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US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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David K Wright

David K. Wright

Ecologist
800 East Beckwith Avenue
Missoula, MT 59801
Phone: 406-542-4181


Current Research

Focuses on fire ecology, fire history and dendrochronology.  As a manager Coram Experimental Forest I supervise or coordinate with other researchers in the collection of long-term data on forest management research studies that focus on western larch ecology.  Additionally at the experimental forest, there are long-term hydrologic and weather station data that I manage.  For my PhD topic, I am using a multidisciplinary approach that focuses on determining managment options that will maintain viable populations western larch, lynx and snowshoe hare across the Northern Rockies.

Research Interests

My research interests are focused on disturbance ecology with multidisciplinary components. The following are some of the questions that drive my research interests. How can we perpetuate healthy and viable ecosystems?  How can we learn about the components that make individual ecosystems more resilient and resistant to various intensities of disturbance?  In light of a changing climate, how can we promote/shape/guide ecosystems so that they will continue to provide the life sustaining resources necessary for the world’s organisms and ecosystems.

Past Research

With my Master’s project, my research topic was investigated the effects of silvicultural treatments on plant structure and composition (which included forbs, shrubs and trees) in forests of the Appalachian Mountains.  In my previous position at the PNW Research Station in Seattle, I worked on fire based research projects that focused on evaluating fuel loading and fuel consumption.

Why This Research is Important

Regardless of topic, asking questions is an integral part of the human nature and for me it a part of myself that I like to explore. As humans are a primary disturbance factor in the world today, we need to learn how to balance the ecological, political, and economical needs of our society to most effectively perpetuate our environment for ourselves and the plants and animals that we share it with. The research process is the primary tool for addressing and providing solutions for issues that arise from the intersection of these three driving forces.

Education

  • Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, BS Wildlife Science, 1994
  • Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, MS Forestry, 1998
  • University of Montana, Missoula, Ph.D. Candidate Forestry (Forest Ecology and Silviculture),

Professional Experience

  • Ecologist, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Missoula MT
    2005 - Current
  • Forester, USDA Forest Service, PNW Research Station, Seattle WA
    1999 - 2005

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Last updated on : 09/26/2014