News Release

Two Forest Service Scientists Honored for Contributions to Climate Change Research

January 27, 2010 -

USDA Forest Service scientists Connie Millar of Albany, Calif., and Linda Joyce of Ft. Collins, Colo., are winners of this year’s Forest Service Deputy Chief’s Distinguished Science Award.

 “These two scientists were selected for their sustained scientific leadership and outstanding recent contributions to the increasingly important area of climate change,” said Ann M. Bartuska, Forest Service Deputy Chief for Research & Development. “Dr. Joyce’s recent research quantified the impacts of climate change on ecosystems, and the socioeconomic implications of the change in the forest sector. Dr. Millar is a proven leader in developing resource management strategies for a climate-change context in western North America.”

This work filled some serious knowledge gaps in our understanding of how climate relates to ecosystems and people.”

Joyce’s scientific area of expertise is quantitative ecology. Her recent research has focused on quantifying the impacts of climate change on ecosystems and the socioeconomic implications of this change in the forest sector. As the climate change specialist for the Resources Planning Act assessment process in the Forest Service, she identifies and coordinates analysis of potential effects of global climate change on the condition of renewable resources on the forests and rangelands of the United States. She has contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, and the recently released IUFRO report: “Adaptation of Forests and People to Climate Change: A Global Assessment.” Joyce also was the lead author on the national forest chapter of the Synthesis and Assessment Report:  “Preliminary Review of Adaptation Options for Climate-sensitive Ecosystems and Resources.” This report represents the first synthesis of management options available for national forest managers as they begin to incorporate climate change considerations. Millar was also an author in this report.

Millar’s current research focuses on Quaternary sciences and studies of the responses of high-elevation conifers to historical and anthropogenic climate variability. Her research team specializes in high-elevation dendrochronology, paleoecology, and climate change. She has long emphasized the applications of science in resource management and served as a co-leader of the Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project. She founded and directsCIRMOUNT, the Consortium for Integrated Climate Research in Western Mountains.

Millar and Joyce have long worked together and are principal investigators -- with two other Forest Service scientists -- for the West Wide Climate Initiative, a project dedicated to incorporating climate-change science into national forest and other public land management.

Joyce and Millar will receive their awards Jan. 27 at an evening ceremony associated with the Forest Service Research Executive Team meeting in the Madison Hotel, 1177 15th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.