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Forest & Plant Scientist Cards

Julie A. Arnold, Forestry Technician

Julie Arnold, Forestry Technician
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Julie A. Arnold, Forestry Technician

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  • B.S., Clemson University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • As a forestry technician in the research field, my work is a balance of field work (ie, collecting samples, taking measurements, and downloading dataloggers), lab work (ie, sample preparation and analysis), and data processing (ie, creating spreadsheets, charts, and graphs).

Dr. Dale Bartos, Plant Ecologist (specialty is Aspen)


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  • Ph.D., Colorado State University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A plant ecologist studies plants and how they function on the landscape. 


Dr. Mike Battaglia, Research Forester

Dr. Mike Battaglia, Research Forester
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Dr. Mike Battaglia, Research Forester

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  • Ph.D., Colorado State University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A research forester studies how trees establish and grow in a forest. 


Mr. Gary Bentrup, Research Landscape Planner
 


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  • Master of Landscape Architecture, Utah State University
     
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • I study agroforestry.  Agroforestry is the use of trees to provide multiple benefits to society.
     

Susan Best, Plant Pathologist

Susan Best, Plant Pathologist
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Susan Best, Plant Pathologist

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  • M.S., Iowa State University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A plant pathologist specializes in plant health.  Keeping plants  healthy requires an understanding of the organisms that cause disease, as well as an undertanding of how plants grow and are affected by disease.

Dr. Don C. Bragg, Project Leader/Research Forester

Dr. Don C. Bragg, Project Leader/Research Forester
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Dr. Don C. Bragg, Project Leader/Research Forester

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  • Ph.D., Utah State University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • Foresters study many aspects of trees and forests, from traditional silviculture to carbon storage to the relationship between humans and trees.  My forestry research concentrates on the ecology and management of pine forests in the southern United States.

Dr. Tom Brandeis, Research Forester

Dr. Tom Brandeis, Research Forester
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Dr. Tom Brandeis, Research Forester

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  • Ph.D., Oregon State University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • As a forester, I inventory, monitor, and assess forest resources.

Dr. Jack Butler, Vegetation Ecologist

Dr. Jack Butler, Vegetation Ecologist
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Zhiyong Cai, Material Engineer

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  • Ph.D., Texas A&M University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • Vegetation ecologists study structure, function, and dynamics of plants and plant communities.  I also look at how the characteristics of plant communities might be influenced by natural and human-caused disturbances. 

Dr. Kerry Britton, Forest Pathologist


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  • Ph.D., University of Georgia
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A forest pathologist studies tree diseases.  These diseases are caused by many of the same kinds of microorganisms that make humans sick, such as fungi, bacteria, and viruses.


Dr. Andrezej Bytnerowicz, Ecologist


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  • Ph.D., Silesian University, Katowice, Poland 
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • As an ecologist, I monitor and evaluate the impacts of air pollution and climate change on forests and other ecosystems.


Dr. Stacy Clark, Research Forester

Dr. Stacy Clark, Research Forester
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Dr. Stacy Clark, Research Forester

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  • Ph.D., Oklahoma State University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • As a forester, I research the best ways we can help certain tree species, like oaks or American chestnut, be the largest and fastest growing trees in the forest. 

Dr. Susan Cordell, Plant Ecophysiologist


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  • Ph.D., University of Hawaii, Manoa
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A plant ecophysiologist studies the ways in which plants interact with the environment.


Ms. Michelle Cram, Plant Pathologist


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  • M.S., University of Michigan
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A plant pathologist studies the organisms and environmental factors that cause plant diseases, and methods to reduce or prevent damage by diseases.


Dr. Robert Deal, Research Forester


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  • Ph.D., Oregon State University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • As a research forester, I conduct research on applied silviculture.  Silviculture is the art and science of establishing and growing trees to meet the needs and values of landowners.


Dr. Diane DeSteven, Wetlands Ecologist


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  • Ph.D., University of Michigan
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A wetlands ecologist studies land based ecosystems that often flood or ponds with water, such as swamps and marshes.  My specialty is wetland plant communities.


Dr. Robert L. DeVelice, Vegetation Ecologist

Robert L. DeVelice, Vegetation Ecologist
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Robert L. DeVelice, Vegetation Ecologist

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  • Ph.D., New Mexico State University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • Vegetation ecology is the study of the composition, structure, distribution, and dynamics of plants and their interaction with the environment.

Dr. Dan Dey, Project Leader / Research Forester

Dr. Dan Dey, Research Forester
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Dr. Dan Dey, Research Forester

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  • Ph.D., University of Missouri
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • As a forester, I assess silvicultural practices to restore and sustainably manage forests, woodlands, and savannas.  Silviculture is the practice of establishing, growing, and managing the health and quality of forests to meet diverse needs and values of society. 

 


Dr. Grant Domke, Research Forester

Dr. Grant Domke, Research Forester
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Dr. Grant Domke, Research Forester

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  • Ph.D., University of Minnesota
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • As a forester, I study carbon dynamics in forest ecosystems.  I develop and improve techniques to estimate forest carbon stocks and changes to the carbon stocks using forest inventory information. 

Kerry Dooley, Forester

Kerry Dooley, Forester
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Kerry Dooley, Forester

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  • M.F.S., Yale University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A forester examines the growth, function, health and management of trees.

Katelyn Driscoll, Ecologist

Katelyn Driscoll, Ecologist
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Katelyn Driscoll, Ecologist

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  • M.S., University of Montana
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • An ecologist studies interactions between living things and their environment.  As an ecologist, I often focus on streams, rivers, and riparian ecosystems. 

Dr. Craig Echt, Forest Geneticist

Dr. Craig Echt, Forest Geneticist
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Dr. Craig Echt, Forest Geneticist

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  • Ph.D., Indiana University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A forest geneticist compares the DNA from trees growing in different forests to figure out how they may be different or whether they share a common ancestry. 

Dr. Katherine J. Elliot, Forest Ecologist

Katherine J. Elliot, Forest Ecologist
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Katherine J. Elliot, Forest Ecologist

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  • Ph.D., University of Maine
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A forest ecologist studies interactions among plants, animals, energy, water, and nutrients.  A forest ecologist also studies how all of these things relate to patters and processes in forest ecosystems. 

Mr. Michael Gavazzi, Biological Scientist


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  • M.S., Virginia Tech
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A biological scientist is a jack of all trades.  I work with other researchers in diverse disciplines to study forest ecosystems response to prescribed burning, climate change, and natural and man-made disturbance.


Dr. Qinfeng Guo, Research Ecologist


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  • Ph.D., University of New Mexico
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A plant ecologist studies plants and how they function on the landscape.

 


Dr. Rich Hallett, Forest Ecologist


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  • Ph.D., University of New Hampshire
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A forest ecologist is concerned with the survival of the forests, how trees and people 'get along,' and how we can help each other.


Dr. Bill Hargrove, Landscape Ecologist


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  • University of Georgia
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A landscape ecologist searches for the links between patterns and ecological processes across large areas.


Dr. Connie Harrington, Silviculturist / Tree Physiologist


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  • Ph.D., University of Washington (Seattle)
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A silviculturist studies how trees interact with each other and how changing a tree's neighborhood influences how it grows and the other plants that grow with it.  A tree physiologist studies the biological processes that influence tree growth.


Christie Hawley, Natural Resource Analyst

Christie Hawley, Natural Resource Analyst
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Christie Hawley, Natural Resource Analyst

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  • M.N.R., University of Georgia
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • As a natural resource analyst, I gather geographic and field data on forests and wildland fires.  I analyze these data using computer software to answer scientific questions related to fire and plant interactions.

Dr. Sean Healey, Forest Ecologist

Sean Healey, Forest Ecologist
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Sean Healey, Forest Ecologist

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  • Ph.D., University of Washington
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A forest ecologist studies the structure, composition, and processes that interact in a forest to provide different habitats for plants and animals.  My research focuses on improving our understanding of changes in forest conditions.

Dr. Linda Heath, Research Forester


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  • Ph.D., University of Washington
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • I study ways to provide estimates of multiple environmental benefits.  An example of a benefit is forest carbon.  The estimates are needed at local to national to global scales.


Ms. Laurie Stroh Huckaby, Dendroecologist


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  • M.S. Forest Ecology, Colorado State University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A dendroecologist uses tree rings to reconstruct climate, disturbances (including human land use), and other factors that influence tree growth.


Dr. Carolyn Hunsaker, Ecologist

Dr. Carolyn Hunsaker, Ecologist
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Dr. Carolyn Hunsaker, Ecologist

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  • Ph.D., University of California
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • An ecologist studies the relationship of living things with the living and nonliving environment.  I study the forest vegetation, soils, climate, air quality, stream organisms, and water quantity and quality. 

 


Dr. Louis Iverson, Landscape Ecologist


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  • Ph.D., University of North Dakota
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A landscape ecologist studies how landscapes (ranging from large continents to small fields) are put together and how they function to provide ecosystem services to humans and all life.


Dr. Bob Keane, Research Ecologist

Dr. Bob Keane, Research Ecologist
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Dr. Bob Keane, Research Ecologist

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  • Ph.D., University of Idaho 
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • As an ecologist, I study wildland fuel science, ecosystem modeling, and ecosystem restoration to see how natural processes affect the landscape. 


Dr. Laura Kenefic, Silviculturist

Laura Kenefic, Silviculturist
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Laura Kenefic, Silviculturist

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  • Ph.D., University of Maine
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • As a silviculturist, I study ways to sustainably manage forests for desired products and outcomes.

Dr. Becky K. Kerns, Research Ecologist

Becky K. Kerns, Research Ecologist
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Becky K. Kerns, Research Ecologist

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  • Ph.D., Northern Arizona University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • Plant ecologists study plants and their surroundings, or environment, and inform people about how to leave plant communities healthy for future generations. 

Dr. Grant Kirker, Research Technologist

Dr. Grant Kirker, Research Technologist
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Dr. Grant Kirker, Research Technologist

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  • Ph.D., Mississippi State University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • Research technologists are responsible for planning, conducting, and analyzing scientific experiments as well as communicating results through peer-reviewed journals.  My research interests relate to living and nonliving factors that cause wood to decay.


Dr. Shaneka S. Lawson, Research Plant Physiologist

Shaneka Lawson, Research Plant Physiologist
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Shaneka Lawson, Research Plant Physiologist

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  • Ph.D., Purdue University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A plant physiologist studies the physical aspects of plants in relation to one another, such as color, leaf shape, and size. 

 


Dr. D. Jean Lodge, Research Botanist (Mycologist)


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  • Ph.D., North Carolonia State University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • Mycologists explore a diverse range of problems relating to the fungal kingdom, including their diversity, classification, their roles in sustaining or attacking plants, insect pests and other animals or humans, and their roles in nutrient cycling.


Eini C. Lowell, Research Forest Products Technologist

Eini C. Lowell, Research Forest Products Technologist
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Eini C. Lowell, Research Forest Products Technologist

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  • M.S., Oregon State University 
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • As a research forest products technologist, I study forest management and the effects of management on wood products we use everyday like furniture, paper, or building materials.

Dr. Rima Lucardi, Plant, Molecular, and Invasion Ecologist


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  • Ph.D., Mississippi State University 
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • An ecologist studies low organisms interact with each other and the environment.  I use genetic tools to answer ecological questions related to plants and invasive species.


Dr. Ariel Lugo, Ecologist


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  • Ph.D., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • I am a tropical ecologist, and I study forests, wetlands, and cities in the tropics.


Dr. Steven McNulty, Landscape Ecologist


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  • Ph.D., University of New Hampshire 
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • Ecology is a Greek word - "ology" means "to study" and "eco" means house.  In this case, the house is the Earth, and I study large parts of our planet, so I am a "landscape ecologist."


Dr. Connie Millar, Evolutionary Geneticist / Mountain Scientist


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  • Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • I am a mountain scientist, and I study the effects of past and present climates on mountain ecosystems.


Dr. Rakesh Minocha, Ecophysiologist


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  • Ph.D., University of New Hampshire
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • I monitor health of forests by measuring the content of stress-related compounds (biochemcial indicators) in the way doctors use cholesterol and insulin levles in blood tests as indicators of human health.


Dr. Isabel Alvarez Munck, Plant Patholigist


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  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • Plant pathologists study plant diseases.  A plant disease is the interaction between plants, their pathogens (viruses, bacteria, nematodes, and fungi), and the environment.


Dr. Steve Norman, Forest Ecologist

Dr. Steve Norman, Forest Ecologist
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Dr. Steve Norman, Forest Ecologist

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  • Ph.D., Penn State University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A forest ecologist studies forest changes to understand what it means for forest values like clean air and water, wood products, wildlife habitat, and recreation.

Dr. Malcolm North, Forest Ecologist


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  • Ph.D., University of Washington
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A forest ecologist studies the structure, composition, and processes that interact in a forest to provide different habitats for plants and animals.


Dr. Christopher Oswalt, Forest Ecologist / Silviculturist

Dr. Christopher Oswalt, Forest Ecologist / Silviculturist
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Dr. Christopher Oswalt, Forest Ecologist / Silviculturist

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  • Ph.D., University of Tennessee
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • As a forest ecologist and silviculturist, I study patterns among the diverse processes and plants within forest ecosystems, as well as the impact of humans on those ecosystems.  I also find interesting ways to share forest-related information with others. 


Ms. Sonja Oswalt, Forester


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  • M.S., University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A forester studies how trees live and grow, and how they help people and animals.


Dr. John Parrotta, Forest Restoration Ecologist

Dr. John Parrotta, Forest Restoration Ecologist
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Dr. John Parrotta, Forest Restoration Ecologist

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  • Ph.D., Yale University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A forest restoration ecologist uses knowledge of forest ecology to develop techniques that restore the biodiversity, structure, and function of forests that have been degraded by human activities. 

 


Dr. Kristen A. Pelz, Ecologist

Kristen A. Pelz, Ecologist
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Kristen A. Pelz, Ecologist

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  • Ph.D., Colorado State University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • Ecology is the study of how organisms interact with each other and their environment.  I am a plant ecologist. 

Dr. David Peter, Plant Ecologist

Dr. David Peter, Plant Ecologist
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Dr. David Peter, Plant Ecologist

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  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A plant ecologist studies the way plants interact with their environment or with other organisms, including other plants. 

 


Matthew P. Peters, Ecologist

Matthew P. Peters, Ecologist
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Matthew P. Peters, Ecologist

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  • M.S., Arizona State University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • Ecology is the study of the relationships between organisms and their physical surroundings.  As an ecologist, I use my background in geography to examine spatial patterns in ecology. 

Dr. Leila Pinchot, Restoration Ecologist

Dr. Leila Pinchot, Restoration Ecologist
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Dr. Leila Pinchot, Restoration Ecologist

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  • Ph.D., University of Tennessee
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A restoration ecologist studies how to restore species that have experienced significant population declines.  These declines are often caused by nonnative insects or diseases and/or ecosystem damages from human activities.

 


Dr. Jeff Prestemon, Research Forester

Dr. Jeff Prestemon, Research Forester
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Dr. Jeff Prestemon, Research Forester

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  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • As a forester, I research economics and human roles in natural disturbances, such as timing and effects of arson.  I also study the effects of international trade policies, including steps to reduce trade in illegal wood.

Dr. Matt Reeves, Ecologist

Dr. Matt Reeves, Ecologist
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Dr. Matt Reeves, Ecologist

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  • Ph.D., University of Montana
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • As an ecologist, I study the interaction of climate, plants, and animals in rangelands.  

Dr. Kurt Riitters, Landscape Ecologist


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  • Ph.D., Oregon State University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • Landscape ecology differs from traditional ecology by including humans as a key component of ecosystems.  We study how ecosystems are affected by human activities over very large regions.


Dr. Lara Roman, Research Ecologist

Lara Roman, Research Ecologist
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Lara Roman, Research Ecologist

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  • Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • As a research ecologist, I study the ecology of trees in cities, towns, and suburbs.  

Dr. Alejandro Royo, Ecologist


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  • Ph.D., University of Pittsurgh
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • Ecologists study how interactions among organisms within communities and environmental factors influence the diversity, distribution, and dynamics of species.


Dr. Lindsey Rustad, Forest Ecologist


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  • Ph.D., University of Maine 
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A forest ecologist studies the interrelated patterns and processes of vegetation, animals, energy, water and nutrients in forests.


Dr. Tamara Heartsill Scalley, Ecologist


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  • Ph.D., Utah State University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • An ecologist studies the dynamics and interactions between the environment and its organisms.  I conduct research on tropical forests, watersheds, and streams.


Dr. Paul Schaberg, Research Plant Physiologist

Dr. Paul Schaberg, Research Plant Physiologist
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Dr. Paul Schaberg, Research Plant Physiologist

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  • Ph.D., University of Vermont
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A plant physiologist studies the biology of how plants work.  These studies are often done to determine if a part of a plant is not working or is causing the plant problems.  An example includes low air temperatures causing injury and poor growth.


Dr. Michael Schwartz, Conservation Geneticist


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  • Ph.D., University of Montana
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A conservation geneticist examines the DNA found in cells of every species to learn many secretive facts about these species.


Dr. Callie Schweitzer, Research Forester


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  • Ph.D., Penn State University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A research forester studies how forests respond to disturbances.  I am interested in trying to predict how trees grow, which tree species grow best, and how both plants and animals respond to events such as fire, drought, timber harvesting, and people!


Dr. Nick Skowronski, Forest Ecologist


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  • Ph.D., Rutgers University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A forest ecologist studies how plants and animals interact within a forest community.  Some of these scientists are particularly interested in how forests cycle carbon and work to measure how carbon moves through these systems.


Kathy Smith, Research Laboratory Technician

Kathy Smith, Research Laboratory Technician
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Kathy Smith, Research Laboratory Technician

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  • M.S., University of Florida
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • As a laboratory technician, I use molecular biology techniques to study forest pests and pathogens, as well as, how trees defend themselves against these pests and pathogens. 

Dr. Kevin T. Smith, Plant Physiologist

Dr. Kevin T. Smith, Plant Physiologist
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Dr. Kevin T. Smith, Plant Physiologist

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  • Ph.D., University of Georgia
  • Forest Service Scientist
  • As a plant physiologist, I study how plants and fungi capture energy, grow, protect themselves, and eventually die.  I also study beneficial microorganisms in the forest.


Dr. Elaine Kennedy Sutherland, Dendrochronologist

Dr. Elaine Kennedy Sutherland, Dendrochronologist
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Dr. Elaine Kennedy Sutherland, Dendrochronologist

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  • Ph.D., University of Arizona
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • Dendrochronologists study tree rings to understand how environments have varied in the past or to determine the specific year when events occurred.

Dr. Susan L . Stout, Research Silviculturist

Dr. Susan L . Stout, Research Silviculturist
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Dr. Susan L . Stout, Research Silviculturist

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  • Ph.D., Yale University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • Silviculture is the art and science of growing trees to achieve the goals of the landowner.  Silviculture can include creating a specific type of wildlife habitat or growing a specific kind of wood efficiently.

 


Dr. Mark Twery, Silviculturist


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  • Ph.D., Yale University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A silviculturist studies how to grow forests.


Ms. Amanda Uowolo, Forest Ecologist


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  • M.S., Colorado State University
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • A forest ecologist studies how forests work.  We try to understand the relationships between organisms and their environment.


Dr. Natalie S. van Doorn, Urban Ecologist

Natalie S. van Doorn, Urban Ecologist
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Natalie S. van Doorn, Urban Ecologist

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  • Ph.D., University of California Berkeley
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • An urban ecologist studies the relationship of living organisms with each other and their surroundings in an urban environment.  I have focused by research on urban forests which are an important part of urban ecosystems in many cities and towns across the world. 

Dr. Keith Woeste, Geneticist

Dr. Keith Woeste, Geneticist
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Dr. Keith Woeste, Geneticist

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  • Ph.D., University of California
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • As a geneticist, I use DNA and RNA to reveal the secret life of trees.  DNA and RNA are found in the cells of living things.  They contain the information to help organisms develop and function. 


Dr. Christopher Woodall, Applied Forest Ecologist

Dr. Christopher Woodall, Applied Forest Ecologist
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Dr. Christopher Woodall, Applied Forest Ecologist

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  • Ph.D., University of Montana
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • An applied forest ecologist develops new knowledge regarding the function and processes of forest ecosystems.  This knowledge can have real impacts on forest management and conservation.