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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RMRS Program Areas

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R. Justin DeRose

Research Ecologist
507 - 25th Street
United States

Phone: 801-625-5795
Contact R. Justin DeRose

Current Research


1) Developing the Forest Inventory and Analysis tree-ring data set associated with the Interior West States FIA plots for climatic and ecological research
2) Using FIA data for large-scale analyses of important ecological, disturbance and climate-related processes, and to inform forest management
3) Monitor and analyze forest resources in the Interior West (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming [see Map])
4) Using tree-rings to reconstruct past climates, and inform water management through the interdisciplinary Wasatch Dendroclimatology Research Group

Research Interests

1) Climate change effects on forested systems such as spruce beetle prevalence
2) Disturbance ecology, reconstructions, and interactions
3) Forest regeneration ecology (aspen and spruce-fir)
4) The use of novel speciesapproaches, and techniques in tree-ring science
5) Novel applications for the management of forest resilience in the face of climate change
6) Pairing tree-ring data with archaeological and paleoecological data for disturbance detection
7) Production ecology, stand dynamics, and silviculture

Past Research

1) Production ecology, growth efficiency, and silviculture of spruce-fir ecosystems
2) Growth modeling using the Forest Vegetation Simulator to answer ecological questions, carbon sequestration, and to improve FVS model performance
3) Fire behavior modeling to answer questions about aspen ecology, and bark beetle-wildfire disturbance interactions
4) Disturbance ecology and interactions with a focus on Engelmann spruce forests

Why This Research is Important

Resource management is entering an era of increased uncertainty due to climate change, a focus on larger spatial and temporal scales, and rapidly shifting public perceptions of forest management. My research program provides novel interpretations of pressing management issues, such as:
1) how to build resistance and resilience of forests to climate change;
2) analysis of large inventory data sets like FIA to improve and streamline the forest planning process;
3) develop and interpret pre-instrumental climate data to enhance our understanding of past climate processes, but also to inform water management in the arid west.


  • Utah State University, Ph.D. Ecology 2009
  • University of Maine, M.S. Forestry 2004
  • Utah State University, B.S. Forestry 2002

Professional Experience

  • Research Ecologist, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Forest Inventory and Analysis
    2011 - Current
  • Certified Forester, Society of America Foresters
    2007 - Current


Research Highlights


Building the Forest Inventory and Analysis Tree-ring Dataset

Tree-ring data collected as part of the Forest Inventory and Analysis program in the Interior West is being assembled into a massive dataset wit ...


Dendrochronology of Utah Juniper

Annual precision of tree-ring data is often sought for detailed analyses. Important, widespread species such as ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir a ...


Dendroecological Studies in the Interior West States

Scientists produce tree ring data in digital format and make progress on data development for growth studies to analyze regional patterns of cli ...


Predicting Future Spruce Beetle Infestations

Scientists model the effects of increasing temperatures and forest stand conditions on the likelihood of spruce beetle infestation over time


Quaking Aspen Response to Management Factors

There is considerable interest in the growth and mortality of quaking aspen in the western United States. Looking at the past 10 years of silvic ...


Scientists recontruct the history of snowpack in Utah to help managers plan for future water demand

Understanding snowpack variability is an important goal of water management; in particular, in the arid west where snow represents a major water ...


Spatial Variability of Tree Growth in the Interior West

A fundamental goal of biogeography is to understand the factors that drive spatial and temporal variability in forest growth across large areas. ...


Traumatic resin ducts indicate past beetle outbreaks

The formation of traumatic resin ducts in Engelmann spruce represents an important induced defense in response to environmental perturbations. T ...


Last updated on : 10/15/2019