From the station director
Welcome to the 2007 Forest Science in the South. As in the past few years, this summary of research highlights is accompanied by a DVD that provides more detail on specific accomplishments and products, each of which has a link for ordering online or downloading as a full-text publication.
I am pleased to say that we have completed the realignment of our scientific cadre into 15 units in 5 science areas, and a pioneering unit headed up by Ken Cordell, who will now have the freedom to concentrate on his world-class research into societal trends and demographics. Charters have been completed and approved for all science areas and research units, and administrative support is beginning to gel within the units. Along with these organizational changes, we have placed a greater emphasis on inclusiveness and internal communications in a renewed commitment to attract and retain a diverse workforce capable of understanding and responding to the needs of an increasingly diverse citizenry.
In the course of refining the science area and research unit charters, we have come to the conclusion that more work is needed to ensure integration of science across landscapes and disciplines and to ensure that we do the most relevant work. To provide a framework for that integration, we have embarked on what we are calling a futuring project with our partners in the National Forest regional office in Atlanta, the Southern Group of State Foresters, and the International Institute of Tropical Forestry. Over the next year we will begin to identify a handful of possible futures that could face forest owners and managers, some alternative policy and management responses, and the information and tools that will be needed by the forestry community. Our first step will be to sponsor a series of information-gathering meetings at strategic locations in late winter. If you have ideas, fears, or insights that you would like to share, please contact my office for a meeting schedule.
Lastly, it is with mixed feelings that I am announcing my retirement after 40 years of Federal service and 15 years as Station Director. Our station has flourished during my tenure, primarily due to the support for our work that has come from the broadest spectrum of customers and partners, ranging from forest industry, State and Federal legislative bodies, NGOs, landowner and other forest-use associations, and university faculty members. If there is any way that I can return your generosity, please let me know.
PETER J. ROUSSOPOULOS