RESEARCH TEAM

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Todd Morgan, Director

Todd Morgan is the Bureau's director of Forest Industry Research. He oversees and conducts research related to timber harvesting, logging utilization, and primary wood products manufacturing throughout the Western United States. He is also active in the Missoula and national chapters of the Society of American Foresters.

Todd earned a B.A. in philosophy and a B.S. in forest science at The Pennsylvania State University before completing an M.S. in forestry at The University of Montana-Missoula. Prior to working at the Bureau, he was a research silviculturist for the Texas Forest Service.


Steve Hayes, Research Forester

Steve Hayes is a Research Forester at the Bureau. His focus is on the forest products industry and manufacturing in Montana and other Western states. He is an active member of the Society of American Foresters and has been a Certified Forester since 2000. Steve earned his B.S. in forest resource management and M.S. in forestry from the University of Montana-Missoula. Prior to working at the Bureau, he spent 30 years working in private forest industry as a forester for Plum Creek Timber Company and Champion International Corporation.

Erik Berg, Research Forester

Erik Berg is a research forester with the BBER Forest Industry Research group. Erik investigates the dynamics of the forest products industry in Montana and the other western U.S. states.

Erik worked as a fire science research leader, forest science researcher, and forest management specialist for the federal government throughout a 35 year career prior to joining the BBER in December 2010. Erik completed an undergraduate forestry degree (1973) and master’s degrees (1974-1989) from The University of Idaho and Washington State University prior to earning his Ph.D. in forest ecology (2002) from Clemson University.


Eric Simmons, Research Associate

Eric Simmons is a Research Associate with the Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER), Forest Industry Research Program at the University of Montana. A Montana native with pioneer roots who is at home in the outdoors. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and History from Whitworth University in Spokane Washington. His background in forestry with the U. S. Forest Service includes work in pre-sale, stand exam, forest inventory, reforestation, fuels management, and fire suppression. Since returning to forestry in 2011 to lead the logging utilization research efforts at the BBER he has expanded into forest products industry research with analyses in Idaho and Oregon as well as assisting with the 4 Corners analysis particularly in Arizona and New Mexico.


Chelsea McIver, Research Social Scientist

Chelsea Pennick McIver is a research social scientist with the Forest Industry Research Program at the University of Montana's Bureau of Business and Economic Research. She holds a BA in Rural and Environmental Sociology and an MS in Forestry from the University of Montana and is currently working on a PhD in Natural Resource Policy and Administration at the University of Idaho. Her research interests center on public lands policy and its impact on rural communities and local governments. She has published extensively on the forest products industry across the West as well as on federal contracting policy and its impact on local business utilization, the influence of collaboration on the pace and scale of management on public lands and on the fiscal burden of wildfire suppression on states. During her time at the University of Idaho, Chelsea was a research and policy analyst with the Policy Analysis Group in the College of Natural Resources and taught Forest Policy and Administration to upper division forestry majors.

Thale Dillon, Research Economist

Thale Dillon is an economic researcher with BBER’s Forest Industry Research Program. She holds degrees in both economics and forest economics, earning her master’s degree from the University of Montana in 1999. She was involved in tourism and forestry research until 2006, and served as economic researcher and director for Montana KIDS COUNT from 2006 until 2019, when she rejoined the FIR program. Thale is involved in a multitude of the Program’s projects, providing economic analysis and editorial assistance, as well as managing surveying and data collection efforts for FIRP’s work with the Timber Product Output Program and the Forest Industry Data Collection System.

Samuel Scott, Forest Economist

Samuel Scott is a Forest Economist with the Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER), Forest Industry Research Program at the University of Montana. He holds both a B.S. (University of Montana) and an M.S. (Virginia Tech) in Forestry. Prior to the Bureau, Sam served as an Economist for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and as a Silviculture and Timber Technician for the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service.

Mike Niccolucci, Forest Economist

Mike Niccolucci is a retired USDA Forest Service economist.

Lucas Townsend, Forester

Lucas Townsend is a Forester with the Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER), Forest Industry Research Program at the University of Montana.


Clayton Dutton, Database Administrator/Programmer

Clayton Dutton is a Database Administrator/Programmer at the Bureau. He works on internal programs, applications and databases used by the Forest Industry Research Program, supports the BBER Web site as well as managing the Bureau's servers and IT resources.


CONTACT

Todd Morgan, Director
Forest Industry Research Program
406.243.5113