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Christopher W. Woodall

Christopher W. Woodall
Research Forester
Forest Inventory & Analysis
271 Mast Rd
Durham, NH 03824
United States
Current Research

As a Research Forester within the Forest Inventory and Analysis program I assist with implementing various aspects of regional/national forest inventories ranging from inventory design and field techniques to value-added analyses and scientific exploration of emerging forest trends.  In addition to my lines of science, I coordinate a regional research cooperative (Northeastern States Research Cooperative) that brings together federal, state, local, and private entities to advance forest science for the well being of forests and communities in the Northern Forest.

Research Interest

In addition to my coordination of a regional research cooperative and national inventory initiatives, impactful research assigned to me includes refining our quantification and understanding of the role of forest dead wood in forest stand dynamics, production, and carbon cycles.  In addition to dead wood exploration, I investigate the refinement of forest stand dynamics metrics, such as stocking indices, based on emerging theories of ecology and the availability of big data. Finally, I examine trends in tree regeneration coupled with assessments of tree range dynamics.  Taken together, I operate at the intersection of applied forest ecology and big data (i.e., forest inventories) to enable US forests and associated communities/economies to be resilient and adaptable during a period of increasing global change.

Why This Research Is Important
My research, leadership, and analyses fill critical information needs regarding forest ecosystems to the general public, resource managers, scientists, policy makers, economists, and a wide range of other natural resource specialists. Success in this mission is crucial to assessing the sustainability of not only forest ecosystems in the northern United States, but also the health of our Nation's forests. Research outputs provide Forest Service customers and clients with crucial information and provide improved techniques for data application to a range of resource inventory and monitoring needs (e.g., national carbon stock assessment and national forest stand relative density).
  • University of Montana, Ph.D., Silviculture, 2000
  • University of Montana, M.S., Silviculture, 1997
  • Clemson University, B.S., Forestry, 1995
Professional Experience
  • Adjunct Professor of Forestry,  University of Minnesota,  2008 - Current
Professional Organizations
  • Associate Editor,  Forest Science,  2010 - Current
  • Affiliate Member,  Society of American Foresters (SAF),  1991 - Current
Featured Publications
Other Publications
Research Highlights

A Tale of Two Forest Carbon Inventories: How Land-Use Measurements Affect National Greenhouse Gas Inventories

Year: 2016
In a tale of two different forest carbon (C) inventories, the epilogue is that these C inventories are for the same forest but with different authors (i.e., land use versus cover) that can result in starkly contrasting conclusions in regard to forest C dynamics with serious implications for policy m...

New Tree Volume and Biomass Estimation Procedures Implemented for the Yearly U.S. National Greenhouse Gas Inventory

Year: 2012
New procedures have improved the accuracy, reliability, and transparency of the U.S. National Greenhouse Gas Inventory of U.S. forests and biomass assessments

Analysis Reveals Cyclical and Structural Changes in Forest Products Industry

Year: 2012
Structural changes may be difficult to reverse but prospects for growth exist in forest product exports and wood-based biorefining

First Inventory of Standing Dead Trees Across the United States Developed

Year: 2012
Study compares differences between previously modeled estimates and new empirical estimates

Can Tree Species Rapidly Adapt to Climate Change by Migrating?

Year: 2013
New techniques to monitor tree ranges in forests of the eatern U.S. suggest that current ranges may not be shifting along their range margins in response to current climate change.

Risk Matrix Highlights Knowledge Gaps in Forest Carbon Stocks

Year: 2013
Forest Service scientists propose a basic approach to assess global change risks to forest carbon stocks in the U.S., which builds on the current U.S. forest inventory coupled with current and projected climatic regions

If a Tree Falls in a Forest, How Long Does It Lie There

Year: 2014
Dead wood is critical to nutrient cycling, carbon dynamics, tree regeneration, wildlife habitat, and wildfire behavior in forests. Forest Service scientists conducted one of the first large-scale studies of downed dead wood decay rates and found that the residence time of dead wood was dependent on...

The Next Generation of Forest Analysis: Integrating Tree Functional Traits With the “Big Data” of Forest Inventories

Year: 2015
Over recent years, plant traits such as shade tolerance or wood density have emerged as valuable variables in interpreting plant population dynamics. As forest dynamics such as growth and mortality are central to forest conservation across the United States, integrating tree traits into forest inven...

Better Estimates of Carbon Inventory in Dead Wood Now Available

Year: 2013
Researchers with the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program have sampled downed and dead woody material (DWM) since 2002 so most U.S. states now have a complete cycle of DWM data. As a result, for the first time, researchers used field measurements to obtain estimates of DWM biomass and carbon ...

Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration alters forest stand development, so do management guidelines need revision?

Year: 2017
A decade ago, increased atmospheric carbon dioxide was at the heart of the Aspen Free-Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment Experiment. Forest Service researchers in Rhinelander, Wisc., wanted to know if these increases affected forest growth. What they discovered raises the possibility that principles of s...