Dr. Stephen Schoenholtz

Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Dr. Schoenholtz is a professor of forest hydrology and soils and the director of the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, a state and federally-funded research center.  The mission of the Water Center is to provide research and educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students interested in water resources, to promote interdisciplinary research on practical solutions to water-resources challenges, and to facilitate timely transfer of water-science information to citizens, government leaders, and water specialists. Dr. Schoenholtz has taught numerous undergraduate and graduate courses, ranging from wetland ecology and management to silviculture.  He currently teaches Watershed Assessment, Management and Policy.


He has an active research program at Virginia Tech focusing on interactions between land management and water and soil resources. In relation to global change, he studies the effects of energy-extraction systems (e.g. coal mining and cellulosic biofuel production) on hydrology, water quality, and biodiversity. He also studies effects of managed forests on soil carbon storage.

Dr. Schoenholtz is a member of two interdisciplinary graduate education programs at Virginia Tech, Water for Health and Interfaces of Global Change. He serves on the board of directors for the National Institutes for Water Resources and is a member of the Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, American Water Resources Association, Society of American Foresters, Society of Wetland Scientists, and Universities Council on Water Resources.

Lab website

Recent Relevant Publications

Danehy, R.J., R.E. Bilby, R.B. Langshaw, D.M. Evans, T.R. Turner, W.C. Floyd, S.H. Schoenholtz, and S.D. Duke. 2012. Biological and water quality responses to hydrologic disturbances in third order forested streams. Ecohydrology 5(1):90-98.
Devine, W.D., T.B. Harrington, T.A. Terry, R.B. Harrison, R.A. Slesak, D.H. Peter, C.A. Harrington, C.J. Schilling, and S.H. Schoenholtz. 2011. Five-year vegetation control effects on aboveground biomass and nitrogen content and allocation in Douglas-fir plantations on three contrasting sites. Forest Ecology and Management 262(12): 2187-2198. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2011.08.010
Slesak, R.A., S.H. Schoenholtz, and T.B. Harrington. 2011. Soil carbon and nutrient pools in Douglas-fir plantations five years after manipulating biomass and competing vegetation in the Pacific Northwest.Forest Ecology and Management 262(9):1722-1728.
Northington, R.M., E.F. Benfield, S.H. Schoenholtz, A.J. Timpano, J.R. Webster, and C.E. Zipper. 2011. An assessment of structural attributes and ecosystem function in restored Virginia coalfield streams. Hydrobiologia 671(1):51-63. DOI 10.1007/s10750-011-0703-7.
Kelly, C.N., S.H. Schoenholtz, and M.B. Adams. Soil properties associated with net nitrification following watershed conversion from Appalachian hardwoods to Norway spruce. Plant and Soil 344(1):361-376. Doi:10.1007/s11104-011-0755-5.
Evans, D.M., S.H. Schoenholtz, P.J. Wigington, Jr., and S.M. Griffith. 2011. Nitrogen mineralization in riparian soils along a river continuum within a multi-landuse basin. Soil Science Society of America Journal 75(2):719-728. Doi:10.2136/sssaj2010.0162.
McFarlane, K.J., S.H. Schoenholtz, R.F. Powers, and S.S. Perakis. 2010. Soil organic matter stability in intensively managed Ponderosa pine stands in California. Soil Science Society of America Journal 74:979-992. doi:10.2136/sssaj2009.0062.
Floyd, W.C., S.H. Schoenholtz, S.M. Griffith, J.P. Wigington, Jr., and J.J. Steiner. 2009. Nitrate-N, landuse/landcover, and soil drainage associations at multiple spatial scales.Journal of Environmental Quality 38(4): 1473-1482. DOI:10.213jeq2008.0099.
Dewey, J.C., S.H. Schoenholtz, J.P. Shepard, and M.G. Messina. 2006. Issues related to wetland delineation of a Texas bottomland hardwood forest. Wetlands 26 (2):410-429.

For a complete list of Dr. Schoenholtz’s publications, please see his website.