Before coming to MSU, I helped coordinate a study to examine changing forest structure over time in the wildlands and woodlands of Weston, Massachusetts, a suburban town outside Boston. The first baseline data from that study is now published in Small-scale Forestry in an interesting paper looking at the model of community forestry in Weston. It is a unique management context with educational programming, citizen science efforts, and of course scientific long-term monitoring.
The ability of forests to sequester and store carbon is dependent on the management behaviors of millions of federal, state, local, and private forest landowners and natural resources professionals. However, these forest owners and managers face a daunting task trying to understand how to choose appropriate forest management practices that would help adapt to or even help mitigate climate change. Michigan State University Forestry Department (MSU Forestry) will work in partnership with the USDA Forest Service’s Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science (NIACS) and the USDA Northern Forest Climate Hub (USDA Hub) to develop a robust an e-learning program with content focused on forest carbon management.The proposed project will develop and implement an innovative program with e-content and non-formal learning experiences on forest carbon management. The intended audience for this effort is natural resource professionals and extension agents. This approach will reach many in rural areas who would otherwise be difficult to reach with in-person educational approaches. Project outputs include an e-course on Forest Carbon Management (eligible for continuing education credits), and an e-learning module refined for a broad audience. Success will be evaluated via a pre- and post-test survey of course trainees. We expect that this project will increase natural resource professionals' understanding of forest carbon management and that forest landowners will have access to advice and information about carbon benefits and markets for their woodland management activities.
Dr. Huff, in collaboration with USDA Forest Service colleagues Michelle Johnson, Lara Roman, Lindsay Campbell, Nancy Sonti, and Clara Pregitzer was awarded a contract to write a literature review on Resilience in Urban Forestry from the International Society of Arboriculture.
This literature review on how urban forests contribute to resilient cities and what comprises a resilient urban forest will identifying key gaps in knowledge, and priorities for future research. Furthermore, this literature review will identify current published quantitative and qualitative measures of resiliency, and how practitioners might measure and manage towards increased resiliency. Resiliency is commonly identified as a goal for city greenspace and this review will be relevant to the scientific community and provide clarity of the current state of knowledge for practitioners.
What is resiliency?
Resiliency is the ability for a system to tolerate and recover from disturbances. In the face of more extreme weather events, increased temperatures, and rising sea levels, many cities recognize the need to increase their overall resilience; urban forests are seen as one crucial component.
The Human Dimensions of Forestry Lab at Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI) is accepting applications for an MS and a PhD assistantship position to start August 2017. Applicants should be self-motivated and also capable of working as part of a team. The ideal applicant will have experience and interest in qualitative and quantitative social science, as well an interest in modeling. Additional skills for the PhD position include statistical analysis, technical writing, and basic GIS.
The projects associated with these positions are flexible, but will likely focus on 1) The effect of urban forests, green space, and agriculture on public health outcomes; 2) The role of risk and psychological distance in decision making and natural resource management; and 3) The use of ecological momentary assessments to understand environmental behavior. The graduate student can and will develop a project and associated research questions tailored to their interests and intended career path.
These positions will be based in the Department of Forestry. The positions will be supported with a stipend, and paid tuition/benefits. There are additional fellowship opportunities for graduate students at Michigan State University, so please apply to the University’s graduate school by December 1, 2016 to be competitive for these fellowships.
To apply for the assistantship, please submit (1) a cover letter explaining your interest in the position, your qualifications, and any specific research areas you hope to pursue at Michigan State, and (2) a CV. Please be sure to include your GPA (undergraduate and graduate), GRE scores (if completed), and contact information for references somewhere within your CV/Resume. Documents should be submitted via email to Dr. Emily Huff at email@example.com as a single PDF file with the subject heading “Graduate Assistantship Application.” Applications must be received by November 1, 2016 to receive full consideration.
MSU is an equal opportunity employer and the Department of Forestry is committed to promoting diversity in research.
Emily Huff started as Assistant Professor at Michigan State University in August of 2016. She focuses on the human dimensions of forests and will be teaching a course (of that name) in the spring semester most years. Emily comes from a diverse background, earning a B.A. in environmental studies and music composition, a M.S. in Natural Resource Science and Management at the University of Minnesota, and her Ph.D. in Forestry at the University of Maine. Through the 2016-17 academic year, Emily will be focusing on new project development and student recruitment, as well as preparing for the human dimensions course this spring. Please say hi via the contact form if you are a prospective graduate student or potential new collaborator.