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Scientists & Staff

Marla Emery

Research Geographer
People and Their Environments: Social Science Supporting Natural Resource Management and Policy
Aiken Center, Room 303E; 81 Carrigan Drive
Burlington, Vermont 05405
Phone: 802-656-1720

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Current Research

Contemporary nontimber forest product (NTFP) uses, especially in the eastern United States and elsewhere in the industrialized world.

Research Interests

We are planning a comprehensive research program to support sustainable managementof nontimberl forest products (NTFPs). The program would participate innational and international efforts while keeping a primary focus in the NRSregion. Research would take place across the urban-rural gradient. The program wouldaddress the following five objectives:

  1. to identify the culturally and economically important (C&EI) NTFPs harvested in and around the State.
  2. to understand the ecologies of the C&EI SFPs harvested in and around the State.
  3. to understand the uses and values of the C&EI SFPs harvested in and around the state.
  4. to inventory and monitor the C&EI SFPs harvested in and around the State.
  5. to develop comprehensive plans, in a participatory manner, for managing the C&EI SFPs harvested in and around the State.

Why This Research is Important

  • Surveys suggest that approximately 20% of the U.S. population gathers NTFPs. This widespread, if poorly understood, activity creates direct connections between people and forests.
  • NTFPs may present income opportunities for forest landowners.
  • NTFPs, especially those that have become global commodities, present sustainability concerns.
  • NTFPs present environmental justice opportunities and challenges.
  • NTFPs present opportunities to explore a range of human-forest interactions and, as a result, the possibility of both empirical and theoretical advances in our understanding of these relationships.
  • Recent legislation mandates that the USFS manage for NTFPs. We need sound scientific information to meet that legislative requirement.

Education

  • Rutgers University, Ph.D. Geography, 1998

Professional Organizations

  • Association of American Geographers
  • International Association for Society and Natural Resources
  • Society for Economic Botany

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

National Research Highlights

Forest Service Research on Morel Mushrooms Featured in Natural Inquirer (2014)
The Natural Inquirer's monograph series for middle school students and educators showcased a Forest Service researcher's work on local knowledge of morel mushroom types, habitat, and disturbance.


Reducing Negative Cultural Impacts of Emerald Ash Borer: Saving Black Ash Wood for Native American Basketmakers (2011)
Black ash has great cultural and economic importance in the northeastern United States, especially for Native Americans. The widespread destruction and removal of black ash in response to an emerald ash borer (EAB) find is a painful prospect for tribes and basket-makers. An innovative collaboration between a Forest Service geographer and entomologist combining traditional knowledge with scientific expertise has found that a traditional practice offers a reasonable solution for those who depend on black ash splints.


Last updated on : 03-Aug-2015