News Release

U.S. Forest Service Scientist Joins the Ranks of Distinguished Landscape Ecologists

May 22, 2017

Asheville, NC — U.S. Forest Service research ecologist Bill Hargrove has been named The U.S. International Association for Landscape Ecology (US-IALE) Distinguished Landscape Ecologist for 2017. This is the organization’s most prestigious award. Hargrove becomes the 25th recipient, and just the fourth U.S. Forest Service (USFS) scientist to be recognized as Distinguished Landscape Ecologist since US-IALE began the award in 1991. This award specifically recognizes those unique individuals whose thinking, writing, and long-term scientific endeavors have helped to shape the field of landscape ecology, and is ordinarily given for outstanding scientific achievement over a period of a decade or more. US-IALE provides a link among practitioners in landscape ecology within the United States, as well as the international community, to help promote research and communication among scientists, planners, and other professionals.

Bill Hargrove and Ross Meentemeyer

Bill Hargrove accepts the Distinguished Landscape Ecologist Award from US-IALE President Ross Meentemeyer at the US-IALE annual meeting held in Baltimore, MD. Photo by Jeffrey Hepinstall-Cymerman, University of Georgia.

“This group shares a unique belief — that the most interesting and exciting science comes from intersecting overlaps in the Venn Diagram. You’ve given me something that I’ll never forget,” Hargrove told his colleagues during the awards ceremony. Hargrove is with the Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center (Center). The Center is part of the USFS Southern Research Station and supports and works with the three USFS branches — Research and Development, the National Forest System and State & Private Forestry.

Hargrove has made over 450 presentations at scientific meetings and conferences since 2000, and is an author of more than 100 refereed scientific publications. One of Hargrove’s many research accomplishments includes leading the development of ForWarn — a first of its kind online system for monitoring and assessing changes in U.S. forest vegetation through weekly maps based on satellite data. Land managers can use ForWarn to detect damage or potential threats to forests from wildfires, extreme weather, insects, diseases, or other natural or human-caused events. ForWarn can help users focus their on-the-ground management activities, resulting in time and cost savings. Hargrove also developed the Forecasts of Climate-Associated Shifts in Tree Species (ForeCASTS) system, which predicts global range shifts for most U.S. tree species due to climatic changes. ForeCASTS has produced tree range predictions for 325 tree species under present conditions, as well as conditions predicted by two global climate under two scenarios each at 30 and 80 years from now. Clicking on any tree species in the online ForeCASTS Atlas brings up a page containing 26 projected present and future range maps for that species, both global and U.S. in extent.