, or controlled burns). I have also researched the possibility of using abandoned agricultural practices to control or prevent wetland invasions.

One tool used to understand legacy impacts is local ecological knowledge, or knowledge held by resource users or other members of the non-scientific community. I have researched local knowledge with an evaluative approach.  Are claims about the impacts of past activities correct? Can tested causal claims be used in new management techniques?  These questions are essential if local knowledge is to be used as a tool in ecological research.

The legacies of plowing and impacts on ecohydrology in calcareous fens (2013-present). 

The impact of land-use legacies and stress on invasion resistance in calcareous fens (2012-present).

The impact of land-use legacies on shrub encroachment in an Ecuadorian paramo (2011-2012).

Can marsh haying prevent or control reed-canary grass invasion in sedge-meadow wetlands? (2010-2013).

Bart, D. and M. Simon. 2013. Evaluating Local Knowledge to Develop Integrative Invasive-Species Control Strategies.  Human Ecology 41: 779-788.

Matson, E. and D. Bart. 2013.  Interactions among fire legacies, grazing and topography predict shrub encroachment in post-agricultural páramo.  Landscape Ecology ISSN 10.1007/s10980-013-9926-5.

Bart, D., M. Simon, Q. Carpenter, and S. Graham. 2011.  Historical land use and plant-community variability in a Wisconsin calcareous fen.  Rhodora 113: 160-186.

Bart, D.  2010.  Using weed-control knowledge from declining agricultural communities in invasive species management. Human Ecology 38: 78-85. 

Bart, D.  2008.  Looking for cause with all the small changes: using event ecology to find human causes of biological invasions.  In: B.J. McCay, B. Walters, C.P. West, and S. Leeds (eds.) Against The Tides: The Vayda Tradition in Human Ecology and Ecological Anthropology. Boston: Lexington Press.  Chapter 6.

Bart, D. submitted. Using locally derived weed control knowledge and practice in ecological restoration: a case study and methodological challenges. submitted to Environmental Conservation. 

Balser, T., K. McMahon, D. Bart, D. Bronson, D. Coyle, N. Craig, M. Flores-Mangual, K. Forshay, S. Jones, A. Kent, and A. Shade. 2006. Bridging the gap between micro- and macro-perspectives on the role of microbial communities in global change ecology. Plant and Soil 289: 59-70. 

Bart, D. 2006. Integrating local knowledge into experimental studies to understand the causes of environmental change. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 4: 541-546. 

Bart, D., D. Burdick, R. Chambers, and J. Hartman. 2006. Human facilitation of Phragmites australis invasions in tidal marshes: a review and synthesis. Wetlands Ecology and Management 14: 53-65. 

Bart, D. and J. Hartman. 2003. The role of large rhizome dispersal and low salinity windows in the establishment of Common Reed, Phragmites australis in salt marshes: new links to human activities. Estuaries 26: 436-443. 

Chambers, R., D. Osgood, D. Bart, and F. Montalto. 2003. Phragmites invasion and expansion in tidal Wetlands: interactions among salinity, sulfide, and hydrology. Estuaries 26: 398-406. 

Bart, D. and J. Hartman. 2002. Constraints on the establishment of Phragmites australis in a New Jersey salt marsh. Wetlands 22: 201-213. 

Bart, D. and J. Hartman. 2000. Environmental determinants of Phragmites australis expansion in a New Jersey salt marsh: an experimental approach. Oikos 89: 59-69. 

Peer-Reviewed Book Chapters

Bart, D. 200x. Looking for cause with all the small changes: using event ecology to find human causes of biological invasions. In: B.J. McCay, B. Walters, C.P. West, and S. Leeds (eds.) Against The Tides: The Vayda Tradition in Human Ecology and Ecological Anthropology. Boston: Lexington Press. Chapter 7 (in press). 

Technical Reports

Hartman, J.M. and D. Bart. 2003. Progress on monitoring tidal restoration projects in the New Jersey Meadowlands district. Summary report for task 4, report 8: Phragmites control. Report to the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, North Arlington, New Jersey: 22pp.+ supplements. 

Bart, D. 1999. Report on the reference conditions for the restoration of the marshes near the Las Cruces Biological Field Station, Costa Rica. Report to the Las Cruces Biological Field Station, Organization for Tropical Studies: 36pp. 

McCay, B., B. Blinkoff, R. Blinkoff, and D. Bart. 1993. Report, Part 2, Phase I, Fishery Impact Management Project, to the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) NA17FCOO45-03: 155 pp. + app. 

Selected Presentations

Invited Seminars and Workshops

Bart, D. 2005. “Knowledge, ignorance, and novelty: integrating local knowledge into ecological research strategies”- Gaylord Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies (University of Wisconsin-Madison) Workshop on Transdisciplinary Research. May, 2005. 

Bart, D. 2003. “Looking for cause with all the small changes: using event ecology to find human causes of biological invasions” – American Anthropological Association Annual Conference. Chicago, Illinois, November 21, 2003. 

Bart, D. 2003. “Looking for cause with all the small changes: human causation of Phragmites australis invasion in a New Jersey salt marsh” – Rutgers University-Newark Biology Program Seminar Series. Rutgers University, Newark, NJ April 22, 2003. 

Bart, D. 2002. “Avoiding Phragmites australis reinvasion after tidal marsh restoration, or, how to use an ounce of prevention to avoid more pounds of cure” – Wetland Compensatory Mitigation in the Mid-Atlantic: What Works, What Doesn’t and How Can We Do Business Better? Interagency Wetland Compensatory Workshop, USEPA Region II and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Trenton, NJ October 10, 2002. 

Bart, D. and J.M. Hartman. 2002. “Anthropogenic alterations to salt marshes as causes of Phragmites invasion: small changes with huge consequences” – Phragmites australis: A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing? Vineland, NJ January 7, 2002. 

Chambers, R., D. Osgood, D. Bart, and F. Montalto. 2002. “Phragmites invasion and expansion in tidal wetlands: interactions among salinity, sulfide, and hydrology” – Phragmites australis: A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing? Vineland, NJ January 7, 2002. 

Bart, D. 2000. “Why are the effects of Phragmites invasion in tidal systems so elusive?” – 3rd Annual Wetland Regulatory Workshop, Atlantic City, NJ November 2, 2000. 

Bart, D. and J.M. Hartman. 2000. “Understanding human roles in Phragmites invasion to produce opportunities for intervention” – 3rd Annual Wetland Regulatory Workshop, Atlantic City, NJ November 2, 2000. 

Selected Conference Presentations

Bart, D. 2000. “Understanding the role of disturbance in invasions: a case study of Phragmites australis” – 2000 Rutgers, Princeton, and Penn State Ecology and Evolution Symposium, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ October 28, 2000. 

Bart, D. and J.M. Hartman. 2000. “Mechanisms of Phragmites australis expansion in a salt marsh: a historical/experimental approach” – Millennium Wetland Event, Society of Wetland Scientists 21st Annual Meeting, Québec, Canada. August 7, 2000. 

Bart, D. 1996. “The uses and limits of local knowledge and practice in studies of Phragmites australis invasion in salt hay farms targeted for restoration in New Jersey” – Society for Ecological Restoration 1996 International Conference, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ June 22, 1996.