Scientists & Staff

En route to the summit of Mt. Washington

Coeli Hoover

Research Ecologist
271 Mast Road
Durham, NH, 03824-0640
Phone: 603-868-7633

Contact Coeli Hoover


Current Research

My research is focused on estimating and managing forest carbon at the stand and landscape scales, using a variety of tools including LiDAR.  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, such as wildlife habitat. I am also involved in outreach and training, teaching forest carbon estimation techniques to a variety of audiences.

Hoover, Coeli M.; Smith, James E. 2017. Equivalence of live tree carbon stocks produced by three estimation approaches for forests of the western United States. Forest Ecology and Management. 236-253.

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.

Hoover, Coeli M. 2011. Management impacts on forest floor and soil organic carbon in northern temperate forests of the US. Carbon Balance and Management. 6:17. 8 p.

Hoover, Coeli; Birdsey, Richard; Goines, Bruce; Lahm, Peter; Marland, Gregg; Nowak, David; Prisley, Stephen; Reinhardt, Elizabeth; Skog, Ken; Skole, David; Smith, James; Trettin, Carl; Woodall, Christopher. 2014. Chapter 6: quantifying greenhouse gas sources and sinks in managed forest systems. In: Eve, M.; Pape, D.; Flugge, M.; Steele, R.; Man, D.; Riley-Gilbert, M.; Biggar, S. Quantifying greenhouse gas fluxes in agriculture and forestry: Methods for entity-scale inventory. Tech. Bull. 1939. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Chief Economist: 6-1-6.114.

Hoover, Coeli, M.; Heath, Linda S. 2011. Potential gains in storage on productive forestlands in the northeastern United Sates through stocking management. Ecological Applications. 21(4): 1154-1161, plus appendices.

Past Research

Hoover, C. M., Leak, W. B. and Keel, B. G. 2012. Benchmark carbon stocks from old-growth forests in northern New England, USA. Forest Ecology and Management 266:108-114.

Hoover, Coeli M.; Rebain, Stephanie A. 2011. Forest carbon estimation using the Forest Vegetation Simulator: Seven things you need to know. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-77. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 16 p.

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.

Hoover, Coeli; Stout, Susan 2007. The carbon consequences of thinning techniques: stand structure makes a difference. Journal of Forestry. July/August: 266-270.

Hoover, Coeli; Birdsey, Richard; Goines, Bruce; Lahm, Peter; Marland, Gregg; Nowak, David; Prisley, Stephen; Reinhardt, Elizabeth; Skog, Ken; Skole, David; Smith, James; Trettin, Carl; Woodall, Christopher. 2014. Chapter 6: quantifying greenhouse gas sources and sinks in managed forest systems. In: Eve, M.; Pape, D.; Flugge, M.; Steele, R.; Man, D.; Riley-Gilbert, M.; Biggar, S. Quantifying greenhouse gas fluxes in agriculture and forestry: Methods for entity-scale inventory. Tech. Bull. 1939. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Chief Economist: 6-1-6.114.

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
  • Research Soil Scientist, Northeastern Research Station 1999 - 2003

Professional Organizations

  • Society Of American Foresters (2011 - Current)
  • American Geophysical Union (2001 - Current)
  • Ecological Society of America (1992 - Current)
    Board of Profesional Certifcation
    Member of Board of Professional Certification, which reviews applications for professional certification.
  • Phi Beta Kappa (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

LiDAR-derived map of canopy cover for the Bartlett Experimental Forest and surrounding area. Values are a percentage; the dark blue colors are 100 percent canopy closure. Coeli M Hoover, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

LiDAR: A Bird’s-Eye Look at Wildlife Habitat

Year: 2016

Wildlife species often prefer habitats with specific characteristics. For example, many birds need dense brushy areas where they can safely nest, feed young, complete their growth, and prepare for migration. LiDAR, or Light Detection and Ranging, data give us a bird’s-eye view at the landscape level to help locate areas that might meet the habitat needs of species of concern to managers.

Cover of the PRESTO User Guide.

PRESTO: A Web-based Tool for Estimating Carbon in Wood Products

Year: 2015

Carbon is stored not only in living trees but also in products made from the wood of harvested trees. PRESTO, an easy-to-use web-based tool for estimating the carbon in products made from harvested wood, is designed for use by everyone from industrial forest managers to small private forestland owners.

Report cover. USDA Forest Service

Estimating Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Managed Forests

Year: 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.

Forest Service researchers measure a tree in an old-growth stand in The Bowl Research Natural Area in New Hampshire. Coeli Hoover, USDA Forest Service

Scientists Measure Carbon Storage in New England Old-Growth Forests

Year: 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 modified: Monday, July 17, 2017