US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Christel C. Kern

Team Leader / Research Forester
5985 Highway K
United States

Phone: 715-362-1123
Fax: 715-362-1166
Contact Christel C. Kern

Curriculum vitae (145 KB PDF)

Current Research

  • Long-term effects of prescribed fire on soils, fuels, vegetaton, and productivity of red pine forests
  • Long-term effects of harvest gap size on tree regeneration and plant communities
  • Long-term effects of cutting methods on old and second-growth northern hardwoods
  • Restoration using fire, harvest, and mechical treatments to restore barrens, savannahs, woodlands, and forests of northern dry pine forests
  • Role of microtopography in northern hardwood tree growth, regeneration, and diversity
  • Role of tree microhabitats in managed forests
  • Seedbank potential for restoration and adaptation of forest ecosystems
  • Assisted migration for productive future forests
  • Climate-adaptive stragegy models for forest management
Knapp, Samuel P.; Kern, Christel C.; Webster, Christopher R. 2021. Harvested opening size affects cohort development and failures in a second-growth northern hardwood forest. Forest Ecology and Management. 482: 118804. 10 p.

Research Interests

  • Conventional, ecological, and adaptive silviculture
  • Mesic and dry forest ecosystems
  • Integrated, multi-disciplinary research
  • Collaborative research-management studies
  • Long-term field studies
Gustafson, Eric J.; Kern, Christel C.; Miranda, Brian R.; Sturtevant, Brian R.; Bronson, Dustin R.; Kabrick, John M. 2020. Climate adaptive silviculture strategies: How do they impact growth, yield, diversity and value in forested landscapes?. Forest Ecology and Management. 470-471: 118208-.

Past Research

Kern, Christel C; Kenefic, Laura S; Dockry, Michael J; Cobo-Lewis, Alan. 2020. Discrimination and Career Satisfaction: Perceptions from US Forest Service Scientists. Journal of Forestry. 118(1): 44-58.

Why This Research is Important

Long term perspectives on a variety of approaches to forest management are exceptionally important as environmental conditions and societal values continue to change. My work focuses on ecological underpinnings of plant community dynamics in managed forests both at present and retrospectively over past decades. Analysis of past work provides a rare insight into long term trends and responses that cannot be detected in a short term study or even during one's career! In light of this, I have the fortunate opportunity to study decades of silvicultural research from earlier scientists to evaluate impacts on complex issues such as forest sustainability and ecosystem integrity. These research results will provide information and tools to adapt silvicultural systems to the changing needs of the future.


  • University of Minnesota, Ph.D. Natural Resource Science and Management 2011
  • University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, M.S. Natural Resources 2000
  • University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, B.S. Biology 1997

Professional Experience

  • Certified Silviculturist, USDA Forest Service, Region 9
    2006 - Current

Professional Organizations

  • Arbeitsgemeinschaft Naturgemäße Waldwirtschaft, Honorary Member (2014 - Current)
  • Ecological Society of America, Member (2014 - Current)
  • Prosilva, Germany (2014 - Current)
  • Certified Silviculturist, Usda Fs Eastern Region (2006 - Current)
  • Society of American Foresters (SAF), Member (2001 - Current)
  • Forest Guild (2015 - )

Awards & Recognition

  • 2018 Percy Stubbs, John Bolton King, and Edward Garfitt Prize for Silviculture , 2019
    By authority of the Institute of Chartered Foresters for the publication of "Challenges facing gap-based silviculture and possible solutions for mesic northern forests in North America" Forestry 90(1):4-17

Featured Publications & Products


Research Highlights


Hardwood-Softwood Mixtures for Future Forests in Eastern North America: Assessing Suitability to Projected Climate Change

Despite growing interest in management strategies for climate change adaptation, there are few methods for assessing the ability of stands to en ...


Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration alters forest stand development, so do management guidelines need revision?

A decade ago, increased atmospheric carbon dioxide was at the heart of the Aspen Free-Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment Experiment. Forest Service r ...


Tribal forestry and western science come together to sustain forests for future generations

The Menominee Nation uses available science, local field testing, and professional experience to formulate an adaptive approach within their way ...


Last updated on : 01/12/2022