Environmental Curator

David Baker graduated from Louisiana State University with a B.S. in Botany. During his tenure at LSU he studied Hurricane ecology in Florida and Louisiana. He has been managing A Studio in The Woods since April 1, 2004, focusing on invasive species removal to restore ASITW to a naturally functioning forest.  During the last five years David has removed several thousand Chinese Privet and Chinese Tallow from the 7.66 acres.  In 2006 he was hired in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at Tulane University on a half time basis and now shares his time between ASITW and EEOB department.  Total immersion in Bottomland Forest Ecology and working in Louisiana’s many forests has helped create a realistic vision of what ASITW should look like.  Understanding how these ecosystems work has shaped how the management of ASITW will work well into the future.

Over the course of his five years at ASITW he has helped write a lesson plan for educating children in the ecological art mindset of the organization.  Taking artists out, giving tours, and educating the staff are all parts of his job description, as well as educating the neighboring communities on Bottomland Hardwood management through invasive species removal.

In the fall of 2009, David traveled to Iquitos Peru studying the effect of Blowdowns on the Amazon jungle to understand the impact these high level wind events have on the global carbon cycle and how fast the Amazon forest is recovering.

Currently David is working on two publications:

Quantifying hurricane driven tree mortality in Gulf Coast forests.
Robinson Negron Juarez, David B. Baker, Jeffrey Q. Chambers, Hongcheng Zeng, and Theryn Henkel.

Understanding Hurricane Damage in Bottomland Hardwood Forests; how common species react and recover.  Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Gustav.
David B. Baker, Jeffery Q. Chambers, Robinson Negron Juarez, and Hongcheng Zeng.

Published papers include:

Slater, H.H., W.J. Platt, D.B. Baker, and H.A. Johnson. (1995). Effects of Hurricane Andrew on damage and mortality of trees in subtropical hardwood hammocks of Long Pine Key, Everglades National Park, Florida, USA. Journal of Coastal Research 21:197-207.

Jeffery Q. Chambers, Jeremy I. Fisher, Hongcheng Zeng, Elise L. Chapman, David B. Baker, George C. Hurtt. (2007).  Hurricane Katrina’s Carbon Footprint on U.S. Gulf Coast Forest. Science 318, 1107.

Elise L. Chapman, Jeffrey Q. Chambers, Kenny F. Ribbeck, Dave B. Baker, Mark A. Tobler, Hongcheng Zeng and David A. White. (2008). Hurricane Katrina impacts on forest trees of Louisiana’s Pearl River basin.  Forest Ecology and Management 5:883-889.

Juarez, R. I. N., J. Q. Chambers, H. Zeng, and D. B. Baker. (2008). Hurricane driven changes in land cover create biogeophysical climate feedbacks.  Geophys. Res Lett., 35, L23401.