Fairbanks Office

Charles B. Johnson, M.S.

Senior Scientist

Charles B. Johnson, M.S.

  • Threatened and endangered species

  • Section 7 consultations

  • Ornithology

  • Mammalogy

  • Habitat evaluation

  • Oil development

  • Forestry


Charles (Rick) Johnson has focused his research interests on disturbance impacts, habitat relationships, behavioral ecology, foraging ecology, and productivity of waterfowl, loons, shorebirds, seabirds, marine mammals, mustelids, and deer.


Recently, he has been the principal investigator on studies of the effects of aircraft overflights and oilfield development on nesting tundra birds, the abundance and distribution of breeding birds and mammals on the Colville River Delta and National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska, the status and recovery of sea otters after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, and the response of marine mammals to rocket launches on Kodiak Island. Expertise in threatened and endangered birds and marine mammals has led Rick to conduct numerous Section 7 consultations and be the lead author on biological assessments for numerous projects on the North Slope of Alaska, Cook Inlet, and Kodiak areas. He was a co-author on a collaborative regional study of the impacts of oilfield development and predators on the productivity of tundra nesting birds as well as several papers on sea otters in the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Select Publications
  • Johnson, C. B., A. M. Wildman, A. K. Prichard, and C. L. Rea. 2018. Territory occupancy by breeding yellow-billed loons near oil development. The Journal of Wildlife Management, forthcoming. DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.21592

  • Garshelis, D. L., and C. B. Johnson. 2013. Prolonged recovery of Sea Otters from the Exxon Valdez oil spill? A re-examination of the evidence. Marine Pollution Bulletin 71: 7–19.

  • Garshelis, D. L., and C. B. Johnson. 2013. Sea otters: trying to see the forest for the trees since the Exxon Valdez. Pp. 348–378 in J. A. Wiens (ed.), Oil in the environment: legacies and lessons of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

  • Harwell, M. A., J. H. Gentile, C. B. Johnson, D. L. Garshelis, and K. R. Parker. 2010. A quantitative ecological risk assessment of the toxicological risks from Exxon Valdez subsurface oil residues to Sea Otters at northern Knight Island, Prince William Sound, Alaska. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment 16: 727–761. Winner of Paper of the Year Award in 2010 from HERA.

  • Liebezeit, J. R., S. J. Kendall, S. Brown, C. B. Johnson, P. Martin, T. L. McDonald, D. C. Payer, C. L. Rea, B. Streever, A. M. Wildman, and S. Zack. 2009. Influence of human development and predators on nest survival of tundra birds, Arctic Coastal Plain, Alaska. Ecological Applications 19: 1628–1644.