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About the Center for Integrated Forest Science

View of Bad Fork Valley NCThe Center for Integrated Forest Science (CIFS) is a pioneering research program established within the USDA Forest Service’s Forest Service Research and Development program as a partnership between the Southern Research Station (SRS) and North Carolina State University. We create opportunities for meaningful scientific engagement among university students, at both the undergraduate and graduate level, faculty in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, and SRS scientists. Our research seeks to address complex questions that require understanding of both biophysical AND human dimensions, fusing aspects from the natural and social sciences.

The primary objectives of the Center are to increase SRS effectiveness in addressing policy-relevant, cross-disciplinary questions, and to develop new approaches to generating knowledge and research products.

Building on Strengths

Forest Service Research and Development has led a national forest research program with scientists working in several disciplines for more than 100 years. It maintains some of the best long term data sets on forest conditions in the world. It provides the only comprehensive, ground-based forest inventory system in the United States, a critical forest monitoring system since the 1930s. A network of Experimental Forests provides a framework for scientific investigations across a variety of ecosystem types and management regimes. Building on these strengths, the Center provides a mechanism for mobilizing this set of assets to address emerging policy and management questions.

A Unique Design

At its core, the Center is small, comprised of two senior scientists with more than 50 years of combined experience in Forest Science,  CIFS Co-Leaders David Wear and James Vose. Drs. Wear and Vose then build teams from the expertise of both NC State University faculty and students and a network of SRS scientists to tackle research questions. This network of scientists and professionals represents a broad range of scientific disciplines and research settings. A combination of teams and scientists on special assignment to the Center provides a flexible workforce to meet the needs at hand and anticipate future needs. Our unique structure is designed to:

  • Provide leadership from a small core of permanent scientists
  • Utilize a rotating staff of visiting scientists from SRS units and other institutions
  • Encourage innovative interdisciplinary research and synthesis
  • Develop stimulating research environments, including virtual environments

We encourage you to explore our current research highlights, browse our publications and presentations, and read the latest news being generated out of this truly unique research center.

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