Forest and Woodland Ecosystems Science Program
Contact Information
  • Forest and Woodland Ecosystems Science Program
  • Southwest Forest Science Complex
  • 2500 South Pine Knoll
  • Flagstaff, AZ 86001-6381
  • Alison Hill 928-556-2105

Forest and Woodland Ecosystems Science Program

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Trees killed by the mountain pine beetle near Granby, CO
Trees killed by the mountain pine beetle near Granby, CO. Over 3.5 million acres in Colorado and southern Wyoming are infested.

Welcome to the Forest and Woodland Ecosystems Science Program (FWE) of the Rocky Mountain Research Station.

The Big Picture

Managers need science-based knowledge to predict how forests and woodlands will respond to a changing environment. The cumulative effects of past management and novel stresses are resulting in new management challenges such as dealing with large-scale wildfires, the widespread occurrence of insect epidemics, and the decline of aspen, to name just a few. The urbanization of forests and woodlands further exacerbates the urgency for understanding the consequences of these changes in land use and to identify socially acceptable solutions to emerging problems. In many cases, forest and woodland ecosystems in the interior West have been sufficiently altered to qualify as "novel systems" for which existing management guidelines may not be applicable.

What We Do

In response to the need for developing new approaches for managing ecosystems, scientists in the FWE program conduct research in the following areas:

  • Spatial and temporal patterns of disturbance
  • Managing complex landscapes in a changing environment
  • Consequences of management activities
  • Adaptive capacity of forests and woodlands
  • Mitigation of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide

The Forest and Woodland Ecosystems Program is uniquely positioned to address these emerging issues because we have the capability to conduct long-term research covering a wide geographic area with world-class scientists.

See our Research Subject Areas page for more detail.

Who We Are

Common Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
Common Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)

Our staff consists of both biological and physical scientists with outstanding professional and technical support. We work closely with university cooperators as well as other research agencies and organizations. FWE scientists provide (1) knowledge about basic ecological and biological processes, (2) models to predict changes in forest and woodland ecosystems at many scales of time and space, and (3) tools to transfer knowledge into scientifically sound management recommendations.