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National Capacity in Forestry Research

Committee on National Capacity in Forestry Research

Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources

Division on Earth and Life Studies

National Research Council






NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.



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Page i National Capacity in Forestry Research Committee on National Capacity in Forestry Research Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources Division on Earth and Life Studies National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C.

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Page ii NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. This study was supported by Contract/Grant No. 98-G-203 between the National Academy of Sciences and the Forest Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 0-309-08456-3 Additional copies of this report are available from National Academy Press , 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. , Lockbox 285, Washington, D.C. 20055 ; (800) 624–6242 or (202) 334–3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu Printed in the United States of America Copyright 2002 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

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Page iii THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine National Research Council The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M.Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm.A.Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M.Alberts and Dr. Wm.A.Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

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Page iv

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Page v Committee on National Capacity In Forestry Research FREDERICK W.CUBBAGE, Chair, North Carolina State University PERRY J.BROWN, University of Montana THOMAS R.CROW, University of Michigan JOHN C.GORDON, Yale University JOHN W.HUMKE, The Nature Conservancy, Colorado REX B.MCCULLOUGH, Weyerhaeuser Co., Washington RONALD R.SEDEROFF, North Carolina State University Staff CHARLOTTE KIRK BAER, Study Director LUCYNA K.KURTYKA, Project Officer * KAREN BEARD, Policy Intern SHIRLEY B.THATCHER, Senior Project Assistant ** STEPHANIE PADGHAM, Project Assistant NORMAN GROSSBLATT, Editor *through May 2000 **through April 2000

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Page vi Board On Agriculture and Natural Resources HARLEY W. MOON, Chair, Iowa State University CORNELIA B. FLORA, Iowa State University ROBERT B. FRIDLEY, University of California BARBARA GLENN, Federation of Animal Science Societies W.R. (REG) GOMES, University of California LINDA GOLODNER, National Consumers League PERRY R. HAGENSTEIN, Institute for Forest Analysis, Planning, and Policy GEORGE R. HALLBERG, The Cadmus Group, Inc. CALESTOUS JUMA, Harvard University GILBERT A. LEVEILLE, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Denville, New Jersey WHITNEY MACMILLAN, Cargill, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota TERRY MEDLEY, DuPont Biosolutions Enterprise WILLIAM L. OGREN, U.S. Department of Agriculture ALICE PELL, Cornell University NANCY J. RACHMAN, Novigen Sciences, Inc. G.EDWARD SCHUH, University of Minnesota BRIAN STASKAWICZ, University of California, Berkeley JOHN W. SUTTIE, University of Wisconsin JAMES TUMLINSON, USDA, ARS JAMES J. ZUICHES, Washington State University Staff CHARLOTTE KIRK BAER, Director SHIRLEY B. THATCHER, Administrative Assistant * *through April 2000

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Page vii Preface In the past decade, the forestry sector and the research capacity in that sector have seen substantial changes. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Forest Service asked the National Research Council Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources to conduct a study that focused on the nation's capacity in forestry research. Forest Service leaders recognize the necessity for improving forest productivity and stewardship of all the forests in the United States, including the national forests, urban forests, nonindustrial and industrial private forests, and tribal, state, and community forests. Continuous research findings must inform the management and protection of the forests. However, our national capacity in forestry research appears to have waned even as the demands placed on our forests and the need for enhanced technical knowledge have increased. We must have better information on the status of forestry research and future research priorities if we are to identify critical research needs and we need to identify the types of scientists and disciplines required to produce knowledge about our nation's forests. This study of our nation's capacity in forestry research was conducted to review the expertise and future needs of forestry-research organizations and to review the current approaches and capacity of natural-resource education to address shortfalls of scientists expected in selected disciplines in the next 10 to 15 years. In performing our assessment, we relied on a wealth of background information about forestry research and education capacity. We obtained literature, policy statements, strategic plans, and white papers from many organizations interested in forestry research and education. We sponsored a workshop on forestry-research capacity on July 16–17, 1999, which included speakers, focus groups, and comments from interested organizations. The workshop was an important component of this project because it provided direction to the report. During the workshop, participants were asked to address questions that were part of this committee's task in breakout sessions. First, the participants were asked to determine critical issues and priorities in forestry. Then, they were asked to determine how these priorities should be met in relation to knowledge base, research capacity, interdisciplinary and spatial applications and incentives, and university curricula and programs. The input that the committee received from the workshop participants was recorded and used to direct the study and recommendations presented in Chapters 2 through 5. We also collected background material on budgets, scientific efforts, and trends in graduate education.

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Page viii Clearly, the USDA Forest Service remains the largest forestry research organization in the world, but has experienced fairly steady declines in real funding levels and in personnel and facilities. Other federal government organizations, such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), have increased their broad focus on terrestrial research and development, in either applied or basic sciences. Universities provide almost as much support for forestry research as the Forest Service. They have slightly fewer scientist full-time equivalents (FTEs) dedicated to research than does the Forest Service, but more than double their FTEs in teaching and extension. The forest products industry performs some forestry research directly and contributes some funds to university and other research cooperatives. In total, annual expenditures on forestry research probably exceed $500 million per year. About 1400 scientist FTEs are dedicated to forestry research in the United States, as well as 600 teaching FTEs and 240 extension FTEs. The significant amount of resources expended on forestry research and the substantial number of scientists working in these areas provide capacity for analyses of many subjects. The diversity of funding sources and organizations involved in forestry research provides avenues for incorporating different perspectives on the multiplicity of important forest values and some competition among agencies to provide leadership in areas uniquely related to their mission. The USDA Forest Service has focused on traditional forest management and protection questions, and has expanded their purview to emerging issues such as sustainable forest management, global change, and forest monitoring. The National Research Initiative within USDA has focused on more basic biological forestry science; NASA on remote sensing applications of ecological issues; DOE on industrial energy or competitiveness; EPA on terrestrial impacts on air or water systems; and the U.S. Geological Survey and Fish and Wildlife Service on terrestrial and aquatic fauna. Of these organizations, the USDA Forest Service has experienced slightly decreased research funding and capacity in terms of real dollars, and the forest products industry probably has as well. Universities have had stable personnel numbers in total, but dynamic fluctuations at individual institutions. The other organizations and sectors are relatively new contributors to the nation's forestry research capacity and expertise. Thus one's perception of problems in forestry research capacity depends on one's perspective. The addition of capacity from new organizations is welcome, and indeed should be augmented if possible. The reduction of capacity in the USDA Forest Service is cause for concern. These trends outlined in this report should promote agency introspection about the direction of and support for their programs, and serious collaboration with external clients to redress the causes as well as symptoms of that decline. Despite the diversity and relative depth of forestry research capacity, this report identifies critical needs and makes suggestions for significant improvements. In the committee's opinion forestry research capacity is at a crossroads, if not a precipice. First and foremost, the population in the United States and the world continues to increase moderately, while the forest area is stable at best, if not actually declining. Furthermore, the number of demands for commodity production and for environmental services from

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Page ix forests has increased at least as rapidly as population, and perhaps faster as forests become fewer or more fragmented. Even successful management efforts to produce more commodities (e.g., timber) or services (e.g., recreation) must meet much stricter environmental and social standards than in the past, which may impede short-run productivity gains. New factors are affecting forestry, such as the international agreements on Sustainable Forest Management and on Criteria and Indicators, large increases in forest recreation and tourism, demands for water quality protection and use of Best Management Practices, concern about invasive species and fire, advances in biotechnology, and broad based regional assessments. Political debates about forestry issues at the local, state, national, and world levels have increased greatly, but government funding, legislation, and reform often faces gridlock. On the other hand, market forces such as certification and international competition for market share have made major changes in corporate forestry ownership, structure, and practices. This dichotomy between more demands for forest products and services and fewer forests suggests that we need more intensive management of some areas for timber and commodities; more areas set aside or managed for wildlife, biodiversity, recreation and non-market values; and more cooperation among various stakeholders on public and, increasingly, on private forest lands. Better research and implementation of those research advances provide the only practical means that we can meet increased demands with decreased supply. Will we be able to satisfy these increased forestry research needs? Have our efforts to date been satisfactory? Do we have adequate scientists, facilities, management, and support for research efforts now? Will the forestry research capacity be prepared for the likely future emerging issues? Will the current status quo suffice? In brief, this report suggests that our current forestry research capacity is neither adequate now, nor poised for success in the coming years. This report identifies significant declines in real research capacity, fragmented cooperation and poor communication among the principal providers and users of forestry research, inadequate support of both foundation and emerging disciplines, and little strategic planning to address future forestry research needs. The forestry research sector is indeed at a crossroads. If left unchanged, its future will entail a steady erosion of intellectual and institutional capacity, and dwindling capacity and impact. Alternatively, forestry research could renew its commitment to innovation, cooperation, relevance, and extension in order to prosper and enhance the practice of forestry in this century. This latter vision will require levels of cooperation, support, real exchange of financial and technical support, and stakeholder support that do not currently exist. This report of forestry research capacity makes recommendations that will help achieve this positive, proactive role for forestry research in the future. It summarizes our findings and recommendations regarding each of those components of our assessment of national forestry-research capacity. It presents our conclusions about the status of forestry-research capacity and our specific recommendations for enhancing it. Our review and our recommendations can be used to shape future forestry-research efforts, enhance research capacity, and encourage public and private interests to help to achieve a strong research foundation for sustainable forest management.

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Page x Forestry research has many strengths and beneficial effects. A progressive and productive relationship among all the key players in forestry research is essential. We hope that this report will be useful to those players, including federal and state entities, university and research organizations, industry and business, student populations, and those in positions of decision-making that will affect future generations. FREDERICK W.CUBBAGE Chair, Committee on National Capacity in Forestry Research

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Page xi Acknowledgments The Committee wishes to thank the many people who provided input by letter or at the public workshop. Special thanks are due to Richard Guldin, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, for his willingness to respond to the Committee's numerous requests for data and information. Without his assistance and perseverance, the report would not have become a reality. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council's (NRC) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Jo Ellen Force, University of Idaho Perry Hagenstein, Institute for Forest Analysis, Planning, and Policy John A.Helms, University of California, Berkeley T.Kent Kirk, Verona, WI Dennis LeMaster, Purdue University Kenneth Munson, International Paper John Pait, The Timber Company Paula Stephan, Georgia State University The review of this report was overseen by Ellis Cowling, North Carolina State University, and Henry Riecken, University of Pennsylvania. Appointed by the National Research Council, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. Finally, the committee wishes to thank Charlotte Kirk Baer, study director, for her encouragement and guidance of this project to completion.

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Page xiii Contents Executive Summary, 1     Defining Forestry-Research Capacity, 2     The Value of Forestry Research, 2     Key Players, 3     Knowledge Base and Priorities, 3     Assessing the Status of Forestry Research, 4     Enhancing Forestry-Research Personnel, Facilities, and Infrastructure, 5     Leadership and Strategic Planning, 6     Creating Intellectual and Scientific-Research Capital, 9     Increasing Strength, Collaboration, and Diversification in Forestry Research, 10     Ensuring Progress, 12 1.     Need, Context, and Foundation for Forestry Research, 14     The Current Study, 15         Boundaries of the Assessment, 16     Defining Forestry-Research Capacity, 16     Institutional Framework for Forestry-Related Research, 17     Early Forestry Research and Education, 18     The Importance of Maintaining, Protecting, and Enhancing Today's Forests for Tomorrow, 19     Future Challenges, 21     Forestry Education and Research, 21 2.     The Essential Knowledge Base for Forestry Issues, 23     Knowledge Base Required, 25         Foundation Education and Research Priorities, 26         Emerging Education and Research Priorities, 26         Stewardship and Sustainability of Public Lands, 28         Sustainable-Management Criteria and Indicators, 28         Forest Certification, 33         Forest-Industry Priorities, 36

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Page xiv Contents         New Forestry-Research Challenges, 37     Workshop Input on an Essential Knowledge Base, 37     Conclusions and Recommendations, 40 3.     Current Forestry-Research Capacity in the United States, 42     Assessing Forestry-Research Capacity, 43     A Portrait of the Forestry-Research Workforce, 43         USDA Forest Service, 44             Research Scientists, 47             Research Productivity, 49             Research Quality, 51             Research Advisory Body, 51         Professional Forestry Schools and Colleges, 52             Faculty, 52             Forestry Extension, 53         Private Industry, 56         Total Forestry Research Workforce by Sector, Function, and Sustainable Forest Management Criteria, 56     Investments in Forestry Research, 59         Forest Service Research Support, 59         Other Federal Forestry-Research Funding, 61         Leveraging Research Support, 63         University Research Support, 68         Contributions of the Forest Products Industry, 68         Other Sources of Research Support, 70     Evaluating Return on Investment in Forestry Research, 73     Conclusions and Recommendations, 76         Personnel, 76         Research Quality, Productivity, and Efficacy, 78         Fiscal Strength, 80         Toward Greater Capacity, 81 4.     Preparing Forestry Scientists and Users of Forestry Science, 82     The Future of Forestry Education, 83     Trends in Enrollment and Graduation, 85     Forestry as an Academic Subject, 87     Curriculum as a Concept, 87     Models for Forestry Education, 88

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Page xv         Broad Trends in Forestry Education, 90     What About Research?, 91     What about Curricula?, 92     Adequacy and Capacity of University Programs to Meet Near-Future Needs, 93         Disciplinary Breadth of Forestry Education, 93         Numbers of Scientists, 94         Diversity of Scientists, 98         Future Demand for Scientists, 99     Interdisciplinary and Integrative Capabilities, 100         Institutional Arrangements, 100     Conclusions and Recommendations, 102 5.     Capacity of Forestry-Research Organizations to Meet Future Research Needs, 105     Continuity Through Time: Resources to Maintain Operations, 106         University System, 107         Forest Industry, 110         USDA Forest Service, 111     Facilities and Equipment to Perform High-Quality Research, 112     Access to People with Appropriate Skills and Competences, 114     Focus on High-Priority Goals and Needs, 115     Conclusions and Recommendations, 116 6.     Summary and Conclusions, 119     Recommendations, 120     Conclusions, 127 References, 128 Appendixes, 136     Appendix A—    Workshop Agenda, 136     Appendix B—    Breakout Group Questions, 139 About the Authors, 140

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Page xvi Tables and Boxes Tables 1–1    Definitions of terms commonly used to describe what forests provide, 20 2–1    Comparative forestry-science education and research priorities according to selected sources, 27 2–2    Criteria for the conservation and sustainable management of temperate and boreal forests developed from the Montreal process, 30 3–1    Forestry-research statistics for the USDA Forest Service, fiscal years 1980–1999, 45 3–2    USDA Forest Service research funding by budget line item, fiscal years 1980–1999, 46 3–3    Number of Forest Service research scientists by discipline, fiscal year 1985–1998, 48 3–4    Number of Forest Service publications by discipline, fiscal years 1981–1998, 50 3–5    Trends in forestry employment in universities, 54 3–6    Full Time Equivalents of U.S. Forestry Scientists by Sector, Function, and SFM Criterion, 2001, 58 3–7    McIntire-Stennis funding in actual and constant dollars, fiscal year 1980–2000, 64 3–8    Distribution of McIntire-Stennis funds to eligible state institutions of institutional units fiscal year 2000, 65 3–9    Sustainable-forestry research funding by industry through the Sustainable Forestry Initiative program, in dollars, 69 3–10    Federal funding for forestry research by selected agency and program, fiscal years 1994–2000, 71 3–11    Returns on investments in forestry research, 75 4–1    Enrollment and degrees awarded in forest science programs, 1989–1998, 86 4–2    Enrollment in forestry, natural resources, and agriculture programs by program and degree level, 1993–1999, 86 4–3    Enrollment in forest science programs by academic specialization, 1993–1999, 95 4–4    Forest sciences enrollment statistics by gender, ethnicity, and citizenship, fall 1999, 98 Boxes 2–1    Excerpts from input received on education and research needs to form an essential knowledge base, 38 3–1    Hatch and McIntire-Stennis proposals at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Wisconsin, 62 3–2    Reviews improve quality of forestry research at the University of California, Berkeley, 67

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Page xvii 4–1    Graduate student support, 97 4–2    The corporate environmental management program at the University of Michigan —an example of creative partnerships within the University, and between business and the University, 100 4–3    National Science Foundation's Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training program, 101 4–4    NSF's Luquillo Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) —An Example of Forestry Research Conducted through a creative partnership between universities and federal research agencies, 102 5–1    Northwest stand management cooperative, 106 5–2    Centers of excellence in forestry, 107 5–3    Virtual center concept at work, 109

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