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W. Keith Moser

W. Keith Moser
Research Forester (Silviculturist) and Scientist-in-Charge, Fort Valley Experimental Forest
Forest and Woodland Ecosystems
2500 S. Pine Knoll Drive
Flagstaff, AZ 86001-6381
United States
Current Research

I am a Research Forester in the Rocky Mountain Research Station's Forests and Woodland Ecosystems Science Program located in Flagstaff, AZ. I plan and conduct research on long-term forest productivity and landscape processes in aspen, pinyon-juniper, ponderosa pine, and mixed conifer forests with an emphasis on knowledge of the adaptive capacity of these ecosystems to novel climatic and disturbance conditions. This work is disseminated through tailgate meetings, tours, workshops, informal presentations, editorial pieces, scientific meetings and proceedings, and refereed journals. I am also the Scientist in Charge (SIC) of the Fort Valley Experimental Forest. Besides my administrative role, I also have responsibilities for coordinating intra- and extramural research and resulting activities that are conducted on the Experimental Forest. Currently, I am investigating relationships between species and structural diversity vs. productivity, patterns of forest response to abiotic and biotic (including non-native invasive plants) disturbance cascades, and different metrics of long-term sustainability. I am working on landscape change resulting from afforestation of pastoral landscapes after de facto abandonment. I am also interested in managing for multiple benefits of agroforestry landscapes.

Research Interest
My work is centered on disturbance and ecosystem stability and how management actions can impact resilience and resistance at the stand, landscape, and regional level, particularly at the environmental extremes (flooding, drought, cold). As part of this theme, I am interested in issues related to climate impacts, forest health, and invasives, both native and nonnative. I am interested in examining the likelihood of biotic disturbances and the forest structures that result, along with devising strategies for avoidance or amelioration.
Why This Research Is Important

Coming from a forest management background, I am interested in the connection between ecological processes and policy and management actions. Research in forest ecology often finds itself constrained to a particular scale: individual plant, landscape, biome or region. If the latest knowledge is to be properly transferred to on-the-ground actions, then one must translate said knowledge into a scale and format that is useful to managers. Whether using imagery from satellites, FIA data or stand exams, then end result must be an action (on non-action) on the ground that promotes the goals and objectives of the landowner. My intent is to document trends in landscape change and, in so doing, examine patterns of disturbance and sustainability across spatial scales, thus providing value to local foresters seeking explanations for observations of disturbance, health, growth, and structure on their properties.

  • Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, Senior Executive Fellow, Policy and Leadership, 2016
  • Yale University, D.F. (Doctor Of Forestry), Forest stand dynamics and ecophysiology, 1994
  • Duke University, M.F. (Master Of Forestry), Forest productivity, 1986
  • Duke University, M.B.A., Operations management, 1982
  • North Carolina State University, B.A., Business management, 1980
Professional Experience
  • Research Forester (Silviculturist),  USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Forest and Woodland Ecosystems Science,  2013 - Current
  • Senior Fulbright Specialist, Agroforestry Education,  Union Christian College, Umiam Khwan, Ri Bhoi District, Meghalaya-793122 India,  2017 - 2017
  • Research Forester,  USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Forest Inventory and Analysis,  2003 - 2013
  • Supervisory Biologist,  USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Eastern Forests Environmental Threat Assessment Center,  2012 - 2012
  • Research Forester (Silviculture),  Missouri Department of Conservation,  2000 - 2003
  • Ecological Forestry Research Scientist,  Tall Timbers Research Station,  1995 - 2000
  • Visiting Postdoctoral Scientist,  Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany,  1994 - 1994
  • Commercial Analyst and Purchasing Engineer,  Westvaco Corporation, Fine Papers and Worldwide Divisions,  1986 - 1989
  • Planning Manager,  Burlington Industries, Sportswear Division,  1982 - 1984
Professional Organizations
  • President,  International Society of Tropical Foresters,  2019 - Current
  • Deputy Coordinator,  International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO),  2019 - Current
    Formerly WP 1.01.13 Long-term Research on Forest Ecosystem Management in Northeast Asia
  • Deputy Coordinator,  International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO),  2019 - Current
  • Fellow, 2011,  Society of American Foresters (SAF),  1984 - Current
  • Editor-In-Chief,  Forest Science,  2011 - 2019
  • Editor/Editor-In-Chief,  Journal of Forestry,  2005 - 2012
Awards & Recognition
  • National Award for Outstanding Contributions in Silviculture, 2019
    Outstanding contributions in the field of Silviculture at the National Silviculture workshop, Bemidji, Minnesota. This award is given biannually by my professional peers from throughout the United States.
  • Southwestern Society of American Foresters Outstanding Contribution to Forestry, 2017
    Recognized for exemplary effort and contributions to the profession by working to promote the inclusion of sound forest science in forestry.
  • Fellow, Society of American Foresters, 2011
  • Minnesota Society of American Foresters Outstanding Member, 2006
    Recognized contributions to SAF in scientific administration (Working Groups and Forest Science and Technology Board) and communications (Editor, Journal of Forestry) roles.
  • Thurn und Taxis Foerderpreis fuer die Forstwissenschaft, 1994
    Traveling postdoctoral fellowship awarded by the German family of Thurn und Taxis to one exceptional graduating doctoral student per year.
Featured Publications
Other Publications
Research Highlights

Wolf Recovery and the Future of Wisconsin's Forests: A Trophic Link

Year: 2010
Overabundant white-tailed deer populations have serious negative effects on understory plant community structure and composition. Wolves, which are top predators of deer, have been recolonizing central Wisconsin since the early 1990s. NRS scientist Keith Moser and partners from the University of Geo...

Long-term Thinning Alters Ponderosa Pine Reproduction in Northern Arizona

Year: 2016
This study tested the relationship between overstory density and seedling survival in ponderosa pine forests. They used a long-term ( more than 50 years) experiment in northern Arizona to investigate impacts of repeated stand thinning that maintained different growing stock basal areas on early seed...