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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James H. Perdue

James H. Perdue

Senior Biological Scientist
Room 112 2506 Jacob Drive
United States

Phone: 865-946-1123
Contact James H. Perdue

Current Research

Conducts research supporting the bio-economy by sustaining nature’s benefits from working farms, ranches and forests ecosystems to achieve economic prosperity, restoration and ecological benefits. This research leverages and advances a multi-partner collaborative deploying innovative biomass and bioenergy decision support and visualization tools. The tools utilize socio-economic and biophysical drivers as well as the place-based human-environmental conditions that influence land-use and land-cover change.

The Biomass Site Assessment Tools (BioSAT) research delivers decision support and web-based guided assessments for both agricultural and forestry cellulosic biomass within the 33 eastern U.S. states. It integrates transportation, harvesting, and resource cost models to provide spatially-explicit economic supply curves for user defined bio-basins. The results, organized by 5-digit ZIP Code Tabulation Area (ZCTA), helps identify least cost biomass demand centers and opportunity zones favorable for additional business case due diligence. Decision support is available at

The bio-economy is defined broadly to include the flow of economically valuable goods and services that are produced by agricultural, rangeland and forest ecosystems. The motivation is to improve the likelihood of predicting how a bio-economy may alter technology, management, markets, and educational skills necessary to be successful in the business of agriculture, ranching and forestry.

Key Words: …agriculture, rangeland, forestry, sustainability, restoration, biomass, bioenergy, feedstock, logistics, short rotation woody crops, ecosystem services, decision support, economic development, business development, risk management, due diligence, market organization…

Through collaboration, the emphasis is to analyze, synthesize and construct knowledge, so problems are solved collectively. The approach is to link high performing graduate students with strong science and math skills with the research strengths of the Forest Service, land-grant universities, and industry to increase educational exposure, institutional diversity and research capacity. This research creates synergistic relationships and research capacity with a diverse cross-section of regional and national partnerships including academic, government, environmental, industry, business, NGOs, and communities in the South and beyond.

Collaborators: The University of Tennessee; The Center for Renewable Carbon; Southeast Partnership for Integrated Biomass Supply Systems (IBSS); The Southeastern Sun Grant Center; North Carolina State University; Mississippi State University; The University of Georgia; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; USDA; U.S. Department of Energy; U.S. Department of Transportation; U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities and ArborGen.

Active in research partnerships and teams such as:

  • USDA & DOE – Energy and Woody Biomass Utilization Strategies;
  • Interagency Woody Biomass Utilization Group;
  • Feedstock Logistics Interagency Working Group;
  • Biomass Research and Development Board;
  • Southeastern Partnership for Integrated Biomass Supply Systems (IBSS);
  • Southeastern Sun Grant Center at The University of Tennessee;
  • Office of Bioenergy Programs at The University of Tennessee;
  • Southern Wood to Energy Research Group;
  • Southeastern Regional Feedstock Partnership;
  • Woody Crops Development Team;
  • Southern Growth Policies Board; and
  • Southern Agriculture & Forest Energy Resources Alliance.

Research Interests

Develop relationships, technology, and tools that keep, restores, and enhances “working ecosystems” as part of the southern landscape. Develop decision support tools that minimize negative biophysical and socioeconomic impacts on complex socio-ecological systems.

  • Develop a more holistic functional understanding of the processes and dynamics that affect arid ecosystems such as rangeland.
  • Develop higher resolution regional decision support tools that identify site specific potential and delineate opportunity zones favorable to ecosystem restoration.
  • Improve ecosystem restoration risk management by integrating economics, water, vegetation, soil/carbon, and climate benefits into decision support tools.
  • Quantify the biophysical-socioeconomic relationships affecting ecosystem goods and services valuation and use.
  • Improve understanding of developing ecosystem goods and services for socio-economic benefits on the biophysical functions and processes that produce them.

Past Research

The Southern Research Station, The University of Tennessee and numerous research partners continue to advance and deploy innovative bio-based decision support tools. Since 2004, the biomass and biofuel supply chain collaborative leveraged about $2,261,209 in funding. In 2014/15, the collaborative garnered about $843,358 for additional research and assessment.

• Natural Disaster Vulnerability Index in the context of BioSAT. $25,000; Collaborator: Dr. Timothy M. Young, The University of Tennessee.
• Next Generation Logistics Systems for Delivering Optimal Biomass Feedstocks to Biorefining Industries in the Southeastern United States (BioSAT). $392,617; Collaborator: Dr. Timothy M. Young, The University of Tennessee.

• Biomass Site Assessment Tools (BioSAT) for Kansas. $115,000; Collaborators: Dr. Timothy M. Young, The University of Tennessee and Larry Biles, State Forester, Kansas Forest Service.
• Improve (BioSAT) web-tools to more tightly integrate harvesting, logistics, cost and spatial models. $76,923; Collaborator: Dr. Timothy M. Young, The University of Tennessee.
• Suitability indices for WA, OR, ID, MT, and CA (continental US) in the context of the (BioSAT) model. $63,818; Collaborator: Dr. Timothy M. Young, The University of Tennessee.
• Integrating prescribed fire and herbivory to ensure rangeland ecosystems systems are more sustainable and beneficial to society. $50,000; Collaborator: Dr. Charles A. Taylor, Texas A&M AgriLife Research.
• Feasibility of converting wood to feed and biofuel at a commercial scale within rangeland ecosystems. $120,000; Collaborator: Dr. Travis R. Whitney, Texas A&M AgriLife Research.

Past collaborators: Dr. Timothy M. Young; Dr. Timothy G. Rials; Dr. Sam W. Jackson; Dr. Burton C. English; Dr. Bryce Stokes; Dr. Marilyn A. Buford; Dr. George M. Hopper.

2012. Southeastern Partnership for Integrated Biomass Supply Systems (IBSS) collaboration on the biomass and biofuel supply chains with BioSAT models.

• An economic and biophysical decision support tool for assessing spatially-explicit short-rotation woody crop (SRWC) production metrics. $191,083.
• Develop GIS data layers of key spatial metrics that influence the siting of SRWC locations using Bayesian spatial logistic regression model with the BioSAT model. $62,128.
• Identify regions in the southeastern U.S. that have high potential for emerging bio-economy in the presence of high transportation flow with the BioSAT model. $60,073.

2010. A sub-county spatially-defined comparison of dominate environmental, economic, and societal factors impacting landscape flexibility and biomass access. $50,000.

2008. Build a spatial industrial wood to energy user’s online database; a state-of-the science report for current wood conversion technologies and market sustainability. $200,000.

• Biomass Site Assessment Tools – A web-based model to evaluate agricultural, range and forest locations for sustainable biomass by zip-code in 33 eastern U.S. states. $400,000.
• Use Global Forest Products Model to develop protocols to incorporate demand considerations into projections of biomass cost provided by POLYSYS model. $50,000.
• Establish a forest supply side module that is integrated with the existing POLYSYS model framework for initial evaluation of biomass land-use changes. $150,000.
• Develop woody biomass feedstock cost projections for wood, process residue and create biomass transportation cost model. $60,000.

2004-2008. Establish a Bio-based Graduate Education and Research Initiative. $194,567.

Why This Research is Important

  • Assist rural communities so they are self-sustaining, repopulating, and economically thriving.
  • Conserve, restore, sustain and enhance the Nation’s working ecosystems.
  • Ensure working lands are more resilient to climate change, while enhancing water resources.
  • Provide science-based applications and decision support tools.
  • Improve sub-county landscape characterization.
  • Link with high performing graduate students to improve workforce recruitment prospects.


  • Colorado State University, M.S. Natural Resource Policy & Planning 1978
  • Auburn University, B.S. Forest Management 1971
  • Wallace Community College, A.S. Biological Science 1968

Professional Experience

  • Senior Biological Scientist, Decision Support Research, USDA Forest Service; Southern Research Station; Center for Forest Disturbance Science; Knoxville, TN
    2003 - Current
  • Research Project Leader, Forest Inventory and Analysis , USDA Forest Service; Southern Research Station; Knoxville, TN
    1998 - 2003
  • Deputy Regional Forester, State and Private Forestry, USDA Forest Service; Southern Region; Atlanta, GA
    1996 - 1998
  • Assistant Director, Research Planning and Applications, USDA Forest Service; Southern Research Station; Asheville, NC
    1994 - 1996
  • Assistant Director, Research , USDA Forest Service; (Temporary Promotion) Southern Research Station; Asheville, NC
    1995 - 1995
  • Assistant Director, Research Planning and Applications, USDA Forest Service; Southern Forest Experiment Station; New Orleans, LA
    1989 - 1994
  • Acting Station Director and Assistant Directors, USDA Forest Service; (Temporary Assignment) Acting: Station Director; Assistant Directors: Administration; Research; Southern Forest Experiment Station; New Orleans, LA
    1992 - 1993
  • Deputy Chief's Budget Team Leader, State and Private Forestry, USDA Forest Service; Washington, DC
    1984 - 1989
  • Acting Assistant Director, Administration, USDA Forest Service; (Temporary Assignment) Forest Products Laboratory; Madison, WI
    1988 - 1988
  • Co-Leader, “Pilot Project Eagles”,, USDA Forest Service; (Temporary Assignment) Organizational Reengineering Team, Chief’s Office, Washington, DC
    1987 - 1987
  • Agricultural Administrator, International Research Division, USDA Forest Service; (Temporary Assignment) USDA-OICD; Washington, DC
    1984 - 1984
  • Forest Resource Planning and Budget, State and Private Forestry;, USDA Forest Service; Area Planning and Development; Washington, DC
    1981 - 1984
  • Environmental Assessment Team Leader, USDA Forest Service; Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forest; Taylor River Ranger District; Gunnison, CO
    1979 - 1981
  • Forest Resource Planner, State and Private Forestry, USDA Forest Service; Rocky Mountain Region, Denver, CO
    1978 - 1979
  • Chief, Multiple Use Technical Assistance and Management, Alabama Forestry Commission; Montgomery, AL
    1977 - 1977
  • Chief, Forest Resources, Alabama Forestry Commission; Montgomery, AL
    1975 - 1977
  • Chief, Land Use Planning, Alabama Forestry Commission; Assigned to Governor’s Alabama Development Office, Montgomery, AL
    1974 - 1975
  • Resources Planning Forester, Alabama Forestry Commission; Montgomery, AL
    1973 - 1974
  • Resource Conservation and Development Forester, Alabama Forestry Commission; Ozark, AL
    1972 - 1973
  • Honorable Discharge , United States Army Reserves; Airborne/Reconnaissance; Fort Jackson, SC
    1972 - 1972
  • Urban Forester, Alabama Forestry Commission; Mobile, AL
    1971 - 1972
  • Research Technical Assistant: Genetics, Auburn University; Auburn, AL
    1970 - 1971
  • Conservation Trainee , Alabama Forestry Commission; Geneva State Forest, Kinston, AL
    1970 - 1970
  • Conservation Trainee , Alabama Forestry Commission; Ozark District Office, Ozark, AL
    1969 - 1969
  • Conservation Trainee , Alabama Forestry Commission; Geneva State Forest, Kinston, AL
    1968 - 1968
  • Student Assistant, Army Aviation Center Commissary, Civil Service; Army Aviation Center; Fort Rucker, AL
    1967 - 1967
  • Flight Line Utility Mechanic, Page Aircraft, Inc., Army Aviation Center, Fort Rucker, AL
    1966 - 1966

Professional Organizations

  • Alabama State Board Of Registration For Foresters, Licensed Registered Forester (1973 - Current)

Awards & Recognition

  • Performance Award, 2014
    For collaboration to extend BioSAT’s national scope and regional capability.
  • Performance Award, 2013
    For leadership and initiative in developing novel biomass partnerships.
  • Certificate of Appreciation - U.S. Department of Energy, 2011
    For contributions to the production and publication of the “U.S. Billion-Ton Update: Biomass Supply for a Bioenergy and Bioproducts Industry.” Your valued participation and support is greatly appreciated.
  • Certificate of Appreciation - Philippine Training Officers and College Officials, 2011
    For Recognition for Valuable Assistance and Support to International Agricultural Extension Training Course and Study Tour.
  • Certificate of Appreciation - Farm Foundation, 2010
    Recognition for Valuable Assistance, Support and Presentation – “Short Rotation Woody Crops” at Renewable Energy Biomass Field Days.
  • Director's Merit Award , 2010
    For Decision Models for the Bio Economy - Innovation taking advantage of today’s information technology systems to simplify the process of acquiring answers to complex questions.
  • Southern Governor’s Innovator Award for Tennessee, 2009
    For “Biomass Site Assessment Tools Research” - Southern Governor’s Southern Growth Policies Board.
  • Director's Merit Award , 2009
    For Bioenergy and Biofuels Decision Support Technologies and Partnerships.
  • Director's Merit Award , 2008
    For outstanding initiative to establish a significant coordinated means to further develop and promote bioenergy market analysis around the nation.
  • Performance Award, 2007
    For outstanding personal initiative to establish a Forest Service presence at the highest levels in the bioenergy/biofuels arena.
  • Director's Merit Award , 2006
    For providing national and regional leadership in developing networks, partnerships, and educational programs enabling research and development to advance wood-based bioenergy technologies.
  • Collaborator Award - The University of Tennessee, 2005
    Recognition for Initiative and Support for developing the Seminar Series: The Future of Natural Resources Management, Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, The University of Tennessee.
  • Director's Merit Award , 2005
    For exceptional effort to create a Forest Service presence at the University of Tennessee, including developing and conducting a seminar series presented jointly by the University and the Forest Service.
  • Performance Award, 2004
    For Outstanding Performance in Developing the Southern Research Station Forest Inventory and Analysis Unit.
  • Merit Award, 2004
    For Effectively Organizing the Southern Leadership Tour Field Trip.
  • Director's Merit Award , 2001
    For Effective Management of the Forest Inventory and Analysis Unit Resulting in the Improvement of Relations with State Forester Collaborators.
  • Director's Merit Award , 2000
    For Establishing the Forest Inventory and Analysis Headquarters facility in Knoxville, TN.
  • Director's Merit Award , 1999
    For Marshaling Resources, Innovative Management Methods and high level of commitment to complete Data Compilation Framework and First Phase of System.
  • Performance Award, 1998
    In Recognition for Your Performance as Deputy Regional Forester, State and Private Forestry, Southern Region, 1996 to 1998.
  • Merit Award, 1998
    For Contributions to Chief’s Natural Resource Sustainability Project 21st Century Committee.
  • Regional Forester’s Commendation, 1996
    For Leadership and Contributions to the Southern Regions Civil Rights Assessment.
  • Director's Merit Award , 1996
    For Outstanding Teamwork, Creativity and Leadership Developing the Strategic Science Plan for Southern Research Stations.
  • Performance Award, 1995
    For Outstanding Leadership in Reorganizational Management.
  • Deputy Chief’s Commendation, 1995
    For Actions to turn a Negative Situation to Positive Results – State and Private Forestry.
  • Director's Merit Award , 1995
    For Excellent Teamwork Managing the Southern Research Station as Acting Station Director and Assistant Director, 1992 to 1993.
  • Performance Award, 1994
    For Excellent Leadership Managing the Consolidation of Southern and Southeastern Research Stations.
  • Certificate of Appreciation, 1994
    For Chairing the Planning Committee for The 8th Biennial Southern Silvicultural Research Conference.
  • Performance Award, 1993
    For Outstanding Performance and Teamwork in Managing the Southern Station
  • Deputy Chief’s Multicultural Diversity Team Award, 1992
    For Southern Forest Experiment Stations Leadership and Outstanding Multicultural Diversity Accomplishments.
  • Certificate of Appreciation, 1992
    For Chairing the Planning Committee for The 7th Biennial Southern Silvicultural Research Conference.
  • Performance Award, 1992
    For Outstanding Performance as Assistant Director for Planning and Application
  • Director’s Commendation, 1991
    For Exceeding Expectations Southeastern Research Station Transition Meeting.
  • Chief’s and Deputy Chief’s Commendation, 1991
    For Successful Departmental Appeal and Knowledge and Responsiveness to Congressional Request.
  • Director’s Commendation, 1991
    Success in Implementing Participative Management at Southeastern Forest Experiment Station.
  • Deputy Chief’s Commendation, 1991
    For Leadership and Innovative Presentations at the Research Management Seminar.
  • Performance Award, 1991
    For Outstanding Performance as Assistant Director for Planning and Application
  • Director's Merit Award , 1990
    For Excellence in Conducting, Planning and Organization of All Scientist Meeting.
  • Certificate of Appreciation, 1990
    For Chair of Planning Committee for the 6th Biennial Southern Silvicultural Research Conference.
  • Certificate of Appreciation, 1990
    For Leadership in Developing Strategic Plan for National Rural Development Task Force.
  • Certificate of Appreciation, 1989
    For Exceptional Effort for Program Development.
  • Chief's Merit Award, 1989
    For Outstanding Leadership for National Pilot Project “Eagles”.
  • Chief’s Commendation, 1989
    For Innovative Leadership developing Chief’s Capitol Hill Brown Bag Luncheons.
  • Director’s Commendation, 1988
    For Enthusiasm, Success and Excellence in Administrative Team Building at the Forest Products Laboratory.
  • Chief’s Certificate of Appreciation, 1988
    For Leadership for “National Pilot Project Eagles.”
  • Chief's Certificate of Appreciation, 1988
    In recognition for your outstanding and dedicated support in the Washington Office throughout the year and for “Hitting the Mark of Excellence”.
  • Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Commendation, 1987
    For Leadership in Arranging Detailers to Support Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, Presented by Don Knowles, Interior Appropriations Subcommittee.
  • Chief's Merit Award, 1987
    For Outstanding Leadership in National Program Development and Budget.
  • Performance Award, 1986
    For Leadership, Forthrightness and Support in Budget and Planning.
  • President’s Council on Environmental Quality Award, 1983
    For Excellence in Environmental Permitting, Mt. Emmons Project Joint Review Process Team.
  • Certificate of Appreciation, 1979
    For Leadership and Contributions to the Rocky Mountain National Park Congressional Study Team.
  • Certificate of Selection to Xi Sigma Pi, 1978
    Natural Resources Honor Society - For High Rank in Scholarship and Personal Achievement, Colorado State University.
  • Competitively Awarded National Shell Oil Fellowship, 1977
    Natural Resources Planning and Policy, Colorado State University.
  • Certificate of Appreciation - March of Dimes Foundation, 1974
    “Order of the Battered Boot” For leadership as “Smokey the Bear” Participating in Three “Walk-A-Thons” (Over 50 miles) in Dothan, Montgomery, and Birmingham, Alabama.
  • Competitively Awarded Internship, 1970
    Conservation Trainee, Alabama Forestry Commission, Geneva State Forest, Kinston, AL.
  • Competitively Awarded Internship, 1969
    Conservation Trainee, Alabama Forestry Commission, Ozark District Office, Ozark, AL.
  • Competitively Awarded Internship, 1968
    Conservation Trainee, Alabama Forestry Commission, Geneva State Forest, Kinston, AL.
  • Competitively Awarded Athletic Scholarship, 1966
    Basketball at Wallace Community College, Dothan, AL.

Featured Publications & Products


Research Highlights


Potential profitability of loblolly pine and eastern cottonwood short-rotation

Coastal areas such as southeast Texas, southwest Louisiana, and northern Florida have the highest potential yield for loblolly pine. It is poten ...


Last updated on : 11/29/2018