Anchorage Office

Aaron Wells, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist

Aaron Wells, Ph.D.

  • Vegetation and landscape ecology

  • Riparian ecology

  • Soil science

  • Field botany

  • Vegetation classification systems

  • Multivariate statistics using R

  • Database management and programming in postgreSQL

  • Ecological modeling

  • Ecosystem, wildlife habitat, and soils mapping in support of I&M, NEPA and FERC permitting, and Environmental Impact Statements


Aaron has over 15 years of experience as a vegetation and landscape ecologist, specializing in vegetation and ecosystem classification and mapping with an emphasis on soils and riparian systems. His academic training includes vegetation and landscape ecology, and multivariate statistics. Currently Aaron’s research and practice interests include: (a) classification and mapping of local-scale ecosystems, vegetation, soils, and wildlife habitats for use in landscape evaluations and assessments in support of FERC and NEPA permitting and Environmental Impact Statements (EIS); (b) developing landscape-scale models that incorporate ecological processes that control the patterns of vegetation and soils across the landscape; and (c) designing and implementing long-term ecological monitoring studies for use in detecting change through time. Over the past 12 years his projects have spanned across the central and northern Rocky Mountains, the Pacific Northwest, and Alaska and have included field studies in environments ranging from coastal to montane, riverine to alpine, and boreal forest to arctic tundra. Aaron received his Ph.D. in 2005 from Utah State University in Logan, and a post-doc with the Ecology Department at Montana State University in Bozeman from 2005 to 2008.

Select Publications
  • Wells A. F., G. V. Frost, T. Christopherson, M. J. Macander, and E. R. Trainor. 2016. Ecological land survey and soil landscapes map for Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve, Alaska, 2014. National Park Service. Fort Collins, CO.

  • Wells, A. F., J. L. Boettinger, K. E. Houston, and D. W Roberts. 2015. Ecological types of the eastern slope of the Wind River Range, Shoshone National Forest, Wyoming. U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fort Collins, CO. General Technical Report No. RMRS-GTR-345. 423 pp.

  • Mavris, C., G. Furrer, D. Dahms, S. P. Anderson, A. Blum, Jens Goetze, A. Wells, and M. Egli. 2015. Decoding potential effects of climate and vegetation change on mineral weathering in alpine soils: an experimental study in the Wind River Range (Wyoming, USA). Geoderma 255–256: 12–26.

  • Wells, A. F., G. V. Frost, T. Christopherson, and E. R. Trainor. 2014. Ecological land survey and soil landscapes map for Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska, 2013. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/KEFJ/NRTR—2014/921. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.

  • Wells, A., M. Macander, T. Jorgenson, T. Christopherson, B. Baird, and E. Trainor. 2013. Ecological land survey and soil landscapes map for Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska, 2011. National Park Service. Fort Collins, CO. Natural Resource Technical Report. NPS/LACL/NRTR—2013/693. 349 pp.