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Sonja Oswalt

Sonja Oswalt
Forest Resource Analyst
Inventory, Monitoring, and Assessment Research
4700 Old Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN 37919-5206
United States
Current Research
  • National-level analysis of forest resources for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
  • National-level analysis of forest resources for the Montreal Process global Sustainability Report
  • Forest Resources of Mississippi and Louisiana
  • Changes in forest conditions in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley
  • Invasive plants in forest communities
Smith, W. Brad; Cuenca Lara, Rubí Angélica; Delgado Caballero, Carina Edith; Godínez Valdivia, Carlos Isaías; Kapron, Joseph S.; Leyva Reyes, Juan Carlos; Meneses Tovar, Carmen Lourdes; Miles, Patrick D.; Oswalt, Sonja N.; Ramírez Salgado, Mayra; Song, Xilong Alex; Stinson, Graham; Villela Gaytán, Sergio Armando. 2018. The North American Forest Database: going beyond national-level forest resource assessment statistics. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 190(6): 635-.
Past Research

My past research includes changing songbird populations in the U.S. Virgin Islands, impacts of sedimentation and "valley plugs" on forest communities in West Tennessee, Invasive plant impacts in forest communities, and various national analyses.

Schulz, Bethany; Oswalt, Sonja; Moser, W. Keith. 2008. Vegetation Inventory Data: How Much is Enough?. In: McWilliams, Will; Moisen, Gretchen; Czaplewski, Ray; comps. 2008. 2008 Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Symposium; October 21-23, 2008; Park City, UT. Proc. RMRS-P-56CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 1 CD. Oswalt, Sonja N.;Brandeis, Thomas J.; Dimick, Britta P. 2006. Phytosociology of Vascular Plants on an International Biosphere Reserve: Virgin Islands National Park, St. John, US Virgin Islands. Caribbean Journal of Science, Vol. 42, No. 1, :53-66, Oswalt, Sonja N.; Oswalt, Christopher M. 2008. Relationships between common forest metrics and realized impacts of Hurricane Katrina on forest resources in Mississippi. Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 255: 1692-1700
Research Interest

I am interested in landscape level analyses, particularly in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley. I enjoy wildlife-habitat dynamics as well as investigating the impacts of invasive plants in forest communities.

Oswalt, S.N. 2017. Forests of Louisiana, 2014. Resource Update FS–117. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 4 p. Padley, Eunice A.; Oswalt, Sonja N. 2016. Overview of forest conditions in coastal counties. In: Stringer, Christina E.; Krauss, Ken W.; Latimer, James S., eds. 2016.  In: Stringer, Christina E.; Krauss, Ken W.; Latimer, James S., eds. 2016. Headwaters to estuaries: advances in watershed science and management -Proceedings of the Fifth Interagency Conference on Research in the Watersheds. March 2-5, 2015, North Charleston, South Carolina. e-General Technical  Report  SRS-211. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 1 p.
  • University of Tennessee, M.S., Wildlife and Fisheries Science with Minor in Statistics, 2003
  • University of Tennessee, B.S., Botany, 1998
Professional Experience
  • Forester,  USDA Forest Service SRS-FIA,  2004 - Current
    Forest resource analysis for Mississippi, Louisiana, and national and global reporting processes.
  • Research Associate,  University of Tennessee,  2003 - 2004
    Pilot test and evaluate Phase 3 understory vegetation protocol for USFS-SRS Forest Inventory and Analysis
  • Graduate Assistant,  University of Tennessee,  2001 - 2003
    Researched the effects of coarse sedimentation on floodplain vegetation in the southeastern coastal plain, subsequent effects on wildlife populations, and restoration options.
  • Associate Scientist,  Breedlove, Dennis, and Young Environmental Consultants,  2000 - 2001
    Rare plant surveys, wetland mitigation, GIS Mapping, environmental assessments, education programs for high schools
Professional Organizations
  • Member,  Society of American Foresters (SAF),  2014 - Current
  • Local Representative,  Civil Rights Committee,  2012 - Current
    Local representative on the outreach and cultural engagement team; newsletter co-editor
  • Alternate Correspondent,  United Nations, Food And Agriculture Organization, North American Forestry Commission,  2005 - Current
    Alternate Correspondent for the United States, as appointed by the Chief of the U.S. Forest Service
  • Invited Lecturer,  University of Tennessee,  2004 - Current
    Invited lecturer to Forestry fall and spring camp for wetland ecology and/or invasive plants
Awards & Recognition
  • Performance award, 2014
    Superior performance
  • Appreciation award, 2014
    Contribution to station Civil Rights Committee
  • Performance award, 2011
    Superior performance
  • Spot Award, 2008
    Acting supervisor
  • Directors Award, 2005
    Contributions to integration of phase 3 with phase 2 in FIA
Featured Publications
Other Publications
Research Highlights

Potential to Increase Carbon Sequestration with Tree Planting

Year: 2020
Almost one-third of Earth’s total land area is comprised of forest, which is also the largest terrestrial carbon sink. A Northern Research Station scientist and his partners have established that fully stocking the Nation’s understocked forests could increase carbon sequestration by about 20 percent...

Forest Resources of the United States, 2017

Year: 2019
Forest Resources of the United States, 2017, is part of a series of General Technical Reports that provide information to the Resources Planning Act reporting process, as well as providing official statistics for the Global Forest Resources Assessment produced by the United Nations. The report summa...