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Alison C Foster, M.S.

Alison Foster is a biologist at the Fort Collins Science Center, whose interests include vegetation dynamics in response to disturbance and climate change, identifying science needs for public land management, and working in coproduction to produce science that is at a scale and format useable by resource managers.

Alison Foster (she/her) is a biologist at the Fort Collins Science Center (FORT). Her interests include vegetation dynamics in response to disturbance and climate change, identifying science needs for public land management, and working in coproduction to produce science that is at a scale and format useable by resource managers.

Alison began her career working in environmental policy and has a varied background in federal land management and scientific research, including conducting National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analyses for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and leading research about recruitment of western tree species under a changing climate. She is an avid botanist and has experience working in a range of terrestrial western systems, including the Colorado Plateau and the Great Basin.

At FORT, Alison uses a variety of research techniques to provide science that can inform decision-making on and around western public lands. Her current research includes identifying priority science and data needs for strengthening the science foundation of BLM decision-making, understanding recruitment and mortality dynamics of sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) in relation to precipitation events, and developing a step-by-step process for assessing cumulative effects in the BLM.

Professional Experience

  • Biologist (2021–present), USGS Fort Collins Science Center, Fort Collins, CO

  • Contracted Ecologist (Student Contractor; 2019–2021), USGS Fort Collins Science Center, Fort Collins, CO

  • Research Associate and Crew Leader (2019), Colorado Forest Restoration Institute, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

  • Graduate Teaching and Research Assistant (2017–2019), Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

  • Lead Plant Technician (2015–2017), National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) Domain 13/15, Salt Lake City, UT

  • Project Manager (2014), Public Lands History Center, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

  • Range and Natural Resources Management Fellow (2013–2014), Bureau of Land Management St. George Field Office, St. George, UT

  • Technical Assistant (2012–2013), Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, CO

  • Research Assistant (2011–2012), Stewardship Institute, National Park Service, Woodstock, VT

  • SCA Unilever National Parks Congressional Intern (2011), U.S. Congressman Peter Welch, Washington, DC

  • SCA Unilever National Parks Congressional Intern (2011), Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, Woodstock, VT

Education and Certifications

  • M.S. in Forest Sciences, Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship, Colorado State University, 2019

  • Graduate Certificate in Data Analysis, Department of Statistics, Colorado State University, 2018

  • B.S. in Environmental Science, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Vermont, 2011

Science and Products