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Stephen R. Shifley

Stephen R. Shifley
Emeritus Research Forester
Sustainable Management of Central Hardwood Ecosystems and Landscapes
202 Natural Resources Bldg., University of Missouri-Columbia
Columbia, MO 65211-7260
United States
573-875-5341 x232
Current Research
I am working with a team of scientists to forecast long-term, large-scale changes in Midwestern forest landscapes that result from natural disturbances and from alternative harvesting practices. I am using information on regional, national, and global patterns of wood consumption, forest growth, and timber harvest to identify issues related to sustainable forest management. I am working to understand factors associated with oak mortality and on methods to minimize its impact.
Research Interest
I will continue to work on issues related to forest sustainability and landscape-scale, cumulative impacts of forest management decisions. In the coming years I will place more emphasis on fire effects (wildfire and prescribed fire) and bio-energy production as it relates to theses issues.
Why This Research Is Important
Forecasting landscape change with simulation models is an essential quantitative tool for understanding the large-scale, long-term, cumulative effects of forest management. This knowledge is required for management of National Forests and equally crucial for understanding the combined effect of seemingly independent management decisions by thousands of private forestland owners on a single landscape. It is important to consider the effects of consumption of wood products on forest resources at home and abroad. In the U.S. we often transfer impacts of harvesting and consumption elsewhere and fail to consider the broader implications for forest sustainability.
  • Purdue University, B.S., Forestry, 1976
  • Purdue University, M.S., Forestry, 1978
  • University of Minnesota, Ph.D., Forestry, 1990
Professional Organizations
  • Society of American Foresters (SAF),  Current
  • Conservation Federation of Missouri,  Current
  • Society for Conservation Biology, Missouri,  Current
Featured Publications
Other Publications
Research Highlights

Future Forests of the Northern United States

Year: 2016
The recent publication of Future Forests of the Northern United States and associated databases caps a 6-year effort to examine past trends, current conditions, and anticipated changes over the next 50 years for forests in the 20 northern states bounded by Maine, Maryland, Missouri, and Minnesota.

Second Edition Published of 'Oak Bible'---The Ecology and Silviculture of Oaks

Year: 2010
The second edition of The Ecology and Silviculture of Oaks was recently authored by retireed NRS scientist Paul Johnson (Columbia, MO) and NRS scientist Stephen Shifley), with their colleague Robert Rogers (University of Wisconsin--Stevens Point, Emeritus).

Report Details Trends and Current Conditions for Northern Forests

Year: 2012
Overarching issues include the interaction of forests and people, managing invasive species, sustaining biodiversity, and sustaining capacity for forest management

Big Changes Ahead Expected for Northern Forests

Year: 2014
Northern Forests, those in the 20 states bounded by Maine, Maryland, Missouri, and Minnesota, are in for some big changes in the next 50 years. Research under the Forest Service's Northern Forest Futures Project is identifying the drivers of forest change and projected patterns of change over the ne...

Forest Management Guidelines Help Improve and Sustain Missouri's Forest Resources

Year: 2014
Missouri landowners and resource managers need state-of-the-art, science-based knowledge of forest management planning, silviculture, and best management practices to guide their stewardship and use of Missouri's 15.5 million acres of forestland. Forests contribute significantly to the state econom...