Goals and Objectives

SRS is committed to sustaining and building upon a world-class scientific organization capable of addressing current and emerging natural resource issues. This enables us to respond efficiently and effectively through collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches across units within the station and with our various partners and stakeholders. We expect that the values of transparency, collaboration, accountability, and customer focus will nurture and expand our organization, and help us deliver scientific results and applications across the region—and well beyond. To ensure that SRS continues its role as the preeminent forest research organization in the South, we propose the following strategic goals and objectives.

Strategic Goals

Provide Science to Assist Managers in Sustaining the Forest Ecosystems
  • Provide science that helps managers and landowners create resilient forest communities and ecosystems across the South.
  • Provide science that helps to anticipate and mitigate forest threats, including climate change, insects and diseases, and fire.
  • Provide the science to describe, monitor, and predict how changes in environmental, social, and economic conditions impact land use decisions.
Deliver Benefits to the Public
  • Deliver the knowledge, tools, and technologies needed to conserve, maintain, and restore watersheds, ecosystems, and the services they provide to people.
  • Provide science to inform policy decisions that contribute socioeconomic benefits to local communities and the nation.
  • Provide science that describes how people connect to the outdoors.
Apply Knowledge
  • Conduct integrated research at various geographic scales to address issues of economic, environmental, and social concern.
  • Produce and disseminate sound, widely available, integrated science products to guide forest management and policymaking decisions.
  • Expand and enhance SRS relationships with current and potential stakeholders to extend the reach and impact of our science through wider communication networks.

Management Goal

Excel as a High-Performing Station
  • Attract and retain top employees through the recruitment of a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture.
  • Promote integration among science areas to optimize resources.
  • Provide an enriching, productive and safe work environment within which to excel.


The means for reaching SRS research goals ultimately lies in its centers and research work units. It is at this level that our plans of work are formulated, monitored, and evaluated internally and through regular consultations with many stakeholders, including our research customers and partners, public and private landowners, policy experts, and industries, environmental and conservation groups, and other consumer groups. These work plans, known within SRS as “charters”, provide the specific means and strategies to implement and monitor progress towards the strategic goals and objectives of SRS research outlined above. SRS regularly consults with its stakeholders and partners to assess the direction and effectiveness of our research programs.

Charters guide a work unit’s science for a period of up to five years, and are periodically reviewed to assess progress and updated and adjusted to reflect changes in research needs. The primary venue for formal consultation with SRS is through Technical Assistance Visits (TAVs). TAVs provide stakeholders an opportunity to suggest research needs for an individual Research Work Unit or Center in a process that provides both transparency and accountability.

The following mission statements, drawn from our work unit charters, reflect the strategies employed to accomplish SRS objectives. Detailed plans of work can be found at the links below.

This Strategic Framework is intended to guide our direction for the future, and as such will change over time. Strategic objectives may be refined as the focus of our research evolves. Research work unit plans of work may be updated and revised as current research is completed and new areas of study are developed. SRS leadership team should review these objectives and plans periodically to ensure the strategic framework continues to serve as a ‘living,’ relevant resource over time.

Comment on the Strategic Framework