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David N. Wear

Former Employee
David N. Wear
Center for Integrated Forest Science and Synthesis
3041 Cornwallis Rd.
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
United States
Current Research

Research focuses on developing natural resource futures, conducting broad scale assessments, and supporting policy discussions

Natural Resource Futures: Research focuses on understanding the dynamics that shape future forests and developing projections of forest conditions, uses, and values that can support policy analysis and deliberations. Studies address multiple mechanisms of change including: land use choices, forest management choices, climate influences on forest conditions, and biological dynamics. Most recently focused on projecting changes in the carbon content of US forests.

Natural Resource Assessments: Assessments support the application of research to regional and US-wide questions regarding natural resources. Methods include public involvement, scenario design, science synthesis as well as leading teams to complete regional multidisciplinary assessments and contributing to national assessments. Most recently focused on downscaling projection approaches to address water issues for large river basins.

Approaches: Research applies methods from microeconomics, statistics/econometrics, forest inventory, forest biology, and simulation modeling. Policy analysis demands that methods accurately reflect both the economic mechanism and biological context of natural resource decisions.

Education
  • University of Montana, Ph.D., Forest Management and Economics, 1987
  • Duke University, M.F., Resource Systems Science, 1983
  • University of Montana, B.A., Botany, 1981
Professional Experience
  • Project Leader,  Center for Integrated Forest Science, US Forest Service, Southern Research Station,  2012 - Current
  • Project Leader,  Forest Economics and Policy, USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station,  2006 - 2012
  • Project Leader,  Economics of Forest Management and Protection, USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station,  1995 - 2006
  • Research Forest Economist,  Economics of Forest Management and Protection, USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station,  1987 - 1995
  • Operations Research Analyst,  Lolo National Forest, US Forest Service. Missoula, Montana,  1983 - 1987
Awards & Recognition
  • Award for Forest Science, Society of American Foresters., 2016
    For distinguished individual research in the quantitative, economic, managerial, and/or social sciences that has resulted in substantial advances in forestry.
  • Secretary of Agriculture Honor Award for Personal and Professional Excellence, 2011
    For exemplary leadership and scientific contributions significantly influencing the policy and management decisions that ensure the sustainability of natural resources in the southern United States and beyond.
  • Directors Award for Science Delivery, Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service., 2011
    Co-leader, Southern Forest Futures Project. For remarkable leadership, development and delivery of the landmark analysis of Southern Forest Futures informing policy and management choices in the South.
  • Distinguished Science Award, USDA Forest Service, 2008
    For exceptional research work in the advancement of areas of integrated resource assessment, land use change modeling, and the analysis of forest policies, while contributing directly to the public discourse regarding conservation and sustainability of th
  • Directors Distinguished Science Award, Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, 2008
    For exceptional research work in the advancement of areas of integrated resource assessment, land use change modeling, and the analysis of forest policies, while contributing directly to the public discourse regarding conservation and sustainability of th
  • Directors Award for Customer Service, Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, 2006
    For “being proactive in providing excellent service to key partners through the conduct of innovative research to answer highly important questions regarding major changes in the forest economy.”
  • Director’s Award for Sustained Excellence in Science, Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, 2002
    For sustained excellence in developing and executing a research program that addresses the sustainability of multiple resource values.
  • Outstanding Paper in the Discipline of Landscape Ecolog, 2000
    Outstanding Paper in the Discipline of Landscape Ecology, given by the International Association for Landscape Ecology, U.S. Regional Chapter for: Wear, D.N., and P. Bolstad. 1998. Land Use Changes in Southern Appalachian Landscapes: Spatial Analysis and
  • Chiefs Ecosystem Management Award, 1997
    ...as a team leader for the Southern Appalachian Assessment.
  • Vice President Gore Hammer Award, 1997
    ...as a team leader for the Southern Appalachian Assessment.
Featured Publications
Other Publications
Research Highlights

Understanding how forest area will change in response to competing land uses

Year: 2018
Strong economic growth in the southeastern U.S. has led to a shift in rural lands to urban uses, while changes in agricultural markets have driven the conversion of crop lands to forest uses. Economic theory suggests that higher timber values should discourage urbanization – but by how much? 

Study Forecasts Changes in Southern Forests Between 2010 and 2060

Year: 2011
In May 2011, the Forest Service and the Southern Group of State Foresters unveiled the SFFP, a multi-year research effort that among other things projects that the South may lose 23 million acres of forests over the next 50 years.

Carbon Accumulation by U.S. Forests May Slow Over the Next 25 Years

Year: 2016
U.S. forests currently help offset carbon emissions and reduce the overall costs of achieving emission targets but that could change over the next 25 years. The accumulation of carbon stored in U.S. forests may slow in the future, primarily due to land use change and forest aging, according to findi...

Forest Service Scientists Assess Potential Impacts of Eucalyptus on Water Resources in the Southern U.S.

Year: 2014
At the request of the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Center for Integrated Forest Science led interdisciplinary analyses to predict where freeze- tolerant Eucalyptus could be planted and assess the potential impacts on water resources. Novel econometric models predicted the pot...

Science in supports of the National Climate Assessment

Year: 2014
A synthesis of research findings provided the foundation for the analysis of climate change on forest conditions, land use, and forest carbon in the Third National Climate Assessment released by the White House in 2014.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/research/about/people/dwear