USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station


Pacific Southwest Research Station
800 Buchanan Street
West Annex Building
Albany, CA 94710-0011

(510) 559-6300

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

About Us: Research Accomplishments 2012

Message from the Director, Vision and Mission

Science that makes a difference.

I am extremely proud to present the Pacific Southwest Research Station's 2012 Accomplishments Report. This has been an exciting, challenging, and very rewarding year for all of us at PSW. I was fortunate to be appointed as the permanent Station Director in 2012, and I am thrilled to officially join the high-performing team at PSW. I look forward to continuing to build on past successes as we focus our research efforts on critical issues impacting the public and our natural resources well into the future. The goal of the Forest Service's Research and Development programs is to improve lives by improving the connections between people, trees, and forest ecosystems. We're going to continue to ensure that our research remains relevant, and that we conduct rigorous science in an efficient and effective business environment that best serves our nation.

To accomplish our goals, we must be mindful of the interactions among people, ecosystems, and myriad environmental changes. Human activities have an increasing impact on the functioning of our ecosystems and understanding the interplay between social dynamics and natural resources will be an increasing part of our work. We appreciate the unique and rich diversity of the peoples of California, Hawai'i, and the Pacific island states, and embrace the perspectives of our constituents as we shape our research programs to best serve their needs through inclusion and outreach. Key research emphasis areas for PSW include adapting to a changing climate; human cultures and natural resource stewardship; integrated fire ecology and management; conservation of at-risk species and communities; and sustainable energy and environmental impacts.

More than 50 percent of California's fresh water comes from National Forest Lands. In addition to supplying clean water for residential and industrial use, it also supports the approximately $37 billion in food and commodities produced in California's agriculture economy. Nearly 20 percent of California is National Forest Lands that support 38,000 jobs. We are increasing our strong partnership with the National Forest System (NFS) in our region, investing in research that will assist land managers with new planning rules, developing and sustaining healthy and resilient forests in the face of change, contributing to accelerated restoration of our forests and grasslands, and providing clean, reliable water and other environmental infrastructure to sustain and enhance quality of life.

We remain committed to serving the public through community service programs. Four that I am particularly proud of are mentioned in the pages that follow. Many of them are financially supported through grant programs, but equally importantly through the dedicated volunteers from PSW and their families who regularly give their time and energy to support these initiatives.

I am particularly excited about our prospects for the future at PSW. As we continue to refine our focus on our primary emphasis areas, we look forward to building out our capacity and capabilities across the station. A key contributor to our success is the development of our Hawai'i facility, the Institute of Pacific Island Tropical Forestry (IPIF). We will fill the Director's position in Hilo, HI in FY13, and count this addition as a critical factor in supporting our research in Hawai'i and throughout the U.S.-affiliated states in the Pacific. The IPIF Director will supervise the scientists and support staff at IPIF and manage the Hawai'i Experimental Tropical Forest on the island of Hawai'i, and will work closely with our collaborators and partners in the state of Hawai'i and the Pacific region to sustain our viability and relevancy.

The coming year poses many challenges and unknown outcomes with budget, policy, and environmental impacts on every facet of our work. At PSW, we look forward to the challenges that lie ahead, and work in concert with all of the Forest Service to better position ourselves to deliver innovative science to ensure environmental health and community stability throughout California, Hawai'i, and the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands.


Alexander L. Friend, Ph.D.
Station Director, Pacific Southwest Research Station

Vision and Mission

The Pacific Southwest Research Station is a world leader in natural resources research through our scientific excellence and responsiveness to the needs of current and future generations. Our mission is to develop and communicate science needed to sustain forest ecosystems and their benefits to society.

About Us

The Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW) represents Forest Service Research and Development in California, Hawai‘i, and the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands. Our region has the lowest, driest desert in the country, the highest elevations within the 48 contiguous States, and the wettest tropical forests. An abundant diversity of native plants and animals and nearly half of the nation's threatened and endangered species live in this region. At PSW, we develop and deliver science to help inform decisions about natural resource management, conservation, and environmental protection. Much of our work is accomplished in cooperation with other research and development institutions, such as universities, and state and other federal agencies.

Last Modified: May 1, 2013 06:45:49 PM