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Woodall in northern MN

Christopher W. Woodall

Research Forester
Forest Inventory & Analysis
1992 Folwell Avenue
St. Paul, Minnesota 55108
Phone: 651-649-5141

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Current Research

My current work can be broadly summarized into various national and regional Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program responsibilities involving research and coordination activities:

  1. Lead Scientist, US National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, LULUCF
  2. National Advisor, FIA Down Woody Materials Inventory
  3. Supervisor, Northern FIA Carbon Accounting and Timber Products Inventory

Hence, my current research entails forest carbon inventory science, forest detritus dynamics research, refining the survey and analysis of forest products/biomass, and development of novel forest inventory analytical tools.

Research Interests

My desires for future research include: coordinating a nationally comprehensive research strategy to improve the forest carbon inventory conducted by FIA that is provided as the U.S.'s official greenhouse gas numbers, refining Down Woody Material estimation/analysis procedures to allow for carbon stock and change estimates, describing linkages between well known stand development processes and the accumulation of dead and down woody materials in forests, and developing a fully nationalized timber products inventory in the U.S.

Why This Research is Important

My research, leadership, and analyses fill critical information needs regarding forest ecosystems to the general public, resource managers, scientists, policy makers, economists, and a wide range of other natural resource specialists. Success in this mission is crucial to assessing the sustainability of not only forest ecosystems in the northern United States, but also the health of our Nation's forests. Research outputs provide Forest Service customers and clients with crucial information and provide improved techniques for data application to a range of resource inventory and monitoring needs (e.g., national carbon stock assessment and national forest stand relative density).


  • University of Montana, Ph.D. Silviculture, 2000
  • University of Montana, M.S. Silviculture, 1997
  • Clemson University, B.S. Forestry, 1995

Professional Experience

  • Adjunct Professor of Forestry University of Minnesota
    2008 - Current

Professional Organizations

  • Forest Science, Associate Editor (2010 - Current)
  • American Geophysical Union, Affiliate Member (2002 - Current)
  • Ecological Society of America, Affiliate Member (2000 - Current)
  • Society of American Foresters, Affiliate Member (1991 - Current)

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

National Research Highlights

Analysis Reveals Cyclical and Structural Changes in Forest Products Industry (2012)
Structural changes may be difficult to reverse but prospects for growth exist in forest product exports and wood-based biorefining

Better Estimates of Carbon Inventory in Dead Wood Now Available (2013)
Researchers with the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program have sampled downed and dead woody material (DWM) since 2002 so most U.S. states now have a complete cycle of DWM data. As a result, for the first time, researchers used field measurements to obtain estimates of DWM biomass and carbon stocks for the FIA program's report and for DWM carbon estimates in the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory report.

Can Tree Species Rapidly Adapt to Climate Change by Migrating? (2013)
New techniques to monitor tree ranges in forests of the eatern U.S. suggest that current ranges may not be shifting along their range margins in response to current climate change.

First Inventory of Standing Dead Trees Across the United States Developed (2012)
Study compares differences between previously modeled estimates and new empirical estimates

If a Tree Falls in a Forest, How Long Does It Lie There (2014)
Dead wood is critical to nutrient cycling, carbon dynamics, tree regeneration, wildlife habitat, and wildfire behavior in forests. Forest Service scientists conducted one of the first large-scale studies of downed dead wood decay rates and found that the residence time of dead wood was dependent on the size of dead wood, its species, and climate in which it resides across forests of the eastern United States. Large pieces of dead conifer wood in high-latitude climates may reside for over 100 years in forests before completely decaying and disintegrating.

New Tree Volume and Biomass Estimation Procedures Implemented for the Yearly U.S. National Greenhouse Gas Inventory (2012)
New procedures have improved the accuracy, reliability, and transparency of the U.S. National Greenhouse Gas Inventory of U.S. forests and biomass assessments

Risk Matrix Highlights Knowledge Gaps in Forest Carbon Stocks (2013)
Forest Service scientists propose a basic approach to assess global change risks to forest carbon stocks in the U.S., which builds on the current U.S. forest inventory coupled with current and projected climatic regions

Last updated on : 25-Sep-2015