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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Research Forester

Gerald J. Gottfried

Volunteer Research Forester
2324 East McDowell Road
United States

Phone: 602-225-5357
Fax: 602-225-5295
Contact Gerald J. Gottfried

Current Research

My primary research includes the Cascabel (Peloncillo) Watershed Study, where we are attempting to determine the impacts of cool-season and warm-season prescribed fires and a wildfire on the hydrologic and ecological components of oak savanna in the Southwestern Borderlands Region. The study includes 12 gauged watersheds, weather stations, and sampling grids for vegetation, soil attributes, and wildlife. The study involves a number of Forest Service, university, and private cooperators. I am also involved with the restoration of a semi-desert savanna-grassland in the Southwestern Borderlands of Arizona and New Mexico using mechanical treatments and prescribed fire. My research includes a study of the effects of fuels/fire risk reduction treatments using hydro-mow or thinning on pinyon-juniper ecosystem components within the wildland-urban-interface (JFSP). I am also attempting to complete several previous studies concerned with pinyon-juniper ecology and management.

Research Interests

My interests are in conducting research on the ecology and management of encinal oak savannas, pinyon-juniper woodlands , and semi-desert grassland ecosystems that will improve available information and contribute to sound management for the sustained and improved health and productivity of these ecosystems. The impacts of land management on wildland hydrology and the potential of using silvicultural options and/or prescribed fire in woodlands are of particular interest. A prime interest is to provide information that is useful to private and public managers and advances science. A new area of interest is to determine the impacts of a changing climate on arid and semiarid ecosystems.

Past Research

Private and public land managers in the Southwestern Borderlands agreed that fire should be reintroduced to the land. The Cascabel study was initiated because the Coronado National Forest was unsure of the impacts of cool-season compared to warm season prescribed fires on a number of ecosystem components including hydrology and sedimentation. There also was relatively little ecological information for the Madrean Archipelago. Cascabel has answered and continues to answer many of manager's questions. The infrastructure at Cascabel will allow scientists and managers to monitor any changes in the climate and prepare to address a changing environment. I have been involved with three major conferences aimed at bringing together information about the Madrean Archipelago. Pinyon-juniper woodlands cover vast areas and have been severely affected by drought and beetles. Woodlands were ignored or destroyed in the past but attitudes are changing to preserve existing stands by encouraging sound silviculture and even artificial regeneration. Work that was completed earlier is important to address the new situation.

Why This Research is Important

My initial duties were to study the ecology and hydrology of southwestern mixed conifer forests. I analyzed the impact of silvicultural treatments on water yields from Workman Creek, Thomas Creek, Willow Creek, and Castle Creek in Arizona. Most treatments involved heavy removals and resulted in increased water yields. Water yield increases were achieved even when harvests were less severe and drought conditions were not present. I also reported on stand conditions in uncut forests and on the effects of treatments, including prescribed fire, on tree growth and stand structure. Some of my research involved the study of forest snowpack dynamics. I was then assigned to study southwestern pinyon-juniper woodlands. My research concerned pinyon regeneration dynamics, several silvicultural options, including a silvopastoral prescription, prescribed burning of downed fuels, and the effects of mechanical mastication in the wildland-urban-interface. I have cooperated with the B.I.A. on some of its pinyon-juniper stocking study plots.


  • City College of New York, B.S. Biology 1963
  • Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, M.S. Forestry, Hydrology, Soil Science 1965
  • University of Arizona, Tucson, Ph.D. Watershed Management, Soil Science 1989

Professional Organizations

  • Society of American Foresters, Fellow (2013 - Current)
  • Arizona-Nevada Academy Of Science, Member (2008 - Current)
  • New Mexico Forest Guild, Member (2008 - Current)
  • Northern Arizona University, Adjunct Faculty (2005 - Current)
  • Association for Fire Ecology, Member (2003 - Current)
  • University Of Arizona, Adjunct Faculty (2003 - Current)
  • Malpai Borderlands Group, Member (1995 - Current)
  • Xi Sigma Xi, Member (1995 - Current)
  • Sigma Xi, Member (1969 - Current)
  • Xi Sigma Pi, Member (1965 - Current)
  • Society of American Foresters, Member (1964 - 2013)

Awards & Recognition

  • Certificate of Merit, 2006
    Co-recipient of the 2006 Technology Transfer Award for two volumes of RMRS-GTR-135, "Assessment of grassland ecosystem conditions in the Southwestern United States."
  • Certificate of Merit, 2004
    For your contributions to the R3/RMRS Grassland Assessment Team, including participation in the team process and authorship of one or more chapters of Volume 1 of the GTR.
  • Certificate of Merit, 2001
    Sustained excellence in implementing, managing and conducting the complex field research program of the SBMR Work Unit and maintaining outstanding collaboration with research and management partners.
  • Certificate of Merit, 1995
    For high quality performance in all job elements which substantially exceeds normal requirements.
  • Certificate of Appreciation, 1983
    For sustained effort in developing a memorandum of understanding and a five-year plan for the Sierra Ancha Experimental Forest.
  • Certificate of Merit, 1980
    For excellent hosting of the IUFRO/MAB Conference May 18-25, 1980.

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Last updated on : 06/17/2016