Approach to Problem Solution
The problems upon which we focus are complex and interacting. Global change, invasive species, and fire affect forest sustainability, from plant and wildlife communities through productivity, carbon and nutrient cycles and availability, and human uses of the forest. Forest renewal and intermediate treatments and natural disturbances interact with these vectors of change, affect landscape patterns and processes and in turn affect forest health, wildlife and wild plant habitats. Policy decisions concerning forest management, climate change, air pollution, fire regimes, and deer and invasive species management affect forest health, forest renewal, and the outcomes of intermediate treatments. To address these complex interactions, we will:
Emphasize interdisciplinary research and scientific excellence- Wherever possible and appropriate, we will design and implement studies in which we can assess impacts of proposed treatments on multiple elements of the forest community. Scientists with differing expertise will work together. Measurements of like elements in disparate studies will often be conducted using a standard protocol, which will enable us to make comparisons among studies. We are committed to continuing development of our own staff and to partnerships with universities in the training of future scientists, emphasizing the synergies that come from interdisciplinary research and interactions with natural resource managers. We are actively engaged in exploring new models for optimal use of scarce research resources applied to complex and interacting forces of environmental change.
Seek partnerships - We will continue to seek opportunities to conduct research through partnerships. Our partners will include universities, the National Forest System and State and Private Forestry, the Pennsylvania DCNR Bureau of Forestry, the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, foundations including the Sand County Foundation, forest industry, and environmental groups.
Emphasize science delivery - We will use a full array of means for transferring research results to colleagues and potential users, ranging from field tours to refereed journal publications. We will continue to conduct silvicultural training sessions annually, updating them as new results accumulate, reaching Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia directly and inviting others to participate. We will continue to package research results in computer based decision support tools for natural resource managers, including SILVAH and NED. We will also continue to explore ways of sharing our results with interested members of the public.
Continue to rely on a professional, permanent, highly skilled and committed technical staff – Both our record of accomplishment and our ability to sustain a large number of long-term studies depend heavily on the commitment, expertise, and institutional memory of our permanent technician staff. They are fundamental to our continued success.
Use existing long-term studies - We are the stewards of a wonderful legacy of long-term studies, some now 70+ years old. We will continue to turn to these long-term studies to enhance our understanding of forest patterns and processes. These patterns and processes develop slowly, and new insights gained from current research both enhance and are enhanced by the information available in long-term study records. We have had and will continue to seek significant opportunities to answer current questions with results from long-term studies.
Last Modified: 01/15/2010