Theodore E. Howard, Ph.D.

Theodore E. Howard, Ph.D.

Associate Dean, Professor


My research focuses on practical forest management and forestry economics issues of New England and its Canadian neighbors.  I am specifically interested in small group selection systems in northern hardwoods and how to help landowners make better decisions about managing hardwood stands.  In addition, I collaborate with colleagues in Japan and France on forest management and economics questions.   One consequence of this international work is that I am marginally proficient in Japanese and French.


  • 1982 Ph.D Forestry Economics, Oregon State University
  • 1974 Master of Forestry, Duke University
  • 1972 B.S. Natural Resource Management, Unversity of Maine

Teaching Responsibilities

  • NR 542: Forestland Measurement and Mapping
  • NR 643: Economics of Forestry
  • NR 745/845: Forest Management

Description of Research Projects

Forest Regeneration Differences between Whole-Tree and Conventional Harvesting Methods in Northern Hardwoods

The burning of wood chips for energy is becoming more important as we move toward a renewable energy economy.  Whole-tree harvesting (WTH) is increasingly used to meet the demand for these chips.  In a typical whole tree harvesting operation the trunk of the tree is used for traditional products and the branches and fine twigs are sold to a biomass energy plant.  Conventional harvesting (CH), in contrast, leaves branches and twigs on site to decompose.  There has been concern that the additional removal of nutrient rich biomass by WTH might impair forest productivity.    The specific research question is whether or not a difference in forest productivity between WTH and CH treatments can be detected twelve years following harvest in naturally regenerated northern hardwood sites.

Comparing Single Tree and Small Group Selection Management Systems for Northern Hardwoods

The goal of this project is to evaluate selection management systems in northern hardwoods to help landowners achieve a balance of long- and short-term ecological and economic outcomes. The objectives of the project are twofold: (1) examine the effects of single-tree and small group selection methods on stand composition and structure over time, and (2) quantify short-term and long-term economic tradeoffs between each method. The project will be conducted in the Bartlett Experimental Forest, and on similar sites located on public and private forest lands.  Single-tree selection, small group selection and an unmanaged control represent the three treatments. Data will be collected by means of variable radius and nested fixed radius plots located on transects established through all treatments. A mixed effects model will be used to evaluate differences in structure and composition between the treatments. Economic differences among treatments will be evaluated by means of value growth rates based on changes in inventory and removals.

Balancing ecological and economic values in northern hardwood stands: What are the trade-offs?

This project’s goal is to develop a system for resource managers to rapidly assess the ecological value of individual trees in the Northern Forest.  The specific objectives are to determine the important characteristics for assessing the ecological value of individual trees and to examine trade-offs between ecological and economic values for different stand management prescriptions. 

International Forestry

For over two decades I have been collaborating with forestry research colleagues in Japan and more recently, in France.  These experiences as well as other international activities, have provided insights into my own research and teaching activities.

Economics of Forestry

I am currently working on a forestry economics textbook which will be relevant in Canada as well as the United States.  Because Canada and the United States are important trade partners in the forest products sector and forests themselves are bisected by our common political boundary, there is a certain logic to combining, comparing and contrasting information, perspectives, and examples drawn from both countries.


Selected Publications

Cottle, M. and T. Howard. 2012. Conflict management and community support for conservation in the Northern Forest: Case studies from Maine. Forest Policy and Economics

Howard, T. 2011. Sustaining Forests: Land Rent, Property Rights, and Forest Industry. International Journal of Environmental Consumerism Chapter 7: 45-51.

Sugimura, K. and T. Howard. 2010. Development of a forest network system to improve the zoning process – A case study in Japan. Chapter 12 in “Landscape Ecology and Forest Management: Challenges and Solutions in a Changing Globe”. Li, C., Lafortezza, R., and Chen, J., eds.  HEP-Springer.

Sugimura, K. and T. Howard. 2008.  Incorporating social factors to improve the Japanese forest zoning process. Forest Policy and Economics 10:161-173

Straussfogel, D., T. Howard, S. Masse, and D. Zhang.  2003. Transborder interactions in the sawmill industry of Chaudière-Appalaches, Québec: a survey analysis.  Forestry Chronicle. 79(5):936-947.

Howard, T. E.  2001. The forester’s dilemma: paradoxes in the criteria and indicators for sustainable forestry.  Bois et Forêts des Tropiques. 270(4):75-84.

Davis,  L.,  N. Johnson, T. Howard, and P. Bettinger. 2001. Forest Management: To Sustain Ecological, Economic, and Social Values.  4th edition.  McGraw-Hill.  815 pages.

Selected Service Activities

  • Co-Chair, President’s Panel on Internationalizing UNH, 2010-2011
  • University Strategic Planning, Globalization Working Group, 2009
  • Director, Center for International Education, 2001-2007
Ted Howard
Rudman Hall, Room G15d
Durham, NH 03824