US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
You are here: Home / People / Profile


Nicole M. Stark

Nicole M. Stark

Research Chemical Engineer
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: 608-231-9392
Contact Nicole M. Stark

Current Research

Dr. Nicole Stark's research focuses on the durability of wood-plastic composites from polymers and wood-derived. Nicole is interested in characterizing fundamental changes in surface chemistry and morphology that occur during weathering, and uses innovative processing techniques and treatments to improve weathering performance. Her research also includes incorporating alternative raw materials such as biopolymers, low-value woody biomass, and biorefinery residuals into high-value composites.

Research Interests

  • Composites from wood or other natural fibers and plastics
  • Coating wood composites for improved durability
  • Chemical modification and pre-treatment of wood fibers for enhanced composite durability
  • Changes in surface chemistry of wood-plastic composites during photodegradation
  • Moisture performance and fire performance of wood-plastic composites


  • Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI, Ph.D. Forest Science,
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, MS Mechanical Engineering,
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, BS Chemical Engineering,

Professional Organizations

  • Forest Products Society, Board Member (2013 - Current)
  • Society of Plastics Engineers, Member (2004 - Current)

Featured Publications & Products


Research Highlights


Centennial Edition, Wood Handbook—Wood as an Engineering Material

The Wood Handbook—Wood as an Engineering Material serves as a primary reference document for a wide variety of users-from the general publ ...


Evaluation of Various Fire Retardants for Use in Wood Flour/Polyethylene Composites

Wood-plastic composites (WPCs) represent a class of materials increasingly used in residential construction and furniture-making. The fire perfo ...


New Drying Process Gives Black Locust Wood Exotic Appearance

Heat treatment that prevents discoloration increases uses of this fast growing wood


Wood Flour Extraction Improves Moisture Performance of Wood-Plastic Composites

Improving the moisture performance of wood-plastic composites provides a potential avenue toward improving the product's overall durability. For ...


Wood-Plastic Composites Improved with Fiber Pre-Treatment

Scientists determine the dimensional stability of wood-plastic composites can be improved by treating wood sawdust and particles derived from be ...


Last updated on : 03/05/2015