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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David N. Cole

Research Geographer
790 East Beckwith Avenue
United States

Phone: 406-542-4199
Contact David N. Cole

Current Research

I am interested in the entire range of wilderness management issues. I have conducted most of my empirical research in the field of recreation ecology. Recently I have also been involved in a number of studies of wilderness visitors, related particularly to visitor education and factors that influence the quality of visitors' experiences, as well as the exploration of threats to wilderness ecosystems, other than recreation use.

Research Interests

I am most interested in the integrated application of social and biological science to wilderness management.

Past Research

Protection of wilderness values will require good science that identifies threats to those values and management approaches that are effective at protection. Recreation, which much of my research focuses on, is one of the foremost threats to wilderness. My research will help wilderness managers protect wilderness for future generations

Why This Research is Important

Much of my past research has focused on the biophysical effects of recreation use in wilderness. This research has been used to devise wilderness planning approaches, identify effective management techniques and has also been used to develop Leave-No-Trace practices for the public.


  • University of California, Berkeley, B.A. Geography 1972
  • University of Oregon, Ph.D. Geography 1977

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Last updated on : 09/29/2020