Ken Cordell

Southern Research Station

Dr. Cordell stands on a beach holding a lease with another dog in a backpack on his back.

“I like my work and working for the Forest Service very much. My work as a scientist involves studying how people relate to the natural world and what they like to do for outdoor recreation. The science I produce is used at the highest levels of government to aid in deciding how to manage our public lands.”

“My most memorable and rewarding science experience came early in my career. It was the publication in a science journal of an article that I had written. The article was based on my dissertation research about urban forests. My research was about estimating the value of urban green spaces, including trees and forests in urban areas. It was a thrill to see my name on an article in a science publication. It was also great to get praise for my work from a person I greatly admired and respected.”

“One of my favorite science experiences is visiting wilderness areas to examine and photograph where and how people are recreating. In [one of my] photograph[s], I am canoeing in the Okefenokee Wilderness, located in southern Georgia. The Okefenokee Wilderness is unique because it is a large freshwater swamp, accessible only by boat, and it is one of the largest undeveloped natural areas in the Eastern United States.”

“It is always fun to discover a new idea or trend from a survey that we have done. Our surveys are about the importance of natural lands to people. We find that natural lands play an important role in everyone’s life. I know that natural lands are important to me!”

“One of my favorite science experiences happened when I was a young scientist. Like all scientists, I spent a lot of time reading articles in scientific journals that were written by other
scientists. The first time one of my articles was published in a scientific journal was exciting. It is really fun to finally see your name in print in a scientific journal!”

“The thing I like most about being a scientist is discovering something new. One recent discovery was how much time kids spend outdoors and what kids do when they go outdoors. Our team of scientists found some surprising new things about kids and the outdoors.”

“One of my favorite research experience was conducting a national survey of recreationists from all across the United States. I learned much from this survey about the diversity of activities people
enjoy outdoors.”

Additional Resources

  • USDA Forest Service: Ken Cordell

    Learn more about Ken Cordell's research at his Forest Service profile page.
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