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US Forest Service Research & Development
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  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Dave Wear

David N. Wear

Project Leader
NC State Univ., Campus Box 8008
Raleigh, NC 27695
Phone: 919-523-5035


Current Research

Research addresses questions in four areas: 

Integrated Forest Science and Synthesis. New research is focused on cross disciplinary research to address complex socio-ecological problems. Despite recognition of the critical importance of understanding the relationships between people and forests, integrating ecological and socioeconomic sciences to answer cutting edge science questions has remained an elusive challenge. Over the past forty years, forest science has evolved from more traditional “forestry” science with a near exclusive focus on enhancing forest productivity to a science that must address much broader and more complex topics such as environmental assessment and monitoring, sustainability, and climate change and variability. The linkage between ecological and socioeconomic systems requires that research questions address interactions between forests and people, both how people manage forests and how society derives essential ecosystem services from forests. Effective resource, environmental, and energy policies and forest management strategies will increasingly rely on this kind of knowledge.

Forecasting forest conditions in the United States. Research identifies how land use and forest management combine with climate changes, and other factors to reshape forests in all regions of the United States. These forecasts can then used to derive estimates of changes in the flows of ecosystem services. In particular, research is investigating how these factors have altered forest conditions as defined by fine scale (plot and tree-level) observations in the FIA data base. Previous research by the incumbent has focused on forecasting many of the driving variables. Ongoing research is testing for the relationships between forces of change and observed transitions in FIA plot conditions. By forecasting change at the finest levels of observation in the inventory, the highest possible degree of detail is brought forward in the forecasts for subsequent interdisciplinary analysis.

Multiple Scale Analysis of Land Use. Research identifies how topography, resource and agricultural markets, and demographic factors organize land use across specific landscapes. Major objectives are to: (1) test hypotheses regarding the relative influences of market value, population growth, and other factors on land use decisions, (2) develop models of land use change, (3) test the predictive performance of models using historical data, and (4) develop forecasts of future land uses. Research is needed to support (1) regional assessments of ongoing development and (2) fine scale analysis of the ecological implications of land use changes.

Forest sustainability, investments, and productivity. Research seeks to understand how forest investment and harvesting jointly affect the long-run production potential of a forested region. Research foci include: (1) studying the factors that motivate forest investment, (2) linking investment to timber supply in a common analytical framework, (3) comparing production behavior across ownership types and subregions, and (4) developing measures for evaluating forest productivity and sustainability in terms of forest value. The overall objective of this research area is to develop tools for assessing changes in forest productivity and inventories, and forecasting potential production and inventory changes in specific places.

Education

  • University of Montana, Ph.D. Forest Management and Economics, 1987
  • Duke University, M.F. Resource Systems Science, 1983
  • University of Montana, B.A. Botany, 1981

Professional Experience

  • Project Leader, Center for Integrated Forest Science, US Forest Service, Southern Research Station
    2012 - Current
  • Project Leader, Forest Economics and Policy, USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station
    2006 - 2012
  • Project Leader, Economics of Forest Management and Protection, USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station
    1995 - 2006
  • Research Forest Economist, Economics of Forest Management and Protection, USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station
    1987 - 1995
  • Operations Research Analyst, Lolo National Forest, US Forest Service. Missoula, Montana
    1983 - 1987

Awards & Recognition

  • Secretary of Agriculture Honor Award for Personal and Professional Excellence, 2011
    For exemplary leadership and scientific contributions significantly influencing the policy and management decisions that ensure the sustainability of natural resources in the southern United States and beyond.
  • Directors Award for Science Delivery, Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service., 2011
    Co-leader, Southern Forest Futures Project. For remarkable leadership, development and delivery of the landmark analysis of Southern Forest Futures informing policy and management choices in the South.
  • Distinguished Science Award, USDA Forest Service, 2008
    For exceptional research work in the advancement of areas of integrated resource assessment, land use change modeling, and the analysis of forest policies, while contributing directly to the public discourse regarding conservation and sustainability of th
  • Directors Distinguished Science Award, Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, 2008
    For exceptional research work in the advancement of areas of integrated resource assessment, land use change modeling, and the analysis of forest policies, while contributing directly to the public discourse regarding conservation and sustainability of th
  • Directors Award for Customer Service, Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, 2006
    For “being proactive in providing excellent service to key partners through the conduct of innovative research to answer highly important questions regarding major changes in the forest economy.”
  • Director’s Award for Sustained Excellence in Science, Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, 2002
    For sustained excellence in developing and executing a research program that addresses the sustainability of multiple resource values.
  • Outstanding Paper in the Discipline of Landscape Ecolog, 2000
    Outstanding Paper in the Discipline of Landscape Ecology, given by the International Association for Landscape Ecology, U.S. Regional Chapter for: Wear, D.N., and P. Bolstad. 1998. Land Use Changes in Southern Appalachian Landscapes: Spatial Analysis and
  • Vice President Gore Hammer Award, 2000
    ...as a team leader for the Southern Appalachian Assessment.
  • Chiefs Ecosystem Management Award, 2000
    ...as a team leader for the Southern Appalachian Assessment.

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

Research Highlights

HighlightTitleYear


SRS-2011-23
Study Forecasts Changes in Southern Forests Between 2010 and 2060

In May 2011, the Forest Service and the Southern Group of State Foresters unveiled the SFFP, a multi-year research effort that among other thing ...

2011


Last updated on : 09/19/2014