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RMRS Strategic Priority

Disturbance Ecology

Knowledge discovery, knowledge development, modeling and synthesis to understand causes, consequences and interactions of fire, invasive species, insects, pathogens, climate change, and other disturbances and stressors, and ecological responses and outcomes of land uses and management actions.  This priority answers the question of what to expect from natural and anthropogenic disturbances, exploring why disturbances occur, characterizing their spatial and temporal distribution, and elucidating disturbance outcomes and consequences.

Fire Sciences

Knowledge discovery, knowledge development, modeling and synthesis as they relate to the understanding of physical fire processes, fuel science, and emissions source-strength.  The National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy provides important context for much of our work in wildland fire.

Human-Landscape Interactions

Natural disturbances and human demands for goods and services have altered the world’s forest and rangeland ecosystems.  Human-Landscape Interactions is knowledge discovery, knowledge development, modeling, and synthesis as they relate to the understanding of the interface between the health of the natural resources and the wants and demands of a growing human population base.

Inventory & Monitoring

The Inventory and Monitoring strategic priority involves the acquisition and analysis of information related to characterizing natural resources at different scales as well as the interaction of those resources with human values and interests.  It targets both current resource status as well as trends over time in the context of changing climate, different management strategies, and natural disturbance processes.  It includes the development of new inventory and monitoring methods and techniques – such as plot-based, remote sensing, or genetic approaches – as well as the application of various methodologies to local- and broad-scale assessments.  A major element of this strategic priority is the Interior West unit of the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) national program.  Major elements include components measured, approaches used, time frame, geographic extend, and scope of inventory.

Resilient Landscapes

This science area helps us understand how ecosystems respond to various pressures and in what situations these pressures result in tipping points or thresholds where the status changes in an undesirable and irreversible way.  It will help us understand how to maintain and restore resilient landscapes under a changing climate.  It involves integrating knowledge discovery and development, modeling, and syntheses to create adaptive management strategies to help maximize and sustain ecosystem and landscape integrity, function, and resilience into the future.  This also means it will integrate information on the effects of multiple interacting stressors on species, populations, landscapes, and ecosystems and utilize plant, animal, and vegetation ecology, entomology, pathology, genetics, soils, remote sensing, and monitoring information.

Species Endangerment

Species Endangerment research is knowledge discovery, knowledge development, modeling, and synthesis as they relate to the understanding of vulnerability, habitat relations, population ecology, and recovery.

Water & Watersheds

Discover and develop knowledge, models, and syntheses that predict responses to changing conditions, describe watershed processes, and assess effects of landslides and erosion.  The 2011-2016 Strategic Plan for Forest Service Research & Development – Water, Air, and Soil Strategic Program Area establishes relevant context for our work in the Water and Watersheds Strategic Priority area.