Outlook Forest Dialogue

Outlook Forest Research Dialog

The goal of the Outlook Forest Research Dialog is to enhance the basis for increased research coordination, collaboration, and partnership within the forestry community. Given the growing societal demands and limits of forestry research funding, the Outlook Dialog has initially focused on how to get the best return on research and development investments in terms of providing useful information for decisionmakers - including policy makers, managers, and practitioners. In doing so the program has and will continue to engage leading members of the broad forestry community in both framing decision makers' future information needs and identifying the research required to address those needs. To date, the dialog process has included numerous surveys, workshops and reports that facilitated key research stakeholders' in building a shared vision of the most relevant science responses to meet the challenges of managing for a sustainable future.

The Outlook dialog used a “futures” approach to identify research and development activities that can anticipate the emerging needs of society. This anticipatory approach is important because of the increasing rate of change and uncertainty and the long lead times often required to produce useful research results.

The first Outlook workshop identified the future needs of decision makers and then the second workshop defined the science responses required to address those practical needs. The report from the Science Responses Workshop has 170 relevant suggestions generated by the participants. This rich set of “science responses” includes not only new research but also suggested syntheses, assessments, new tools, new approaches to research and communication, outreach and educational activities.

The Outlook dialog continues to identify which clusters of science responses offer the greatest potential for collaboration among stakeholders.

The Outlook Forest Research Dialog serves as a catalyst for increased understanding, coordination, collaboration and partnerships among individuals and organizations involved in producing and applying research to enable a more sustainable future.


For more information contact Chris Bernabo, Program Director, at [email protected].

The USDA Forest Service: Office of Research & Development sponsors this stakeholder dialog, which is conducted by the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE).