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 Cordell

Susan Cordell

Director, Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry
60 Nowelo Street
United States

Phone: 808-854-2628
Fax: 808-933-8120
Contact Susan Cordell

Current Research

Long-term research: how ecosystem structure, function, dynamics, and composition respond to stressors and change.

Enhancing platforms for research, monitoring and science exchange.

Restoration Ecology: Restoring ecosystem services in the Anthropocene.

Ecosystem level impacts of invasive species on Hawaiian forest ecosystems.

Biocultural Science and Stewardship.

Research Interests

Ecophysiology, Restoration Ecology, Functional Ecology, Tropical Dry Ecosystems, Grass Invasions, Hawaiian Ecosystems

Future Research

Continue developing research and collaborating with local communities to advance effective conservation, preservation, and restoration-related land management efforts.

Why This Research is Important

These research themes represent an articulation of future Institute research and our vision to continue developing next generation understanding of landscape change, testing of conservation based tools, facilitating the production of knowledge to improve the ecological condition of native ecosystems of the Pacific, enhance the sustainability of resource use in our region, and maintain the quality of life for those in our Pacific community. Institute Scientists have identified research themes as representing the frontiers of natural resources science and management in Hawai‘i and the US Affiliated Pacific, but also frontiers in tropical ecology and natural resources science broadly.


  • University of Hawaii, Ph.D. Botany 1999
  • University of Hawaii, M.S. Botany 1996
  • Santa Barbara, B.A. Aquatic Biology 1987

Professional Experience

  • Research Ecologist, USDA Forest Service, Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry
    2000 - Current

Professional Organizations

  • Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, Member (2012 - Current)
  • IUCN Species Survival Commission, Member (2011 - Current)
  • Ecological Society of America, Member (2007 - Current)
  • Organization for Tropical Studies, Officeholder (2004 - Current)
  • American Geophysical Union, Member (2003 - Current)
  • Society for Ecological Restoration, Member (2000 - Current)
  • Botanical Society of America, Member (1994 - Current)


Research Highlights


Breaking the Grass-Fire Cycle in Dryland Ecosystems in Hawai'i

Scientists develop practical tools to manage and restore tropical dry forest landscapes on military lands in the Pacific


Greenstrips in Hawaii protect high value ecosystems from fire

The purpose of the greenstrip study was to test a tool that has been used in parts of the arid continental U.S. to protect high value ecosystems ...


Hawaii Vegetation Fire Risk Web Tool

Fires in Hawai'i are fueled mainly by invasive, perennial grasses, since they maintain aboveground live and senescent biomass throughout the yea ...


Pacific Fire Exchange Is the Hottest Partnership in the Pacific

A new collaboration promotes and uses the best available science to reduce wildfire management costs and improve land managers' ability to prote ...


Last updated on : 09/10/2021