Think Like the Scientist: Paulette Ford
Meet the Scientist | About the Study

Paulette Ford, Research Ecologist
USDA Forest Service scientist
Paulette For on the beach

I am currently conducting research on the use of fire to manipulate prairie dog populations. By burning portions of the grasslands, we can create conditions that favor prairie dog habitats and restore their populations.

Example of a simple research question I have tried to answer

How does fire change grassland plants and arthropod and small mammal communities?

Most Exciting Discovery

My most exciting discovery is that the time of year that fire occurs in an ecosystem is one of the most important factors in determining how the ecosystem will respond to the fire.

When did you know you wanted to be a scientist?

I knew I wanted to be a scientist when I was a kid. I loved to play outside and to read encyclopedias. I also loved to watch adventure movies like Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth. I always wanted to be the explorer!

Dr. Paulette Ford, Research Ecologist

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  • Ph.D., University of Arizona
  • USDA Forest Service Scientist
  • An ecologist studies the relationships between living organisms and their environment.