Ongoing Research Projects

Tyler Everett

Tyler’s current research, much like the rest of the APCAW team, is interdisciplinary and cross cultural. Fortunately for the entire APCAW team the early efforts of Tribal artisans and ash harvesters to spotlight concerns with brown ash health in the region, led to the formation of the brown ash task force (BATF). Utilizing the existing partnerships and collaborations established by the BATF Tyler’s project will optimize outreach efforts to inform research that will establish study sites for testing adaptive management strategies for brown ash wetland forests that aim to be resilient in the aftermath of EAB. The results of these management trials will help establish guidelines and recommendations for how to best increase the resiliency of the region’s ash resource in the face of this complex forest health issue. Outreach is underway to both Tribal Nation Partners as well as landowners and land managers from across the Dawn Land.

  • Tribal outreach: Working directly with appointed natural resource staff for participating Tribal Nations, we are coordinating public outreach in Tribal Nation communities, where we will present community members with possible adaptive management options, outline any existing knowledge gaps, and explain the uncertainty and probable outcomes for each option. Following the outreach, an opportunity to participate in a focus group discussion will be offered to interested community members.  Analysis of these focus group sessions will inform the experimental design of the project’s management trials. Ensuring that these trials will align with the priorities of our Tribal partners.
  • Landowner and Land Manager outreach: Working cooperatively with state agency partners in Maine and other voluntary organizations we have dispersed a survey to landowners, loggers, and foresters throughout the state that will allow us insight into their perceptions on the EAB forest health issue. This newfound understanding will be used to produce outreach materials for these groups that aim to address misconceptions and knowledge gaps regarding ash best management practices.
  • Management Trials: As previously noted, the management trials will be based on the priorities identified by our Tribal partners. Sites will be monitored pre- and post-treatment for EAB impacts and infestation levels, as well as patterns of forest regeneration and development. Leveraging these metrics in an analysis will allow us to analyze the overall efficacy of the adaptive management strategy. To deliver the research results we will increase the decision-making capacity of Tribal Nations, private landowners, foresters, and loggers, through management guides and informational sheets tailored to their specific needs.

Emily Francis

Emily’s dissertation research falls into three parallel efforts:

  • Private landowner survey: Understanding the involvement and intentions of landowners of Maine forests for protecting ash against EAB
  • Ash seed collection manual: creating an avenue for non-researchers to become involved with protecting ash long-term for research and future rematriation of ash to forests post-initial EAB invasion
  • Creating a framework of Knowledge sharing and the social network identification for ash protection against EAB in Maine in understanding long-term human networks against invasive species

Ella McDonald

Ella’s masters thesis research investigates whether APCAW’s outreach, partnerships, and communication efforts have been effective in generating the collective action of diverse forest caretakers to care for ash in ways that benefit Wabanaki peoples and forest ecosystems. Her work will help develop the best strategies to:

  • Raise awareness about the cultural and ecological value of brown ash trees.
  • Promote the widespread practice of ash inventory, management, and seed collection techniques.
  • Build relationships between basketmakers and landowners that lead to just access to land. 


Constanza, K.K.L., W.H. Livingston, D.M. Kashian, R.A. Slesak, J.C. Tardiff, J.P. Dech, A.K. Diamond, et al. 2017. The precarious state of a cultural keystone species: Tribal and biological assessments of the role and future of black ash. Journal of Forestry. 115: 435-446.

Daigle, J. J., Straub, C. L., Leahy, J. E., De Urioste-Stone, S. M., Ranco, D. J., & Siegert, N. W. (2019). How campers’ beliefs about forest pests affect firewood transport behavior: An application of involvement theory. Forest Science, 65(3), 363-372.

McGreavy, B., Ranco, D., Daigle, J., Greenlaw, S., Altvater, N., Quiring, T., … & Hart, D. (2021). Science in Indigenous homelands: addressing power and justice in sustainability science from/with/in the Penobscot River. Sustainability Science, 16, 937-947.

Ranco D, Arnett A, Latty E, Remsburg A, Dunckel K, Quigley E, Lilieholm R, Daigle J, Livingston B, Neptune J, Secord T. 2012. Two Maine forest pests: a comparison of approaches to understanding threats to hemlock and ash trees in Maine. Maine Policy Review 21:76-89.

Past Research Projects

Tyler Everett

  • Master’s Project (2019): An Ash Resource Inventory Field Manual
  • During Tyler’s masters program work was guided by time spent working with the Passamaquoddy Forestry Department, engaging with Tribal basket makers and ash harvesters, and listening to the conversations held by the Brown Ash Task Force (BATF); Tyler identified a need for a tailored protocol for the inventory of brown ash wetland forests. Tailored so that the acquired dataset would have all the necessary data for bringing ash management response to EAB in a variety of directions for any given site. After completing the masters program Tyler was able to share a publication of this protocol in an in-person demonstration day on the University Forest in 2019.

Kara Kristine Lorion Costanza

  • Master’s Thesis (2015): Growth Response of Fraxinus nigra Marsh (Lamiales: Oleaceae) Used to Predict High-Quality Sites in Maine and Northern New York: An Approach to Prioritizing Preparedness and Management of Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae)

John Furniss

  • Master’s Thesis (2021): Remote Sensing Identification of Black Ash (Fraxinus Nigra) in Maine Via Hyper- and Multi-Spectral Imagery