Jim Zaczek | College of Agricultural Sciences | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Jim Zaczek, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair, Forestry

Jim Zaczek

Office Phone: 618 | 453-7465
E-mail: zaczek@siu.edu
Building Location: Agriculture Building, Room 184-A

Jim Zaczek joined the Forestry Department at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 1997 where he currently serves as Professor and Chair. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in Forestry (Forest Resources Management and Forest Genetics concentrations, respectively) from SIUC and a Ph.D. in Forest Science from Penn State University. Jim has been a researcher and educator in forestry since 1983 when he joined the research faculty at Penn State. He is passionate about teaching and has taught a variety of courses including current courses in Ecology of North American Forests, Forest Ecosystems, and Tree Physiology. Jim is proud of the outstanding faculty, staff, and students in the Department of Forestry, who together, comprise one of the top programs in the country.


Dr. Zaczek's research encompasses the biology, ecology, and genetics of trees with emphasis on oak; restoration and regeneration ecology of hardwood forest ecosystems; stand dynamics in old growth hardwood forests; ontogenetic changes in trees; propagation of recalcitrant woody plants. Current research emphasis focuses on the restoration of giant cane (Arundinaria gigantea) habitat including the propagation, establishment, growth, and canebrake development.


  • Ecology of North American Forests
  • Forest Ecosystems
  • Tree Identification Laboratory
  • Tree Physiology: Concepts and Applications
  • Forest Ecology Field Studies - Lake States
  • Forest Ecology Field Studies - Appalachians


  • 1991-94 Ph. D. Forest Resources, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.
  • 1980-82 M. S. Forestry, Concentration in Forest Genetics, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL
  • 1977-80 B. S. Forestry, Resource Management Specialization, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL (SIUC).
  • 1975-77 Forest Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.

Awards and Leadership

  • Chair, Illinois Forestry Development Council, 2010 - present
  • Chair, National Association of University Forest Resource Programs, North Central Region, 2009 - present
  • Nominated for the Outstanding Advisor/Mentor Award for the College of Agricultural Sciences, 2008
  • The Donald M. Elkins Excellence in Education Award. 2001. College-wide recognition for teaching achievement presented by the College of Agricultural Sciences Student Advisory Council, SIUC
  • Instructional Development Program Certificate, Pennsylvania State University
  • Completed the Penn State In-Service Course in College Teaching. January 25 - April 4, 1996, University Park, PA

Publications (selected from 64 published)

  • Beck, W.J., Schoonover, J.E., Williard, K.W.J., and Zaczek, J.J. 2013. Attenuation and persistence of fecal indicator bacteria in vegetated buffer strips in Southern Illinois, USA. Agroforestry Systems. 87(6): 1405-1419.
  • Hartleb*, J. L., J. E. Schoonover, J. J. Zaczek, and J. W. Groninger. 2011. Growing Giant Cane (Arundinaria gigantea) for Canebrake Restoration: Greenhouse Propagation and Field Trials. Ecological Restoration 29:3 234-242.
  • Zaczek, J. J., S. G. Baer, and D. Dalzotto. 2010. Fire and Fertilization Effects on the Growth and Spread of Rhizome-Transplanted Giant Cane (Arundinaria gigantea) Restoration Ecology 18: 462-468. Suppl. 2 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1526-100X.2009.00560.x/full
  • Ruzika, K. J., J. W. Groninger, and J. J. Zaczek. 2010. Deer browsing, forest edge effects, and vegetation dynamics following bottomland forest restoration. Restoration Ecology 18:702-710.
  • Romano*, S. P, S. G. Baer, J. J. Zaczek, and K. W. J. Williard. 2009. Site modeling methods for detecting hydrologic alteration of flood frequency and flood duration in the floodplain below the Carlyle Dam, Lower Kaskaskia River, Illinois, USA. River Research and Applications 25:975-984.
  • Zaczek, J. J, S. G. Baer, J. L. Hartleb, W. W. Brendecke, J. E. Schoonover, K. W. J. Williard, and J. W. Groninger. 2009. Survival and genet growth and development of field-planted giant cane (Arundinaria gigantea) over time in southern Illinois. Castanea 74(3): 286-299.

Other Research and Outreach

  • 65 abstracts
  • 50 research reports to sponsors
  • 31 invited talks
  • 111 oral presentations