Scientists & Staff

Richard Hallett

Research Ecologist
271 Mast Road
Durham, NH, 03824
Phone: 603-868-7657

Contact Richard Hallett

Current Research

My overall goal is to take information gained from plot level studies on forest health, productivity, and ecosystem function and design studies that examine these same issues at a landscape or regional scale. This means being able to work across paradigms, such as individuals and institutions that only trust ground-level data gathered at the tree itself, and those that want to incorporate the most advanced technology to view forests and ecological systems for thousands of miles with no human contact involved. This has been challenging work. To accomplish this shift in scale I work to devise, develop, or modify techniques that allow us to expand our studies spatially while maintaining the necessary scientific rigor. This provides valuable information and new knowledge about the impacts of large scale phenomena such as acid rain, forest decline, and introduced pests and diseases.

Research Objectives

  • Characterize the linkage between forest canopy chemistry and stream water chemistry and map forest canopy level cation concentrations using hyperspectral remote sensing technology to map stream water quality across the landscape.
  • Discover the link that biogeochemistry has with sugar maple (and co-occurring species) health and growth across the northeastern United States and develop tools or information that can be used to make land management decisions.
  • Determine the role of Ca-oxalate in forested ecosystem plant available Ca supply.
  • Develop methodologies for utilizing commercially available hyperspectral remote sensing imagery for early detection of invasive insects and diseases in rural and urban forests.

Research Interests

I am interested in working in urban ecosystems in order to apply remote sensing technology and early stress detection techniques to urban forests. Urban forests are often the first place we see invasive insects which later become problems in our rural forests if they are not contained or controlled (e.g. Asian Longhorn Beetle, Emerald Ash Borer).

Why This Research is Important

We live in a changing environment and scaling up our understanding of plot level dynamics involved in forest health issues to a landscape scale will allow us to detect forest health issues earlier and design management strategies for maintaining the health of our forests at a regional scale.


  • University of New Hampshire, Ph.D. Natural Resources, 1996
  • University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, M.S. Forestry, 1991
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, B.S. Forest Science, 1984

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

National Research Highlights

New York City skyline.

In New York City, the Value of Urban Trees Adds Up

Year: 2019

New York City’s urban forest produces cleaner air, lower energy costs, reduced ultraviolet radiation, and less storm water in the city’s sewer system. USDA Forest Service scientists and partners analyzed a sample of the city’s 7 million trees and found that they provide services with an annual value of more than $100 million.

Phenocam and Antenna on top of the pierce laboratory at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, NH. USDA Forest Service

“Smart Forests” Digital Environmental Sensors and Telecommunications Take Research to New Levels

Year: 2015

Scientific breakthroughs of the 21st century will be powered by tools that help researchers collect and manipulate massive datasets, visualize that data, and offer new ways of understanding the scientific processes behind that information. Forest Service scientists are taking a lead in developing a national Experimental Forests and Ranges “Smart Forests” Network. This network of wired forests uses digital environmental sensors, wireless communications, and new data visualization programs to create a powerful integrated research and monitoring program for the nation’s air, water, forest and rangeland resources.

Last modified: Saturday, February 4, 2023