University of California, Riverside

Faculty Profile System

Richard A. Minnich

Richard A. Minnich

Professor, Chair

Department of Earth Sciences
Geology 1462
(951) 827-5515

Research Areas

  • Biogeography, Fire Ecology

Research interests:
Fire ecology of southern California, Baja California, and temperate Mexico; exotic plant invasions, climate change.

Recent Projects:
Fire history and vegetation dynamics in the Sierra San Pedro Martir, Baja California, Mexico; changes in the coastal sage scrub of the Riverside/Perris plain; fire and postfire succession in the Mojave Desert; exotic/native herb dynamics in California annual grassland; Holocene fire occurrence in the Mojave Desert; stable isotopic composition of precipitation in southern California (with Alan Williams).


Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 1978


  • Minnich, R.A. with M.G. Barbour, J.H. Burk and R.F. Fernav., 1995, Sixty years of change in conifer forests of the San Bernardino Mountains: Reconstruction of California mixed conifer forests prior to fire suppression. Conservation Biology, v. 9. p. 902-914
  • Minnich, R.A. (with C.J. Bahre)., 1995, Wildland fire and chaparral succession along the California-Baja California boundary. International Journal of Wildland Fire, 5:13-24.
  • Wangler, M. and R. A. Minnich. 1996, Fire and succession in Pinyon-Juniper woodlands of the San Bernardino Mountains, California. Madroño, v. 43 p. 493-514.
  • Minnich, R.A. and Y.H. Chou. 1997, Wildland fire patch dynamics in the chaparral of southern California and northern Baja California. International Journal of Fire, v. 7 p. 221-248.
  • Minnich, R.A., E. Franco-Vizcaíno, H. de la Cueva, M.G. Barbour, J.H. Burk, and W.J. Barry . 1997, The Sierra San Pedro Mártir as a biosphere reserve. Journal of the Southwest, v. 39 p. 613-698.
  • Minnich, R.A. and E. Franco-Vizcaíno. 1998, Land of chamise and pines: historical descriptions of vegetation in northern Baja California. University of California Publications in Botany, v. 80 p. 1-166.
  • Minnich, R.A., M.G. Barbour, J. Burk and J. Sosa-Rámirez. 2000, Californian mixed-conifer forests under unmanaged fire regimes in the Sierra San Pedro Mártir, Baja California, Mexico. Journal of Biogeography, v. 27 p. 105-130.
  • Barbour, M.G and R.A. Minnich. 2000, California upland forests and woodlands in North American Terrestrial Vegetation, M.G. Barbour and W.D. Billing, eds., 2nd Ed. Cambridge University Press, p. 161-702.
  • Minnich, R.A., E. Franco-Vizcaíno , and R. J. Dezzani. 2000, The El Nino/Southern Oscillation and precipitation variability in Baja California, Mexico. Atmosfera , 13:1:20.
  • Minnich, R.A. 2001, Fire and elevational zonation of chaparral and conifer forests in the peninsular ranges of La Frontera. In G.L. Webster and C.J. Bahre (eds.), Changing Plant Life of La Frontera, p. 120-142. University of New Mexico Press.
  • Minnich, R.A. 2001, An Integrated Model of Two Fire Regimes. Conservation Biology, v. 15 p. 1549-1553
  • Minnich, R.A. 2006, "California climate and fire weather". Fire in California's ecosystems (N.G. Sugihara, J.W. VanWagtendonk, K.E Shaffer, Joann Fites-Kaufman and A.E.Thode (eds.). University of California Press
  • Minnich, R.A. 2006Minnich, R.A. (in press). California climate, paleoclimate and paleovegetation. In, Terrestrial vegetation of California, 3rd edition (M.G. Barbour, T. Keeler-Wolf, and A.S. Schoenherr, eds.). University of California Press, Chapter 2. (publication date, spring, 2007).
  • Minnich, R.A. 2006Minnich, R.A. (in press). Southern California coniferous forest. In, Terrestrial vegetation of California, 3rd edition (M.G. Barbour, T. Keeler-Wolf, and A.S. Schoenherr, eds.). University of California Press , Chpater 18. (publication date, spring, 2007).
  • Goforth, B.R., and R.A. Minnich. 2007.  EVIDENCE, EXAGGERATION, AND ERROR IN HISTORICAL ACCOUNTS OF CHAPARRAL WILDFIRES IN CALIFORNIA Ecological Applications , : Vol. 17, No. 3, pp. 779-790.
  • Goforth, B.R., and R.A. Minnich.  2008.  Densification, stand-replacement wildfire, and extirpation of mixed conifer forest in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, southern California.  Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 256, pp. 36-45.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Department of Earth Sciences
Geology Building

Tel: (951) 827-3434
Fax: (951) 827-4324