About the Forest Resources & Conservation Program
SFRC’s program in forestry, natural resources, and conservation address the ecological, social, and economic aspects of managing terrestrial natural resources. Within this broad field, faculty and staff with a variety of technical and academic specialties conduct innovative basic and applied science; educate society on the value and proper management of natural resources, and develop the next generation of professional natural resource managers; and work to improve our natural resources through outreach to the public, landowners, and resource stewards.
Our work on the ecology of terrestrial natural resources includes such subfields as the role of disturbance/successional forces such as fires, storms, timber harvesting, and insect/disease outbreaks; the carbon and water cycles of forests; and basic tree physiology and genetics. Faculty and staff studying the social aspects of terrestrial ecosystems address the value of recreational opportunities, including managing ecosystems to balance recreational use with resource protection; how the public understands environmental issues, and how educators can better disseminate new information on environmental issues; and how public policies impact the way terrestrial ecosystems are managed. Forests continue to have a significant role in society from an economic perspective: identifying new markets for timber products and ecosystem services; how landowners choose to manage their land to produce financial returns; and how policy changes influence the markets for land, timber, and ecosystem services.
The program emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to addressing problems; a practical approach to developing solutions; and a “hands-on” approach to disseminating new information.