NSRC Awards $1.4 Million to Fund 7 UMaine Forest Research Projects

Logo for the northeastern states research cooperativeThe Northern States Research Cooperative announced today that University of Maine and University of Maine at Presque Isle faculty and staff researchers have been awarded over $1.4M for their Northern Forest research that will commence in the spring. Principal Investigators Jeanette Allogio, Pulakesh Das, Dan Hayes, Angela Mech, Michael Premer, and Sydne Record from University of Maine’s College of Earth, Life, and Health Sciences along with Jason Johnston from the University of Maine at Presque Isle will look at a variety of forest-related concerns impacting the northeast.
Their research will be focused on:
  • Socially informed forest management for climate change adaptation and resilience (Allogio)
  • Development of a new eastern white pine health index (Das)
  • Digitizing UMaine’s Sewall Archive of 700,000+ aerial photographs to explore landscape-scale changes across the Northern Forest, and make the archive publicly accessible (Hayes)
  • Using environmental DNA (eDNA) to assess the ability to detect forest pests and biodiversity in light of current and emerging threats (Johnston)
  • Better understanding of non-target impacts of hemlock wooly adelgid biocontrol agents to promote health conifers in the region (Mech)
  • Quantifying the influence of site on species distribution at a spatial resolution compatible with management activities under future growing conditions (Premer)
  • Developing a framework to better understand the distribution of carbon stocks and wildlife habitat connectivity across the Northern Forest (Record)

The RFP released last fall aimed at research to sustain the health of northern forest ecosystems and communities drew 49 proposals requesting more than $14 million in funding; 18 projects were ultimately funded ($4.5 million) across Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, and Maine. All proposals underwent a rigorous review process by technical reviewers with expertise in relevant science and public outreach, with project funding committed based on an external regional review panel review and their recommendations.

Next month NSRC expects to release an RFP under its Indigenous Forest Knowledge Fund (IFKF) program to support traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) for Indigenous communities alongside other applied forest research. The RFP will make $1.6 million in funding available for research aimed at the education and training of Indigenous youth in forest-related TEK, new applied forest research that advances Tribal priorities, as well as the synthesis and translation of forest research to advance outreach and economic programs for Tribal Nations and Indigenous communities. Contingent on federal funding, the next NSRC general RFP will be released in late 2024.

To learn about all 18 Northern Forest projects awarded by the NSRC to scientists across the region, see the NSRC press release.