My research interests are in understanding how fire impacts forested ecosystems across temporal and spatial scales. Working at large spatial scales is facilitated by also expanding the temporal scale. I use dendrochronological techniques that allow me to re-construct fire history and age structure patterns both in stands and across landscapes. The next step is to apply the information we have learned from historical data to contemporary landscapes to restore both forest structure and natural fires.
One aspect that is unique to the United States in terms of land management is the concept of public lands. That is, lands that are managed for the good of the people. Public lands are a critical part of American life; therefore it is the responsibility of land management agencies to sustain these lands for current and future generations. A critical part of managing for sustainability is understanding the historical processes (including disturbances) that our current ecosystems evolved with. Our job as scientists is to provide managers information, knowledge and advice that will allow them to make land management decisions that will result in healthy and sustainable forest.