Joseph Orefice

Lecturer and Director of Forest & Agricultural Operations

Research Overview

My research focus is applied agroforestry and forestry. Agroforestry is an understudied science that is currently experiencing a great deal of interest due to its potential for providing ecosystem services, potential to increase the resiliency of agricultural systems, and niche appeal in the local food movement. However, temperate agroforestry suffers from an imbalance between interest in its practices and scientific understanding of its systems – interest is great, scientific understanding is minimal.  This same relationship is true for many wild harvested non-timber forest products. The disparity between interest and understanding toward agroforestry means there is a great opportunity for science to rapidly expand knowledge and provide lasting impacts on the management of working landscapes.

The majority of my work has been in temperate silvopasture systems with an interdisciplinary nature spanning social, ecological, and applied aspects. I also study hardwood silviculture and practical maple syrup production. My broader research interests are in sustainable farming, agroforestry, and using livestock as a form of vegetation management for production purposes, habitat modification, and invasive species eradication.  I believe the results of research should be understood beyond the scientific community and I ensure my work has practical applications while being accessible to both scientific and general audiences.