The Quantitative Analysis program's core mission is to develop and support tools that describe and analyze biological conditions and processes related to forest health. Elements of the program include statistical sampling design and analysis; experimental design and analysis; computer simulation of population dynamics and the interaction of insect and pathogens with forest vegetation conditions; and the impact of forest health conditions on resource values.
In addition to tool development and applications, the program provides expertise and staff support to various national and inter-staff studies and coordination efforts. Projects requiring significant resources are scoped, prioritized, and selected through the FHTET strategic and annual planning processes.
Primary users of support tools related to forest health protection include Forest Service personnel such as entomologists, pathologists, and silviculturists at Zone and field offices, other FS personnel, and state-level staffs. Information on forest health impacts on resource values has been used by headquarters and field recreation specialists, landscape architects, and planners. Some projects support other FHTET programs, allowing them to better serve their customers. Biometrics support to FHP field projects is provided as resources permit; assistance beyond review and consultation may require cost reimbursement if tasks need to be performed through contractors. These services have been provided to FHP units and Research Stations.
Recent cooperators include the University of Montana and Colorado State University. Development projects often include a team of Forest Service scientists and field specialists, as well as technology development staffs from FHTET and other Forest Service units. Key partners for recent projects have come from FHP units across the country; the Forest Management Service Center; RMRS research projects in Flagstaff, Fort Collins, Moscow, and PSW Riverside and Redding; as well as from other FHTET program managers.
Two customer groups with a high potential for using program products are fire-response planners and field and research forest ecologists. The Fire extension of FVS and West-wide Pine Beetle model could be important simulation tools for fire planners in western pine forests. The Quantitative Analysis program has interacted with the FVS Fire developers from that projects inception, and will be making efforts to find suitable opportunities to test the joint use of these models. The prototype FVS-Stand-BGC tool (the FHTET-sponsored integration of two software packages) has been demonstrated before ecologists and efforts are being made to coordinate a model test with a field study of stand eco-physiology and insect risk.