Paul V Bolstad

Photo of Paul V Bolstad

Contact Me

Forest Resources
301H Green Hall

1530 N Cleveland Ave

I'm a full professor at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. I've worked here since 1995, with prior stints at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Assistant Professor), the University of Wisconsin, Colombia (Research Forester, Pizano,S.A.), North Carolina State University, the University of Massachusetts, and U.C. Berkeley, with time out for sabbaticals in Durban, South Africa, and Madrid, Spain. My teaching focuses on spatial data collection and analysis, primarily in a large introductory course in GIS, an integrated spatial analysis practicum, and an applied GPS course. I also teach the occasional course in ecosystems ecology. My research has focused on carbon and water cycling from leaf to regional scales, mostly in forest ecosystems, and mostly in the Lake States and Southern Appalachian Mountains. I've published over 70 journal papers, several book chapters, and a textbook, "GIS Fundamentals." The book is currently in its third edition, and has been adopted by over 300 colleges and universities.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: Forestry, University of Wisconsin, Madison.
  • M.Sc.: Forestry, North Carolina State University.
  • B.Sc.: Forestry, University of California, Berkeley.


  • Spatial analysis, geographic information systems and science, mass and energy cycles in forest and wetland ecosystems, land cover change
Courses Taught
  • FR 3131/5131: Introductory GIS
  • ESPM 5295: Spatial data development and analysis in natural resource management
  • FR 3031/5031: GPS for GIS
Research & Professional Activities


  • Co-Principle Investigator on NSF-funded project in Coweeta: Investigates natural and human-caused variation in plant and animal populations and in mass and energy cycles in the southern Appalachian Mountains
  • Co-Principle Investigator on a NASA-funded project: Project to improve integrated data/model analysis of forest carbon flux, and to identify relative sources of uncertainties
  • Principle Investigator on a statewide watershed health assessment: Project integrates spatial data and analysis of biological, hydrological, geomorphological and development factors
  • Bolstad, P.V. 2008. GIS Fundamentals (3rd Edition). Atlas Books.
  • Bolstad, P.V., and T. Gragson, 2008, Resource constraints on early post-contact Cherokee population, Journal of Archeological Research, 35:563-576.
  • LeDee, O., F. Cuthbert, P.V. Bolstad, 2007. A remote sensing analysis of coastal habitat composition for a threatened shorebird, the piping plover (Charadrius melodus), Journal of Coastal Research, DOI: 10.2112/06-0734.
  • Gragson, T.L., and P.V. Bolstad, 2007. A regional analysis of Cherokee town placement and population ca. 1721, Social Science History, 31:435-468.
  • Desai, A.R., Moorcroft, P.R., Bolstad, P.V. and Davis, K.J., 2007. Regional carbon fluxes from a biometrically-constrained dynamic ecosystem model: Impact of disturbance, CO2 fertilization and heterogeneous land cover. Journal of Geophysical Research - Biogeosciences, 112(G01017), DOI:10.1029/2006JG000264.