Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Integrated Forest Ecosystem Assessment to Support Sustainable Management Decisions in a Changing Climate


October 2014 - September 2019


Since the 1970’s, temperatures across the northeastern US have warmed 0.25 degrees Celsius per decade, which has been accompanied by a wide range of biological changes (Hayhoe et al., 2006). Climate change will continue to restructure forests over the coming century, although the details remain uncertain. To refine our understanding of how climate may impact forested ecosystems, we propose an integrated assessment of the role of climate in forest ecosystem health and function through a combination of monitoring, experimental and modeling activities. The wildlife component of the project will focus on three key species, white-tailed deer, American black bear, and moose. The resulting maps of current and projected forest structure and function will be used to assess various management alternatives in a spatial structured decision framework. This framework will allow land managers to compare the probability of management activity success on a pixel by pixel basis, reflecting the complexity of the Northeast’s heterogeneous landscape.

This is a large, collaborative effort with many collaborators and graduate students. The wildlife portion of this study is directed by James Murdoch and Therese Donovan, who mentor PhD student Skye Pearman-Gillman.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 101

Masters Students: 234

Phd Students: 160

Post Docs: 60

University Staff: 268

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 671

Scientific Publications: 1868

Presentations: 4326



  • Therese DonovanCo-Principal Investigator
  • Schuyler Pearman-Gillman Student
  • James MurdochCo-Principal Investigator
  • Jennifer PontiusPrincipal Investigator
  • Carol AdairCo-Principal Investigator
  • Robert ManningCo-Principal Investigator
  • Tony D'AmatoCo-Principal Investigator
  • Clare GingerCo-Principal Investigator
  • Shelly RaybackCo-Principal Investigator
  • Gary HawleyCo-Principal Investigator
  • Paul SchabergCo-Principal Investigator
  • Bill ValliereCo-Principal Investigator

Funding Agencies

  • McIntire Stennis


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey