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Research Topics

Forest Service Research & Development (R&D) conducts highly integrated research at all scales — watershed, landscape, regional, and national — to address problems of environmental and social concern. R&D scientists aim to provide knowledge and tools to managers and decision-makers to assist in the sustainable management and use of our Nation's natural resources.

link to Research Highlights

Research Highlights provide a comprehensive overview of the diverse research activities the Forest Service carries out across the US and in foreign countries. Explore summaries of R&D research organized into topic areas, primary investigators, research stations, and years.

Research Support

Forest Service research relies on two foundational elements: an expanded Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program and a network of Experimental Forests & Ranges (EFR).

  • FIA - a congressionaly mandated census of all US forests currently active in all 50 states.
  • EFRs - an integrated network of long-term research locations addressing continental-scale environmental change in both rural and urban areas.

R&D research is organized into the primary topics listed below. This basic and applied research informs the work in the R&D Priority Areas.

link toInvasive SpeciesResearch Topic

Invasive Species: Reduces, minimizes, or eliminates the introduction, establishment, spread, and effects of invasive species.

link to Inventory, Monitoring & Assessment Research Topic

Inventory, Monitoring & Assessment: Identifies current status and trends of forests; management options and effects; and threats and their effects on the Nation's forests and grasslands species.

link to Outdoor Recreation Research Topic

Outdoor Recreation: Examines to understand and manage outdoor environments, activities, and experiences that connect people with the natural world.

link to Resource Management & Use Research Topic

Resource Management & Use: Explores forest and range resources and products, including Agroforestry, Forest Products, Landscape Science, Management & Operations, and Urban Research.

link to Water, Air & Soil Research Topic

Water, Air & Soil: Enables clear air and safe drinking water, protection of lives and property from wildfire and smoke, and adapting to climate variability and change.

link to Wildland Fire & Fuel Research Topic

Wildland Fire & Fuel: Focuses on reducing the negative and enhancing the beneficial effects of fire.

link to Wildlife & Fish Research Topic

Wildlife & Fish: Investigates the complex interactions among species, ecocsystem dynamics and processes, land use and management, and emerging threats.