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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Kas Dumroese

Kasten Dumroese

Research Plant Physiologist / National Nursery Specialist
1221 South Main Street
United States

Phone: 208-883-2324
Contact Kasten Dumroese

Current Research

My current research focuses adaptive management strategies that support restoration toward improving the resiliency and function of ecosystems. Specific research includes (1) assessing assisted migration as a potential adaptation to climate change; (2) helping land managers initiate functional restoration on their landscapes; (3) evaluating biochar, the by-product of converting woody biomass to bioenergy, as an amendment to substrates used to grow native plants; (4) understanding carbon and nitrogen pools under different land management scenarios; and (5) completion of volume 2 of Agriculture Handbook 730.

Research Interests

My research interests include all aspects of propagating and outplanting native plants. From the nursery perspective, my research includes nursery production systems, specifically propagation, plant-disease interactions, plant nutrition, and water management. From the outplanting perspective, my research includes assisted migration as a management adaptation to climate change and functional restoration of plant communities.

Past Research

My past research solved many complex nursery management and establishment problems faced by nursery managers and land managers throughout the world. Templates I devised for plant propagation protocols are routinely followed in the Native Plants Journal and on the Native Plant Network. I have provided nursery managers with techniques for propagating native plants. I defined new methods to avoid or mitigate pitfalls of confounding factors in nursery research and in deploying stocktype trials. My plant–disease relationship work with Fusarium root disease led to new best management plans (BMPs) for mitigating disease; key to those BMPs was development of a container-cleaning protocol used worldwide. My finding that the fungus Fusarium commune, rather than Fusarium oxysporum, is the more virulent pathogen has markedly changed the paradigm of future research endeavors concerning this nursery pathogen. I provided nursery managers with creative, science-based methods to improve nutrient and water management and was the first to demonstrate the scope of the problem of errant discharge of nutrients from container nurseries producing native plants. I did this by devising techniques to measure leachate and irrigation system spray patterns and subsequently developed fertilization and irrigation techniques that nursery managers are using to mitigate the problem. I have synthesized and delivered my personal research, along with that of other scientists, and subsequently provided nursery managers and field restorationists holistic tools; my Agriculture Handbook 674, Volume 7 is being translated into Spanish and Chinese, and my Afghan nursery manual was translated into Dari. To improve science delivery, I initiated a new journal that prints both refereed research and general technical articles to encourage "cross pollination" among researchers and field professionals. My Internet database, and the 2500+ native plant propagation protocols in it, was accessed more than 32,000 times during 2010.

Why This Research is Important

In the US, more than 1200 native plant nurseries, operated by federal, tribal, state, private, and not-for-profit entitiies, annually produce more than a billion seedlings for reforestation and restoration. Ensuring seedlings are produced efficiently and with high quality reduces costs and improves seedling performance (survival and growth) after outplanting. The end result is that restoration work to maintain ecosystem function is done in the most efficient and economic ways possible. In addition, my research with assisted migration and functional restoration will help ensure that appropriate plant materials, in terms of adaptation, are applied to the landscape.


  • Michigan Technological University, Houghton, B.S. Forest Management 1984
  • University of Idaho, Moscow, M.S. Forest Resources 1986
  • University of Idaho, Moscow, Ph.D. Forestry 1996

Professional Experience

  • Director, Western Center for Native Plant Conservation and Restoration Science, USDA Forest Service
    2016 - Current
  • National Nursery Specialist, USDA Forest Service
    2002 - Current
  • Research Plant Physiologist, USDA Forest Service
    2001 - Current
  • Research Scientist, University of Idaho (Moscow), College of Forestry, Wildlife, and Range Sciences, Department of Forest Resources, Forest Research Nursery
    2000 - 2001
  • Research Associate, University of Idaho (Moscow), College of Forestry, Wildlife, and Range Sciences, Department of Forest Resources, Forest Research Nursery
    1986 - 2000
  • Assistant Manager, University of Idaho (Moscow) Forest Research Nursery
    1984 - 1986

Professional Organizations

  • International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), Member (2006 - Current)
    2015: Served on the science committee organizing Reforestation Challenges. Belgrade, Serbia. 2010 to 2012: Served on the science committee organizing Restoring Forests: Advances in Techniques and Theory, focused on the nursery and outplanting aspects of forest restoration. Madrid, Spain.
  • Society of American Foresters, Member (1984 - Current)
  • Canadian Journal Of Forest Research, Associate Editor (2011 - 2016)
  • Native Plants Journal, Editor-In-Chief (2000 - 2014)
    I initiated the journal and served as Editor-in-Chief for the first 15 volumes.
  • New Forests, Associate Editor (2011 - 2012)
    Served as associate editor for a special issue containing manuscripts from the IUFRO conference: Restoring Forests: Advances in Techniques and Theory. Madrid, Spain.
  • Tree Planters' Notes, Associate Editor (1996 - 1999)

Awards & Recognition

  • Outstanding Technology Transfer Publication , 2015
    From John Phipps, Director, Rocky Mountain Research Station, for Tropical Nursery Manual: A Guide to Starting and Operating a Nursery for Native and Traditional Plants, USDA Forest Service Agriculture Handbook 732.
  • Science Delivery Award, 2015
    From John Phipps, Director, Rocky Mountain Research Station, for leadership in initiating the Native Plants Journal and sustaining it as editor for 15 volumes.
  • National Technology Transfer Award, 2013
    From the Society of American Foresters, the scientific and educational organization representing the forestry profession in the United States.
  • Civil Rights Award , 2011
    From G. Sam Foster, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Director, for “innovative, high performance professionalism to their tribal constituents in support of the Station’s program of service to tribal communities.”
  • Tribal Relations Professional Excellence Award, 2011
    From the Office of Tribal Relations, Washington Office, for the Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetics Resources Tribal Nursery Emphasis.
  • Outstanding Technology Transfer Publication, 2009
    From G. Sam Foster, Director, Rocky Mountain Research Station, for “Nursery Manual for Native Plants – A Guide for Tribal Nurseries, USDA Forest Service Agriculture Handbook 730.”
  • Karl Urban Celebrating Wildflowers Award – Excellence in Native Plant Materials Management, 2007
    From National Forest System, Washington Office, for “initiating the Native Plants Journal, the Native Plants Propagation Protocol Database, and developing native plant work with American Indians.”
  • Two Chiefs' Partnership Award, 2006
    From Dale Bosworth, Chief of the Forest Service, and Arlen Lancaster Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service for “restoring riparian forests on the Hopi reservation,” a collaborative effort involving these two USDA agencies.
  • Director’s Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer, 2005
    From Peter Roussopoulos, Director, Southern Research Station, for “work hosting meetings and training sessions to increase participation of American Indian tribal members in nursery work to help restore native plant communities.”
  • Director's Partnership Award, 2005
    From Peter Roussopoulos, Director, Southern Research Station, for “partnerships between the Forest Service (Research and Development and Cooperative Forestry), Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Native American tribes."
  • Director's Natural Resource Stewardship Award, 2004
    From Peter Roussopoulos, Director, Southern Research Station, to employees of RWU-4111 “for their work in restoration of longleaf pine ecosystems, long-term forest sustainability, and national nursery and reforestation technology transfer.”

Featured Publications & Products


Research Highlights


New Database Established for Tracking Climate Change and Assisted Migration

A new literary database about native plant transfer guidelines, climate change and assisted migration provides information on assisted vegetatio ...


Restoring Forest Landscapes

An estimated 1 billion acres of globally degraded forest are in need of restoration today and climate change likely will drive more acres into t ...


The Intersection of Science and Technology Transfer

Growers and users of the approximately one billion native plants produced each year in the United States now have the best information available ...


Last updated on : 11/22/2016