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Welcome, Melissa Kreye!

Posted: April 9, 2018

Melissa is the new Assistant Professor of Forest Resource Management in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management at Penn State
Melissa Kreye

Melissa Kreye

Hello forest owners and conservation advocates of Pennsylvania! I am excited to serve as the new Assistant Professor of Forest Resource Management in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management at Penn State. My research and extension work focuses on understanding the many ways that people value forests, and how these values guide the management of public and private forests. In many cases I work with state agencies and conservation advocacy groups to advance policies and programs that support the interests of private landowners and the public.

I grew up in south central Virginia in a rural community where the local economy was largely based on agriculture and forestry. Before attending college I moved to northern California where I worked as a wildlife and fisheries technician for the U.S. Forest Service at Lassen National Forest. I received Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degrees in Fisheries Biology from Humboldt State University, and worked as a hydrology technician for a private timber company in Scotia, California. Later I moved to Florida, where I served as coordinator for a private cooperative that worked to advance outreach and research on conserved forest ecosystems. Also during this time, I received a PhD in Forest Resources and Conservation from the University of Florida, where I focused on economics and policy-related issues.

Much of my post-doctoral research examined landowner support for incentive programs and best management practices to help protect imperiled wildlife species on private forests and rangelands. My research findings were used by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Florida Forest Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to improve the design and application of landowner assistance programs in Florida.

My current research examines public demand for timber supply, healthy wildlife populations and in-stream water supply provided by private forest lands throughout the eastern U.S. This information can be used to justify the continuation of existing assistance programs (e.g., cost-share, tax relief) and the development of new types of assistance programs (e.g., payments for ecosystem services) for landowners who help provide important benefits to society.

I believe my interdisciplinary training and experience working in both the public and private sectors will serve me well as I work to develop a research and extension program that advances the interests of both landowners and the public. I look forward to getting to know the forest owners of Pennsylvania, and working along with you to help advance the management of forest ecosystems in this state. Contact me at 814-867-1237 or .