21st century forest stewardship

 I am exploring how we might steward forests during a period of profound environmental change

Climate change and disturbance are a dominant force in subalpine and boreal conifer forests and their prevalence will only grow during the 21st century. For example, wildfires are projected to occur more frequently in coming decades than at any other point in the last 10,000 years across many high-elevation and high-latitude forests of western North America. It is not implausible that these forest landscapes could change fundamentally. This is a critical conservation concern because forests provide many services (e.g., habitat for threatened species, carbon storage, and recreation opportunities). Thus, forest managers now face a daunting challenge. They must plan and implement forward-looking strategies to foster favorable social and ecological outcomes. My work uses a variety of modeling and econometric techniques to support managers in their endeavor. I have addressed a diverse range of social-ecological topics, included determining effects of climate change on the availability of fish and game species that are important to rural Alaskan communities, quantifying the effects of bark beetle outbreak and fire on property values in the wildland-urban interface, and most recently, using forest simulations to determine how fire-management strategies in the west could mediate effects of climate on 21st century fire and forests. 

Selected publications

Hansen, W.D., D. Abendroth, W. Rammer, R. Seidl, and M.G. Turner. In Review. Can wildland fire management alter 21st-century subalpine fire and forests in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA? Ecological Applications.

Hansen, W.D., Julie M. Mueller, Helen T. Naughton. 2014. Wildfire in hedonic property value studiesWestern Economics Forum, 13:23-35.

Hansen, W.D. 2014Generalizable principles for ecosystem stewardship-based management of social-ecological systems: Lessons learned from AlaskaEcology and Society, 19:13.

Hansen, W.D., H. Naughton. 2013. The effects of a spruce bark beetle outbreak and wildfires on property values in the wildland-urban interface of south-central Alaska, USA. Ecological Economics, 96: 141-154.

Hansen, W.D., T.J. Brinkman, M. Leonawicz, F.S. Chapin, G.P Kofinas. 2013. Changing Daily Wind Speeds: Implications for a Subsistence Hunting SystemArctic, 66: 448-458.

Hansen, W.D., T.J. Brinkman, F.S. Chapin, C. Brown. 2013. Meeting indigenous subsistence needs:  The case for prey switching in rural AlaskaHuman Dimensions of Wildlife, 18: 109-123.