US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
You are here: Home / People / Profile


Priority Areas

Experimental Forests & Ranges

Matthew Helmer

Matthew Helmer

Research Social Scientist
400 N 34th St., Suite 201
United States

Phone: 206-732-7806
Contact Matthew Helmer

Current Research

I am currently conducting research in conjunction with the Goods, Services, and Values team on elk hunters and the social values of hunting in the Starkey Experimental Forest. I am also working on human ecology mapping focusing on social values and ecosystem benefits in the Wenatchee-Okanogan National Forest. Just recently, I began a research project on heritage and cultural ecosystem services and am assisting on a project involving Forest Service outreach to Latino communities in the Portland metro area.

Research Interests

  • Cultural heritage and public lands
  • Sustainable recreation, tourism, and human-nature connections
  • Environmental justice, public outreach, and equity of forest use


Past Research

My past research projects have involved archaeological and cultural heritage work on ancient and modern fishing communities in coastal Peru. Important aspects of this work included the analysis of sociopolitical development and resource use, as well as community-based connections to archaeological heritage. I have also conducted cultural resource management research in the southeastern United States.

Why This Research is Important

Cultural connections to our public lands are critically important and are often overlooked when we think about recreation and our connections to nature. My work helps to promote cultural heritage on public lands and determine the best ways to deliver the Forest Service's rich cultural resources to the public. My research also assists in defining the various benefits that humans receive from the forest so that we can better represent the importance of human forest use and public land conservation.


  • University of East Anglia (Norwich, UK), Ph.D. Anthropology 2015
  • Louisiana State University, M.A. Anthropology 2011
  • Louisiana State University, B.A. Anthropology 2009


Last updated on : 07/15/2020