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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Leslie Brandt

Leslie Brandt

Climate Change Specialist
1992 Folwell Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108
Phone: 651-649-5016
Contact Leslie Brandt

Current Research

As a Climate Change Specialist for NIACS and the Forest Service Eastern Region, I work to bridge climate change research with forest management. My primary responsibility is to coordinate the Central Hardwoods and Urban Forestry Climate Change Response Framework projects. As coordinator for the Central Hardwoods, I developed an ecosystem vulnerability assessment for Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri. Information from the assessment is currently being used to develop climate change adaptation strategies and tactics for forests in the Central Hardwoods Region in real-world demonstration projects. The Urban Forestry Climate Change Response Framework project aims to engage with communities across the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest that are interested in adapting their urban forest management to climate change. A pilot initiative is underway in the Chicago area, with a goal to build on lessons learned to expand to other urban areas in the region.

I also provide general outreach and support for climate change activities in the Forest Service Eastern Region. This includes developing web resources in support of the Forest Service Climate Change Scorecard, developing classroom-based climate change training, and keeping the National Forests in the Eastern Region up-to-date with policies and research outcomes related to climate change and forest management.

Research Interests

climate change adaptation, climate change communication, vulnerability assessments, applied science, ecosystem ecology

Past Research

My past research has focused on understanding the role photodegradation (breakdown by solar radiation) plays in carbon and nitrogen cycling in desert and grassland ecosystems. This poorly understood process can play a significant role in the carbon cycle when biological activity is low and solar radiation is high, and has important implications for how carbon cycling may be altered under a changing climate.

Why This Research is Important

Understanding the impacts of climate change and finding ways to adapt to those changes helps managers make informed decisions about forest management. 


  • University of Minnesota, PhD Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, 2009
  • Gustavus Adolphus College, BA Biology, 2002

Professional Organizations

  • American Society Of Adaptation Professionals, Member (2013 - Current)
  • Toastmasters International, Vice President Of Education-Dialoggers Club (2010 - Current)
  • Earth Science Women'S Network, Member (2008 - Current)
  • Ecological Society of America, Member (2005 - Current)

Awards & Recognition

  • 2013 Northern Research Station Director's Award for Excellence in Science and Technology, 2013
    2013 Northern Research Station Director's Award for Excellence in Science and Technology award to Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

Research Highlights


Scientists and Managers Work To Develop Climate-Smart Conservation Strategies

Project that addresses the needs of land managers in a changing climate has expanded to nine States and more than 133 million acres


Last updated on : 03/26/2015