USDA Forest Service

Pacific Northwest Research Station

Pacific Northwest Research Station
333 SW First Ave.
Portland, OR 97204

(503) 808-2100

US Forest Service



News Releases: 2009

2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 |

[Image]: Forest Service Shield.

Cerveny Earns Early Career Scientist Award

Research examines social, cultural impacts of tourism in southeast Alaska


USDA Forest Service
Pacific Northwest Research Station

Portland, OR: January 07, 2009

Media assistance:

Sherri Richardson Dodge,, (503) 808-2137

PORTLAND, Ore. January 7, 2010. Research social scientist Lee Cerveny possesses two highly prized skills: the ability to translate scientific jargon for a lay public, and the ability to show that public the relevancy of the science to their daily life. Because of those skills and more, Cerveny will be presented the 2009 Research and Development Deputy Chief’s Early Career Scientist award during ceremonies January 27, 2010, in Washington, D.C. The award comes with a $5,000 grant for future research.

Cerveny, who is based at the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station, contributed the first comprehensive investigation of the social and cultural impacts of tourism in southeast Alaska. She captured, in her research, the effects of a sharp increase in cruise ship travel and the resulting explosion in nature-based tourism in the area.

" I am very pleased and honored to receive this award acknowledging my contributions as well as the efforts of my amazing collaborators,” said Cerveny. “My receiving this award is a testimony to the agency's ongoing support for social science research and the value of focusing on human dimensions issues that public land managers face."

Cerveny’s creative line of research, which began in 1999, culminated in three reports published between 2004 and 2007 documenting her findings. She then wrote a text book, Nature and Tourists in the Last Frontier: Local Encounters With Global Tourism in Coastal Alaska, based on her research findings. The book is currently used in graduate schools and Cerveny continues to be invited to lecture about her work at conferences in the United States and abroad.

As budgets shrink inside the Forest Service, partnerships have increased. In response, Cerveny examined the agency’s increasing reliance on recreation partnerships and volunteer organizations. She discovered that there are more than 35 types of partnerships within the Forest Service. She is currently working to determine which conditions are most conducive to this reliance.

Because her work integrates social science into management processes, Cerveny has helped the Forest Service adapt to social and economic change. As a result, she is in high demand as a research collaborator inside and outside of the agency. Cerveny is currently collaborating with four universities, two national forests, two research station teams, and one nonprofit organization on two of her recent studies.

“ [Her] work has substantially elevated the understanding of the human dimensions of natural resource management at a time when public involvement has made it increasingly important to respond to the needs and concerns of diverse groups of people,” said Ann Bartuska, Deputy Chief for Research and Development, U.S. Forest Service.

As a recipient of the early career scientist award, Cerveny is now an automatic nominee for the 2010 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers competition. These awards, established by President Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Winning scientists and engineers receive a research grant of up to $125,000, over 5 years to further their study in support of critical government missions.

The Pacific Northwest Research Station is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. It has 11 laboratories and centers in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington.

US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station
Last Modified: 

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.