School of Forest Resources
Forest Technology Alliance
Climate change, forest health, carbon sequestration, forest bio-energy and the economic health and benefits to society of the forest sector are inextricably related. One can choose any of these as the headline theme, but any analysis requires full consideration of the others. The School of Forest Resources' Forest Technology Alliance demonstrates how an interdisciplinary focus can be used to produce answers to questions that span these interrelated issues. This site breaks the work of the Alliance into basic topics and illustrates the collaborative work involved to produce synthesized and detailed publications that address the various issues and questions being posed. The power of the Alliance will be strengthened as the new University of Washington College of the Environment evolves and cross-departmental collaboration is fully realized.
INTERDISCIPLINARY TEAM APPROACH THROUGH
THE SFR’S FOREST TECHNOLOGY ALLIANCE
The SFR Forest Technology Alliance has a unique combination of interdisciplinary talent, technological capability, and long-term field research programs that can be focused on addressing the information gaps and barriers preventing growth and development of wood bio-based products and fuels while sustainably managing forests for societal benefits. Briefly, the alliance includes:
- Stand Management Cooperative (SMC)
- Large database over over time of west of Cascades field research sites; approach needs to be expanded to east of Cascades
- forest growth models (ORGANON, CONIFERS); needs to be extended for eastside species
- Precision Forestry Cooperative (PFC)
- remote sensing, LIDAR and other methods, linked to field plots, to more thoroughly measure inventories, forest structure, forest health, habitat
- non-destructive methods to measure wood properties in trees
- informatics and decision support
- Rural Technology Initiative (RTI)
- integrated analysis of the impact of forest structure on multiple uses (riparian protection, habitat, rural economics, carbon, forest health, site specific response to climate change)
- economic and policy analyses
- land parcel database
- Outreach and technology transfer to under served forestry communities such as family forest owners and Indian nations.
- Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials (CORRIM)
(CORRIM is a consortium of 15 US and Canadian research institutions administered by SFR)
- Life cycle inventory and assessments (LCI/LCA) of environmental burdens for every stage of wood processing from forest regeneration to end of product life (cradle to grave life cycle assessments)
- Has an extensive life cycle inventory database for multiple products, are actively researching extensions into biofuel potential with the objective of more actively supporting education/outreach by providing best practices that depend on life cycle analysis of biofuels and product alternatives.
- Carbon impacts of managed and naturally disturbed forests including the impact of treatment alternatives and end uses.
- Center for International Trade in Forest Products (CINTRAFOR)
- Market analysis of international trade in wood products
- Market research on responses to "green attributes" and attitudes on acceptability by consumers, industry and policy makers.
- International collaborator on environmental responses and impacts
While the Forest Technology Alliance can provide the essential forest data bases and management technology, other participants are envisioned including
- Engineering would participate to support changed approaches to civil engineering structures and manufacturing processes designed for sustainability, bringing in ME, CE, and ChemE.
- Department of Architecture would apply research on wood products toward the design and building of structures that take into account both local and global impacts.
- Expanded synergies with successful UW programs such as the IGERT
- SFR’s Paper Science and Engineering to understand wood bio-energy process alternatives and efficiencies
- SFR’s social sciences to include public values and institutional processes
- Climate center to examine long term adaptation issues