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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Stephanie Snyder

Operations Research Analyst
1992 Folwell Ave
St. Paul
United States

Phone: 651-649-5294
Contact Stephanie Snyder

Current Research

One of my current broad areas of research focuses on invasive species. I have several studies with colleagues examining different aspects of how invasive species impact users and owners of forested ecosystems.   Specifically, I am studying the behaviors, intentions, attitudes and assistance needs of private forest landowners in Illinois and Indiana with regard to invasive forest plant species.  I’m also studying behaviors, intentions, awareness, and information needs of private landowners with regard to invasive insects in the forests of New England.  Finally, I’m examining how invasive forest beetles may impact visitor site choice and recreation satisfaction in the Midwest.  Drawing from these studies, I am also starting research with loggers, seeking to better understanding the impacts, information and assistance needs, and potential business opportunities that are presented by invasive forest plants.  I also am studying adaptation planning strategies by maple syrup producers in the Northwoods of Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin. I also have an active line of research that utilizes data from the National Woodland Owner Survey, a long-term data collection effort for private forest landowners in the U.S. by FIA.   My current research with these data is exploring how gender, being an agricultural land owner, or multi-owner ownership arrangements may influence the types of activities that occur on private forest lands.   Finally, I am continuing my research to develop optimization decision models to support the agency in awarding contracts for fire-fighting helicopters.

Research Interests

My research has two foci. The first focuses on the development of optimization decision models that provide information useful to land managers in understanding alternatives, consequences, and tradeoffs associated with a range of land management decisions. The goal of my research is helping to facilitate more effective decision-making about how best to balance the host of environmental, social, and economic issues associated with natural resource planning, management, and decision-making. I have developed models to support planning and decision-making for selecting habitat reserve sites, open space land acquisition, scheduling timber harvests, awarding contracts for wildlife fighting equipment, and locating ATV trail corridors. My second research area focuses on private forest landowners, and seeks to understand their values, behaviors, attitudes and responsiveness to assistance, incentive and policy programs. My private forest landowner research has focused on adoption of stewardship practices, carbon market participation, enrollment in assistance programs, and most recently, implementation of invasive forest plant management activities.   I also am interested in understanding factors associated with private forest parcelization, or the division of forestland into smaller ownership holdings.

Why This Research is Important

My research improves our understanding of private forest landowners and what they do and think about their forestland.  My research can be used to better develop and deliver assistance and incentive programs to help these landowners meet their personal ownership goals, and to help private forestlands deliver important societal forest-based goods and services.  My research also helps managers determine efficient strategies, informs them about the consequences of their choices, and identifies the trade-offs inherent in complex land use and management decision-making. With this information, managers can make more effective decisions about how best to balance a host of competing objectives, priorities and goals inherent in land management.


  • Johns Hopkins University, Ph.D. Systems Analysis for Public and Environmental Decision-Making 1996
  • Johns Hopkins University, M.A. Systems Analysis for Public and Environmental Decision-Making 1992
  • Boston University, B.A. Physical Geography 1990

Professional Organizations

  • Society of American Foresters (SAF)
  • Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS)

Featured Publications & Products


Research Highlights


Decision Modeling Framework Improves Process for Awarding Firefighting Helicopter Contracts

Aviation managers desired ways to add more rigor, reliability and transparency to the process. NRS researcher Stephanie Snyder was part of a tea ...


For the Rare Prairie Orchid, Science is Making Climate Change Local

Forest Service researchers, along with their research partners from the University of Minnesota, are helping land managers answer key questions ...


Forest Carbon Markets and Private Forest Landowners: Perspectives from State Forestry Agencies

Trees remove carbon from the planet’s atmosphere through photosynthesis and sequester carbon in their wood. Private landowners can manage thei ...


Forest Service Research Evaluates Public Response to Transformed Landfill

City parks are easy to love, but would you love, or visit, a park that used to be a landfill? As part of a team that included the New York City ...


How declining size of private forest land holdings impacts public forest lands

What happens to neighboring public forest lands when a piece of privately held forest land is split into multiple ownership pieces, a process th ...


Landowners Interested in Managing Family Forest Lands for Carbon

The nation's family forest lands have the potential to be an important contributor to carbon sequestration efforts, but only if their owners are ...


Study Assesses Private Forest Landowner Attitudes Towards Forest Carbon Management and Carbon Credit Trading

Forest lands, if managed in certain ways, can store excess atmospheric carbon, a key contributor to global climate change. This accumulated carb ...


Study Assesses Public Access to Private Land for Recreation Purposes

Scientists review opportunities, constraints, and possibilities for relieving recreational pressure on public lands


Study Finds Differences in How Men and Women Manage Family Forests

Although women are the primary decision-makers for more than 44 million acres of forest land in the United States and influence the land managem ...


Last updated on : 09/30/2021