Research Advisory Committee

The Research Advisory Committee was formed under the SFRA to address information needs concerning forests with the intent to foster the identification and undertaking of priority forest resources research activities by encouraging:

  • Collaboration between organizations with responsibilities for conducting forest resources research
  • Linkages between researchers in different disciplines in conducting forest resources research
  • Interaction and communication between researchers and practitioners in the development and use of forest resources research

The committee actively supports forestry and forestry-related research projects, and also identifies priority forest research topics that should be studied in order to meet Minnesota's forest-related information needs.


  • Greg Cuomo - Associate Dean for Research, UMN College of Food Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Bob Haight – Research Forester, USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station
  • Ann Pierce – Section Leader, MN DNR – Division of Ecological and Water Resources
  • Peter Reich – Regents Professor, UMN, Department of Forest Resources
  • Eric Schilling – Senior Research Scientist, National Council on Air and Stream Improvement, Inc.
  • Mark Weber – Land Commissioner, St. Louis County
  • Rolf Weberg - Executive Director, Natural Resources Research Institute

Current Activities

The MFRC reconvened the Research Advisory Committee in the fall of 2017 with the intent of invigorating forest resources research in Minnesota. The committee has been charged with: 

  • Identifying priority research needs for Minnesota’s forest resources
  • Evaluating the capacity of research institutions to conduct forest resource research
  • Assessing progress on past forest resource research priorities
  • Developing a strategy to secure research funding and promote research priorities
  • Facilitating dissemination and application of research findings in operational and policy environments

The RAC initially focused on identifying priority research needs, and completed that effort in early 2019. The process used for prioritization included identification of key forest resource topics, which were then evaluated by an expert panel of scientists and resource managers to identify research priorities. More information on the assessment can be found in the document links below. The RAC membership and MFRC are now working to develop approaches and support collaborations to address the research priorities in the coming years.

The Expert Evaluation Panel:

  • Jennifer Corcoran (MN DNR – Resource Assessment)
  • Mae Davenport (UMN – Forest Resources)
  • Paul Dubuque (MN DNR – Forestry)
  • Salli Dymond (UMN-D - Earth and Environmental Sciences)
  • Alexis Grinde (Natural Resources Research Institute)
  • Stephen Handler (USDA FS – Northern Research Station)
  • Nathan Heibel (Koochiching County Land and Forestry)
  • George Host (Natural Resources Research Institute)
  • Mike Houser (Potlatch Corporation)
  • Diana Karwin (UMN – Forest Resources)
  • Bonnie Keeler (UMN – Institute on the Environment)
  • Mike Kilgore (UMN – Forest Resources)
  • Joe Knight (UMN – Forest Resources)
  • Randy Kolka (USDA FS – Northern Research Station)
  • Mike Larson (MN DNR – Fisheries and Wildlife)
  • Rebecca Montgomery (UMN – Forest Resources)
  • Christian Nelson (Fond du lac Resource Management)
  • Brian Palik (USDA FS – Northern Research Station)
  • Emily Peters (MN DNR – Ecological and Water Resources)
  • Shri Ramaswamy (UMN – Bioproducts Biosystems Engineer)
  • Sawyer Scherer (UPM – Blandin Paper)
  • Ingrid Schneider (UMN – Forest Resources)
  • Eric Singsaas (Natural Resources Research Institute)
  • Stephanie Snyder (USDA FS – Northern Research Station)
  • Marcella Windmueller-Campione (UMN – Forest Resources)
  • Rob Venette (UMN / USDA FS – Northern Research Station)

Documents related to the prioritization assessment

Research evaluation timeline and tasks

List of resource topics and evaluation panel members

Process used by the evaluation panel to identify top priorities

Background of research prioritization process

Staff Liaisons

Updated 2018-09-11