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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Susan Charnley

Susan Charnley

Research Social Scientist
620 SW Main, Suite 502
United States

Phone: 503-808-2051
Contact Susan Charnley

Current Research

I am an environmental anthropologist whose research aims to improve understanding of how to integrate community well-being and development with ecosystem health and the sustainable management of natural resources, with a goal of informing policy and advancing theory. My current research projects fall into two broad areas�the first examines how federal forest management activities can be linked to rural community development opportunities; the second examines forest management practices on different ownerships, the social variables that influence them, and how they shape forest conditions. I work mainly in the western United States.

Research Interests

Socioeconomic monitoring and assessment; how to sustain rural, resource-based livelihoods; community-based natural resource management; interacting human and ecological systems.

Past Research

My past research has focused on the human dimensions of natural resource use and management and the social causes and consequences of environmental change. I have undertaken research on these topics while working with pastoralists in East Africa, indigenous peoples in Panama's rainforests, native Alaskans in western Alaska, and forest workers and owners in the western United States.

Why This Research is Important

It is not possible to develop and implement natural resource management institutions, policies, and practices that are environmentally sound and socially just unless their social dimensions are understood and addressed.


  • Stanford University, Ph.D. Anthropology 1994

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Research Highlights


An “All Lands” Approach to Addressing Wildfire Risk

Landscape-scale management to reduce wildfire risk in frequent-fire forest ecosystems of the western United States calls for coordination and bu ...


Challenges in coordinating wildfire risk reduction among diverse forest owners

Research across a multi-owner landscape in central Oregon found that in general, Forest Service management was likely to produce forest conditio ...


Communities, economies, and the Northwest Forest Plan: 24 years later

Social and economic conditions in rural communities have changed since the Northwest Forest Plan was enacted in 1994. A synthesis of research ex ...


Fire as a tool

Landscape-scale forest restoration programs that incorporate managed wildfire and prescribed fire lead to more pronounced reductions in fire sev ...


Grazing and endangered fish recovery: finding ways to make both possible

Grazing management on national forests is more likely to sustain and recover endangered fish, and support ranchers’ livelihoods, if there is m ...


Socioeconomic Monitoring and Community Forests in West Africa

Community forests may be effective for conserving forest biodiversity in West Africa and sustaining desirable ecosystem services and forest prod ...


The Effects of Landscape Restoration Strategies on Fire and Ecosystem Services Vary with Rate of Treatment in a Fire-prone Multi-ownership Region

The results and the landscape modeling tool are being used by the Deschutes National Forest and the Deschutes Collaborative Forest Landscape Res ...


Last updated on : 05/07/2021