Drought Assessment Wins Chief’s Award

Jim Vose accepts as team leader

At the award ceremony in Washington, DC, from left to right, Forest Service SRS Station Director Rob Doudrick, Director of Sustainable Forest Management Research Toral Patel-Weynand, Chief Thomas Tidwell, and Project Leader Jim Vose.
At the award ceremony in Washington, DC, from left to right, Forest Service SRS Station Director Rob Doudrick, Director of Sustainable Forest Management Research Toral Patel-Weynand, Chief Thomas Tidwell, and Project Leader Jim Vose.

On Thursday, December 8, Jim Vose, project leader of the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Center for Integrated Forest Science, was in Washington, DC, to accept a Chief’s Award – one of the highest honors in the Forest Service — in the category of “Sustaining Forests and Grasslands.” Vose accepted as leader of a team that the award honored for “understanding the impacts of drought on the nation’s forests and grasslands: providing a scientific foundation for effective management responses.”

Vose and fellow team members Charles Luce (Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station), Toral Patel-Weynand (Forest Service Washington Office), and James Clark (Duke University), developed a national assessment of the impacts of drought on the nation’s forests and rangelands that provides the foundation for developing science-based options that managers can use to increase the resiliency of U.S. forests and grasslands.

Findings are synthesized in the general technical report (GTR) published by the Forest Service, Effects of Drought on Forests and Rangelands in the United States: A Comprehensive Science Synthesis, and were featured in special issues of the scientific journals Global Change Biology and Forest Ecology and Management.

“Drought presents significant challenges for natural resource managers as they try to deal with the changing forest conditions and disturbance regimes that may result from it,” says Vose. “The knowledge developed and conveyed in the synthesis and scientific articles is critical, since effective management in the face of changing drought regimes requires not only an understanding of the impacts of drought, but also the ability to detect when and where droughts are occurring.”

More than 70 scientific experts from the Forest Service, other federal agencies, research institutions, and universities across the U.S. participated in the synthesis. The key issues addressed in the synthesis were identified from a series of virtual workshops with scientists and stakeholders.

The assessment and synthesis also provided critical information in support of the reauthorization of for the National Integrated Drought Information System and addressed the National Climate Assessment need for scientific information on drought.

Read more about the drought assessment.

For more information, email Jim Vose at jvose@fs.fed.us.

Access the latest publications by SRS scientists.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Receive weekly updates