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Scientists & Staff

Stephen Handler

Stephen Handler

Climate, Fire, and Carbon Cycle Sciences
Climate Change Specialist
410 MacInnes Dr.
Houghton, MI 49931
Phone: 906-482-6303 x21
Fax: 906-482-6355
Contact Stephen Handler

Current Research


As a Climate Change Specialist at the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, my primary project is to help coordinate the Northwoods Climate Change Response Framework.  This effort expands upon work that started on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and throughout northern Wisconsin.  Most of my work occurs in Minnesota and Michigan, building partnerships, coordinating vulnerability assessments, planning outreach and education events, and working with forest managers on demonstration projects.  In all aspects of my work, the focus is to help people put climate information into practice. I work with a wide array of partners, including National Forests, state agencies, tribes, conservation organizations, private landowners, and consulting foresters.


Why This Research is Important

Climate change is going to have profound impacts on the forests in the Great Lakes region in the coming decades. New data and modeling approaches are continually expanding our understanding of what these changes might be. Forest managers need to be informed of the threats that climate change will pose to forest ecosystems, as well as management strategies that can help forests adapt to a changed climate. The Climate Change Response Framework is a new model to connect climate science to forest management, which will hopefully serve as a model for climate change adaptation and mitigation both regionally and nationally.


  • University of Montana, M.S. Resource Conservation (emphasis in International Conservation and Development),
  • Gustavus Adolphus College, B.A. Biology,

Professional Organizations

  • American Society Of Adaptation Professionals, Member (2013 - Current)
  • Society of American Foresters, Member (2012 - Current)
  • Society of Conservation Biology, Member (2008 - 2013)
  • Society for Conservation Biology, Ecological Footprint Committee, Chair (2010 - 2012)

Featured Publications & Products

  • Brandt, Leslie; He, Hong; Iverson, Louis; Thompson, Frank R.; Butler, Patricia; Handler, Stephen; Janowiak, Maria; Shannon, P. Danielle; Swanston, Chris; Albrecht, Matthew; Blume-Weaver, Richard; Deizman, Paul; DePuy, John; Dijak, William D.; Dinkel, Gary; Fei, Songlin; Jones-Farrand, D. Todd; Leahy, Michael; Matthews, Stephen; Nelson, Paul; Oberle, Brad; Perez, Judi; Peters, Matthew; Prasad, Anantha; Schneiderman, Jeffrey E.; Shuey, John; Smith, Adam B.; Studyvin, Charles; Tirpak, John M.; Walk, Jeffery W.; Wang, Wen J.; Watts, Laura; Weigel, Dale; Westin, Steve. 2014. Central Hardwoods ecosystem vulnerability assessment and synthesis: a report from the Central Hardwoods Climate Change Response Framework project.

Publications & Products

  • Handler, Stephen; Duveneck, Matthew J.; Iverson, Louis; Peters, Emily; Scheller, Robert M.; Wythers, Kirk R.; Brandt, Leslie; Butler, Patricia; Janowiak, Maria; Shannon, P. Danielle; Swanston, Chris; Eagle, Amy Clark; Cohen, Joshua G.; Corner, Rich; Reich, Peter B.; Baker, Tim; Chhin, Sophan; Clark, Eric; Fehringer, David; Fosgitt, Jon; Gries, James; Hall, Christine; Hall, Kimberly R.; Heyd, Robert; Hoving, Christopher L.; Ibáñez, Ines; Kuhr, Don; Matthews, Stephen; Muladore, Jennifer; Nadelhoffer, Knute; Neumann, David; Peters, Matthew; Prasad, Anantha; Sands, Matt; Swaty, Randy; Wonch, Leiloni; Daley, Jad; Davenport, Mae; Emery, Marla R.; Johnson, Gary; Johnson, Lucinda; Neitzel, David; Rissman, Adena; Rittenhouse, Chadwick; Ziel, Robert. 2014. Michigan forest ecosystem vulnerability assessment and synthesis: a report from the Northwoods Climate Change Response Framework project.

Last updated on : 04/04/2014