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Nathaniel (Nate) Anderson

Nate Anderson, Research Forester

Research Forester

Address: 
800 East Beckwith Avenue
Missoula, MT 59801-5801
Phone: 
406-329-2122
Fax: 
406-543-2663
Contact Nathaniel (Nate) Anderson

Current Research

  1. Financial and economic analysis of forest product supply chains
  2. Forest operations research and engineering
  3. Forestry for climate change adaptation and mitigation
  4. Remote sensing and GIS technologies for natural resources management
  5. Research and development of advanced bioenergy technologies

Research Interests

I am fascinated by research questions that rest at the intersection of ecology, economics, and public policy. I pursue applied research that bridges the gap between basic scientific inquiry and widespread adoption of new approaches and technologies for sustainable natural resources management. Most of the work I do is focused on active management of forest ecosystems, and blends elements of silviculture, remote sensing and GIS, climate science, finance, operations engineering, and supply chain management. Almost all of my projects include close collaborations with forest managers, industry professionals, and agency and academic researchers in a broad range of disciplines.

Past Research

  1. Spatial analysis of sawmill wood procurement
  2. Cross-border trade in sawlogs
  3. Parcelization, ownership and management of non-industrial private forest
  4. Geographic variation in heart size of sugar maple
  5. Landowner cooperatives

Why This Research is Important

Rapid changes in forest management objectives, silvicultural techniques, and production technologies, have left significant knowledge gaps in our understanding of the short and long-term environmental, economic and social impacts of new options for managing forest resources. Understanding the costs and benefits of these options can help individuals, businesses and communities make informed choices to enhance the broad range of market and non-market benefits that forests provide. Science-based knowledge is also a critical tool in guiding the management of our National Forests and Grasslands. Among the most prominent management challenges, the relationship between forest resources and the expanding bioeconomy poses a wide range of compelling questions related to net greenhouse gas emissions, the sustainability of harvest, and the economic feasibility of new technologies their supply chains.

Education

  • Ph.D. State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY, Ph.D., Forest Resources Management, 2008
  • M.S. University of Maryland, College Park, MD, M.S., Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology, 2003
  • B.S. Bates College, Lewiston, ME, B.S., Biology with a concentration in Ecology, 1996
  • Professional Experience

    Co-Principal Investigator, Development of a Comprehensive Hydrologic Assessment and Restoration Plan and Regional Restoration Decision Support System for the Apalachicola Basin
    2017 to present

    Funded by the U.S. Forest Service Southern Region and the RESTORE Act.
    Advisor, RMRS Science Partner Program, New Partnerships to Improve the Use of Economic and Social Science Information in Forest Planning
    2017 to present

    Funded by Salmon-Challis National Forest, the U.S. Forest Service Inter-Mountain Region, and the Rocky Mountain Research Station
    Co-Principal Investigator, Forest bioenergy and biofuels integration: Sustainability, energy balance and emissions from forest restoration in the southern Rocky Mountains
    2016 to present

    Funded by the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) Competitive Grants Program, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
    Adjunct Associate Professor/Instructor/Co-PI, Seoul National University Graduate Program in Forest Carbon
    2016 to present

    Funded by Seoul National University and the Korea Forest Service
    Co-Principal Investigator/Project Manager, Longleaf pine inventory, mapping, monitoring, and analysis: Outputs for cross-ownership conservation and restoration
    2015 to present

    Funded by the US Forest Service and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
    Co-Principal Investigator/Executive Leadership Committee, Sustainable biofuel feedstocks from beetle-killed wood: Bioenergy Alliance Network of the Rockies (BANR).
    2013 to present

    Funded by the AFRI-CAP Sustainable Bioenergy Competitive Grants Program, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
    Project Director/Co-Principal Investigator, Integration of biofuels and bioproducts production into forest products supply chains using modular biomass gasification and carbon activation.
    2011 to present

    Funded by the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) Competitive Grants Program, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
    Project Director/Co-Principal Investigator, Expanding bioenergy production from mill and fuel treatment residues in the southern Rocky Mountains: Quantifying supply, demand, energy balance, and emissions.
    2012 to 2015

    Funded by the U.S. Forest Service, National Fire Plan.
    Project Manager, Incorporating project-level analysis and enhanced decision support into the OptFuels fuel treatment planning system for the Lake Tahoe Basin.
    2012 to 2014

    Funded by the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act, Competitive Grant Program.
    Co-Principal Investigator, Regional assessments of carbon in harvested wood products: Estimates for the U.S. Forest Service Northern Region, 1906 to 2010.
    2010 to 2014

    Funded by the Rocky Mountain Research Station and the U.S. Forest Service, Resource Information Management Board.
    Project Manager, Delivery of a novel GIS raster utility to facilitate high-resolution spatial analysis of ecologically diverse landscapes.
    2012 to 2013

    Funded by RMRS Science Application and Integration Program, U.S. Forest Service National Fire Plan.
    Co-Principal Investigator/Project Manager, Integrating modular pyrolysis processing into forest operations to improve the sustainability and efficiency of treatment residue utilization.
    2010 to 2013

    Funded by the Woody Biomass, Bioenergy, and Bioproducts Competitive Grant, U.S. Forest Service Research and Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    Co-Principal Investigator, Uncompahgre Plateau restoration: Assessing the economic feasibility and net greenhouse gas emissions of producing bioenergy from forest and range treatment residues.
    2010 to 2013

    Funded by the Rocky Mountain Research Station, Competitive Research Initiative.
    Co-Principal Investigator, Biochar from biomass: A process for utilizing forest treatment and mill residues.
    2010 to 2012

    Funded by the Rocky Mountain Research Station, Competitive Research Initiative.
    Co-Principal Investigator, Mapping current and potential flows of biomass from national forest treatment operations to power and cogeneration facilities in a critical management region of the interior west.
    2010 to 2012

    Funded by the U.S. Forest Service, National Fire Plan.
    Postdoc, Assessing costs and benefits of alternative methods for handling and transporting forest treatment residues for bioenergy.
    2009 to 2010

    Funded by the U.S. Forest Service, RMRS Agenda 2020 Research Initiative.
    Postdoc, Economic and environmental analysis of mobile fast pyrolysis deployed under field conditions.
    2009 to 2010

    Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
    Postdoc, Sustainable forest bioenergy production using in-woods fast pyrolysis conversion including bio-oil production and biochar soil amendment.
    2009 to 2010

    Funded by the Woody Biomass, Bioenergy, and Bioproducts Competitive Grant, U.S. Forest Service Research and Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    PhD Student/Research Assistant, The impact of wood procurement pressure on sustained yield management on private non-industrial forestland in the Northern Forest.
    2007 to 2009

    Funded by the Northeastern States Research Cooperative.

    Featured Publications

    Publications

    Townsend, Lucas; Dodson, Elizabeth; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Worley-Hood, Graham; Goodburn, John, 2019. Harvesting forest biomass in the US southern Rocky Mountains: cost and production rates of five ground-based forest operations
    Hogland, John; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Affleck, David; St. Peter, Joseph, 2019. Using forest inventory data with Landsat 8 imagery to map longleaf pine forest characteristics in Georgia, USA
    Campbell, Robert M.; Venn, Tyron J.; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate), 2018. Cost and performance tradeoffs between mail and internet survey modes in a nonmarket valuation study
    Campbell, Robert M.; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Daugaard, Daren E.; Naughton, Helen T., 2018. Financial viability of biofuel and biochar production from forest biomass in the face of market price volatility and uncertainty
    St. Peter, Joseph; Hogland, John; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Drake, Jason; Medley, Paul, 2018. Fine resolution probabilistic land cover classification of landscapes in the southeastern United States
    Gu, Hongmei; Bergman, Richard; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Alanya-Rosenbaum, Sevda, 2018. Life cycle assessment of activated carbon from woody biomass
    Han, Hee; Chung, Woodam; She, Ji; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Wells, Lucas, 2018. Productivity and costs of two beetle-kill salvage harvesting methods in northern Colorado
    Loeffler, Dan; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate), 2018. Recovering from the mountain pine beetle
    Becker, Ryer M.; Keefe, Robert F.; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Eitel, Jan U. H., 2018. Use of lidar-derived landscape parameters to characterize alternative harvest system options in the Inland Northwest
    Kim, Yaejun; Chung, Woodam; Han, Hee; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate), 2017. Effect of downed trees on harvesting productivity and costs in beetle-killed stands
    Chung, Woodam; Evangelista, Paul; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Vorster, Anthony; Han, Hee; Poudel, Krishna; Sturtevant, Robert, 2017. Estimating aboveground tree biomass for beetle-killed lodgepole pine in the Rocky Mountains of northern Colorado
    Bergman, Richard D.; Gu, Hongmei; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate), 2017. Life cycle analysis of biochar [Chapter 3]
    Becker, Ryer M.; Keefe, Robert F.; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate), 2017. Use of real-time GNSS-RF data to characterize the swing movements of forestry equipment
    Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Windell, Keith N.; Englund, Karl; Jump, Kevin, 2016. Development and use of a commercial-scale biochar spreader
    Loeffler, Dan; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Morgan, Todd A.; Sorenson, Colin B., 2016. On-site energy consumption and selected emissions at softwood sawmills in the southwestern United States
    Loeffler, Dan; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Morgan, Todd A.; Sorenson, Colin B., 2016. On-site energy consumption at softwood sawmills in Montana
    Campbell, Robert M.; Venn, Tyron J.; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate), 2016. Social preferences toward energy generation with woody biomass from public forests in Montana, USA
    Wells, Lucas A.; Chung, Woodam; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Hogland, John, 2016. Spatial and temporal quantification of forest residue volumes and delivered costs
    Kim, Dongyeob; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Chung, Woodam, 2015. Financial performance of a mobile pyrolysis system used to produce biochar from sawmill residues
    Thompson, Matthew P.; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate), 2015. Modeling fuel treatment impacts on fire suppression cost savings: A review
    Campbell, Robert; Venn, Tyron; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate), 2015. Quantifying social preferences toward woody biomass energy generation in Montana, USA
    Miller, Sue; Essen, Maureen; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; McCollum, Dan W.; Bergman, Rick; Elder, Tom, 2015. Science You Can Use Bulletin: Burgeoning biomass: Creating efficient and sustainable forest biomass supply chains in the Rockies, Part II
    Jarvis, Jacqueline M.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Corilo, Yuri; Rodgers, Ryan P., 2014. Characterization of fast pyrolysis products generated from several western USA woody species
    Loeffler, Dan; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Stockmann, Keith; Skog, Ken; Healey, Sean P.; Jones, J. Greg; Morrison, James; Young, Jesse, 2014. Estimates of carbon stored in harvested wood products from United States Forest Service Alaska Region, 1910-2012
    Loeffler, Dan; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Stockmann, Keith; Skog, Ken; Healey, Sean P.; Jones, J. Greg; Morrison, James; Young, Jesse, 2014. Estimates of carbon stored in harvested wood products from United States Forest Service Eastern Region, 1911-2012
    Stockmann, Keith; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Young, Jesse; Skog, Ken; Healey, Sean P.; Loeffler, Dan; Butler, Edward; Jones, J. Greg; Morrison, James, 2014. Estimates of carbon stored in harvested wood products from United States Forest Service Intermountain Region, 1911-2012
    Stockmann, Keith; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Young, Jesse; Skog, Ken; Healey, Sean P.; Loeffler, Dan; Butler, Edward; Jones, J. Greg; Morrison, James, 2014. Estimates of carbon stored in harvested wood products from United States Forest Service Northern Region, 1906-2012
    Butler, Edward; Stockmann, Keith; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Skog, Ken; Healey, Sean P.; Loeffler, Dan; Jones, J. Greg; Morrison, James; Young, Jesse, 2014. Estimates of carbon stored in harvested wood products from United States Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region, 1909-2012
    Stockmann, Keith; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Young, Jesse; Skog, Ken; Healey, Sean P.; Loeffler, Dan; Butler, Edward; Jones, J. Greg; Morrison, James, 2014. Estimates of carbon stored in harvested wood products from United States Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region, 1909-2012
    Stockmann, Keith; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Young, Jesse; Skog, Ken; Healey, Sean P.; Loeffler, Dan; Butler, Edward; Jones, J. Greg; Morrison, James, 2014. Estimates of carbon stored in harvested wood products from United States Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region, 1906-2012
    Loeffler, Dan; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Stockmann, Keith; Skog, Ken; Healey, Sean P.; Jones, J. Greg; Morrison, James; Young, Jesse, 2014. Estimates of carbon stored in harvested wood products from United States Forest Service Southern Region, 1911-2012
    Butler, Edward; Stockmann, Keith; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Young, Jesse; Skog, Ken; Healey, Sean P.; Loeffler, Dan; Jones, J. Greg; Morrison, James, 2014. Estimates of carbon stored in harvested wood products from United States Forest Service Southwestern Region, 1909-2012
    Stockmann, Keith; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Young, Jesse; Skog, Ken; Healey, Sean P.; Loeffler, Dan; Butler, Edward; Jones, J. Greg; Morrison, James, 2014. Estimates of carbon stored in harvested wood products from United States Forest Service's Sierra Nevada Bio-Regional Assessment Area of the Pacific Southwest Region, 1909-2012
    Hogland, John; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Chung, Woodam; Wells, Lucas, 2014. Estimating forest characteristics using NAIP imagery and ArcObjects
    Hogland, John; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate), 2014. Improved analyses using function datasets and statistical modeling
    Miller, Sue; Essen, Maureen; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Chung, Woody; Elliot, William J.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Han, Han-Sup; Hogland, John; Keyes, Christopher R., 2014. Science You Can Use Bulletin: Burgeoning biomass: Creating efficient and sustainable forest biomass supply chains in the Rockies
    Essen, Maureen; Morris, Caroline; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate), 2014. Tucker RNG: Little machine, big impact
    Keefe, Robert; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Hogland, John; Muhlenfeld, Ken, 2014. Woody biomass logistics [Chapter 14]
    Maker, Neal F.; Germain, Rene H.; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate), 2014. Working woods: A case study of sustainable forest management on Vermont family forests
    Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Jones, J. Greg; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; McCollum, Dan W.; Baker, Stephen P.; Loeffler, Daniel; Chung, Woodam, 2013. A comparison of producer gas, biochar, and activated carbon from two distributed scale thermochemical conversion systems used to process forest biomass
    Hogland, John; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Jones, J .Greg, 2013. Function modeling: improved raster analysis through delayed reading and function raster datasets
    Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Young, Jesse; Stockmann, K.; Skog, K.; Healey, Sean P.; Loeffler, D.; Jones, J.G.; Morrison, J., 2013. Regional and forest-level estimates of carbon stored in harvested wood products from the United States Forest Service Northern Region, 1906-2010
    Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Chung, Woodam; Loeffler, Dan; Jones, John Greg, 2012. A productivity and cost comparison of two systems for producing biomass fuel from roadside forest treatment residues
    Stockmann, Keith D.; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Skog, Kenneth E.; Healey, Sean P.; Loeffler, Dan; Jones, Greg; Morrison, James F., 2012. Estimates of carbon stored in harvested wood products from the United States Forest Service Northern Region, 1906-2010
    Caron, Jennifer A.; Germain, Rene H.; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate), 2012. Parcelization and land use: A case study in the New York City Watershed
    Chung, Woodam; Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate), 2012. Spatial modeling of potential woody biomass flow
    Anderson, Nathaniel (Nate); Germain, Rene H.; Bevilacqua, Eddie, 2011. Geographic information system-based spatial analysis of sawmill wood procurement
    Close-up of pelletized biochar.
    Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists and their partners with the U.S. Forest Service Missoula Technology and Development Center, Washington State University, and John Jump Trucking, Inc., developed and tested a high-capacity biochar spreader to reduce the cost and facilitate the application of biochar as a soil amendment.
    Forest operations on the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona.
    A notable management challenge with implementing this strategy is the lack of information regarding costs of different forest restoration treatments. This research project is using empirical economic models developed in cooperation with forest managers and logging contractors to estimate the costs of achieving forest restoration objectives using a range of logging equipment.
    There is widespread interest in understanding the effectiveness of fuel treatments in mitigating the trajectory of wildfire suppression costs and how their effectiveness and longevity can be extended over large areas and landscapes. To date, there have been several studies that used a modeling approach to evaluate fuel treatment effectiveness at the landscape scale. However, empirical studies at this scale are rare because landscape-scale fuel treatment strategies have not been fully implemented or wildfires have not burned through implemented landscape fuel treatments. A thorough evaluation of what is currently available in the literature and lessons learned from forest and rangeland managers has not yet been conducted.
    Through fire management and riparian ecosystem restoration RMRS researchers Terrie Jain, Kate Dwire, and Travis Warziniack are partnering with the University of Idaho and the Idaho City Ranger District to develop, implement, and evaluate different adaptive management strategies to improve the fire resiliency of the Boise National Forest. 
    RMRS researcher Nate Anderson will work directly with SCNF's Gina Knudson to augment the Forest's socioeconomic expertise during the forest plan revision process. The goal of this partnership is to broaden the Forest's expertise during the forest plan revision process. The collaboration between the Salmon-Challis National Forest and the RMRS Human Dimensions program is an excellent opportunity to directly serve the needs of the Forest and agency, more broadly.
    Longleaf pine forests are one of the most critically endangered ecosystems in the world. RMRS scientists and collaborators have developed new tools that can quantify the amount and condition of longleaf pine forest at fine spatial resolution over large areas. Researchers are improving the technologies and software and strengthening the extension and outreach aspects of this work. The next phase of the project will run through 2020.
    The ForBio Southwest project examines sustainability, energy balance and emissions from forest restoration efforts in the Southern Rocky Mountains. Using a retrospective study, researchers are measuring short-term ecological responses to thinning and prescribed burning, with alternative levels of biomass harvest, and will quantify changes in stand structure, plant species composition, and the quantity and distribution of fuels, as well as the impacts on soils, coarse woody debris, tree regeneration, and plant diversity. The project will run until the end of 2019.
    Forest biomass is a promising feedstock (raw material to supply or fuel a machine or industrial process) for the production of bioenergy, biofuels, and bioproducts because it is renewable and widely available as a byproduct of forest management. However, there are many obstacles have that have prevented more widespread use of forest biomass. This project was set in place to quantify and evaluate these obstacles so that land managers can overcome them.
    The RMRS Raster Utility is an object oriented coding library that facilitates a wide range of spatial and statistical analyses using novel statistical methods in a newly developed Function Modeling framework. This work includes: New tools for spatial and statistical analysis Readily available, easy to use, free, GIS software add-in Website describing software functionality and applications Code repository for others to integrate into their work Tu​torials and sample analyses  
    This project uses qualitative social science methods to better understand the science needs of national forests engaged in the forest planning process, with special emphasis on directing  future research to address knowledge gaps.
    Researchers provided estimates of the carbon stored in harvested wood products for all Forest Service Regions using carbon accounting methods developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the 2010 California Forest Project Protocol, and the Forest Carbon Management Framework (ForCaMF).
    The application of biochar to forest soils to improve soil productivity shows promise in many areas, although many soil impacts still need to be described. Numerous field and lab studies are ongoing in the inland Northwest that will help determine the most appropriate biochar sources and soil types for applying biochar.