The Wenatchee Forestry Sciences Laboratory in Wenatchee, Washington was originally established in 1963 as the “Wenatchee Soils and Water Lab.” Scientists at the lab wore traditional white lab coats and focused on water quality and hydrology, key to understanding water availability for agriculture and forestry. The lab complemented nearby Entiat Experimental Forest, established ten years prior in 1957. Laboratory hydrologists collected baseline data in nearby watersheds for 12 years before a wildfire burned through the study sites in 1970. In the 1990s, lab scientists contributed to the region’s “Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project,” leading to a shared natural resource management strategy for the east side of the Cascade mountain range.
Research questions at the lab today center on analyzing landscape responses to large changes (disturbances). Scientists at the lab study historic ranges of natural conditions to better predict potential future change. As an example, Wenatchee lab scientists investigate methods to better manage dry forests in response to changes in water availability. Lab scientists also study the interactions of landscapes with wildlife, exploring topics like the effects of highways on wildlife movement, or resource availability linked to dry forest management practices. Overall, the theme at the lab is studying the risks and effects of change – from natural change caused by fire or weather, to changes caused by humans, like roads or timber harvesting.
The lab sits at the foot of the eastern side of the Cascade Range. Close proximity to nearby national forests including the Okanogan-Wenatchee and Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forests puts Wenatchee lab at the “front line” of placing the latest science into the hands of resource managers. Staff from these National Forests frequently rely on the lab for conference space. During field season, the lab is a base of operations for field crews to regroup, recover, and change out gear and equipment.
About 8 station scientists and support staff work at the lab. Seasonal field crews increase staffing levels. Other temporary employees include research participants placed by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE). Cooperative agreements in place with Oregon State University and Washington State University increase the regional reach of the facility.
Scientists at the lab sit on Keith Reynolds’ Climate Landscape Interactions team, Tara Barret’s Disturbance and Restoration Ecology team, and Rebecca Flitcroft’s Landscape and Ecosystem Management team.
Our lab supports Pacific Northwest Research Station programs including:
|Barrett, Tara M.||Research Forester||509-664-1715|
|Carmody, Charles||Maintenance Worker||509-664-1714|
|Claeson, Shannon||Aquatic Ecologist||509-664-1731|
|Hessburg, Paul F.||Research Landscape Ecologist||509-423-9269|
|Hyzer , Maureen||Program Manager||509-664-1726|
|Mounter, Cheryl||Administrative Support Assistant||509-664-1700|
|Park, Roxanne||Administrative Specialist||509-664-1711|
|Pavlick, John||Maintenance Worker||509-664-1714|
|Peterson, David W.||Research Forester||509-664-1727|
|Polivka, Carlos M.||Research Fishery Biologist||509-664-1736|
|Rollins, Matthew G.||Program Leader||509-664-1726|
|Singleton, Peter||Research Wildlife Biologist||509-664-1732|