Alec Kretchun's research focuses on how disturbances change forests and the role human management can play. He got his BS in Biology from Oregon State University, where he worked on entomological taxonomy and survey projects. After some time spent working on farms in the Willamette Valley, he received his Masters of Environmental Management from Portland State University, where his final project focused on the effects of gypsy moth defoliation, fire and climate change on the forests of the New Jersey Pine Barrens. During the summer of 2012, he was awarded an NSF EAPSI Fellowship to conduct research in Seoul, South Korea, where he focused on forest disturbance history in the Korean peninsula.
Since 2012, he has held a research staff position in both the Environmental Science and Management and Geography departments at Portland State University. He has worked on a number of projects, including long term aspen response to declining snowbanks in the Northern Rocky Mountains of central Idaho (supported by the NW Climate Science Center), and the impacts of fire, bark beetles, and fuel treatments in the Lake Tahoe Basin (supported by SNPLMA and the US Forest Service PSW Research Station among others).
Along with his applied forestry research at Portland State University, Alec also recently concluded a unique three year contract position with the US Forest Service Pacific Northwest Regional Office as the agency’s only Ecosystem Services Program Assistant. In this role, he sat at the intersection of the Natural Resources and Planning programs and was primarily responsible for drafting guidance on how land management plans on national forests can incorporate ecosystem services into decision making.