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Andrew T. Hudak

Andrew T. Hudak
Research Forester
Forest and Woodland Ecosystems
Forestry Sciences Laboratory
1221 South Main Street
Moscow, ID 83843
United States
Current Research

I recently completed a landscape-level forest biomass and carbon sequestration assessment using repeat field and lidar surveys. Now I am expanding the scope of this work to examine relationships between forest canopy structure, wildlife habitat and biodiversity, and coupled carbon and water cycles. My collaborators and I are working to improve LiDAR data analysis capabilities for vegetation applications. I also work with other fire scientists to relate postfire effects to prefire fuels and active fire behavior on prescribed fires, where it's safe and logistically feasible to measure these variables before, during, and after the fire. An improved fundamental understanding of fire as a process will advance fire science and help fire managers make better decisions. I also study the effectiveness of fuel treatments for mitigating wildfire severity.

Past Research

My PhD research examined the ecological causes and consequences of historic bush encroachment in South African savannas. I retain an active interest in savanna fire ecology and the relationship between vegetation pattern and fire process in both forest and rangeland ecosystems.

Research Interest
My research interests include landscape, vegetation, and fire ecology; remote sensing of vegetation patterns and processes; forest and rangeland ecology and management; empirical modeling of spatially explicit ecological data.
Why This Research Is Important

Forest managers need better tools and information on forest biomass and carbon sequestration. Fuel and fire managers need better information on how best to manipulate forest fuels to mitigate the risk of severe fire and to cope with severe fire effects. Airborne and satellite remote sensing in combination with appropriately sampled ground data can provide this needed information in the form of maps.

  • University of Colorado, Ph.D., Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology, 1999
  • University of Minnesota, B.S., Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, 1990
  • Itasca Community College, A.A., Liberal Arts, 1987
Professional Experience
  • Research Forester,  Rocky Mountain Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture ,  2001 - Current
  • Research Ecologist,  Pacific Northwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture ,  1999 - 2001
  • Graduate Research/Teaching Assistant,  University of Colorado,  1993 - 1999
  • Secondary School Science Teacher,  U.S. Peace Corps,  1990 - 1992
Awards & Recognition
  • Science Delivery Award, 2020
    Actively engaging stakeholders to obtain and add value to their contributed lidar-based inventory project data for regional forest biomass estimation
  • Technology Transfer Publication, 2012
    Review of Fuel Treatment Effectiveness in Forests and Rangelands and a Case Study from the 2007 Megafires in Central Idaho USA
  • Bridge Builder Award, 2010
    College of Natural Resources Bridge Builder Award for collaborative efforts with students and faculty of the University of Idaho’s College of Natural Resources
  • Certificate of Appreciation, 2009
    Certificate of Appreciation for Excellence in Scientific Outreach at the McCall Outdoor Science School. Idaho NSF EPSCoR Water Resources in a Changing Climate Program
  • Extra Effort Award, 2003
    Extra effort award for quickly and efficiently collecting ground truth data for the hyperspectral image analysis project immediately after the southern California wildfires
Featured Publications
Other Publications
Research Highlights

Laser Technology and Modeling Tools for Precision Forest Inventory, Monitoring, and Planning

Year: 2016
Forest Service scientists and their partners are developing relationships between LiDAR estimates and traditional forestry measures collected on the ground to develop maps of forest biomass and predict changes over time. Sound forest policy and management decisions to mitigate rising atmospheric CO2...

Prescribed Fires: Mapping Fuels and Energy Release Across the Landscape

Year: 2016
Pine needles, deciduous leaves, and downed woody debris accumulate in the absence of fire along with grass and other dead plant material. This build-up of woody and herbaceous fuels increases the risk of hazardous wildfires. Forest Service researchers and their partners mapped fuels using airborne l...

Forest structure relates to plant diversity, fuels, and fire regime

Year: 2017
Forest Service researchers associated LiDAR data from Eglin Air Force Base in Florida with field plot data and fire management records. They determined that understory structure and diversity characteristics are coupled to overstory tree density, basal area, and dominant tree species mapped from LiD...

Rethinking how we measure forest fuels for advancing wildland fire science and management

Year: 2018
Land managers depend on quality fire research to advance their understanding of wildland fire behavior. Cutting-edge fire behavior models output fire spread, fire intensity, and smoke plumes in three-dimensions, but forest fuels, which are used as model inputs, are not measured in similar dimensions...

Can fuel treatments mitigate wildfire effects

Year: 2011
Did a real-time test of fuel treatments help mitigate the effects of a large wildfire