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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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Marilyn Buford

Silviculture Research National Program Leader
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20250-1115
Phone: 703-605-5176
Fax: 703-605-5133


Current Research

Provide national program leadership and oversight in Silviculture research, Sustainable Forest Productivity research, and co-lead the FS R&D Bioenergy and Biobased Products Research Program.

Research Interests

silviculture, forest management, functional restoration, biomass feedstock production and management, short rotation woody crops, ecosystem goods and services

Past Research

Marilyn served as scientist and Project Leader in Charleston, SC, (Forested Wetlands) and in Research Triangle Park, NC (Southern Forest Productivity) from 1985 to 1998. During that time, she helped form and lead the Short Rotation Woody Crops Cooperative Research Program located at the US Department of Energy Savannah River Site (Aiken, SC). She is an active member of the USDA Bioeconomy Council Coordination Committee and the Interagency Woody Biomass Utilization Group, and serves on numerous interagency teams providing analysis and technical information for federal bioenergy and biobased products efforts, including the U.S. Biomass Research & Development Board teams. Marilyn is past Chair of the Short Rotation Woody Crops (SRWC) Operations Working Group, a public-private partnership to promote collaborative efforts in developing needed science and technology for SRWC plantations.

Why This Research is Important

Silviculture is the foundation for achieving all desired outcomes from forests. It is the theory and practice of manipulating forest establishment, composition and growth to meet a range of management objectives. Developing and applying silvicultural systems to meet individual or multiple objectives depends on understanding, using, and systematically manipulating the biological, physical, and chemical processes within a system or on a site. Silviculture research is creating, quantifying, and integrating knowledge of growth processes, plant physiology, and plant-site-environment interactions to develop strategies, systems, and practices to sustainably manage forests to meet human needs. Silviculture research involves all stages of tree and forest development and the influence of different strategies upon forest outputs and outcomes. A nation with insecure or inadequate energy and raw materials resources is at risk of being unable to feed and house its people, care for its environment, and sustain its economy. Meeting the challenge of sustainably replacing fossil based fuels, chemicals, and products while delivering desired natural resource outcomes requires a robust and productive research and development program. FS R&D strives to provide science and technology for sustainable management systems, options, and practices for forest bioenergy feedstocks; logistics and decision support tools to improve treatment, harvest, and transport efficiency; integrated models of land use patterns and bioenergy markets; models to assist in bioenergy facility site selection; life cycle analysis and assessment tools for forest bioenergy and bioproducts supply chains; and wood-based biofuels, chemicals, and products that can substitute for petroleum-based materials. This research is critical to enhancing U.S. energy security, economic opportunity, environmental quality, and global competitiveness.

Education

  • North Carolina State University, PhD Forestry, 1983
  • State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, MS Silviculture, 1979
  • Rhodes College (Southwestern at Memphis), BS Biology, 1976

Professional Experience

  • National Program Leader for Silviculture Research , USDA Forest Service Research and Development
    2005 - Current
    Provide program leadership and oversight in silviculture research, modeling and synthesis, sustainable forest productivity research, and co-lead FS R&D Bioenergy and Biobased Products Research Program.
  • National Program Leader for Quantitative Ecology Research , USDA Forest Service Research and Development
    1998 - 2005
    Provide program leadership and oversight in quantitative ecology research, modeling, and synthesis, carbon and carbon sequestration science, and co-led FS R&D Climate Change Research Program.
  • Supervisory Research Forester, USDA Forest Service Research and Development
    1992 - 1998
    Led and managed research unit of 9 scientists. Developed and carried out personal research program in stand dynamics, soil productivity, and growth and yield.
  • Supervisory Research Forester, USDA Forest Service Research and Development
    1991 - 1992
    Led and managed research unit of 5 scientists, responsible for management of 6100 acre Santee Experimental Forest. Developed and carried out personal research program in bottomland hardwood productivity and forest wetlands management.
  • Research Forester, USDA Forest Service Research and Development
    1985 - 1991
    Developed and carried out personal research program in southern pine productivity, fertilization response, bottomland hardwood productivity, and forest management.
  • Champion International Post-Doctoral Fellow, Virginia Tech
    1983 - 1985
    Quantified impact of genetic tree improvement programs on growth and yield of loblolly pine.

Professional Organizations

  • Society of American Foresters, Member (1976 - Current)
    Editor, Southern Journal of Applied Forestry, 1993-1996 Guest Editor, Journal of Forestry Special Issue on National Silviculture Workshop, 2013

Awards & Recognition

  • Washington Academy of Sciences Lifetime Achievement Award, 2014
    Lifetime Achievement in Natural Resources Sciences
  • Silviculture Award , 2009
    presented by agency peers for Outstanding Contributions to the Practice of Silviculture
  • USDA Secretary's Group Honor Award, 2006
    Development of clear and comprehensive standards for Greenhouse Gas Reporting from the Farm and Forest Sectors
  • USDA Secretary's Group Honor Award, 2001
    Climate Change Negotiations Analytic Support Team

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

Research Highlights

HighlightTitleYear


WO-2011-02
Global Bioenergy Partnership Sustainability Indictators for Bioenergy

The Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP) agreed on a set of science-based, voluntary, practical sustainability indicators with the aim of helping ...

2011


Last updated on : 10/09/2014