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David L. Peterson

Team Leader and Biological Scientist
USDA Forest Service
Pacific Northwest Research Station
Fire and Environmental Research Applications Team
400 N 34th Street, Suite 201
Seattle, WA 98103
Telephone: (206)732-7812
Fax: (206)732-7801

Professor, Forest Ecology
College of Forest Resources
University of Washington
Box 352100
Seattle, Washington 98195-2100
Telephone: (206) 543-1587
Fax: (206) 685-0790

Curriculum Vitae

I have always been interested in applications of scientific knowledge to resource management issues, which is one of the motivations for being a career federal research scientist with the USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, and U.S. Geological Survey. My scientific focus is the effects of environmental stress on forest ecosystems, with emphasis on fire ecology and climatic change. Understanding and managing ecosystems at large spatial and temporal scales is a huge challenge for natural resource management, and most of my research has been focused at these large scales. The ecological scale paradigm is central to nearly all my scientific efforts.

I work with the Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station Fire Laboratory in Seattle. As Synthesis & Integration leader for the Fire and Environmental Research Applications team, I develop new products and information that will assist fire managers in the United States. This work is supported by the National Fire Plan and Joint Fire Science Program, with a focus on improved fire and fuels management on public lands.

Our approach is to develop integrated databases and software that characterize fuels and fire activity from the ground up, including fuelbed properties, combustion, emissions, air quality, and ecological effects. We are currently developing quantitative guidelines for modifying forest structure in order to reduce crown fire hazard in forests of the interior West.

I am also a principal investigator for CLIMET (Climate-Landscape Interactions on a Mountain Ecosystem Transect), and the Western Mountain Initiative (WMI), climatic-change research supported by the U.S. Geological Survey. For the past 12 years, we have used a combination of empirical studies and modeling to investigate the response of mountain ecosystems to climatic variability and change, from the marine climate of western Washington to the continental climate of western Montana. CLIMET has focused primarily on the ecology of subalpine forest ecosystems, effects of climatic variability (including the Pacific Decadal Oscillation) on tree growth and regeneration, and fire-climate interactions. The WMI is a cooperative effort among mountain research programs in the western United States to quantify subcontinental responses of mountain ecosystems to climatic variability and change.

I also serve as Professor in the College of Forest Resources, University of Washington, and participate in their teaching and graduate research programs. I direct the Fire and Mountain Ecology (FAME) Lab in the College, where I oversee the work of graduate students, postdocs, and professional staff. Lab research activities are supported by the Forest Service and CLIMET/WMI research programs, which facilitates interdisciplinary exchange and natural resources training for graduate students. The lab also collaborates with the UW Climate Impacts Group.


In addition to being an employee of the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Dave is also an affiliate faculty member of the College of Forest Resources, University of Washington, most recently teaching Forest Conservation Biology.  Dave was featured in the Fall 2000 CFR Quarterly's Faculty Profile.

For further information, contact:
Dr. David Sandberg, Team Leader
3200 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis, Oregon 97331 USA
(541)750-7265; (541)758-7760 fax
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