Center For Forest Disturbance Science (SRS RWU 4156)

The Center for Forest Disturbance Science is a research project of the US Forest Service Southern Research Station focused on the study of disturbance processes across scales and their risk of occurrence in order to develop innovative management strategies for reducing vulnerability of ecosystems to degradation.

News and Events

The Future of Fire in the South

Prescribed fire in Coastal Plain flatwoods. Photo by U.S. Forest Service.

In the U.S., most of the focus is on the catastrophic fires that regularly sweep across the western states, but wildfires actually occur more frequently in the Southeast, where rapid vegetation growth and fuel accumulation combine with frequent ignitions from lightning and humans. The South leads the nation in annual occurrences of wildfire, averaging approximately 45,000 wildfires per year. Continued population growth in the South increases the potential threat that wildfires pose to life and property. In addition, forestry and forestry related-industry represent a significant portion of the region’s economy, making each wildfire a potential loss to a local economy.

Read the full article here.

April 14, 2016 on CompassLive

21st Century Fire Ecology in the South

The infrared thermography platform developed by Forest Service researchers consists of a thermal imagery system combined with a pan-tilt system that allows high resolution images to be taken from directly over study plots. Photo by U.S. Forest Service.

U.S. Forest Service researchers are using an array of high technologies — high resolution infrared thermography, LiDAR, and photogrammetry — to reach a new level of understanding of the interactions among fuels, fire, and plant diversity that underlie the successful use of prescribed fire in longleaf pine ecosystems.

Read the full article here.

March 1, 2016 on CompassLive

Faces of Innovation: Dexter Strother

Dexter Strother digging a fire line. Photo by U.S. Forest Service.

Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Dexter Strother is an ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station's (SRS) Center for Forest Disturbance Science located in Athens, Georgia. Dexter is a young man on a mission who has accomplished a lot in his short career. He has worked for the Forest Service since 2007 and although it is not the career path he initially chose, things have worked out better than he ever thought possible.

Read the full article here.

January 27, 2016 on CompassLive

Forest Landscape Restoration Key for Addressing Climate Change

Forest Service scientist sharing best practice in forest landscape restoration at the Global Landscapes Forum in Paris. Photo by Gerda Wolfrum.

On November 30 through December 11, delegates from across the world converged on the United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Le Bourget, a suburb of Paris, with the goal of coming up with the universal agreement on addressing climate change announced this weekend. Forest conservation and restoration will definitely play a part in the strategies developed from the agreement.

Read the full article here.

December 15, 2015 on CompassLive

Guide to Prescribed Fire in Southern Ecosystems

Guide to Prescribed Fire in Southern Ecosystems

Prescribed burning is FIRE "applied in a skillful manner, under exacting weather conditions, in a definite place, to achieve specific results."

Printed on the inside cover of the Introduction to Prescribed Fire in Southern Ecosystemsthe sentence sets the tone for the revised guide developed by U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) scientistsTom Waldrop and Scott Goodrick.

Read the full article here.

September 23, 2015 on CompassLive

Ebola Virus Disease in Liberia

Many households in rural Liberia are more than 80 minutes from a healthcare facility. Travel — mostly by foot, bicycle, motorbike, bush taxi, truck, or some combination – is further limited by impassable roads. Only 7 percent of the 66,000 miles of roads in Liberia are paved. Photo by USAID.

A newly published research study by U.S. Forest Service researchers demonstrates that the social vulnerability indices used in climate change and natural hazards research can also be used in other contexts such as disease outbreaks.

Authors of the article include Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) researchers John StanturfScott Goodrick,Mel Warren, and Christie Stegall, and Susan Charnley from the Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station.

Read the full article here.

September 15, 2015 on CompassLive

Restoring Shortleaf Pine in the Southern Appalachians

Shortleaf pine restoration site at Sandy Mush Game Land in western North Carolina. Photo by Steve Norman.

On July 29-30, the Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists (CAFMS) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) hosted a workshop in Asheville, North Carolina, to discuss threats, barriers, and successes in relation to the restoration of shortleaf pine in the southern Appalachians. Over 80 participants from national forests and parks, state agencies, and nongovernmental organizations from across the southern Appalachian region attended.

Read the full article here.

August 19, 2015 on CompassLive

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Center for Forest Disturbance Science (SRS RWU 4156)

University of Georgia
Forestry Sciences Laboratory
320 Green Street
Athens, GA 30602

Clemson University
233 Lehotsky Hall
Clemson, SC 29634