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Scientists & Staff

En route to the summit of Mt. Washington

Coeli Hoover

Research Ecologist
Sustaining Forests in a Changing Environment
271 Mast Road
Durham, New Hampshire 03824-0640
Phone: 603-868-7633

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Current Research

My research is focused on estimating and managing forest carbon at the stand and landscape scales. Carbon in forests is important for many reasons, including climate mitigation and soil productivity. Managing forests to maintain and enhance carbon stocks is compatible with other important forest management objectives, and I work to understand the carbon consequences of common management practices and the tradeoffs between managing for carbon and other objectives. I am also involved in outreach and training, teaching forest carbon estimation techniques to a variety of audiences.

Research Interests

Forest carbon stocks, especially those in the soil, do not respond uniformly to management actions. I am interested in understanding and identifying the major factors driving the response, so that we can better assess what forest characteristics indicate the greatest potential for additonal carbon storage. I am also interested in developing ways to estimate forest carbon stocks that are operationally feasible at the landscape scale.

Why This Research is Important

My research is very applied and is focused on helping landowners and managers estimate their forest carbon stocks and understand how management affects those stocks, so that they can add forest carbon to their list of management objectives. I use a variety of approaches - experiments to develop knowldege, tool development (such as the carbon reports in the Fire and Fuels Extension of the Forest Vegetation Simulator), and technology transfer (training sessions) to meet those objectives. Lack of forest inventory data and the expense of collecting such data are a major barrier for managers who want to include carbon sequestration in their management plans; current research on the feasibility of landscape scale carbon assessment using Lidar data and streamlined inventory has the potential to remove this obstacle.


  • University of Georgia, Institute of Ecology, Ph.D. Soil Ecology, 1996
  • University of Pittsburgh, B.S. Biology, 1991

Professional Experience

  • Affiliate Associate Professor Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of New Hampshire
    2013 - Current
  • Research Ecologist Northern Research Station
    2003 - Current
    Studies of biomass, soil and forest floor carbon stocks in managed and unmanaged forested lands; assessment of management impacts on soil carbon dynamics and aboveground carbon storage; simulation of effects of management strategies on carbon stocks. Technology transfer, decision support, and outreach related to forest carbon estimation and management.
  • Research Soil Scientist Northeastern Research Station
    1999 - 2003

Professional Organizations

  • Society Of American Foresters, Full Member (2011 - Current)
  • American Geophysical Union, Full Member (2001 - Current)
  • Ecological Society of America, Full Member (1992 - Current)
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Member (1991 - Current)

Awards & Recognition

  • USDA Certificate of Merit, 2008
    Awarded for producing and editing the book "Field Measurements for Forest Carbon Monitoring: A Landscape-Scale Approach"
  • USDA Certificate of Merit, 2008
    Awarded to the Carbon Tools Development Group, winner of the 2008 Excellence in Technology Transfer Award for the Northern Research Station
  • USDA Forest Service Certificate of Appreciation, 2000
    Awarded for outstanding collaboration with the Department of Defense on forest carbon sequestration

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

National Research Highlights

Estimating Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Managed Forests (2014)
Forests have an important role in reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Forest Service scientists wrote the forestry chapter in a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report describing methods to quantify changes in greenhouse gas emissions and carbon storage resulting from changes in management practices.

Scientists Measure Carbon Storage in New England Old-Growth Forests (2013)
Managing forests to store carbon is one way to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Measuring carbon in old-growth forests helps managers understand the potential of forests to store more carbon. Forest Service scientists working with their colleagues in the National Forest Systems found that old-growth softwood forests contained 25 percent more carbon than old-growth hardwoods, and that old-growth hardwood forests have about the same amount of carbon as mature second-growth hardwood sites.

Last updated on : 12-Jan-2016