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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Tom Schuler, Research Forester

Thomas M. Schuler

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

Phone: 304-994-1954
Contact Thomas M. Schuler

Current Research

  • National library of silviculture prescriptions for modelers and planners
  • Silviculture of Appalachian forests with an emphasis on long-term patterns in productivity, species composition, and diversity.
  • Restoration and stand dynamics of central Appalachian montane spruce communities
  • Disturbance ecology and management of running buffalo clover.

Research Interests

  • Restoring, regenerating, and sustaining the mixed-oak forest type using a broad array of silvicultural practices appropriate to landowner capabilities, management objectives, and site characteristics.
  • Developing stand- and landscape-scale restoration guidelines for high-elevation conifer forests in the central and southern Appalachians. Defining priorities on landscape and regional scales based on likelihood of success with minimal input of resources and enhancement of habitat for endemic wildlife species of concern.
  • Recovering the federally endangered running buffalo clover through research and adaptive management to better understand RBC ecology and management needs.
  • Developing landscape-scale models to predict where standard and innovative silvicultural practices are most likely to achieve a broad array of management objectives, including high value commodity production, oak restoration, and high elevation spruce restoration, and habitat improvement, etc.

Why This Research is Important

Species composition of exploited forests are increasingly dominated by less desirable species and lower quality throughout the region. Even unmanaged forests and forest reserves are following the same pattern of compositional change. This has negative economic and ecological consequences for the entire central Appalachian region. To counteract this trend, it is important to understand how these forests developed in the past so forest managers can maintain compositional integrity and desired structural characteristics using modern tools such as prescribed fire, herbicides, and the timing and extent of harvest operations. Guidelines for using these tools are a fundamental output of this research.


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

Professional Organizations

  • International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO)
  • Society of American Foresters (SAF)


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 : 09/12/2019