USDA Forest Service

Pacific Northwest Research Station

Pacific Northwest Research Station
333 SW First Ave.
Portland, OR 97204

(503) 808-2100

US Forest Service

Research at the Pacific Northwest Research Station

The Portland moss and air quality study


Collecting samples. Credit: Julie Johnson.Moss growing on urban trees is a useful bioindicator of cadmium air pollution in Portland, Oregon, a U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station-led study has found. Urban moss analysis could potentially revolutionize air quality monitoring by serving as a screening tool to help cities strategically place their air quality monitors. This research—the first to use moss to generate a rigorous and detailed map of air pollution in a U.S. city—is published in the current issue of the journal Science of the Total Environment. Plot data used in this journal article are now available.  

The station will publish a comprehensive report this summer with basic maps of 22 heavy metals and other elements measured in the Portland moss samples. To be notified when this report is published, send an email to with “Moss study list subscription” in the subject line.


Research Topics:
ARRA project. Alaska Research


[Photograph]: Mount Saint Helens.Mount St. Helens
ARRA project. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act


[Photograph]: old growth forestOld Growth Forest


Chaiten Photoessay. Chaitén Photoessay


[Photograph]: old growth forestOregon Research


[Photograph]: Resource Stewardship meeting Community Sustainability


[Photograph]: PlannerPlanning Applications


Blue Mountains cow elk. Photo by Jim Ward. Elk Habitat [Photograph]: Postfire Management Postfire Forest Management


[Photograph]: Firefighter. Fire Research [Photograph]: Silviculture Silvicultural Experiments


Native grasses. Forest and Grasslands Lost Creek. Watershed Health


[Photograph]: Scout Lake.Global Climate Change Wolverine. Wildlife


[Photograph]: Diffuse knapweed.Invasive Species  
Research Programs:

The station conducts research in five core programs. The programs address current and future natural resource issues, reflect key capabilities, and guide the development of short term priorities or focus areas. These programs range from the fundamental science of ecological processes to applied research that produces tools that are of use to on-the-ground natural resource specialists and others.

Rocky Mountain Fox Ecological Process and Function

This program advances and communicates knowledge of fundamental ecological processes and how they interact at multiple scales. Scientists working from central Alaska to southern Oregon, from the coast to the interior West, develop applications that enable improved management of ecosystems and resources.more...

planting seedlings Land and Watershed Management

This program increases the understanding of terrestrial, aquatic, and riparian ecosystems and their linkages to inform management and policy options. Scientists in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington develop tools to enhance or maintain the production of goods and services provided by forests. more...

Line Officers Focused Science Delivery

This program develops and communicates science products that synthesize and integrate existing research knowledge and has a focus on key customer needs such as sustainable wood productivity, biodiversity, and reducing fire risk. This program develops and assesses innovative approaches to shaping and sharing information, focusing on long-term collaboration and continually seeking to address critical information gaps. more...

mount hood Resource Monitoring and Assessment

This program improves forests and rangelands by developing and applying inventory and monitoring methodology to maintain current comprehensive inventories. This program conducts assessments of status, trends, and prospective futures of the region's ecosystems. Uniquely, this program has a broader scope than the rest of PNW and includes Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, the Pacific Islands, and Washington. more...

Cle Elum River Goods, Services, and Values

This program helps determine how and why people interact with the natural environment and what impacts these interactions have on landscapes, economic markets, and communities. Scientists in this program work from Sitka and Juneau, Alaska, to Seattle, Washington, and Corvallis and Portland, Oregon. more...

weather station Threat Characterization and Management

This program generates knowledge about the nature, causes, and consequences of large, rapid, or significant changes to ecosystems that may threaten societal values. Scientists in this program work across Alaska, Oregon, and Washington as they develop and deliver tools to help people plan for, manage, or mitigate change and its consequences. more...

forest fire Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center

One of two centers nationally that review, integrate, and apply knowledge to predict, detect, and assess environmental threats on all Western lands. This program has four topic areas: land use and land-cover change, wildfire and fuels management, environmental effects on pests and pathogens, and explicit studies and models on biological responses to climate change. We communicate through reports, Webinars, and directly with land managers. more...

researchers in the woods Communications and Applications Group

This unit creates awareness and promotes use of scientific information and tools generated by the PNW Research Station. This unit provides products and applications that are accessible and easily used by the station's stakeholders. It focuses on legislative and public affairs, publishing, Web and social media, technology transfer for adults, and conservation education
for children. more...


Wind River Canopy Crane Research Facility

canopy gondola


The Bonanza Creek Long Term Ecological Research

bonanza creek alaska


US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station
Last Modified: Thursday,26May2016 at12:02:46CDT

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site. Untitled Document