Getting science out -- a boston mountains forest underplanting tool onlineThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Scientists typically publish research results in scientific journals in formats, language, and styles that are not always useful to many professional and general public users. To address this gap in technology transfer, we developed a method to get research published in journal articles out to a broader spectrum of users. This paper uses a study of oak regeneration to illustrate how scientific information can be conveyed to the user in a more useful, applied way. Due to the quantitative and complex technical nature of the published model, its usefulness was limited mainly to scientists and others who have skills in statistics and computer programming. To communicate these research results to non-scientists we developed an interactive, Internet-based version of the oak regeneration model which we named the Oak Underplanting Success (OAKUS) model. Foresters can use OAKUS online to evaluate combinations of alternative silvicultural treatments (i.e., shelterwood harvest, underplanting oak seedlings and controlling competition) before they actually start the regeneration process http://ncrs.fs.fed.us/oakus/. Using the OAKUS model can reduce the need to invest in post-harvest remedial measures. It also can be used to teach the fundamentals of regeneration ecology and to introduce silvicultural methods. This work represents a major technology transfer effort, delivers research results to resource managers on demand, and provides a management decision tool that can improve the quality of resource decisions. Between January 2003 and January 2008, there were 13,844 successful page requests for OAKUS.