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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Charles H. (Hobie) Perry

Research Soil Scientist
1992 Folwell
St. Paul
United States

Phone: 651-649-5191
Fax: 651-649-5140
Contact Charles H. (Hobie) Perry

Current Research

I work in the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Research Work Unit as a Research Soil Scientist. I have national FIA responsibilities as the eastern U.S. Soils Indicator Advisor for Phase 3 forest health monitoring. In that role, I coordinate nationwide soils data collection, analysis, and dissemination on the Phase 3 plots with the western U.S. Indicator Advisor, Michael Amacher. I serve as the lead analyst for the State of Wisconsin, and I also contribute to core reporting in other States.

I have additional research responsibilities. These include development of methods for estimating the soils component of carbon measures, development of soils-related spatial products, collaboration with other Northern Station FIA scientists to enhance the quality of FIA estimates and to contribute to ongoing studies (e.g., productivity and diversity), and collaboration with government, university, and other scientists.

Research Interests

  • Carbon stored in the soil profile represents the largest fraction of carbon stored in forest ecosystems. I am building a spatially explicit database of soil carbon storage that can be used to test and validate extant models.
  • The Phase 3 data are collected on a grid where one plot represents approximately 95,000 acres of forest land, and spatial data products are an important resource created from FIA data. The traditional method of summarizing soils data to soil order may not be appropriate for regional analyses. Other topographic or land resource area models may be more appropriate. I am analyzing different methods of generalizing and summarizing our data across varying spatial scales.
  • Mercury is a pollutant that is primarily accumulated in forests through atmospheric deposition. Upland soils are sinks for mercury. Forest fires release mercury into the atmosphere when the forest floor is consumed, while mercury concentration in the mineral soil may be unaffected. As industrial emissions come under increasing regulation, the contribution of forest fires to the mercury budget is an increasingly significant unknown. I am collaborating with U.S. Geological Survey and Forest Service scientists to create an accurate inventory of forest soil mercury.
  • The effectiveness of a soil inventory is dependent upon its ability to make meaningful measurements of the properties of interest. Some properties currently measured or estimated by the field protocol could also be measured by other means, so I am assessing field protocols is assure to the validity and utility of FIA data.
  • Please contact me if you would like to collaborate on any of these or other related issues.

    Why This Research is Important

    The soil resource is the foundation of the forest ecosystem. Soil data collected and spatial products produced by FIA are of vital importance to decision makers. For example, both regional and more detailed state estimates of forest carbon sequestration are underway. The soils component of these estimates are very uncertain or based upon databases that are increasingly out-of-date. Only FIA data is a rolling annual inventory of the forest soil resource.


    • University of Minnesota, Ph.D. Forestry 1998
    • University of Minnesota, M.S. Forestry 1993
    • University of Michigan, A.B. Philosophy 1989

    Professional Experience

    • Adjunct Faculty, University of Wisconsin
      2010 - Current
    • Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Minnesota
      2004 - Current
    • Assistant Professor, Humboldt State University
      1999 - 2004
      Department of Forestry and Watershed Management
    • Post-doctoral Research Associate, University of Minnesota
      1998 - 1999

    Professional Organizations

    • Soil Science Society of America, Member (1997 - Current)
    • American Geophysical Union, Member (1993 - Current)

    Featured Publications & Products


    Research Highlights


    Forest Land Estimates Improved by Novel Automated Mapping Technique Using Winter Satellite Imagery

    Most automated satellite-based approaches for mapping forest lands rely on summer satellite imagery and are usually inconsistent with FIA plot-b ...


    Linking Land Use to Water Quality

    Sediment and phosphorus delivery to the Great Lakes is influenced by land use and land cover patterns. Forest Service scientists studied the imp ...


    Last updated on : 04/19/2021