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One of the greatest strengths of the Center for Integrated Forest Science is its innovative research structure. Co-Leaders David Wear and James Vose tackle complex research questions by building teams from faculty in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at North Carolina State University (NCSU FER) and scientists at the US Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS).

Please Meet...  

Synergy within these teams is enhanced by CIFS's inclusion of postdoctoral fellows and students, at both the undergraduate and graduate level, into the research process. These young scholars are given the opportunity to work closely with top professionals and academicians, while their inclusion into the process brings fresh perspectives and diversity to the the working teams.

The combination of leadership from Drs. Wear and Vose, along with the integrated, multi-disciplinary network of affiliates, creates a research structure with both focus and flexibility, allowing CIFS to meet urgent research needs and address emerging issues in forest science.

CIFS Team Spotlights

Bob Abt

Bob AbtProfessor of Forest Economics, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University

Bob is a professor of forest economics at NC State University where he teaches natural resource management and forest economics. He has a business degree from Georgia Tech, a master’s in forestry from the University of Tennessee, and a PhD in wildland resource science (forest economics) from Cal Berkeley. He is a member of the EPA Science Advisory Board for bio-genic carbon, and has 25 years of experience in bio-economic modeling of forest resources and markets.

He developed the Sub-Regional Timber Supply (SRTS) modeling framework initially for the USDA Forest Service in the South’s Fourth Forest study. Later extensions and applications of the model were funded by DOE, NASA, USDA Forest Service, and EPA.

Related to CIFS research areas, SRTS has been used to evaluate the potential impact of climate change and other environmental stressors of southern forests and forest carbon.

Interest in use of the modeling framework for strategic planning led to the formation of the Southern Forest Resource Assessment Consortium (SOFAC) at NC State, of which Bob is Co-Director.  SOFAC is a consortium of over 25 forest resource dependent entities including most of the major wood consumers and corporate landowners (TIMOs and REITs) in the South. In the last decade, his work has focused on the potential impact of bio-energy demand on the sustainability of the resource and traditional wood dependent industries. Bob has provided consultation on this topic to the National Academy of Sciences, the Pinchot Institute, the Heinz Center, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, EPA and the Southern Agriculture and Forestry Energy Resources Alliance.  In addition he has provided resource analysis for the states of Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, the Southern Group of State Foresters, the Duke University Climate Change Partnership.

Bob also contributed to the USDA-SRS Forest Service Southern Forest Futures Project, co-led by David Wear, that synthesizes, analyzes and forecasts how southern forests could be altered by future demographic, economic and biological factors. Details are provided in the Southern Forest Futures Project Technical Report.


Ryan Emanuel

Ryan EmanuelAssociate Professor of Hydrology, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University

Ryan is a North Carolina native who earned a B.S. in Geology from Duke University before relocating to neighboring Virginia for several years. He received a M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia, where he studied hydrology and carbon cycling. Ryan joined the faculty at NC State University in 2010. His current work focuses broadly on carbon and water cycles in terrestrial ecosystems with emphasis on watershed and hillslope structure, vegetation structure and function, and implications for climate change.

Ryan heads the Ecohydrology and Watershed Science Lab at NC State, where research centers on quantifying mass and energy exchange between vegetated landscapes and the atmosphere at scales ranging from individual leaves to entire watersheds; exploring the interface of soils, vegetation and the atmosphere in a watershed context; and understanding water and biogeochemical cycles in the face of global change.

With CIFS, he is involved in ecohydrology research on the Lumber River and is very involved in the educational and outreach components of the project.

He is an enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and was featured in the Spring 2012 issue of Winds of Change magazine of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES). Download the article here.

Learn more about Ryan through his Ecoydrology and Watershed Science Lab website that includes more about his research, teaching and outreach.


Katherine Martin

K MartinAssistant Professor of Ecology, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University

The College of Natural Resources at NC State University welcomed Katie to the faculty in August 2016, and will be part of an initiative to further enhance the department's and college's interdisciplinary approach to solving natural resource challenges.  Katie was an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Fellow with CIFS. She completed her MS in Ecology with The University of Georgia & J.W. Jones Ecological Research Center and her PhD in Environment & Natural Resources from The Ohio State University.

Her research is centered on ecosystem services, the benefits natural systems provide to society, including clean and abundant fresh water, carbon sequestration and biodiversity. In particular, her research asks how rapid anthropogenic changes impact ecosystem services and how management interventions might mitigate any undesirable changes. From a strong foundation in field based plant and forest ecology, she now primarily uses simulation modeling techniques to examine larger spatial and temporal scales.

Within CIFS while working with her ORISE mentor Jim Vose, Katie has been applying RHESSys to examine the possible futures for water resources in the southeast, from the Mountains to the Coast.

Recently, she presented at the Ecological Society of American Annual Meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, regarding some of her work with Jim Vose and David Wear on the role of forest management can play for water resources sustainability in the context of climate and land use change. See more about her presentation, "Can forest management increase watershed drought resilience?"

Research Keywords:
alternate states, adaptive management, CENTURY, climate change, community dynamics, disturbance, eastern hemlock, ecology, ecohydrology, fire, forests, frequent-fire ecosystems, invasive species, LANDIS-II, land use change, landscape ecology, multivariate statistics, restoration ecology, RHESSys, riparia, structural equation modelling (SEM), simulation modelling, water resources, wetlands

Learn more about Katie from her blog: martinkatherinel.weebly.com


Stacy A. C. Nelson

Stacy NelsonAssociate Professor of Geospatial Science and Technology, Center for Geospatial Analytics and Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University

Stacy is an associate professor in the College of Natural Resources’ Center for Geospatial Analytics, the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, and the Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Science Program at North Carolina State University, since 2002. His research interests focus on the use of geospatial technologies to address both regional and local-scale questions of land use and land cover change and the impact this change has on aquatic ecosystems. Stacy earned a B.S. in biology from Jackson State University (1990) in Mississippi. He completed a master’s degree from the College of William and Mary’s school of marine science, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (1995). His Ph.D. was completed from Michigan State University’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (2002), where Stacy attended graduate school as a NASA graduate research fellow. During 2010, Stacy served a year-long Federal Intergovernmental Personnel Act appointment within the National Headquarters of the USDA Forest Service’s Office of Civil Rights in Washington D.C. In D.C., Stacy worked with the Forest Service and multiple agencies to expand working partnerships between majority-serving and minority-serving Land-Grant Universities in an effort to increase shared research capacities, curricula, and diversity among institutions.Dr. Nelson conducting research

Stacy has also taught marine and biological science courses at Southern University’s New Orleans campus. Currently at NC State, Stacy teaches advanced GIS courses, both in traditional on-campus and distance education formats. Stacy currently supervises several masters and doctoral students, and post-doctoral scientists working on remote sensing and GIS-related research projects ranging from land use and land cover change analysis, fisheries and wildlife habitat assessment, and hydrology and water quality analyses.  In addition, he continues to work with many organizations (USDA Forest Service, National Science Foundation, Organization for Tropical Studies Advisory Committee for Academic Diversity, Minorities Striving and Pursuing Higher Degrees of Success, NCSU’s Minority Graduate Education Program, Western Washington University’s Multicultural Initiative in the Marine Sciences, NSF’s Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate, the Mid-Eastern Alliance for Minority Participation, Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences, etc.) to expand opportunities for underrepresented and underserved groups in undergraduate and graduate education.

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