Forest ThreatNet

Volume 1, Issue 1 - Fall 2007

Threat Centers Share Common Ground

East and West Teams Meet for Joint Retreat

Watch out forest threats! The Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center (EFETAC) and the Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center (WWETAC), headquartered in Prineville, OR, recently convened their first joint work retreat – held September 10-14, 2007, on Pawley’s Island, SC. EFETAC hosted the event, which provided an excellent opportunity for both teams to connect across geographical boundaries and discuss projects of mutual interest as well as establish more open lines of communication. 

Barbara Conkling participates in a team building exercise during the threat centers' joint retreat.Center Directors Danny Lee (EFETAC) and Jerry Beatty (WWETAC) facilitated lively, interactive discussions and brainstorming sessions sparked by key project presentations. Scientists and partners provided snapshot and in-depth views of projects, including early warning systems, forest health monitoring, invasive plants, climate change, wildfire risk mitigation, pathogen and bark beetle rapid assessments, and other collaborative efforts. Two key EFETAC partners – the National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center (NEMAC) and North Carolina State University (NCSU) – attended and identified opportunities to share resources and information with the western center. 

Judy Haigler participates in a team building exercise during the threat centers' joint retreat.“I believe the retreat was extremely beneficial for both centers,” said Lee. “Being together provided us opportunity to explore shared objectives and challenges, identify potential collaborative efforts, and network on individual research topics of interest.” 

Alan Ager, WWETAC operations research analyst, helped plan the retreat and felt his first trip to the South was worthwhile. “It was a great opportunity to meet scientists from the Southern Research Station and learn about their research programs in addition to understanding more about EFETAC’s activities. I definitely look forward to working on projects of common interest.” 

Teams also spent time in small groups, capturing ideas focused on general monitoring of stress and change, climate change, science delivery and communications, and risk mapping and assessment. Ideas enhanced current projects, provided suggestions for future research, and emphasized the importance of sharing information with the scientific community, forest managers, policy makers, and the general public. 

The retreat encouraged EFETAC and WWETAC to continue working toward their shared common ground – anticipating and responding to forests and wildland threats by developing new projects, expanding partnerships, and exploring cutting edge technology.The eastern and western centers recently held a joint retreat in South Carolina.

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