In Memoriam: Paul C. Van Deusen

Dr. Paul C. Van Deusen, NCASI Principal Research Scientist, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, August 21, 2015. Paul, who joined NCASI in 1994, was a dedicated and talented scientist and leader of the NCASI Statistics and Model Development Group.

Paul was internationally renowned as a forest biometrician, having extensive expertise with forest inventory and analysis methods. Paul also developed and maintained a suite of online tools to facilitate spatially explicit forest harvest scheduling, visualizing and analyzing Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data, estimating forest carbon, and analyzing wildlife habitat selection ( He authored many publications that appeared in peer-reviewed journals on topics such as the design of and field methods for forest inventory systems, methods for analyzing forest inventory data, economic effects of constraints on forest management, wildlife habitat selection, and many others. 

Prior to his employment by NCASI, Paul worked two years for the Peace Corps during which he assisted the Jamaican forestry department with land surveying, inventorying of natural forests, and preparing management plans. He also worked as a Research Associate in Forest Biometrics for 

Mississippi State University, and with the USDA Forest Service as a Mathematical Statistician and Project Leader for the Southern Research Station’s Institute for Quantitative Studies. During Paul’s tenure with the Forest Service he provided scientific leadership by working with scientists representing industry, academia and the Forest Service to establish statistical rigor to national evaluation of forest health and productivity.

Paul continued to maintain close working and personal relationships with his colleagues within the Forest Service’s FIA Program, and co-authored many publications with them. He routinely collaborated with his Forest Service colleagues to organize national FIA User Group meetings, the FIA Science Symposium, the Northeastern Mensurationist Organization Meeting, and a Biometrics Working Group administered by NCASI. Paul was a strong advocate for the US Forest Service’s FIA Program and the value of timely field data, and he often found himself engaged in discussions about opportunities to further enhance the Program.

Paul was awarded a Ph.D. in Forest Biometrics by the University of California, Berkeley in 1984. He also held a Master’s Degree in Forest Biometrics from Mississippi State University and a B.S. degree in Forest Management from the University of Massachusetts.

Paul is survived by his wife, Shirley, their son, Daryl, and many family members, friends, and colleagues. 

In addition to being an accomplished professional, Paul was a warm and friendly presence in the NCASI community. NCASI will greatly miss our friend and colleague.