Technical Studies Program
NCASI maintains a broad research program that reflects the wide variety of environmental concerns of interest to the forest products industry. Its Technical Studies Program is developed each year in consultation with representatives of Member Companies. Most of NCASI’s research efforts fall into one of five major program areas: Air Quality, Water Quality, Ecological Assessment, Chemical Reporting, Forestry, and Climate Change.
NCASI maintains a technical staff of approximately 80 scientists and engineers with expertise in areas such as chemistry, chemical engineering, environmental engineering, pulp and paper science, forestry, toxicology, aquatic biology, wildlife biology, forest biology, and computer science. All of NCASI’s senior staff hold graduate degrees in their specialty areas.
Research activities are conducted at several facilities located throughout the United States—three regional centers, two aquatic biology facilities, and numerous forestry-related field study sites.
NCASI distributes a variety of publications, including newsletters, current awareness memos, and handbooks. The results of NCASI’s research studies are usually published in the form of Technical Bulletins or Special Reports. While these research results are used extensively within the industry, they also find frequent use among academic researchers, regulatory agencies, and others needing reliable environmental data and information on the forest products industry. NCASI frequently sponsors research projects at universities and other research institutes, and encourages external researchers to publish their work as appropriate in peer-reviewed journals.
In many cases, NCASI’s efforts provide valuable policy and regulatory support in technical matters, enabling the industry to set policy and respond to proposed regulatory actions using sound science. Other projects support proactive pollution prevention measures by the industry, including those that reduce the formation of troublesome compounds or identify beneficial uses of waste materials.
NCASI’s efforts in the area of risk assessment assist the industry with complex environmental decision-making. Concerns that industry emissions or discharges might cause human and environmental health effects motivate NCASI to investigate the scientific basis of such concerns. Environmental issues such as biodiversity and wetlands preservation can influence the industry’s access to forest fiber resources, which prompts NCASI to sponsor an extensive effort in forest research.