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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Mike A. Battaglia

Research Forester
240 West Prospect Road
Fort Collins
United States

Phone: 970-498-1286
Fax: 970-498-1010
Contact Mike A. Battaglia

Current Research

  • Evaluating how spatially complex forest structures influence tree regeneration establishment and growth.
  • Assessing spatially heterogeneous forest structure impact on fire behavior in ponderosa pine and dry mixed conifer forests.  
  • Identifying spatially explicit reference conditions for ponderosa pine and dry mixed conifer forest of the Colorado Front Range and the South Dakota Black Hills
  • Incorporating adaptive strategies to Climate Change in dry mixed conifer and subalpine forests. 
  • Characterizing patterns of post-fire tree regeneration across wildfire severities. 
  • Understanding tree regeneration dynamics after insect outbreaks and subsequent forest management activities.
  • Facilitating the use of prescribed fire as a management tool. 
  • Utilizing long-term growth studies to validate and calibrate the Forest Vegetation Simulator. 
  • Scientist in charge of Black Hills Experimental Forest:

    Research Interests

    I am interested in developing and implementing innovative management strategies to enhance forest resiliency to disturbances and evaluating the subsequent ecological impacts of these activities. These research topics include restoration strategies for ponderosa pine and dry mixed conifer forests, forest stand dynamics post-disturbance, various methods of hazardous fuels reduction treatments, and developing silvicultural strategies that incorporate the uncertainty of climate change.

    Past Research

  • Synthesizing manager's knowledge/experience and scientific literature of implementing hazardous fuels treatments practices in ponderosa pine and dry mixed conifer forests.
  • Post-wildfire recovery.
  • Fire-induced mortality thresholds of ponderosa pine seedlings and saplings.
  • Fuel succession and regeneration dynamics.
  • Understanding the interaction of mountain pine beetle and management strategies on fuel dynamics, forest structure, and potential fire behavior.
  • Understanding the short and long-term ecological responses of mastication fuels reduction treatments in woodlands, dry, and moist coniferous forests.
  • Why This Research is Important

    Historically, silviculture was often synonymous with timber production; however, contemporary silviculturists manage forests for other objectives such as wildlife habitat, increased resilience to disturbances and climate change, water, recreation, and aesthetics. Practitioners require science-based knowledge to design treatments that achieve these objectives. Because of the uncertainty in the impacts of climate change to our forests, research is needed to determine the effects of various management alternatives and adapt silvicultural strategies, systems, and practices to sustain and enhance the productivity of our forested ecosystems.


    • University of South Carolina, B.S. Biology 1995
    • Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, M.S. Forestry 2000
    • Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Ph.D. Forest Science; Silviculture/Fire 2007

    Professional Experience

    • Research Forester, RMRS
      2011 - Current
    • Postdoctoral Ecologist, RMRS
      2007 - 2011
    • Silvicultural Research Associate, Contractor with RMRS
      2001 - 2004

    Professional Organizations

    • Association for Fire Ecology, Member (2007 - Current)
      Attend and Present at Conferences.
    • International Association of Wildland Fire, Member (2007 - Current)
      Attend and Present at Conferences.
    • Society of American Foresters (SAF), Member (1997 - Current)
      Attend and Present at Conventions.
    • Society of Ecological Restoration, Member (2019 - )

    Awards & Recognition

    • Science in the Media, 2020
    • Conservation Education Award, 2019
    • Technology Transfer Publication, 2017
      Visualization of heterogeneous forest structure following treatment in the southern Rocky Mountains.
    • Early Career Scientist Award, 2014
    • Technology Transfer Publication, 2014
      A comprehensive guide to fuels management practices in dry mixed conifer forests in the Northwestern United States.
    • Civil Rights Award, 2013

    Featured Publications & Products


    Research Highlights


    Big Trees, Bark Beetles, Goshawks, and Timber

    Throughout the Rocky Mountains over the last century, large ponderosa pine trees provided lumber for growing cities and towns, along with fuel a ...


    Building resilience in Colorado Front Range forests

    In the mid-1800s, Colorado’s Front Range forests were more open and two to three times less dense than they are today. Today, these forests ha ...


    Experimental Forests: Great places to learn about forest science and management

    Scientists used an experimental forest network to develop different management strategies and make science accessible for managers and other par ...


    Goshawks, bark beetles, and timber management: Can they coexist?

    Wildlife habitat and timber production are critical elements of the management of many national forests. The Black Hills National Forest in West ...


    How does forest structure impact fire behavior in ponderosa pine and dry mixed conifer forests?

    Restoration in historically frequent fire forests of the western U.S. often attempts to restore the historical characteristics of forest structu ...


    Science-based Ponderosa Pine Forest Restoration on the Colorado Front Range

    A large number of forested acres are scheduled for treatment over the next decade in an effort to restore historical forest structure and functi ...


    Spatial patterns of ponderosa pine regeneration in high-severity burn patches

    Over the past three decades, wildfires in Southwestern United States ponderosa pine forests have increased in size and severity, leaving large p ...


    Last updated on : 09/13/2021