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Jesse Caputo

Jesse Caputo
Research Forester
Forest Inventory & Analysis
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003-4230
United States
Research Interest

Private landowners — individuals, families, trusts, corporations, NGOs and other private organizations — own nearly 60% of the forested land in the U.S., and the decisions made by these landowners overwhelmingly influence the ecological trajectory of our nation's forest resource. Jesse's research focuses on developing a better understanding of these landowners: their needs, motivations, objectives, and activities. To do so, he assists in implementing and analyzing the National Woodland Owner Survey (NWOS), a product of the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program. Some of his specific roles with the NWOS team include managing the NWOS database (NWOS-DB) and raw NWOS data; calculating, publishing, disseminating basic population-level estimates of private landowner attributes; and maintaining and developing the NWOS Dashboard (NWOS-DASH). Much of Jesse's research incorporates linking NWOS data with spatial data and/or ancillary quantitative data, in order to leverage the unique information captured by the NWOS within a larger and richer data ecosystem.

Another particular area of interest for Jesse is understanding what makes landowners "tick" — i.e., using social science theory and techniques in order to better understand how owning forestland influences the identity, values, and wellbeing of landowners. This includes research into the ecosystem services — or the social and physical benefits — that private forests deliver to landowners and their family, friends, and neighbors.

Other Publications