I have always
been interested in applications of scientific knowledge to resource
management issues, which is one of the motivations for being
a career federal research scientist with the USDA Forest Service,
National Park Service, and U.S. Geological Survey. My scientific
focus is the effects of environmental stress on forest ecosystems,
with emphasis on fire ecology and climatic change. Understanding
and managing ecosystems at large spatial and temporal scales
is a huge challenge for natural resource management, and most
of my research has been focused at these large scales. The ecological
scale paradigm is central to nearly all my scientific efforts.
with the Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station Fire
Laboratory in Seattle. As Synthesis & Integration leader
for the Fire and Environmental Research Applications team, I
develop new products and information that will assist fire managers
in the United States. This work is supported by the National
Fire Plan and Joint Fire Science Program, with a focus on improved
fire and fuels management on public lands.
Our approach is to
develop integrated databases and software that characterize fuels
and fire activity from the ground up, including fuelbed properties,
combustion, emissions, air quality, and ecological effects. We
are currently developing quantitative guidelines for modifying
forest structure in order to reduce crown fire hazard in forests
of the interior West.
I am also a principal
investigator for CLIMET (Climate-Landscape Interactions on a Mountain
Ecosystem Transect), and the Western Mountain Initiative (WMI),
climatic-change research supported by the U.S. Geological Survey.
For the past 12 years, we have used a combination of empirical
studies and modeling to investigate the response of mountain ecosystems
to climatic variability and change, from the marine climate of
western Washington to the continental climate of western Montana.
CLIMET has focused primarily on the ecology of subalpine forest
ecosystems, effects of climatic variability (including the Pacific
Decadal Oscillation) on tree growth and regeneration, and fire-climate
interactions. The WMI is a cooperative effort among mountain research
programs in the western United States to quantify subcontinental
responses of mountain ecosystems to climatic variability and change.
I also serve as Professor
in the College of Forest Resources, University of Washington,
and participate in their teaching and graduate research programs.
I direct the Fire and Mountain Ecology (FAME) Lab in the College,
where I oversee the work of graduate students, postdocs, and professional
staff. Lab research activities are supported by the Forest Service
and CLIMET/WMI research programs, which facilitates interdisciplinary
exchange and natural resources training for graduate students.
The lab also collaborates with the UW Climate Impacts Group.
addition to being an employee of the U.S.D.A. Forest Service,
Dave is also an affiliate faculty member of the College of Forest
Resources, University of Washington, most recently teaching Forest Conservation
Biology. Dave was featured in the Fall 2000 CFR Quarterly's