Photo of Mark Cochrane


Mark Cochrane

Mark Cochrane
Appalachian Laboratory


Dr. Mark Cochrane conducts interdisciplinary work combining ecology, remote sensing, and other fields of study to provide an Earth systems perspective of the dynamic processes involved in global change. He is an expert on wildfire, documenting the characteristics, behavior and severe effects of fire in tropical and temperate forests that are inherent to current systems of human land-use and management. His research focuses on understanding spatial patterns, interactions and synergisms between the multiple physical and biological factors that affect ecosystems. Recently published work has emphasized climate change, human dimensions of land-cover change and the potential for sustainable development. In his ongoing research program, Dr. Cochrane continues to investigate the drivers and effects of disturbance regime changes resulting from various forms of forest degradation, including fire, fragmentation and logging as well as the mitigating effects of forest and land management.

Recently funded projects

Areas of Expertise

  • Wildland Fire
  • Climate Change
  • Earth Systems Science
  • Disturbance Ecology
  • Land Cover Change
  • Remote Sensing


  • Pennsylvania State University, 1998, Ph.D. Ecology
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1993. S.B. Environmental Engineering Science

Regularly Offered Courses

Graduate Program Foundation Areas

Lab News

Bigger, stronger, disastrous: How climate change fuels wildfires

Mark Cochrane has been studying the characteristics and behaviors of wildfires since graduate school. Now a professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science's Appalachian Laboratory, Cochrane discusses how wildfires differ across regions, if places like California are more prone to fires than others, and his research that shows wildfires will occur more because of climate change.

Earth Ablaze: AL Professor Mark Cochrane co-author of recent NYT Opinion

AL Professor Mark Cochrane and his co-authors discuss growing threat of increasingly intense and widespread wildfires in a recent New York Times Opinion.