ST. PAUL, Minn. – Susan Stout, a project leader and research forester with the Northern Research Station for 36 years, received the Forest Service’s National Silviculture Lifetime Achievement Award on July 18, 2017, in Flagstaff, Arizona.
The nomination form detailed Stout’s accomplishments, but it was perhaps the signature line that said the most about her; it included scientists, silviculturists, and forest leadership, reflecting Stout’s dedication to science-based silviculture, delivery of science to practicing silviculturists, and continual refinement in silvicultural practices applied by resource managers. To date, Stout has co-authored or authored over 56 research publications related to silviculture, forestry and natural resource management and her work has been cited nearly 1,500 times.
One of Stout’s primary projects involved working on development of the computer-based forest management expert system, SILVAH (SILViculture for Allegheny Hardwoods), and associated training sessions for resource managers in Allegheny hardwood silviculture. The forestry community in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, Ohio, Indiana, Vermont, West Virginia and beyond have benefitted from this quantitative, systematic, science-based decision support methodology that helps forest managers overcome adverse conditions including tree regeneration challenges, interfering vegetation, and forest health issues.
In Pennsylvania, her work has helped promote and establish sustainable forestry practices on private and public ownerships, helping ensure that diverse and healthy forests are sustained on the Pennsylvania landscape for future generations.
In addition to research and leadership of research work unit NRS-02, Sustaining Forests in a Changing Environment, Stout has also served as a mentor for new scientists throughout her career, including helping them connect to potential collaborators and additional research needs or opportunities. Stout remains keenly interested in opportunities for women and minority scientists in the research community generally, and in the Forest Service overall.