News Release

Forest Service to host international forest research conference

Three American scientists to be recognized for their contributions to forest management and sustainability

September 11, 2014 -

The U.S. Forest Service will host the World Congress of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), the premier event for forest research worldwide, in Salt Lake City from October 5-11. This is the first time in 43 years that the United States has hosted the event, which is expected to draw 2,500 forest scientists from 100 countries.

“It is a tremendous honor to serve as the host country for this important international event, where some of the most respected minds in forest science will come together,” said Forest Service Chief Thomas Tidwell. “Science continues to play a critical role in  sustaining America’s and the world’s forests for future generations, employing people and providing millions of visitors with enhanced access to the great outdoors.”

The World Congress occurs every four to five years in different countries. The last Congress held in the U.S. was in 1971 in Florida. Forest Service scientists from throughout the United States are among those who presented on scientific and technical issues related to priority areas of forest research, policy and management.

At each World Congress, the IUFRO recognizes the outstanding achievements and distinguished careers of scientists from the host country. This year, the IUFRO Host Country Scientific Achievement Awards will be presented to three noted scientists.

Dr. Harold Burkhart is a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His research contributes to the critical scientific knowledge base needed to forecast production under different management goals and silviculture alternatives and thus improve forest management practices. Burkhart has conducted forest stand dynamics research for more than 40 years. He has made significant and path-breaking contributions to the development of quantitative models for forecasting forest stand dynamics, growth and yield.

Prof. Chadwick Dearing “Chad” Oliver is the Pinchot Professor of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University. His contributions to silviculture, forest ecology and sustainable resource management have deepened understanding of basic biophysical processes of forest dynamics and the interactions of human societies and forests at multiple scales.  His contributions to forest science have progressed from the stand level, to the landscape and to the global scale by integrating scientific disciplines to advance the theoretical basis of resource science but with an eye toward applying this knowledge to forest management.

Dr. Stephen Hubbell is a Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCLA.  Hubbell has had tremendous impact on forest science through service and infrastructure development.  He is the co-founder and co-director of the Center for Tropical Forest Science at the Smithsonian Institution’s Tropical Research Institute in Panama.  The Center manages a global network of large permanent tropical forest research plots and monitors natural populations of more than 6,000 tropical tree species.  Hubbell is the founding chairman and a board member of the National Council for Science and the Environment.

The IUFRO is a non-profit, non-governmental international network of 700 research organizations with over 15,000 forest scientists. It is the largest global network promoting global cooperation in forest-related research to deepen the understanding of the ecological, economic and social aspects of forests and trees and how they benefit societies.

The mission of the Forest Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to State and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.  Public lands managed by the Forest Service contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone.  Those same lands provide 20 percent of the Nation's clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship 818 million acres of forests and woodlands within the U.S., and the trees in the 130 million acres of urban areas and communities where most Americans live.