USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station

Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Research Topics Climate Change, Mitigation, and Adaptation Science

A wide landscape look at a forest impacted by drought and bark beetles. The Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW) plays a leadership role in climate change and greenhouse gas science at national and international levels. Research of PSW scientists focuses on assessing climates, evaluating ecosystem responses, promoting approaches to sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, and developing adaptation strategies to manage natural resources in the face of changing climates.

The PSW coordinates research with the western Forest Service Research Stations in the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountains, and with Federal, Tribal, State, academic, and non-governmental partners.

Through collaborations, PSW has taken key leadership roles in catalyzing coordinated and integrated research:

Global Change Research Strategy: USFS Research and Development updated in February 2009, a strategic approach for research on global change over the next decade. The strategy represents input from scientists throughout the agency.

Westwide Climate Initiative: PSW is a lead partner in a current proposal of the three western Forest Service Research Stations to assess climates at scales relevant to national forest management, develop tools to quantify effects of climate change on natural resources, and promote new strategies for national forest planning and management. A key product of this partnership is the Climate Change Resource Center website. CCRC is a reference website for resource managers and decision makers who need information and tools to address climate change in planning and project implementation on lands in the West.

CIRMOUNT (Consortium for Integrated Climate Research in Western Mountains): PSW is a founding member of CIRMOUNT, a diverse network of scientists, resource managers, and policy makers committed to promoting coordinated climate monitoring, integrated research, communication and education, and decision support in western North American mountain regions.

Research Emphasis Areas

Assessing Climate Variability and Change

PSW scientists study historic climates and also assess recent climate in relation to forest composition, structure, and health.

Evaluating Ecosystem Effects

A long-standing strength of PSW science has been to evaluate natural process and disturbance effects on diverse physical and ecological attributes of natural resources.

Developing Strategies for Mitigation and Adaptation

Mitigation opportunities for sequestering carbon and reducing atmospheric emissions are key topics of emerging science at PSW. New approaches to planning and national-forest management in the face of global change rely on input from PSW interdisciplinary and focused science.