The Science Advisory Panel provides support to Task Force leadership and work groups for action plan priorities, science-based decision making, including translating scientific findings related to agency programs, and identifying research gaps to inform future forest health projects.



Below are a series of briefs intended to communicate three different California ecosystems’ general physical appearance and summarize processes to keep them intact.

Blue OakPonderosa PineRedwoods


Prioritizing Forest Health Investments: a science-based framework for identifying priorities for forest health investments



2019 Tree Mortality Work Group: Could We Have Avoided Forest Mortality?

Could we have avoided forest mortality? In response to a request from the 2019 Tree Mortality Working Group, the Panel offered expert opionion on whether recent tree mortality events in California were avoidable (June 2019)

Learn More about 2019 Tree Mortality Work Group


LiDAR: What Can It Measure and How Can it Be Used?

A summary of applications for and recommendations regarding LiDAR (March 2020)

Learn More LiDAR

Work Group Facilitator

Jennifer Smith, USDA California Climate Hub

Work Group Staff Scientist

MV Eitzel, UC Berkeley

Work Group Leads

John Battles, UC Berkeley

Steve Ostoja, USDA California Climate Hub



  • Adam Moreno, California Air Resources Board: Landscape
    Ecology and climate science
  • Becky Estes, US Forest Service Region 5: Vegetation and
    fire ecology
  • Christy Brigham, National Park Service: Vegetation and
    public land management
  • Chris Fettig, US Forest Service, Pacific Southwest
    Research Station: Ecological stressors and disturbances
  • Chris Keithley, CAL FIRE FRAP: Forestry and vegetation
  • Francisco Escobedo, US Forest Service Pacific Southwest
    Research Station: Urban and community forestry, ecosystem services
  • John Battles, UC Berkeley: Forest ecosystems
  • Juliann Aukema, US Forest Service Pacific Southwest
    Research Station: Landscape ecology and conservation biology
  • Lara Kuppers, UC Berkeley: Climate-ecosystem
  • Lenya Quinn-Davidson, UC Cooperative Extension – Fire
    Advisor: Fire ecology and management
  • Malcolm North, US Forest Service Pacific Southwest
    Research Station: Forest ecosystems
  • Natalie van Doorn, US Forest Service Pacific Southwest
    Research Station: Urban and community forestry, forest ecosystems
  • Nic Enstice, California Department of Conservation:
    Forest ecosystems
  • Nicole Molinari, US Forest Service Region 5: Vegetation
    ecology and chaparral ecosystems
  • Ramona Butz, US Forest Service Region 5: Vegetation and
    fire ecology
  • Ryan Tompkins, UC Cooperative Extension: Forest and
    vegetation management
  • Safeeq Khan, UC Cooperative Extension & UC Merced:
    Forest hydrology
  • Sarah Bisbing, University of Nevada, Reno: Forest
    silviculture and conservation
  • Scott Stephens, UC Berkeley: Fire science
  • Steven Ostoja, USDA CA Climate Hub: Climate adaptation
  • Tirtha Banerjee, UC Irvine: Atmospheric science and
    wildfire modeling
  • Yana Valachovic, UC Cooperative Extension – Forest
    Advisor: Forestry and vegetation management
  • Yufang Jin, UC Davis: Remote sensing and spatial