Associate Partners

           Rose Chmielewski , MS

Rose Chmielewski is a senior ecologist and a USDA Forest Service Content Analysis Team project manager. She has over 18 years of experience in ecosystem assessment and restoration, wetland identification and functional assessment, wetland mitigation site selection, design, construction management, and post-construction monitoring and natural resources management.

Rose has served as a project manager for several thousand acres of wetland and upland restoration projects. She has hands-on experience and specialized knowledge in hydrologic analysis of natural systems.

Ms. Chmielewski has also completed endangered and threatened species surveys, botanical inventories and management plans within wetlands, woodlands, and tall-grass prairies across the country She also writes and coordinates Section 404 permit applications, environmental reports, environmental impact statements and biological assessments, and other NEPA compliance documentation.

Recent Projects include the following in which Rose served as project manager and/or primary investigator:

  • Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest Roads Project. Led multi-disciplinary team in developing the Biological Evaluations and Environmental Assessments for two proposed roadway projects . USDA Forest Service (USFS)
  • Brownstown Ranger District, Hoosier National Forest. Led Environmental Assessment and Biological Evaluation teams in developing assessments related a proposed Fuels Treatment project . USDA Forest Service
  • Superior National Forest/Long Lake Area EA, La Croix Ranger District. Conducted content analysis for the site-specific EA tiered to and incorporating the Land and Resource Management Plan. Focus was on devising a long-range dispersed recreation access plan for the Long Lake Area . USDA Forest Service
  • Huron-Manistee National Forests. Forest-wide Biological Assessment for the Huron-Manistee National Forests in Michigan . USDA Forest Service

           Mae Davenport, PhD

Mae Davenport - is a natural resources social scientist, assistant professor in the Department of Forest Resources at University of Minnesota, and a senior associate partner at Resource Dimensions. She has over 10 years of experience in applied social science research focusing on the human dimensions of natural resources planning and management. She has conducted research for or provided technical assistance to a range of government and non-government natural resource management organizations including the USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and The Nature Conservancy.

She has a B.A. in Biology and English from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota and an M .S . in Forestry, with an emphasis on recreation management from the University of Montana, at Missoula , where she conducted investigations of the human dimensions of winter use and recreation experiences within Yellowstone National Park. She also holds a Ph .D . in Natural Resources Science and Management from the University of Minnesota. Her doctoral work was funded in part by the National Park Service and included a qualitative investigation of the meanings local residents ascribe to the Niobrara National Scenic River. She also explored residents’ attitudes toward river management and their trust in managers.

Mae has extensive knowledge and research experience associated with social capital, trust, and community capacity assessments. Over the past eight years she has concentrated her research on the relationships between human communities and the natural environment, and in particular how community institutions, groups and individuals negotiate and participate in natural resource management. Most recently, Mae has been investigating community capacity for conservation in three diverse management contexts: wetlands restoration, watershed management, and habitat conservation. She has developed a theoretical model of community capacity for sustainable environmental management and planning from this work and continues to test this model in her research.

Through this work, she has gained invaluable experience in research design and administration, including probability and non -probability sampling, surveying and interviewing, respondent tracking, coding, database development, analysis and reporting. She has written several reports and given oral presentations to site managers, resource professionals and community groups.

Previously, Mae was a research associate in the Department of Forestry, at the University of Montana , at Missoula. Over the past several years, she has been involved in a number of projects centered on the management of public lands and their diverse natural resources. Currently, she is coordinating field data collection at three sites across the U.S. and is conducting in depth interviews with community members and USDA Forest Service, Park Service and BLM agency personnel. She has taught graduate and undergraduate courses on the methods and analytical processes of qualitative analysis, and has authored several reports, and peer reviewed articles emanating from her work in Yellowstone, Niobrara, Voyageurs, and more generally, on issues related to national park lands.

Mae frequently works with clients as the National Park Service, State Parks, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, BLM, community groups and municipal governments.

Recent Projects include the following in which Dr. Davenport served as project manager, principal or co-principal investigator:

  • Social Capital Rapid Assessment Protocol for National Forest-associated Communities. National Oceani c a and Atmospheric Administration and USDA Forest Service
  • The Role of Trust in Public Lands Management. USDA Forest Service
  • Watershed Health Integrated Research. Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service, USDA
  • Interpretive analysis of place-based meanings local community members ascribe to the Niobrara National Scenic River. National Park Service
  • Niobrara National Scenic River Visitor Study. National Park Service
  • Voyageurs National Park and Niobrara National Scenic River: Modeling use patterns in recreation settings. National Park Service
  • Yellowstone National Park Winter Visitor Stories: An exploration of the nature of recreation experiences and perceptions of management change. National Park Service

           Ginny Fay, MS

Virginia (Ginny) Fay is a resource economist, biologist, researcher and policy analyst with 30 years of experience in providing a diverse clientele clear, concise information on complex technical issues to facilitate collaborative decision making on tough problems. She recently joined the University of Alaska’s Institute of Social and Economic Research in Anchorage as an assistant professor of research.

She holds a B .A . in biology from Evergreen State College and a M .A . in economics from the University of Washington. Ginny specializes in economic and ecological research, community development, conflict resolution and technical writing.

Formerly, Ms. Fay served as the Alaska State Tourism Director, where was responsible for directing the Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development tourism office as well as the community and business development and research sections. She managed all the Department’s tourism programs and research including the Alaska Visitor Statistics Program and chaired the Steering Committee for that project.

As the Alaska State Tourism Director, she directed the Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development tourism office as well as the community and business development and research sections. She GInny has worked extensively with numerous small rural communities , Native tribal organization, and local and Federal agencies to facilitate the development of community solutions to economic and community development issues.

Ginny has worked extensively with small rural communities, Native tribal organization, and local and Federal agencies to facilitate the development of community solutions to economic and community development issues.

Several of Ginny’s recent projects include:

  • Quality Assurance Alaska Renewable Energy Fund Proposals
  • The Regional Economy of Southeast Alaska. Anchorage: Institute of Social and Economic Research
  • Visitor and Employment Forecast, 2005-2015, Denali National Park and Preserve . National Park Service
  • Southwest Alaska Network Long-Term Visitor Use Monitoring Protocol Development. National Park Service
  • Missoula Urban Open Space Plan. City and County of Missoula, MT
  • Tourism Development Opportunities in Rural National Park Gateway Communities in Alaska. National Park Service.
  • Economic Vision for a Prosperous Alaska. Multi-sector economic development plan for Alaska focusing on 21st century innovative ways to grow the Alaska economy while maintaining the quality of life and natural environment important to residents and visitors.
  • Sustainable Economic Development for the Prince William Sound Region. Identified opportunities and challenges to diversify and grow the Prince William Sound economy while improving the quality of life, and maintaining the exceptional natural environment. Ginny developed an economic baseline of Prince William Sound with a focus on communities and trends over time. This required extensive community-based research and information gathering from communities and residents on potential economic development projects, and improving economic benefits from existing activities. Potential opportunities and barriers for economic development were examined in the context of regional, state and global markets. The final product provided a ‘blueprint’ for implementing the most promising economic development projects.
  • City of Unalaska, Alaska Community Development Plan. Focused on developing an innovative matrix of potential funding sources and public finance leveraging options for infrastructure, trails, water and sewer, visitor facilities, parks, and historic Denali National Park and Preserve Community Transportation Plan. Worked in coordination with development team to design a community transportation system to improve transportation and shuttle bus service for visitors to Denali National Park.

           Raluca I. Iorgulescu, PhD

Raluca I. Iorgulescu is a senior research economist with Resource Dimensions. She is also an associate researcher at the Romanian Institute for Economic Forecasting. Her work in ecological economics centers on issues of sustainable development, local community involvement, agriculture, welfare economics, transitional economies, and energy efficiency.

Raluca is a native of Romania where she received a B.S. in Physics, and a B.A. in Market Economics, with a focus on modeling economies in transition. From 1996 to 1999, she was a research scientist in the physics department at the Institute for Microtechnology in Bucharest, a teaching assistant at the University of Bucharest, and an invited research scientist at Sezione of Instituto Nazionale di Fisca Nucleare (INFN), Physics Department of the Perugia University in Italy. Her interest in economics eventually brought her to the Institute of Economic Forecasting at the Romanian Academy of Science.

She has a Masters and Ph .D . in economics from Rensselear Polytechnic Institute in New York. She specializes in conducting extended input-output analysis, regional economic analysis, regional economic development, economic evolution and modeling transition economies.

Some of Raluca’s recent projects include:

  • Assisted in conducting economic impacts analysis using modified IMPLAN model for SR28 Eastside Corridor transportation project in East Wenatchee, Washington
  • Extended Water Rights Valuation Model for Washington Water Trust. Conducted research, review, and developed annotated bibliography.
  • Assisted with research, literature review and data collection relative to the Economic Valuation of Water Rights for the Mainstem Columbia River, for lawsuit on water rights and Appeal on permits issued for withdraws from the mainstem of the Columbia River .
  • Economic Damages: Assisted with research and review of economics literature for expert testimony on a groundwater contamination case.
  • Input-Output Analysis for Hudson River Waterfront Economic Redevelopment Plan .
  • Valatie Theater Project, Columbia County, New York – Regional input-output analysis and evaluation of local economic impacts.
  • Nigeria Field Survey – Developed, administered, and analyzed socioeconomic surveys in Nigerian villages and participated in conducting behavioral research. Umuluwe, Nigeria.

           Chad Pierskalla, PhD

Chad Pierskalla is an assistant professor in the Division of Forestry at West Virginia University and a senior research scientist with Resource Dimensions. He specializes in natural resource tourism and recreation issues.

Chad holds a Ph.D. in Wildland Recreation and Resource Management from the University of Minnesota. His work focuses on understanding how people use, perceive, and benefit from outdoor recreation areas.

Dr. Pierskalla has assisted in the provision of resource management, environmental planning and compliance services to a variety of federal, state, and local land management clients. Much of his current work supports public resource land management and agricultural tourism efforts. He works frequently with clients including the National Park Service, State Parks, USDA Forest Service, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and the Trust for Public Land.

Some of Chad’s recent projects include:

  • Seneca Rocks/Spruce Knob National Recreation Area Management Plan.
  • Aquaculture Food and Marketing Study. Use of Alternative Fish Species in West Virginia Recreational Markets. USDA
  • Monongahela National Forest Management Plan Revision EIS Social Assessment. USDA Forest Service.
  • Defining Sustainable Places: An ecological approach to forest recreation management and planning. USDA Forest Service
  • Interpretation, Coordination and Heritage Tourism Development at Bulltown Historic Area in Braxton County, W est Virginia V. National Park Service and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers .
  • Willingness-to-Pay (WTP) for Fishing Opportunities. Lead the study team in the design, data collection, qualitative/content analysis, and preparation of report. The goal of the study was to examine anglers’ WTP for fishing opportunities, perceived satisfaction level, and beliefs about appropriate indicators and standards of quality for fee fishing experiences.

           David Scarsella, MS

Dave A. Scarsella, MS is a Resource Dimensions associate partner and research analyst who specializes in sustainable community development, and environmental, land use and natural resource policy. Dave has served as research analyst on a diversity of economic, land use and environmental policy studies while with Resource Dimensions, including recently concluded projects for the Idaho Department of Lands, the Resource Development Council of Alaska, Inc. and ConocoPhillips. Mr. Scarsella acted as an independent reviewer of the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s “Pierce County Environmental Health Trends 2008”. He holds a B.S. in Biology from Seattle University and a M.S. in Environmental Policy from Drexel University.

Mr. Scarsella was the project manager and focus group leader for the pilot study of a rapid assessment protocol intended to measure the level and type of social capital in small, resource-based national forest-associated communities. Dave’s pilot study focused on the relationship between Franklin, North Carolina and the Nantahala Ranger District. The pilot protocol included completion of community and agency social assets checklists, interviews, on‐site review, and a discovery through a focus group format.

Mr. Scarsella also managed a technical assistance project for the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, which included a needs assessment of client intake programs for mental health service providers funded by the State and the development of correction plans to mitigate programmatic deficiencies. The objectives were to improve treatment outcomes, increase clinical competency, and assure enhanced funding opportunities from State and Federal sources.

Dave came to Resource Dimensions from the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center, where he was supported by a fellowship through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. He participated in multiple reviews of contractor-performed health risk assessments and interagency toxicological reviews.

He holds a BS in Biology from Seattle University and a MS in environmental policy from Drexel University. Dave's interests include health risk analysis, natural resource damage assessments, climate and natural resource policy, and public health. His detailed approach to problem-solving is combined with creative insights to produce sound technical analyses.

Mr. Scarsella's Dave’s recent projects include:

  • Preliminary Investigation of Economic Impacts Related to Proposed Critical Habitat Designation for Cook Inlet Beluga whale. Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc.
  • Preliminary Investigation of Economic Impacts Related to Proposed Critical Habitat Designation for Cook Inlet Beluga whale. ConocoPhillips, Inc.
  • Analysis of Agricultural Market Rents in Idaho. Idaho Department of Lands
  • Mental Health Data Collection Program Review and Analysis. Montana Department of Health and Human Services, Addictive and Mental Disorders Division
  • Social Capital in National Forest-associated Communities: Pilot Test of Rapid Assessment Protocol in Franklin, North Carolina and the Nantahala Ranger District. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and USDA Forest Service
  • Review and comments on the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department 2008 Environmental Health Indicators Report. Tacoma Pierce County Health Department
  • Prepared the United States Navy Human Health Risk Assessment Handbook for Lead. This document outlines methodologies for the unique process of investigating lead exposures in support of health risk assessment.
  • Assessment and projection of Clean Development Mechanism project implementation on electricity sources and carbon emissions in India .

           Erin Seekamp, PhD

Erin Seekamp is an assistant professor of the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources in the Department of Forestry at Southern Illinois University - Carbondale, co-leader of its Human Dimensions Research Unit, and an associate partner at Resource Dimensions. She has over five years of experience working with federal, state and local agencies, nongovernmental organizations, businesses and citizens to enhance understandings and implementation of protected area planning and management.

Erin holds a Ph .D. in Natural Resources from the University of Idaho, with an emphasis on Conservation Social Sciences. Her dissertation research examined the influence of technical information and small group deliberations in a USDA Forest Service planning context. She has a B .S . in Cultural Anthropology and Environmental Studies from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and a M .S . in Forestry from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia. Her master’s work included an examination of the Jefferson National Forest planning process by researching agency and public understandings of environmental quality.

While at the University of Idaho, Erin also worked as a Research Associate for the Department of Conservation Social Sciences and the Idaho Water Resources Research Institute. In this position, she conducted a variety of statewide information and research needs assessments of the state’s water resources.

Some of Erin’s recent projects include:

  • Watershed Integrated Health Research: water quality and community capacity in seven watershed communities in southwestern Illinois. USDA
  • Institutional Mechanisms of Recreation Partnerships. USDA Forest Service
  • Attitudes and Changes in Attitudes about Visitor Management at the Green Lakes/South Sister Area of the Three Sisters Wilderness. USDA Forest Service Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute
  • Owyhee Wild & Scenic River Corridor Sub-basin Plan. Bureau of Land Management
  • Qualitative Interviews and Quantitative Surveys for Region 6 U.S. Forest Service Wilderness Areas . . USDA Forest Service
  • Jefferson National Forest Visitor Realignment Project and Resource Management Plan Update EIS. USDA Forest Service

           Grace A. Wang, PhD

Grace A. Wang - is an assistant professor of natural resource policy in the Department of Environmental Studies at Western Washington University and a socio-cultural resource policy analyst with Resource Dimensions. She has ten years of experience in natural resource policy, in particular cultural resources management. Early in her career with the USDA Forest Service, she worked with American Indian tribes and forest managers to reduce resource conflict. Dr. Wang’s areas of expertise are in natural resource policy and the human dimensions of natural resources. Her current research interests include environmental justice issues related to environmental impact assessment and resource allocation, the consultation process with American Indian tribes, access to and implications of non-timber forest products, and a broad array of community-based public participation processes including surveys, focus groups, and interviews. Projects have included work with the Ford Foundation, National Park Service (Redwood National Park), USDA Forest Service, and Pennsylvania Game Commission. Dr. Wang is a faculty member at the Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University.

She has conducted various projects for clients as the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Pennsylvania State Game Commission, and other state agencies.

Recent projects:

  • Environmental Justice Analysis and technical report preparation for SR28 Eastside Corridor transportation improvement project in East Wenatchee, WA. FHWA and WSDOT
  • Hunter Movement and Spatial Distribution in the Sproul State Forest. Audubon Society
  • Community Asset Building in Forest Communities Initiative. This project is based on the asset-building approach to alleviate poverty and injustice. Ford Foundation
  • Community-based Deer Management in Milford, Pennsylvania. USDA Forest Service, Pennsylvania State Bureau of Forestry and State Game Commission
  • Social Assessment of the Allegheny Forest Region, Pennsylvania. USDA Forest Service
  • Pennsylvania Deer Hunter Perceptions about Deer, Habitat, and Hunting Success . ( Pennsylvania Game Commission )
  • Evaluation of the Pennsylvania 4-H Sportfishing Program. Evaluated the usefulness and viability as a curriculum that provides children with the opportunity and ability to become anglers, regardless of location or socioeconomic constraints . ( Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission )
  • An Ethnographic Overview and Evaluation of American Indian Consultations for Redwood National and State Parks . (2003)
  • Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park: Historic Forest Planning Charrette. Assessed issues related to visitor use, recreation opportunities, community development, natural and cultural resource conditions, and other related issues and concerns . ( National Park Service . )
  • Linking heritage landscapes and ecosystem management on the Mount Hood National Forest (OR). Evaluation of integrated ecosystem and heritage management, especially with regard to American Indians . ( USDA Forest Service, Zig Zag Ranger District

           J.D. Wulfhorst, PhD

Jeffery Dean (JD) Wulfhorst, PhD; Senior Cultural Sociologist. Dr. Wulfhorst is an associate partner with Resource Dimensions and an assistant professor of Rural Sociology at the University of Idaho. He also serves as the Director and Principal Investigator of the Social Science Research Unit (SSRU). JD’s work at SSRU frequently includes the use of focus groups, workshops, interviews and a variety of survey instruments for an array of projects covering issues as housing, community development, recreation, conservation, youth programs, and agricultural products and industries.

Since 2003, JD has also worked with the American Indian Studies Program, which seeks to apply the collective knowledge, expertise and perspectives from both the Indian and research communities to enhance the quality of life among Indian peoples. In addition, the Program facilitates the academic appreciation of Indian peoples, their histories, cultures and contemporary concerns. JD has led a number of project initiatives through the Program, including cooperative business ventures, and has mentored students through the Northwest Nations Upward Bound and HOIST programs. He has worked cooperatively on several projects with the Kalispel, Nez Perce, Coeur d’Alene, Shoshone-Paiute tribes, and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Dr. Wulfhorst has worked as a cultural sociologist, social science researcher and statistician for nearly 20 years. Much of his work has centers on sustainable rural communities, economic development, public participation in resource protection, issues of environmental justice, and changing patterns of land-use in the western U nited .S tates .. His projects have been funded by various tribal, governmental and non-profit entities including the Federal Highway Administration, USDA Forest Service, BLM, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, Idaho and Washington State DOTs, the Inland Northwest Research Alliance, and others.

Recent Projects, include the following in which Dr. Wulfhorst has served as principal or co-principal investigator:

  • The Green Industry in Idaho. Project assessed the economic impact of horticulture and landscape architecture businesses on Idaho’s economy in 2000 and 2005. The industry has become part of Idaho’s shift from production and extraction of resources toward a more diverse economic portfolio, including service amenities, rural enhancement planning, and tourism development, and rural enhancement planning and contributes significantly to the state’s economy. Idaho Nursery and Florists Advisory Committee (INFAC)
  • 2005 Annual Farm Workers Prevailing Wage Survey. Conducted annually for period between 2001 and 2005 to determine the prevailing wage rate for domestic Idaho farm workers related to irrigation activities and other farm activities in the following year. The wage rate derived from the survey is considered when determining the pay rate to the contract workers through the federal H2A program, Alien Prevailing Wage. Idaho Department of Commerce and Labor
  • Environmental Justice Analysis and technical report preparation for SR28 Eastside Corridor transportation improvement project in East Wenatchee, W ashington A. Federal Highway Administration and WSDOT


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