Scientists & Staff

David J. Rugg

Research Data Archivist
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI, 53726
Phone: 608-231-9234

Contact David J. Rugg

Current Research

I work on developing and implementing methods for managing, publishing, and preserving the diverse array of research data generated by Forest Service Research & Development. This includes how to document research data so it is usable by the originating research team, particularly for long-term research that spans the careers of multiple scientists, and by others.
Implementation of this research happens in my role as national program manager for Research Data Services, which includes operating the Forest Service Research Data Archive (

Why This Research is Important

The data generated by scientists, when properly documented and published, can have usefulness far beyond the original purpose behind its collection. Re-analysis using newer statistical methods and combination of data sets across studies can yield new insights not accessible to the original science team. Data are also very useful for modeling systems -- models which are often better suited to informing land management than the research articles associated with the data. Relative to the cost of acquiring and quality assuring the data, the investment in publishing the data is small but generates a substantial benefit for science and society.

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

National Research Highlights

Wood Turtle. Joel Flory, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

Wood Turtle Habitat Use in Western Edge of Distribution

Year: 2016

Efforts to better understand habitat use patterns of the wood turtle at the western edge of their range is important for range-wide conservation. Forest Service scientists analyzed radio telemetry data from northeast Minnesota to assess habitat associations and space-use patterns and found wood turtles generally remained within 100 meters of flowing water, but they appeared to prefer other aquatic and semi-aquatic habitats when not adjacent to flowing water.

Last modified: Thursday, August 03, 2017