Back to top

David Weinstein

David Weinstein

Visiting Scientist

119 Fernow Hall
(607) 351-4214

David Weinstein’s research involves predicting future forest development in response to changing climate conditions, and developing forest management options to reduce forest vulnerability to these agents of change.

Research Focus

To meet the challenge of increasing forest vulnerability to climate change, my work evaluates the management strategies with which forest owners and managers could reduce the susceptibility of forests to the damaging effects of climate change. This work identifies the susceptibility of each of the major upland forest type of central New York to the influences of climate change, quantifying which forest types are at risk and what levels of mortality are anticipated. It combines the most current understanding of tree-climate change relationships with advanced computer simulation techniques to 1) project the long term consequences of the impacts of changing conditions, and 2) identify the strategies that effectively reduce the susceptibility of these forests to deterioration. Tools and recommendations are being provided to forest owners and managers to enable them to adapt their forest. Additional projects include (1) evaluating plant phenology observations to monitor effects of global climate change, (2) developing strategies for increasing carbon sequestration in forests, (3) determining the effects of Marcellus shale drilling infrastructure development on forest fragmentation and representative natural species populations of concern.

Outreach and Extension Focus

Create citizen scientist program for monitoring effects of global change on flowering and phenology of native plants of the finger lakes region. Provide opportunity for public to see influence of global change in their own backyards.

Helping forest owners devise management plans to make their forests less vulnerable to damage from climate change and its associated effects.

Teaching Focus

Directing students to analyze mechanisms for Cornell to reduce its net carbon emissions.

Directing students in methods of predicting growth of trees, development of forest ecosystems, and managing to reduce vulnerability to climate change.

I teach special interest courses on topics of immediate relevancy to environmental policy. I teach a workshop to examine the potential for 1) sustainable use of local forests and agricultural lands to provide heat and power to the Cornell campus, 2) carbon removal technology, pre- and post-combustion and techniques and sites for long-term storage, and 3) sequestration of carbon in Cornell forest and agricultural lands.

Selected Publications

Book Chapters

  • Weinstein, D. A., & Woodbury, P. B. (2010). Review of Methods for Developing Probabilistic Risk Assessments. Part 1: Modeling Fire. Chapter for Book: Advances in Threat Assessment and their Application to Forest and Rangeland Management. p. 708 Encyclopedia of Forest Environmental Threats Pye, John M.; Rauscher, H. Michael; Sands, Yasmeen; Lee, Danny C.; Beatty, Jerome S. (ed.), USDA Forest Service General Technical Publication, Portland, Oregon, USA.

Presentations and Activities

  • Climate change effects on forests and grasslands. Climate Change and New York Ecosystems: Where Do We Go From Here?. December 2011. ClimAID Ecosystems Report Panel. Ramada Inn, Ithaca, NY.