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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Pete Robichaud

Pete R. Robichaud

Research Engineer
1221 South Main Street
United States

Phone: 208-883-2349
Fax: 208-883-2318
Contact Pete R. Robichaud

Current Research

  • Modeling and mitigation techniques of erosion from timber-harvested and burned areas in a forest environment
  • Rill and interrill erodibility and ground cover parameters
  • Model components for predicting erosion from spatially-varied, complex hillslopes
  • Spatial variability
  • Water repellent soil conditions
  • Effects of prescribed fire and wildfire on erosion
  • Monitoring methods and erosion mitigation techniques
  • Watershed processes research that includes modeling and mitigation techniques of erosion after timber-harvested, prescribed fires and wildfires
  • Process-based analysis of hydrology, erosion, and mitigation effects to reduce flooding and erosion. Integration of these complex processes at various spatial and temporial scales
  • Developing instruments, measurement and monitoring methods for determine erosion rates
  • Science You can Use Bulletin - From Watersheds to the Web: Online Tools for Modeling Forest Soil Erosion
  • Research includes plot-scale infiltration, rill and interrill erodibility studies, small-catchment paired watershed studies and large-scale remote sensing projects
  • International application of our knowledge in postfire hydrology effects and monitoring techniques
  • Leads various research teams including the development of the popular web-based probabilistic Erosion Risk Management Tool (ERMiT) for postfire assessments
  • Recently he has been investigating the effects of postfire salvage logging on hilllslope erosion, and the use of remote sensing imagery for postfire burn severity classification, water repellent soil identification and erosion control treatment effectiveness

Research Interests

To investigate and develop new knowledge on infiltration, overland flow, erosion and erosion mitigation techniques in disturbed forest and rangeland conditions and develop predictive models and decision support tools for use by land managers and playing in the dirt.

Past Research

  • Developed relationships on the proper moisture content needed for prescribed fires to prevent increased or accelerated erosion and devised an electronic tool to measure that moisture content for instantaneous readings in the field
  • Measured post-fire erosion rates and developed predictive models for post-fire erosion rates and effectiveness of selected mitigation treatment
  • Summarized the current knowledge of fire effects on hydrology and erosion in numerous publications and books for use by land managers

Why This Research is Important

Erosion is a natural process; however, past management activities have caused degradation of water quality in numerous watersheds throughout various landscapes. Therefore, we develop tools and information to help managers make better decisions based on today's and future climates for improved management of our natural resources as well as impacts on life and property. Our tools and results are used by post-fire assessment teams, land management agencies, private interests, tribal and state governments. Considerable outreach has extended our knowledge usage to Europe, Australasia and South America.


  • University of Massachusetts, B.S. Civil Engineering 1984
  • University of Idaho, M.S. Agricultural Engineering 1989
  • University of Idaho, Ph.D. Agricultural Engineering 1996

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Last updated on : 09/08/2021