2008 National Research Needs Assessment in Wood Science and Technology


The primary motivation for the National Research Needs Assessment  is to create a unified vision of research needs in wood science and technology (WS&T).  This activity has been previously conducted under the auspices of a variety of organizations, especially NAPFSC and then NAUFRP, but has languished in recent years.  To counter that loss, ASCE members decided to conduct a working conference related to wood engineering issues, but a broader effort is needed for all disciplines in wood science and technology.  Therefore, this NRNA committee will conduct a similar working conference and then merge its outcomes with ASCE generated outcomes. 

For many years the National Association of Professional Forestry Schools and Colleges (NAPFSC) and the USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) co-hosted a 1 ½ - 2 day annual research conference (September-October time frame) to discuss national utilization research needs and topics and provide a forum for selected speakers to give presentations on research needs, opportunities, and new science and technology.

Over time, declining budgets for utilization research within the USDA Forest Service precluded much if any Forest Service R&D funds being generally available for cooperative university conducted research. This led to reduced university interest and attendance at the conference. The last conference was held in September 2004 at the Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, WI. Since that time, NAPFSC has become the National Association of University Forest Research Programs (NAUFRP). The conference has not been continued and Forest Service R&D has had stagnant or declining budgets for utilization research.

Last updated 4/4/08