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DCR Watershed Science and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC)

Learn more about the purpose and objectives of the DWSP's Science and Technical Advisory Committee.


The DWSP Science and Technical Advisory Committee was formed to address major natural resources and watershed management issues, changes in the Quabbin Reservoir Land Management Plan, and to advise the agency in the development and implementation of scientific research at Quabbin Reservoir. This committee included professional forest, wildlife, and natural resource researchers and managers from:

  • several University of Massachusetts departments
  • Harvard Forest
  • the USDA Forest Service
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • Amherst College
  • Institute of Ecosystem Studies
  • US Geological Survey
  • Massachusetts Audubon Society
  • the New England Small Farms Institute
  • the MA Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program
  • Hampshire College
  • several state agencies

The committee was intended to function as the “bridge” between professional research and management. The committee met annually from 1996 through 2000, and sub-groups have been called upon occasionally to address current issues. In addition to general advice, the committee assisted in:

  • Setting research priorities
  • Developing standards for research quality assurance and control
  • Subwatershed modeling
  • Determining appropriate sizes for regeneration openings
  • Designing lands reserved from management
  • Developing management considerations for the Pottapaug Natural Area
  • Developing a policy for the treatment of watershed areas affected by the hemlock woolly adelgid.

STAC was re-convened in 2010 and is chaired by Dr. Paul Barten, Professor of Forest Resources at UMass Amherst.

2012 STAC Report and DCR Response

STAC completed a review of the scientific principles that guide existing Land Management Plan objectives for the Office of Watershed Management.

You can view STAC's Review of Mass DWSP Watershed Forestry Program.

The STAC report was presented to a joint meeting of the Quabbin Watershed and Ware River Watershed Advisory Committees on December 10, 2012. DCR accepted comments on the report until January 18, 2013.

DCR presented its Response to Forest Heritage Planning Process and the Science and Technical Advisory Committee to a joint meeting of the Quabbin Watershed and Ware River Watershed Advisory Committees on February 12, 2013. DCR accepted comments on the report, and responded to these comments.

You can also view the August 2013 final version of From Here Forward: Changes to the DCR Division of Water Supply Protection's Watershed Forest Management Program.

Science and Technical Advisory Committee (2010)

Member  Expertise  Title and Affiliation 
Paul Barten (Chair)  Forestry, hydrology, watershed management  Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Dept of Environmental Conservation 
Mark Ashton  Silviculture, forest ecology, forest regeneration, adaptability of forests to changes in climate  Professor and Director of Forests, School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale University 
James Boyce  Environmental economics  Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Dept of Economics 
Robert Brooks  Wildlife research biology, ecology, hydrology, and effects of harvesting on ephemeral and riparian habitats  USDA Forest Service
Northern Research Station
Amherst, MA
Jill Bubier Wetland ecology, biogeochemistry, plant ecology, feedbacks to climate change Mount Holyoke College
Program in Environmental Studies
John Buonaccorsi  Biometrics; previous work with DWSP on deer population and tree regeneration sampling  Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Dept of Math and Statistics 
John Campbell  Biogeochemical cycling in northeastern forested watersheds  Research Scientist, USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest 
Stephen DeStefano  Wildlife ecology, population dynamics, habitat relationships, and human-wildlife interactions  Research Professor and Unit Leader, US Geological Survey Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit 
Martha Hoopes Invasion ecology (invasive plants and animals), conservation biology, plant/herbivore interactions, role of spatial configuration Mount Holyoke College
Biological Sciences
Program in the Environment
Scott Jackson  Conservation biology, vernal pools, amphibians, biological conservation, impacts of roads  Director, Natural Resources & Environmental Conservation, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Extension 
Matthew Kelty  Silviculture, forest ecology, stand dynamics, managed vs. unmanaged forests, regeneration  Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Dept of Environmental Conservation 
David King Forest wildlife habitat management, neotropical migrant birds, effects of silviculture and roads  Research Scientist, USDA Forest Service
Northern Research Station
Amherst, MA
Tom Lautzenheiser  Community ecology, field naturalist, plants, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies, landscape interpretation  Regional Scientist
Massachusetts Audubon
Sanctuary Management Planning 
Chi Ho Sham  Source water protection, hydrology, geomorphology, water quality  Vice President, The Cadmus Group, Inc. and Chair of the American Water Works Association
Source Water Protection Committee 
John Tobiason  Civil and environmental engineering, transport and transformation of pollutants in natural and engineered drinking water systems  Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Dept of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Water Resources Program 
Mary Tyrrell  Sustainable forestry/forest policy  Executive Director, Yale University, Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry, School of Forestry & Environmental Studies 

Support staff from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and MWRA

  • Robert O’Connor, Director, Forest and Land Policy, EOEEA
  • Jonathan Yeo, Director, DCR Division of Water Supply Protection
  • Dan Clark, Director, DWSP Natural Resources Section
  • Thom Snowman, Environmental Analyst, DWSP-Natural Resources Section (retired)
  • John Gregoire, Program Manager - Reservoir Operations, MWRA


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