Ingrid C. “Indy” Burke is the Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. Dean at the Yale School of the Environment (YSE), an internationally recognized professional school that creates knowledge and leadership for a sustainable future.  

Through its internationally renowned faculty,  academic programs and a rich assortment of research centers and programs, Yale YSE:

  • Produces cutting-edge environmental research in the natural and social sciences and is home to more than a dozen centers, initiatives, and programs that conduct research, sponsor student internships, and host conferences and events.
  • Offers masters degrees in environmental management (M.E.M), environmental science (M.E.Sc.), forestry (M.F.), and forest science (M.F.S.), a doctoral degree (Ph.D.), and more than 10 joint- and dual-degrees with other departments and institutions, fostering interdisciplinary collaborations and promoting diverse perspectives on critical environmental issues.
  • Is committed to serving global to local communities by helping them address critical environmental challenges such as climate change, green infrastructure development, affordable renewable energy, conservation, and sustainable management.

Our School recognizes that environmental challenges are increasingly international and seeks to build a truly global school of the environment, with students from more than 30 countries currently enrolled. See our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds for regular updates on YSE.


Dr. Burke is an ecosystem ecologist whose research has focused on carbon and nitrogen cycling in semi-arid rangeland ecosystems. Her work with graduate students, postdoctoral associates, and colleagues has addressed the influence of land use management, climatic variability, and regional variability on these systems. She teaches in the fields of environmental science, ecosystem ecology, and biogeochemistry.

A respected educator and intellectual leader in the U.S. and internationally, she is particularly interested in fostering interdisciplinary scholarship. She came to YSE in 2016 from the University of Wyoming, where she was Dean of the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, one of the leading institutions in the western U.S. for research, teaching, and outreach on natural resource issues.

Service: Dr. Burke serves the national scientific community and the natural resources conservation community through service on scientific panels, boards, and committees, with the goal of bringing science to critical policy issues.

Selected Honors and Awards


  • 2019 Elected Fellow, Ecological Society of America
  • 2018 Elected Member, Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering
  • 2010 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Sciences
  • 2004–‘05 National Academy of Sciences Education Fellow in the Life Science
  • 1993–‘98 National Science Foundation Presidential Faculty Fellow Award


  • 2012 Promoting Intellectual Engagement Award, University of Wyoming
  • 2008 USDA Agricultural Research Service, Rangeland Resources Unit: Award for Enhancing Collaborative Research Partnerships
  • 2007 Colorado State University, Warner College Distinguished Teaching/Advising Award
  • 2005 & 1995 Colorado State University Honors Professor
  • 2001 - University Distinguished Teaching Scholar, Colorado State University (lifetime title)
  • 2000 Mortar Board Rose Award, Colorado State University
  • 1997 Outstanding Woman Scholar Award, Virginia Commonwealth University

Featured Contribution

Burke, I. C. . 2019. FOREWORD. xiii–xvi in A Better Planet: Forty Big Ideas for a Sustainable Future. Yale University Press.
Burke, I. C. , and J. Cameron. 2019. Epilogue: HOW TO MAKE BIG IDEAS WORK. 371–374 in A Better Planet: Forty Big Ideas for a Sustainable Future. Yale University Press.

Recent Publications

Swindon, J. G. , I. C. Burke, and W. K. Lauenroth. 2019. Seasonal Patterns of Root Production with Water and Nitrogen Additions Across Three Dryland Ecosystems. Ecosystems 22:1664 - 1675.
Renne, R. R. , D. R. Schlaepfer, K. A. Palmquist, J. B. Bradford, I. C. Burke, and W. K. Lauenroth. 2019. Soil and stand structure explain shrub mortality patterns following global change-type drought and extreme precipitation. ECOLOGY 100.
Renne, R. R. , J. B. Bradford, I. C. Burke, and W. K. Lauenroth. 2019. Soil texture and precipitation seasonality influence plant community structure in North American temperate shrub steppe. ECOLOGY 100.
Swindon, J. C. , W. K. Lauenroth, D. R. Schlaepfer, and I. C. Burke. 2019. Spatial distribution of roots across three dryland ecosystems and plant functional types. WESTERN NORTH AMERICAN NATURALIST 79:159-169.