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Kurt with the newly discovered Wollemi Pine in Australia.

Kurt W. Gottschalk

Ecology and Management of Invasive Species and Forest Ecosystems
Project Leader / Research Forester
180 Canfield St.
Morgantown, WV 26505
Phone: 304-285-1598
Fax: 304-285-1505
Contact Kurt W. Gottschalk


Current Research

My research focuses on two broad areas: invasive species ecology and management and oak silviculture and management. My efforts in invasive species ecology and management deal with hazard and risk rating of forests, socio-economic and ecological effects on invasive species on forest ecosystems and people, development of silvicultural treatments to minimize impacts, and development of decision-making tools for IPM. Current work is focused on gypsy moth, sudden oak death, butternut canker, beech bark disease, hemlock woolly adelgid, emerald ash borer, and thousand cankers disease of walnut. Within the oak silviculture area, my research is focused on oak regeneration methods and on rehabilitation of forests damaged by invasive species. Current work includes cooperative research with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry on oak advanced regeneration dominance probabilities and shelterwood/understory treatment methods for developing large advanced oak seedlings.

Research Interests

My research interests include a wide range of topics related to physiology and silviculture of oak-dominated forests including oak regeneration methods, light influence on oak seedling development, development of silvicultural prescriptions and decision guides, development of silvicultural prescriptions for the reintroduction of blight-resistant American chestnut in eastern oak forests, and development of mast management guidelines for oak forests.

Within the invasive species arena, my interests include development of silvicultural prescriptions and decision guides for minimizing the impacts of invasive species, the response of eastern oak forests to disturbance, predicting the effects of invasive species on forests, and the interaction between trees and forests with invasive insects, diseases, and plants.

Why This Research is Important

Both natural and anthropogenic disturbances in forest ecosystems and those caused by invasive species can lead to changes in species composition and structure of woody and herbaceous plant communities. Such changes are directly linked to the nature and quality of woodland benefits that flow from our forests. Understanding and managing how invasive species and disturbances affect forest plant communities is a vital step in sustaining forest attributes for current and future generations.

Education

  • Michigan State University, Ph.D. Tree Physiology, 1984
  • Michigan State University, MS Silviculture and Forest Ecology, 1976
  • Iowa State University, BS Forestry, 1974

Professional Experience

  • Project Leader and Research Forester, USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, RWU-NRS-03
    2007 - Current
  • Project Leader and Research Forester, USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station, RWU-NE-4557
    1987 - 2007
  • Research Forester, USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station, RWU-NE-4557
    1983 - 1987
  • Research Forester, USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station, RWU-NE-4150
    1979 - 1983
  • Research Assistant, Michigan State University, Department of Forestry
    1974 - 1979

Professional Organizations

  • The American Chestnut Foundation, Member (2008 - Current)
    Member
  • The Nature Conservancy, Member (2000 - Current)
    Member
  • Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Member (2000 - Current)
    Member
  • The National Arbor Day Foundation, Member (1995 - Current)
    Member
  • Ecological Society of America, Member (1986 - Current)
    Member of Physiological Ecology section, Vegetation section, Long-term Studies section
  • Pennsylvania Forestry Association, Member (1986 - Current)
    Member
  • Sigma Xi, National Research Honor Society, Member (1978 - Current)
    Elected as asociate member in 1978 when graduate student and full member in 1985. Current member of West Virginia University chapter.
  • Alpha Zeta, National Agricultural Honor Society, Lifetime Member (1975 - Current)
    Elected as member when graduate student, served as president
  • Society of American Foresters, Saf Fellow And Certified Forester (1974 - Current)
    Member since 1974, Current chair of Forest Science & Technology Board (2011-2012), past chair of Allegheny SAF, past chair D2 Silviculture Working Group, past D Group member of Forest Science & Technology Board, past Secretary of C1 Forest Ecology Working Group
  • Gamma Sigma Delta, Agricultural Honor Society, Lifetime Member (1973 - Current)
    Elected as member when undergraduate student
  • National Forestry Honor Society, Lifetime Member (1973 - Current)
    Elected as member when undergraduate student, served as president
  • West Virginia Forestry Association, Member (1990 - 2011)
    Past member
  • American Institute of Biological Sciences, Member (1985 - 2011)
    Member

Awards & Recognition

  • Robert W. Bauer Outstanding Service to Forestry Award 2012, 2013
    Presented by the Allegheny SAF to recognize outstanding service to both the field of forestry and to the professional activities of the Society of American Foresters.
  • Outstanding Silviculturist, 2003
    The USDA FS 2003 National Silvicultural Workshop for outstanding contributions in the field of silviculture
  • Fellow, 2001
    The Society of American Foresters awarded the status of Fellow for outstanding service and accomplishments to forestry and to the Society.
  • USDA Certificate of Achievement in Technology Transfer, 1997
    Awarded Chief’s Technology Transfer Runner-up Award, January 1997, in recognition of the development and support of the Gypsy Moth Decision Support System - GypsES, and the transfer of this technology to numerous cooperators.
  • Certificate of Merit, 1997 Awards Program for Excellence in Technology Transfer, 1997
    Awarded by the Awards Subcommittee, Federal Laboratory Consortium in recognition of the development and support of the Gypsy Moth Decision Support System - GypsES, and the transfer of this technology to numerous cooperators.
  • Certification of Appreciation, 1996
    The USDA FS awarded a certificate of appreciation for significant contributions to developing and articulating a forest health policy for the United States.
  • Outstanding Hardwood Forestry Research, 1995
    The National Hardwood Lumber Association for outstanding work in the research and development of "Silvicultural Guidelines for Forest Stands Threatened by the Gypsy Moth".

Featured Publications & Products

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Last updated on : 06/26/2014