US Forest Service Research & Development
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  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Tom Schuler, Research Forester

Thomas M. Schuler

National Program Leader - Silviculture Research
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Mailstop 1115
District of Columbia
United States

Phone: 202-205-1635
Contact Thomas M. Schuler

Current Research

Position statement: Thomas Schuler serves as a National Program Leader for Silviculture Research on the Sustainable Forest Management Research (SFMR) staff within the Office of the Deputy Chief for Research & Development in the USDA Forest Service’s national headquarters. Current projects include developing a national silviculture treatment library for use with scenario planning and other large-scale models, coordinating a national effort to synthesize active forest management guidelines for resilient and productive forests in the 21st century, and serving as the National Task Leader for the International Energy Agency Bioenergy working group (Task 43).

Research Interests

  • Developing a national silviculture treatment library to aid in large-scale modeling and to support the shared stewardship initiative. 
  • Silvicultural science needed to restore and sustain the Nation's forests.
  • Biomass supply chain and logistics systems that efficiently recover and deliver biomass for multiple products and markets including bioenergy.

Past Research

Before coming to the Washington Office, Schuler was both a research forester and a project leader with the Forest Service in the Central Appalachians. His science focused on silviculture of mixed-oak forests and the restoration of high-elevation spruce forests. He was assigned responsibility for the Fernow Experimental Forest in West Virginia and also had oversight for the Kane Experimental Forest in Pennsylvania and the Vinton Furnace Experimental Forest in Ohio. His research team focused on forest management research related to restoration, water, wildlife, and forest products.

Why This Research is Important

Forests in the 21st century face urgent challenges related to high-intensity wildfires, insects and disease epidemics, drought related mortality, and invasive species. And although most forests have adapted to a wide range of disturbances, conditions and circumstances today often lead to catastrophic losses that compromise the goods and services we want and need from healthy ecosystems. As such, forest science that gives forest managers and stakeholders the tools and insights needed to make informed decisions to sustain forests is central to the Forest Service mission.


  • Purdue University, Ph.D. 1998
  • Colorado State University, M.S. 1987
  • Purdue University, B.S.F. 1979

Professional Organizations

  • Society of American Foresters (SAF), Chair National Capital Chapter (2021 - Current)
  • International Energy Agency Task 43, National Task Leader (2018 - Current)
  • International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO)


Research Highlights


Endangered Running Buffalo Clover Finds a Home in West Virginia

Running buffalo clover was once thought to be extinct but was rediscovered in 1983 and is now classified as a federally endangered species. It i ...


Fire in my hardwood forest... is my investment in my family's future lost

Does the idea "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" apply when a low- to medium-intensity wildfire or prescribed fire has run through a har ...


Forest management demonstration area highlights working forest

New research published in 2017 describes the results of a 60-year forest management demonstration area on the Fernow Experimental Forest and the ...


Landscape Scale Conservation Evaluation of the West Virginia Restoration Venture

Long-term investment in relationships with local organizations increases opportunities for landscape scale conservation.


Restoring Fed Spruce Forests in the Central Appalachians

Red spruce forests once dominated the mountain tops of the Central Appalachians, but following exploitive logging and destructive wildfires a ce ...


Threats From Wind Energy Turbines Identified for Migrating Golden Eagles

National team studies movement ecology of eagles to understand behaviors that may put them at risk from energy development


Uneven-Aged Management: Is It Sustainable

A century ago, after almost all of the old-growth forests in the eastern United States had been harvested, forest managers turned to Europe for ...


“Smart Forests” Digital Environmental Sensors and Telecommunications Take Research to New Levels

Scientific breakthroughs of the 21st century will be powered by tools that help researchers collect and manipulate massive datasets, visualize t ...


Last updated on : 07/08/2021