This third component of the forest carbon accounting framework will be a forward-looking assessment of carbon stocks and will include an evaluation of the carbon outcomes from range of potential forest management and wood utilization scenarios. The USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station’s carbon Research Initiative has identified a critical need for modeling the implications of alternative management approaches and policies on carbon sequestration and emissions from forest ecosystems, harvested wood products, and alternative energy choices. The work will be to identify one or more models that are, or can be, parameterized for the West Coast and that can evaluate the kinds of questions managers and policy-makers are posing.
The Station has funded a post-graduate (M.S. or Ph.D.) position to engage with stakeholders and refine their needs, and to critically examine the capabilities of different models to select a workable approach. The start date for the selected candidate will be October 2019. The selected participant will collaborate with staff in identifying the strengths, weaknesses, and data requirements of alternative simulation models of forest carbon, the models’ ability to address key questions identified by collaborating managers and policy-makers, and help formulate recommendations for a modeling framework that builds on the extensive carbon inventories in the region. The learning objectives for the project include: identifying key issues and trade-offs faced by managers and policy-makers in managing carbon stores on diverse forested landscapes, understanding the implicit goals and data requirements of alternative state-of-the-art forest ecosystem and forest product carbon models, and to gain experience in sharing this information internally among agency programs and externally among decision-makers, stakeholders and the public.