Scientists & Staff

Susan Stout at KEF HQ

Susan Stout

Emeritus Research Forester
PO Box 267
335 National Forge Road
Irvine, PA, 16329
Phone: 814-563-1040

Contact Susan Stout

Current Research

My research interests include measuring crowding and diversity in forests, deer impact on forests, silvicultural systems, and translating results from ecosystem research into practical management guidelines for Pennsylvania's forests and beyond. Currently, I am collaborating with the Sand County Foundation and several landowners in a demonstration project called the Kinzua Quality Deer Cooperative. Landowners, land managers, hunters, and scientists are working together to improve both hunting and habitat on a 74,000 acre landscape in northwestern Pennsylvania. This research should strengthen evidence of practical indicators of deer impact. I have recently collaborated with colleagues at Penn State and the University of Georgia in development of a web site meant to serve as a central contact point for research results and management guidelines related to the interactions of deer and forests - I am active participant in the annual workshops in sustainable forestry offered by the Warren Forestry Sciences Laboratory team, and the lead scientist on on-going development of the SILVAH decision-support software package. In recent years, I have been collaborating with colleagues at Penn State and with the Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative on tools for loggers and landowners to make quick assessments of the likely sustainability of planned timber harvests. As project leader of the Warren unit, I also understand the integration of results from diverse research into a coherent set of management guidelines as a major role.

Research Interests

I anticipate that with consolidation of units through Northern Research Station reorganization, ever more of my time will be spent on the administrative side of my role. I am excited about the synergies that will emerge as we bring together the exciting research already underway in the three units that will soon form Work Group II.

Why This Research is Important

Especially in eastern North America, very high proportions of forestland are privately owned (75% in the region of the Northern Research Station). Translating basic and applied forestry research into guidelines that are accessible and useable by the variety of private owners is critical to sustaining our forests and the values and benefits they provide. This requires continued research on techniques for forest management, whether to provide specific kinds of wildlife habitat or wood for energy or high-value sawtimber products. It also requires truly interdisciplinary research that integrates strategies for responding to global change, air pollution, and invasive species (both native and exotic) and a commitment to engaging users through the full cycle of research and science delivery. In our region, white-tailed deer have been a particularly important force in shaping forest vegetation communities for many decades, and the problem is growing in other regions. Our research provides important guidance to those with emerging deer problems, and with recent changes in policy leading to a lower deer impact level locally, we can also provide valuable and practical information about indicators and rates of recovery.


  • Yale University, D.F. , 1994
  • State University of New York, M.S. Silviculture, 1983
  • Radcliffe College of Harvard University, A.B. , 1972

Professional Experience

  • Research Project Leader, Northeastern and Northern Research Station 1991 - Current
  • Research Forester, Northeastern Research Station 1981 - 1991

Professional Organizations

  • Board of Directors of the Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry (2006 - Current)
  • Society Of American Foresters (2003 - Current)
  • Pennsylvania State Bureau of Forestry Ecosystem Management Advisory Council (1991 - Current)
  • League of Women Voters, Warren County (2001 - 2007)
  • SAF National Convention (2006 - 2006)
  • Northeastern Research Station's Science Advisory Team (2003 - 2004)
  • Elder and Sunday School teacher at North Warren Presbyterian Church (1994 - 2003)
  • Silviculture Working Group of the Society of American Foresters (SAF) (1999 - 2000)

Awards & Recognition

  • Fellow, Society of American Foresters, 2003 Recognizes a combination of professional accomplishment and Society service
  • Allegheny Hdwd Utilization Group Sandy Cochran Memorial Award, 2005 For outreach and science delivery to northwestern Pennsylvania's forestry community
  • Fellow, Society of American Foresters, 2003 Recognizes a combination of professional accomplishment and Society service

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

Research Datasets

  • Rhinehart, Tessa A.; Weldon, Corinne A.; Stout, Susan L. 2016. Kane Experimental Forest: Overstory tree data from a thinning study in Allegheny hardwoods. Fort Collins, CO: Forest Service Research Data Archive.

National Research Highlights

This black cherry seedling is infected with black cherry leaf spot. Managers and scientists have observed this infection more frequently in recent years. Robert Long, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

Changes in Black Cherry on the Allegheny Plateau

Year: 2016

Increased tree mortality, decreased seed production, and seedling growth. Managers and scientists have been observing these changes in black cherry on the Allegheny Plateau and are working together to sharpen the research focus and utilize long-term research to improve forest management.

Book cover. USDA Forest Service

New Book Documents Contributions from Forest Service's Long-Term Research Sites

Year: 2014

From the role of fire in forests to responses to clearcutting controversies, from the discovery of acid rain to the development of biogeochemical recycling research, Forest Service Experimental Forests and Ranges have been at the forefront. A new book prepared by a Forest Service scientist tells these and dozens of other stories, each reflecting decades of research and the lessons that come when scientists take the long view, and pass on experiments and wisdom from one generation to the next.

Map of the Kinzua Quality Deer Cooperative, highlighting the sub-project special hunting regulations areas sponsored by the cooperative. Susan Stout, USDA Forest Service

Public - Private Cooperation Improves Management of Deer and Forests

Year: 2013

The Kinzua Quality Deer Cooperative (KQDC) was established in 2000 to test new approaches to stewardship of white-tailed deer and forest habitat on a 30,000-hectare landscape in northwestern Pennsylvania. Partners included land managers, scientists, educators, tourism promoters, and hunters. KQDC goals were adaptive management of the deer herd, improved habitat quality and deer herd attributes, and sustained hunter participation. The KQDC's tools included novel Pennsylvania Game Commission programs, habitat management, monitoring of deer and habitat, and hunter outreach. Over the first decade, the stated goals were largely achieved.

Last modified: Friday, March 14, 2014