Hunter Stanke

PhD Student

Univeristy of Washington


I am a PhD student in the The Harvey Lab and the Ecosystem Biogeochemistry Group in School of Environmental and Forest Science at the University of Washington, and current Graduate Research Fellow with the National Science Foundation.

My research interests lie at the intersection of disturbance, landscape, and ecosystem ecology. While still in development, my PhD research will be broadly focused on carbon consequences of forest disturbance and understanding climatic controls on forest demographic processes across multiple scales. I completed an MS in Forestry at Michigan State University, where my research focused on software development for the USFS Forest Inventory and Analysis program and estimation of broad-scale demographic consequences of forest disturbance and climate for top western tree species.

I am also the lead author and maintainer of rFIA, an R package designed to unlock the national Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) database in R. Check out our website for more information, tutorials, and documentation on rFIA. You can also find us on CRAN and GitHub, and in a recent article in Environmental Modeling and Software. For bug reports or feature requests, please see our active issues page.


  • Disturbance & Landscape Ecology
  • Spatial Analysis
  • Forest Management


  • PhD Environmental and Forest Science, Current

    Univeristy of Washington

  • MS Forest Science, 2020

    Michigan State Univeristy

  • BS Forestry, 2019

    Michigan State University

Recent Publications

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Connecting the dots: landscape connectivity between locations of chronic wasting disease detection

The composition and configuration of local landscapes influences animal behavior and may lead to directionally-biased movement patterns …

Over half of top tree species in decline in the western United States

In recent decades, forests of the western US have experienced unprecedented change in climate and forest disturbance regimes, and …

rFIA: An R package for estimation of forest attributes with the US Forest Inventory and Analysis database

Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) is a US Department of Agriculture Forest Service program that aims to monitor changes in forests …


Agent Based Models for Deer Dispersal Simulation

Traditional methods to assess landscape connectivity often fail to address functional connectivity, that is they fail to consider the …

Disease Modeling with Stochastic Networks

Inter-individual contact is a key element affecting the transmission of infectious disease, and variation in contact structure can …

rFIA: Unlocking the FIA Database in R

An R package for estimating forest variables with the Forest Inventory and Analysis Database.

Recent & Upcoming Talks

rFIA: Unlocking the Potential of the FIADB in R

rFIA is an R package designed to simplify the estimation of forest variables using the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Database and …

Vertical Stream Concavity as a Predictor of Solute Transport Behavior in Mountain Headwater Streams

The exchange of water and solutes between reservoirs of the river corridor is essential to maintaining many ecosystem services. While …

Connecting the Dots: A Landscape Approach for Michigan CWD

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy affecting cervid species in select regions of North America. …