Steve NormanResearch Ecologist
Asheville, NC 28804-3454
Forest monitoring is critical for effective decisionmaking, yet our understanding of impacts, trends and where things are headed is often insufficient for societal needs. This scientist's current research emphasizes monitoring at the landscape scale using diverse remote sensing approaches. He is a team member of the USDA Forest Service's ForWarn system which tracks forest change across the Conterminous US using MODIS imagery at near-real-time, and he also works to understand the longer-term change in forests using historical MODIS datasets. This high frequency, but coarse resolution data are adept at tracking land surface phenology and how it changes with seasonal climate variation, disturbances, such as fire, drought, insect defoliation, hail or wind damage. He tracks the initial disturbance impacts and longer-term responses. These are both important as many disturbances are ephemeral while others have more substantial impacts that last the growing season or longer. These monitoring data also permit monitors to systematically track recovery after disturbance including the cumulative effects of multiple disturbances. Understanding disturbance-recovery dynamics as well as multiple disturbances provides researchers and forest managers with the ability to describe and even track resilience at landscape scales.
The scientist's research also includes understanding the landscape tradeoffs associated with wildland fire and how this intersects with planning and policy issues. He was part of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy Science Team and he continues to pursue lines of research that relate to fire's broad scale occurrence and its landscape impacts or risks.
Comparative risk assessment
Wildland fire effects
Fire regime characterization
Coast redwood forests
Northern hardwoods forests
Coastal Plain wetlands
Past ResearchHistorical fire regimes of Lassen National Forest, CA
Fire-climate relationships in northeastern California
Coast redwood fire ecology
- Ph.D. in Geography, 2002
- The Pennsylvania State University
- M.A. in Geography, 1991
- Western Illinois University
- B.A. in Geography-Environmental Science, 1987
- Mansfield University of PA
- American Geophysical Union, (—)
- Association for Fire Ecology, (—)
- International Association for Landscape Ecology, (—)
Featured Publications and Products
- Norman, Steve; Koch, Frank H.; Hargrove, William W. 2016. Review of broad-scale drought monitoring of forests: Toward an integrated data mining approach.
- Norman, Steven P.; Hargrove, William W.; Spruce, Joseph P.; Christie, William M.; Schroeder, Sean W. 2013. Highlights of satellite-based forest change recognition and tracking using the ForWarn System.
- Kumar, Jitendra; Weiner, Jon; Hargrove, William W.; Norman, Steve; Hoffman, Forrest M.; Newcomb, Doug. 2016. Characterization and classification of vegetation canopy structure and distribution within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park using LiDAR.
- Worley, Elijah ; Liu, Ning ; Sun, Ge ; Norman, Steven P.; Christie, William M.; Gavazzi, Michael ; Boggs, Johnny ; McNulty, Steven G. 2022. Impacts of Hurricane Michael on watershed hydrology: A case study in the Southeastern United States.
- Norman, Steven P.; Christie, William M. 2022. Precise mapping of disturbance impacts to U.S. forests using high-resolution satellite imagery.
- Norman, Steven P.; Christie, William M. 2020. Chapter 7 - Satellite-based evidence of forest stress and decline across the conterminous United States for 2016, 2017, and 2018.
- Hallema, Dennis; Sun, Ge; Caldwell, Peter; Robinne, Francois-Nicolas; Bladon, Kevin D.; Norman, Steve; Liu, Yongqiang; Cohen, Erika C.; McNulty, Steve. 2019. Wildland fire impacts on water yield across the contiguous United States.
- Hallema, Dennis W.; Sun, Ge; Caldwell, Peter V.; Norman, Steven P.; Cohen, Erika C.; Liu, Yongqiang; Bladon, Kevin D.; McNulty, Steven G. 2018. Burned forests impact water supplies.
- Hallema, Dennis W.; Sun, Ge; Bladon, Kevin D.; Norman, Steven P.; Caldwell, Peter V.; Liu, Yongqiang; McNulty, Steven G. 2017. Regional patterns of postwildfire streamflow response in the Western United States: The importance of scale-specific connectivity.
- Norman, Steven P.; Hargrove, William W.; Christie, William M. 2017. Spring and autumn phenological variability across environmental gradients of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, USA.
- Hallema, Dennis W.; Sun, Ge; Caldwell, Peter V.; Norman, Steve; Cohen Mack, Erika; Liu, Yongqiang; Ward, Eric J.; McNulty, Steve. 2016. Assessment of wildland fire impacts on watershed annual water yield: Analytical framework and case studies in the United States.
- Norman, Steve; Koch, Frank H.; Hargrove, William W. 2016. Detecting and monitoring large-scale drought effects on forests: toward an integrated approach.
- Hallema, Dennis W.; Sun, Ge; Caldwell, Peter V.; Norman, Steve; Cohen, Erika C.; Liu, Yongqiang; McNulty, Steve. 2016. Relationships between wildland fires and watershed hydrology across the contiguous U.S.
- Norman, Steve; Hargrove, William; Spruce, Joseph P. 2015. Chapter 6: Monitoring Forest Disturbances across Seasons Using the ForWarn Recognition and Tracking System.
- Mills, Richard Tran; Kumar, Jitendra; Hoffman, Forrest M.; Hargrove, William W.; Spruce, Joseph P.; Norman, Steven P. 2013. Identification and visualization of dominant patterns and anomalies in remotely sensed vegetation phenology using a parallel tool for principal components analysis.
- Guo, Qinfeng; Norman, Steve. 2012. Improving restoration to control plant invasions under climate change.
- Norman, Steven P.; Hargrove, William W. 2012. Land surface phenology as a coarse-filter indicator of disturbance and climatic effects across the coast redwood range.
- Improving Hurricane Damage Assessments with New Satellite Technology and Outreach (2019)
- Recent advances in satellite technology and collaborative exchange between USDA Forest Service researchers and state forestry agencies have given forest managers greatly improved insights into hurricane damage.
- Research Review Reveals Limitations to Drought Impact Monitoring (2016)
- A recently published review of drought monitoring discusses the fundamental challenges of detecting and monitoring drought impacts at broad scales, describes strengths and weaknesses of existing approaches for doing so, and presents methods for combining these approaches with supporting datasets to assess drought impacts across landscapes.
- advancing the Comparative Risk Assessment Framework and Tools (CRAFT) (2011)
- The Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center and the University of North Carolina Asheville's National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center have expanded an integrated risk assessment framework that will help natural resource managers compare the effects of different decisions, despite uncertainties. This collaboration is focused on advancing the Comparative Risk Assessment Framework and Tools (CRAFT) through development of on-line tools and applied workshops.