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US Forest Service Research & Development
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  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Kas Dumroese

Kasten Dumroese

Research Plant Physiologist / National Nursery Specialist
1221 South Main Street
Moscow
Idaho
United States
83843

Phone: 208-883-2324
Contact Kasten Dumroese


Current Research

My current research focuses on providing the National Forest System with the science foundation for a National Reforestation Strategy, understanding  the long-term processes of tree root system architecture in response to nursery practices and on-going mechanical stresses, evaluating biochar to improve nursery efficiencies, and describing long-term effects on carbon and nitrogen pools under different land management and silviculture scenarios.


I am also Director the Western Center for Native Plant Conservation and Restoration Science, a collaboration of scientists in the Pacific Northwest, Pacific Southwest, and Rocky Mountain Research Stations working in these fields.

Research Interests

My research interests include all aspects of propagating and outplanting native plants. From the nursery perspective, my research includes nursery production systems, specifically propagation, plant-disease interactions, plant nutrition, and water management. From the outplanting perspective, my research includes assisted migration as a management adaptation to climate change, functional restoration of plant communities, and long-term development of tree root systems.

View my video profile: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZ3w60gcoBo&list=PLNsZX2SBTlVmV1MpNisJ4NdNpsV9Hulrj&index=20

Past Research

My research has improved the process of native plant propagation. Native plant species are produced with my protocols and my protocol format is routinely followed in the literature and the Native Plant Propagation Protocol Database. My seminal work on quantifying errant discharge of water and nutrients using novel techniques I developed led to science-based options to apply water and fertilizer more efficiently and sustainably. Basic research on nursery root diseases and the subsequent best management plans that my teams developed significantly reduced incidence of this serious pathogen. We found that the fungus Fusarium commune, rather than Fusarium oxysporum, is the more virulent pathogen, supplanting existing concepts about this nursery disease. Our development of a rapid molecular assay to discern this disease has markedly changed the paradigm of future research endeavors concerning this nursery pathogen, and has potential to revolutionize disease assessment in nurseries by providing real-time information. My teams have developed and advocated methods to avoid or mitigate pitfalls of confounding factors in nursery research and in deploying stocktype trials. I synthesized and delivered my research, along with that of peer scientists, and subsequently provided nursery managers and field restorationists holistic tools; some tools have been translated into Spanish, Dari, Creole, French, and Arabic. To improve communication within the native plant propagation profession, my Internet-based propagation protocol database, and the 3150 native plant propagation protocols in it, was accessed 12,675 times during 2019. I led efforts to bridge the gap between native plant propagation and native plant deployment by initiating a new journal that is innovative because it publishes refereed research and general technical articles to encourage “cross pollination” among researchers and field professionals. Recent work showing on-going changes to coarse root system architecture challenges existing tree-stability paradigms and provides new conceptual models. I co-led the WO-requested effort to synthesize the science underpinning contemporary approaches to forest restoration, including native plant deployment, and argue for approaching forest restoration (and other ecosystems as well), from a functional standpoint. Team work with assisted migration challenges existing paradigms about appropriate plant material transfer guidelines, lays the groundwork for future research in assisted migration, and in concert with functional restoration, is contributing significantly to, and expanding the debate about, restoration practices in response to changes in climate.

Why This Research is Important

In the US, more than 1400 native plant nurseries, operated by federal, tribal, state, private, and not-for-profit entitiies, annually produce more than a billion seedlings for reforestation and restoration. Ensuring seedlings are produced efficiently and with high quality reduces costs and improves seedling performance (survival and growth) after outplanting. The end result is that restoration work to maintain ecosystem function is done in the most efficient and economic ways possible. In addition, my research with assisted migration and functional restoration will help ensure that appropriate plant materials, in terms of adaptation, are applied to the landscape.

Education

  • University of Idaho, Moscow, Ph.D. Forestry 1996
  • University of Idaho, Moscow, M.S. Forest Resources 1986
  • Michigan Technological University, Houghton, B.S. Forest Management 1984

Professional Experience

  • Director, Western Center for Native Plant Conservation and Restoration Science, USDA Forest Service
    2016 - Current
  • National Nursery Specialist, USDA Forest Service
    2002 - Current
  • Research Plant Physiologist, USDA Forest Service
    2001 - Current
  • Research Scientist, University of Idaho (Moscow), College of Forestry, Wildlife, and Range Sciences, Department of Forest Resources, Forest Research Nursery
    2000 - 2001
  • Research Associate, University of Idaho (Moscow), College of Forestry, Wildlife, and Range Sciences, Department of Forest Resources, Forest Research Nursery
    1986 - 2000
  • Assistant Manager, University of Idaho (Moscow) Forest Research Nursery
    1984 - 1986

Professional Organizations

  • International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), Member (2006 - Current)
    2015: Served on the science committee organizing Reforestation Challenges. Belgrade, Serbia. 2010 to 2012: Served on the science committee organizing Restoring Forests: Advances in Techniques and Theory, focused on the nursery and outplanting aspects of forest restoration. Madrid, Spain.
  • Society of American Foresters (SAF), Member (1984 - Current)
  • New Forests, Guest Associate Editor (2017 - 2018)
    Served as associate editor for a special issue containing manuscripts from the USFS Reforestation Matters Workshop.
  • Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Associate Editor (2011 - 2016)
  • Native Plants Journal, Editor-In-Chief (2000 - 2014)
    I initiated the journal and served as Editor-in-Chief for the first 15 volumes.
  • New Forests, Associate Editor (2011 - 2012)
    Served as associate editor for a special issue containing manuscripts from the IUFRO conference: Restoring Forests: Advances in Techniques and Theory. Madrid, Spain.
  • Tree Planters' Notes, Associate Editor (1996 - 1999)

Awards & Recognition

  • Chief's Honor Award, 2017
    From Forest Service Chief Tony Tooke for Applying Knowledge Globally as part of the National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources team.
  • Outstanding Technology Transfer Publication , 2015
    From John Phipps, Director, Rocky Mountain Research Station, for Tropical Nursery Manual: A Guide to Starting and Operating a Nursery for Native and Traditional Plants, USDA Forest Service Agriculture Handbook 732.
  • Science Delivery Award, 2015
    From John Phipps, Director, Rocky Mountain Research Station, for leadership in initiating the Native Plants Journal and sustaining it as editor for 15 volumes.
  • National Technology Transfer Award, 2013
    From the Society of American Foresters, the scientific and educational organization representing the forestry profession in the United States.
  • Civil Rights Award , 2011
    From G. Sam Foster, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Director, for “innovative, high performance professionalism to their tribal constituents in support of the Station’s program of service to tribal communities.”
  • Tribal Relations Professional Excellence Award, 2011
    From the Office of Tribal Relations, Washington Office, for the Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetics Resources Tribal Nursery Emphasis.
  • Outstanding Technology Transfer Publication, 2009
    From G. Sam Foster, Director, Rocky Mountain Research Station, for “Nursery Manual for Native Plants – A Guide for Tribal Nurseries, USDA Forest Service Agriculture Handbook 730.”
  • Karl Urban Celebrating Wildflowers Award – Excellence in Native Plant Materials Management, 2007
    From National Forest System, Washington Office, for “initiating the Native Plants Journal, the Native Plants Propagation Protocol Database, and developing native plant work with American Indians.”
  • Two Chiefs' Partnership Award, 2006
    From Dale Bosworth, Chief of the Forest Service, and Arlen Lancaster Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service for “restoring riparian forests on the Hopi reservation,” a collaborative effort involving these two USDA agencies.
  • Director’s Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer, 2005
    From Peter Roussopoulos, Director, Southern Research Station, for “work hosting meetings and training sessions to increase participation of American Indian tribal members in nursery work to help restore native plant communities.”
  • Director's Partnership Award, 2005
    From Peter Roussopoulos, Director, Southern Research Station, for “partnerships between the Forest Service (Research and Development and Cooperative Forestry), Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Native American tribes."
  • Director's Natural Resource Stewardship Award, 2004
    From Peter Roussopoulos, Director, Southern Research Station, to employees of RWU-4111 “for their work in restoration of longleaf pine ecosystems, long-term forest sustainability, and national nursery and reforestation technology transfer.”

Featured Publications & Products

Publications

Research Highlights

HighlightTitleYear


RMRS-2019-28
Milking Milkweeds for More Monarch Butterfly Habitat

Iconic monarch butterflies are disappearing from the landscape. They require milkweed plants to complete their life cycle. Milkweed seeds are of ...

2019


RMRS-2013-131
New Database Established for Tracking Climate Change and Assisted Migration

A new literary database about native plant transfer guidelines, climate change and assisted migration provides information on assisted vegetatio ...

2013


SRS-2014-134
Restoring Forest Landscapes

An estimated 1 billion acres of globally degraded forest are in need of restoration today and climate change likely will drive more acres into t ...

2014


RMRS-2011-21
The Intersection of Science and Technology Transfer

Growers and users of the approximately one billion native plants produced each year in the United States now have the best information available ...

2011


RMRS-2016-250
The Intersection of Science and Technology Transfer: Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources Team

The Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources Team, established through a Forest Service memorandum of understanding, is tasked with trans ...

2016


RMRS-2016-46
The Intersection of Science and Technology Transfer: Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources Team

The Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources (RNGR) Team, established through a Forest Service memorandum of understanding, is tasked wit ...

2016


RMRS-2018-90
The Region 4 — RMRS Science Partner Program: Working to improve management strategies and communication through shared stewardship

In 2016, the Rocky Mountain Research Station launched the Region 4—Rocky Mountain Research Station Science Partner Pilot program. The program' ...

2018


RMRS-2017-221
The complexities behind restoration and reforestation efforts

Restoration and reforestation using nursery-produced seedlings can be an effective means of accelerating the recovery trajectory of disturbed ec ...

2017


RMRS-2016-252
Wildflowers are Key to Sagebrush Restoration

Land managers are dealing with an increasing number of imperiled species; often mandates focus on each crisis species independently. A myopic ap ...

2016


Last updated on : 09/24/2020