The Sustainability Science Team (SST) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service Sustainable Operations Initiative is a 18-member virtual research and development team, located across five regions and four research stations of the USDA Forest Service. The team provides research, publication, systems analysis, and decision support to the Sustainable Operations program of USDA Forest Service Business Operations. This report examines the role of the SST in supporting ongoing agency developments in the emerging field of sustainability science. We provide an overview of current areas of research, including the broad themes of resource consumption, energy efficiency, and organizational change to promote sustainability. We review the mandates and structure of current programs and identify future opportunities. Six environmental footprint areas have been identified to guide activities of the SST: energy, water, waste, transportation, purchasing, and leadership. These six areas have been incorporated into the team’s research on life-cycle analysis, footprinting, cost-benefit analysis, return-on-investment analysis, assessment protocols, systems analysis, knowledge management strategies, and behavior-change impact analysis.
Patterson, Trista; Nicholls, David; Long Jonathan. 2015. Research and development portfolio of the sustainability science team national sustainable operations USDA Forest Service. Res. Note PNW-RN-572. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 18 p.