The Family Forest Research Center, a collaborative effort between the USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Natural Resources Conservation has recently expanded, adding three Forest Service Researchers to its collaborative national team.

The goal of the FFRC is to conduct relevant research that helps understand the social and economic dimensions of family forestry in order to promote sustainable forest management that meets the current and future needs of landowners, communities, and society.

In addition to the core group based here in Amherst, the center includes Dr. Zhao Ma, former FFRC Post-doc, now based at Utah State University , as well as:

  • Dr. Marla Emery – Research Geographer, USDA-Forest Service Northern Research Station, Burlington, VT

Currently focusing on contemporary nontimber forest product (NTFP) uses

  • Dr. Evan Mercer – Research Economist, USDA-Forest Service Southern Research Station, Research Triangle Park, NC

Engaged in a study projecting forest ownership changes in the southern United States

  • Dr. Stephanie Snyder – Operations Research Analyst, USDA-Forest Service Northern Research Station, St. Paul, MN

Examining willingness of family forest owners to provide recreational access to the public

Although you likely won’t see these folks walking the halls of Holdsworth, they are invaluable members of a team devoted to understanding the attitudes and behaviors of America’s diverse population of over 10 million family forest owners, who together shape the future of the nation’s forest, as well as the public benefits it provides.