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Scientists & Staff

Mark D. Nelson

Forest Inventory & Analysis
Research Forester
1992 Folwell Ave
St. Paul, MN 55108
Phone: 651-649-5104
Contact Mark D. Nelson


Current Research

I conduct research to support the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program. FIA is responsible for the inventory of United States forest land across all ownership categories. Within the Northern Research Station, FIA conducts inventories for 24 states of the Northeast, Midwest, and Upper Great Plains. I develop and assess geospatial approaches for making FIA estimates more spatially explicit and relevant to a wider range of natural resources. My current research involves the use of forest inventory data, geospatial data, and satellite imagery for assessing and mapping forest cover/use, type, biomass, disturbance, and wildlife habitat. I serve as the lead analyst for Iowa's FIA reports.

Research Interests

  • Improving our spatial understanding of forest resources.
  • Assessing forest wildlife habitat.
  • Mapping and analyzing forest disturbance.
  • Why This Research is Important

    People increasingly are asking not only what forest resources are present, but where are they located and how are they arranged within the forest landscape. By integrating field inventory data with satellite remote sensing imagery and other geospatial datasets, we can improve our understanding of the spatial distribution and variability of forest resources. Geospatial information derived from this data integration provides for improved assessments of wildlife habitat for species that are dependent upon both vegetation structure and spatial pattern of forest patches.

    Education

    • University of Minnesota, Ph.D. Natural Resources Science and Management, 2005
    • University of Minnesota, M.S. Wildlife Conservation, 1992
    • Winona State University, B.A. Biology, 1982

    Professional Organizations

    • Forest Science, Associate Editor (2013 - Current)
    • Journal of Forestry, Journal Referee (2012 - Current)
    • International Association for Landscape Ecology (U.S. Chapter), Member (2011 - Current)
    • International Journal of Remote Sensing, Journal Referee (2008 - Current)
    • Landscape Ecology, Journal Referee (2008 - Current)
    • The Wildlife Society, Member (2006 - Current)
    • Remote Sensing of Environment, Journal Referee (2005 - Current)
    • American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Member (2001 - Current)
    • Northern Journal of Applied Forestry (GIS and Remote Sensing), Associate Editor (2010 - 2013)

    Awards & Recognition

    • Keepsake award. Northern Research Station Executive Team, USDA Forest Service., 2011
      Team award (Nelson was team leader) in recognition for 2011 Research Highlight: Using Landsat Time Series Stacks for modeling and mapping early successional habitats.
    • Certificate of Appreciation. Deputy Chief, State and Private Forestry, USDA Forest Service., 2010
      Certificate of Appreciation. 2010. Deputy Chief, State and Private Forestry, USDA Forest Service. For developing the forest ownership data used in the Private Forests, Public Benefits report and for valuable advice and assistance with many other aspects
    • Wings Across the Americas Award. Chief, USDA Forest Service., 2008
      Group award for significant contribution to mapping landbirds across Bird Conservation Regions: decision support for Joint Ventures.
    • Secretary of Agriculture Group Honor Award for Excellence. Secretary, USDA., 2008
      Open Space Conservation Team - for significant contributions in protecting and enhancing open space and natural resources that provide vital ecosystems services and benefi
    • Certificate of Appreciation. Chief, USDA Forest Service., 2005
      Forests on the Edge Project. For hard work and dedication in assembling a map accurately depicting national forest cover and ownership, and for providing key professional advice.
    • Station Technology Transfer Award. Director, North Central Research Station, USDA Forest Service., 2001
      Group award for advancement of the Forest Inventory and Analysis annual inventory; and Forest Inventory and Analysis/Forest Health integration, through conception, development, implementation, distribution, and support of a national hexagon grid sampling

    Featured Publications & Products

    Publications & Products

    National Research Highlights

    HighlightTitleYear


    NRS-2011-05
    Forest Land Estimates Improved by Novel Automated Mapping Technique Using Winter Satellite Imagery

    Most automated satellite-based approaches for mapping forest lands rely on summer satellite imagery and are usually inconsistent with FIA plot-b ...

    2011


    NRS-2010-023
    Mapping Young Forest Habitats across the Great Lakes Region

    NRS research scientists from the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program used current FIA data to estimate trends in abundance of young fore ...

    2010


    Last updated on : 04/04/2014