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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Sara A. Goeking

Biological Scientist
507 25th Street
United States

Phone: 801-625-5193
Contact Sara A. Goeking

Current Research

As a member of the RMRS-FIA Analysis Team, I am working to develop more spatially explicit analyses and summaries of FIA data. I am currently working on methods for comparing historical (periodic) versus current (annual) forest inventories, and am particularly interested in differences among various landowner groups. I am also investigating possible techniques for alternative resource inventories such as riparian forests. In the long term, I hope to develop spatial models based on FIA plot data that will enhance our understanding of forest dynamics such as mortality, disturbance, and land use/land cover change.

Research Interests

I am interested in anything geospatial, because nearly all ecological processes vary spatially across the landscape. I seek to apply modelling and remote sensing approaches that can expand our inventory beyond forest land to areas such as rangeland and riparian areas in the semi-arid Interior West.

Past Research

I initially came to FIA as a field crew leader. My recent work with the RMRS-FIA Data Collection Team involved streamlining and expanding the scope of FIA Pre-field workflows so that we now collect basic land use, land cover, and tree canopy cover data on all FIA plots. Prior to joining FIA, most of my work focused on spatial analysis of riparian vegetation and sandbar storage in the Colorado River basin, and analysis of multi-temporal surveys and historical air photos to quantify past and current responses to hydroelectric flow regulation in a historical context.

Why This Research is Important

FIA scientists need to continually show how and why the FIA program is relevant to society by developing innovative analyses that are relevant to land managers and other scientists. We function as the nation's forest census by collecting mountains of data, but we also analyze the data we've collected and interpret it in such a way that is meaningful to our customers. Therefore we need to collaborate with scientists in other subdisciplines, such as wildlife and natural resource economics, to provide useful information to a wide variety of stakeholders. We also need to find ways to make our work more efficient and thereby make good use of limited program resources.


  • Utah State University, Environmental Studies and Plant Science , 1996
  • Utah State University, Forest Ecology , 2003

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Research Highlights


Annual Inventory of New Mexico's Forests More Accurate Thanks to Stratification Key

The Forest Inventory and Analysis Program must provide unbiased estimates of forest area. An accurate baseline of New Mexico's forests and futu ...


Comprehensive Inventory of Forest Health Trends in New Mexico

The public, forest managers, and scientists now have the most comprehensive inventory of forest health trends in New Mexico's history. The repor ...


Last updated on : 08/18/2015