NRS Scientist awarded an Institute of Chartered Foresters 2018 Silvicultural Prize

Portrait photo
Research forester Christel Kern was recognized by the Institute of Chartered Foresters for her research paper “Challenges Facing Gap-based Silviculture and Possible Solutions for Mesic Northern Forests in North America.” Photo courtesy of Azael Meza.

WISCONSIN – Research Forester Christel Kern was awarded the Percy Stubbs, John Bolton King and Edward Garfitt Prize for silviculture, an annual award bestowed by the Institute of Chartered Foresters honoring work advancing the sector’s knowledge of silviculture.

Kern was nominated for her 2017 research paper “Challenges Facing Gap-based Silviculture and Possible Solutions for Mesic Northern Forests in North America,” which was published in the Institute’s journal, Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research. The paper, which was written with co-authors including Research Ecologist Alex Royo of the Northern Research Station, suggests that managing variability in canopy structure, light environments, habitat conditions and scales will challenging, particularly in terms of the expectations of commodity-driven forestry. It concludes that staying true to the origins of silvicultural approaches in terms of maintaining a diverse mix of tree species will increase the potential for long term ecosystem resilience and economic sustainability. Read the study online.

Based in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, and part of the Northern Research Station’s Northern Forest Science and Applications research work unit, Kern’s research focuses on research with clear implications for on-the-ground forest management. Her affiliation with the USDA Forest Service began when she was an undergrad at the University of Wisconsin -- Stevens Point, when she interned at the Rhinelander lab. Since then, work with the Forest Service has taken her from Wisconsin to Olympia, Washington, to Grand Rapids, Minnesota, and back to Wisconsin in her current position in Rhinelander.