Areas of Study
Forest Biology & Ecology – Forest biology and ecology research is wide ranging; varying from landscape level ecology and conservation to genetics and tree improvement, from water resources to forest heath and silviculture to tree biology. Research is generally problem-oriented and conducted in collaboration with state and federal agencies, industry, and/or other scientists from the University of Florida and other universities. SFRC faculty develop and disseminate the knowledge needed to conserve and manage forests and natural resources as healthy, working ecosystems that provide social, ecological and economic benefits on a sustainable basis.
Natural Resource Economics & Management – SFRC faculty examine the interplay between economic forces, forest management decisions, and their implications for society using a variety of techniques; including models of economic behavior, financial analysis, impact analysis of resource policies, and markets for environmental services. Beyond the extensive rural forests lie the highly fragmented and often very stressed forests within and around communities and urban areas. SFRC researchers intensively study these urban and community forest ecosystems, seeking to improve their quantity, quality, health, and sustainability.
Human Dimensions & Resource Policy – The objectives of the SFRC’s human dimensions and resource policy research programs are to understand the behavior of people with respect to the use and conservation of natural resources and apply that knowledge to formulate sustainable management and policy strategies. Exploring strategies for designing, conducting and evaluating successful environmental education and communication programs is one cornerstone of human dimensions research. Other major research foci include investigating the role of often disparate attitudes, values, beliefs, and opinions in planning and managing natural resources for recreation and tourism.
Tropical Forestry & Agroforestry – Tropical forestry and agroforestry are both highly interdisciplinary, spanning both biological and social sciences. Understanding the impacts of varied uses on tropical forests is critical to the development of management plans and policies that can sustain both the systems and the people that depend upon them. Tropical forestry research in the School focuses on ecological and societal requirements for sustainable forest management in the tropics and on the ecosystem dynamics of tropical forest regrowth. Agroforestry is the incorporation of trees and/or shrubs into agricultural systems. Research conducted by SFRC faculty has contributed to the development and sustainability of agroforestry systems both nationally and internationally.
Geospatial, GIS, & Remote Sensing – Geomatics makes use of ground-based sensors, such as terrestrial lidar, GPS or total stations, to geo-reference ground features. These data are integrated in a GIS or digital mapping system to produce paper and digital representations of these features. Satellite and airborne sensors provide spatial data over larger areas. Increasingly, Geomatics explores the fusion of different forms of these technologies for addressing development and conservation problems. Geomatics deals with the theory, technology, and methods for collecting, analyzing, and managing spatial information. Geomatics deals with cadastral systems which define property rights and boundaries.