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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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George McCaskill

Research Forester
11 Campus Blvd., Suite 200
Newtown Square, PA 19073
Phone: 610-557-4045
Contact George McCaskill


Current Research

My current research focuses on the productivity of Northern Forests within Maine and across the northeast. I examine changes in forest composition within the spruce-fir groups as well as within the northern hardwood types in order to determine the resiliency/productivity of these forests to continue to supply wood while evolving through spruce budworm, gypsy moth, and beech bark disease outbreaks, along with the introduction of new invasive pests.

I am also studying the ecology of Northern white-cedar across the northern states and its adaption to changing habitats, while working with other scientists to monitor the productivity of Northern white-cedar across the Northern Region.

 

Research Interests

As the Analyst for Maine and Pennsylvania, I will continue to look for ways to evaluate changes in forest composition as they relate to future spruce budworm infestations, invasive species and disturbance. Future projects may include identifying a set of indicators of forest “naturalness” specific for Maine, and developing a resiliency model based upon those indicators and different disturbance regimes.

Past Research

Dr. McCaskill designed and implemented a major research project for the purpose of monitoring the restoration of coastal wet longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill). The study involved the collection and laboratorial analysis of forest inventory and soil bio-indicator data while completing his doctoral studies at the University of Florida. The monitoring of the Pt. Washington restoration project required data on forest structure including downed woody debris, plant species richness, soil net ammonification and nitrification fluxes, numbers of ammonium-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) verses nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB), soil bacterial-to-fungal ratios, and soil chemical properties (available-P, pH, soil organic matter content); as indicators for change. The bio-indicator data was collected from the restoration site and three reference sites along a 500-mile gulf coastline, as well as a 110-year chronosequence in order to evaluate restoration dynamics. A restoration dynamics model (RESDYN) is currently in development based upon the analyzed field and laboratory data, and utilizing the object-oriented Python programming language.

Why This Research is Important

The forests of the Northern United States are the most sensitive to environmental change. Having the ability to identify indicators for change and predict ecological conditiions in the future are critical.

Education

  • University of Florida, Ph.D. Forest Resources & Conservation Forest Ecosystem Ecology and Restoration Ecology, 2008
  • California Polytechnic San Luis Obispo, M.S. International Agriculture Agroforestry and International Agricultural Development, 1997
  • University of Arizona, B.S. Renewable Natural Resources Forest Watershed Management, 1983

Professional Organizations

  • Ecological Society of America, Full Member (2002 - Current)
    Present papers at annual convention.
  • Registered Professional Forester, Ca, No. 2345, Licensed To Practice Professional Forestry (1986 - Current)
    Past the Board of Forestry exam on the first attempt. The exam covers the California Forest Practice Act and multiple disciplines needed to practice forestry in California.

Awards & Recognition

  • California Registered Professional Forester (active), 1986
    License to practice professional forestry in the State of California. Past the Board of Forestry exam on first attempt. The exam covers the State Forest Practice Act and the multiple disciplines of practicing forestry.

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Last updated on : 09/11/2014