Science Stories is a place for us to share new and exciting developments in Forest Service science and technology. Forest Service scientists conduct research and produce technology that inform land management decisions and result in new tools and forest products, such as cutting edge software that helps in firefighting and safer baseball bats for Major League Baseball.
The Role of Science
The Forest Service manages 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands, an area equal in size to Texas. This responsibility poses many unique challenges, since these areas are spread across the country and encompass a wide range of ecosystems and plant and animal species. To manage these lands in a way that maximizes benefits to people and to the environment, the Forest Service has relied on scientific research to continually improve the health and use of our Nation’s forests and grasslands. Research has been part of the Forest Service mission since the agency’s inception in 1905. Forest Service research runs the gamut from fields of biology to physical and social science. This includes investigating the impact of climate change on forests, investigating forest fires and management strategies, and developing innovative new forest products.
In the face of unprecedented challenges, including climate change, disease and pest outbreaks, and spread of invasive species, scientific research is increasingly relied upon to guide management and policy decisions.
Who and Where
Reflecting the diversity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands, the Forest Service has researchers located at laboratories around the country to help promote the sustainable management of our Nation’s forests and grasslands. These laboratories are complemented by a system of Experimental Forests and Ranges that provide sites for long-term studies and records of change in ecosystems across the United States. This geographic dispersion is crucial for understanding issues and developing solutions at a local or regional level. All of the knowledge is brought together to inform decision-making at the national level. Forest Service research contributes to programs in all 50 States as well as the U.S. territories and commonwealths.
Science Stories will feature research from Forest Service researchers across the country. Learn more about research done at the:
At the national level, Forest Service Research & Development works to synthesize science to better serve our partners and stakeholders as well as support policymakers and land managers.
This summer, the Forest Service celebrates a hundred years of research and innovation. Please visit Science Stories to see highlights on our past and current research, to meet our researchers and Fellows, and much more!