Technology transfer: taking science from the books to the ground at Bent Creek Experimental ForestThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Technology transfer has been an important part of the research program at Bent Creek Experimental Forest (Bent Creek) since its establishment in 1925. Our stated mission is to develop and disseminate knowledge and strategies for restoring, managing, sustaining, and enhancing the vegetation and wildlife of upland hardwood-dominated forest ecosystems of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Over the years, disseminating knowledge has taken many forms to address the needs of many different user groups. The diversity of user groups make disseminating knowledge challenging. Groups range from professors and scientists, graduate and undergraduate students, resource managers and foresters, to garden clubs, and Boy Scout troops. Bent Creek communicates research findings interpersonally—through tours of the demonstration forest, workshops, and presentations— and visually—through websites, publications, interpretive signs, and other written and electronic material. Since the 1980s, Bent Creek has included a technology transfer specialist on staff. As a technology transfer specialist, there are many rewards and challenges. Some of the challenges are internal, and some are external. But the rewards are great when study results connect with individuals who understand, support, and are excited about the work being conducted by U.S. Forest Service Research and Development scientists.