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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Susan Stevens Hummel

Research Forester
Portland Forestry Sciences Lab
Portland, OR 97205
Phone: 503-808-2084

Current Research

Sensitivities of forest structure estimates to measurement methods and model parameters.

Research Interests

My research program aims to (1) use and evaluate different methods for estimating changes in forest vegetation associated with natural processes and harvest activities; (2) understand how different estimation methods can affect multi-scale evaluation and description of management effects on forest resources people care about; and (3) share information about the interactive effects of disturbances and management on forests in ways that enhance knowledge communication among the users and critics of science.

Past Research

Remote sensing technologies (satellite, LIDAR) have the potential to improve how data about forest structure and composition are collected and used. One potential advantage, as evaluated in a study in central eastern Oregon, is that the cost of LIDAR data is not linearly related to area. For some metrics, like tree height and stand basal area, the LIDAR data provided estimates at a management planning scale that did not differ significantly from estimates derived from stand exams. This information is useful because it suggests that there are economies of scale yet to be realized by combining field work (intensive) with remote sensing (extensive) to inventory, monitor, and manage forest resources.

Why This Research is Important

My research helps both to refine the tools used in creating and evaluating the vegetation layers for landscape modeling and assessment and to make decisions about postfire regeneration.


  • Oregon State University, Ph.D. Forest Resources, 1997
  • University of Oregon, M.A. International Studies, 1988
  • Georgetown University, B.A. Finance, 1984

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Last updated on : 10/03/2014