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M. Chad Bolding

Associate Professor

Ph.D., Forest Engineering, Oregon State University, 2006; M.F., Silviculture, Oregon State University, 2005; M.S., Forest Operations, Auburn University, 2002; B.S., Forestry, Auburn University, 2000


Interest Areas: forest operations, harvesting, wood supply chain efficiency, and biomass utilization.
Teaching Responsibilities
  • FOR 3714 Forest Harvesting
  • FOR 3344 Forest Field Studies
  • FOR 3734 Timber Procurement
  • FOR 4714 Harvesting Systems Evaluation
  • FOR 5714G Advanced Harvesting Systems Evaluation
Research Interests and Recent Projects

My research program is primarily based in the following areas within Forest Operations and Business:

  1. Evaluating operations with regard to safety, productivity, planning, and logistics,
  2. Creating tools to improve the efficiency and profitability of forest operations,
  3. Analyzing forest business issues such as supply chain management and biomass utilization opportunities and challenges, and
  4. Evaluating the environmental impacts of forest operations activities.

Current research projects include:

  1. Modeling the effects of skid trail characteristics and closure techniques on potential soil erosion,
  2. Enhancing bioenergy product development in Virginia: Identifying potential biomass boiler locations, assessing available resources, and streamlining barriers for biomass utilization,
  3. Inclusive excellence in forestry graduate programs at Virginia Tech,
  4. Water quality and closure BMPs for forest stream crossings, and
  5. Productivity, costs, and environmental impacts of biomass harvesting in the coastal plain of North Carolina.
Refereed Journal Publications (33)
  • Hanzelka, N.C., J. Sullivan, M.C. Bolding, and S.M. Barrett. (in press). Economic feasibility of utilizing pre-commercially thinned southern pine as a woody biomass energy source. Forest Products Journal.
  • Morris, B.C., M.C. Bolding, W.M. Aust, K.J. McGuire, E.B. Schilling, and J. Sullivan. 2016. Differing levels of forestry best management practices at stream crossing structures affect sediment delivery and installation costs. Water 8(92):1-18.
  • Barrett, S.M., W.M. Aust, M.C. Bolding, W.A. Lakel III, and J.F. Munsell. 2016. Implementation of forestry best management practices on biomass and conventional harvesting operations in Virginia. Water 8(89):1-9.
  • Hanzelka, N.C., M.C. Bolding, J. Sullivan, and S.M. Barrett. 2016. Productivity and costs of utilizing small-diameter stems in a biomass-only harvest. International Journal of Forest Engineering 27(1):43-52.
  • Barrett, S.M., W.M. Aust, M.C. Bolding, W.A. Lakel III, and J.F. Munsell. 2016. Estimated erosion, ground cover, and best management practices audit details for postharvest evaluations of biomass and conventional clearcut harvests. Journal of Forestry 114(1):9-16.
  • Cristan, R., W.M. Aust, M.C. Bolding, S.M. Barrett, J.F. Munsell, and E.B. Schilling. 2016. Effectiveness of forestry best management practices in the United States: literature review. Forest Ecology and Management 360:133-151.
  • Lang, A.J., R. Cristan, W.M. Aust, M.C. Bolding, B.D. Strahm, E.D. Vance, and E.T. Roberts, Jr. 2016. Long-term effects of wet and dry site harvesting on soil physical properties mitigated by mechanical site preparation in coastal plain loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantations. Forest Ecology and Management 359:162-173.
  • Nolan, L., W.M. Aust, S.M. Barrett, M.C. Bolding, K. Brown, and K.J. McGuire. 2015. Estimating costs and effectiveness of upgrades in forestry best management practices for stream crossings. Water 7:6946-6966.
  • Lang, A.J., W.M. Aust, M.C. Bolding, S.M. Barrett, K.J. McGuire, and W.A. Lakel III. 2015. Streamside management zones compromised by stream crossings, legacy gullies, and over-harvest in the Piedmont. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 51(4):1153-1164.
  • Aust, W.M., M.C. Bolding, and S.M. Barrett. 2015. Best management practices for low-volume forest roads in the Piedmont region: summary and implications of research. Journal of the Transportation Review Board 2472(1):51-55.
  • Barrett, S.M., M.C. Bolding, W.M. Aust, and J.F. Munsell. 2014. Characteristics of logging businesses that harvest biomass for energy production. Forest Products Journal 64(7/8):265-272.
  • Passauer, D.P., W.M. Aust, M.C. Bolding, B.D. Strahm, J.M. Burger, S.C. Patterson, E. Vance, and E.T. Roberts Jr. 2013. Potential above-ground biomass losses from severe soil rutting during wet weather timber harvests of coastal plain loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantations mitigated by mechanical site preparation. Forest Ecology and Management 307:266-273.
  • Conrad, J.L., M.C. Bolding, W.M. Aust, R.L. Smith, and A. Horcher. 2013. Harvesting productivity and costs when utilizing energywood from pine plantations of the southern Coastal Plain USA. Biomass and Bioenergy 52:85-95.
  • Wear, L.R., W.M. Aust, M.C. Bolding, B.D. Strahm, and C.A. Dolloff. 2013. Effectiveness of best management practices for sediment reduction at operational forest stream crossings. Forest Ecology and Management 289:551-561.
  • Wade, C.R., M.C. Bolding, W.M. Aust, and W.A. Lakel III. 2012. Comparison of five erosion control techniques for bladed skid trails in Virginia. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry 36(4):191-197.
  • Sawyers, B.C., M.C. Bolding, W.M. Aust, and W.A. Lakel III. 2012. Effectiveness and implementation costs of overland skid trail closure techniques in the Virginia piedmont. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 67(4):298-308.
  • Wade, C.R., M.C. Bolding, W.M. Aust, W.A. Lakel III, and E.B. Schilling. 2012. Comparing sediment trap data with the USLE-Forest, RUSLE2, and WEPP-Road erosion models for evaluation of bladed skid trail BMPs. Transactions of ASABE 55(2):403-414.
  • Barrett, S.M., M.C. Bolding, and J.F. Munsell. 2012. Evaluating continuing education needs and program effectiveness using a survey of Virginia’s SHARP Logger program participants. Journal of Extension [Online], 50(1) Article 1RIB8. Available at: http://www.joe.org/joe/2012february/rb8.php
  • McKee, S.E., L.A. Shenk, M.C. Bolding, and W.M. Aust. 2012. Stream crossing methods, costs, and closure best management practices for Virginia loggers. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry 36(1):33-37.
  • Conrad, J.L., W.S. Ford, M.C. Groover, M.C. Bolding, and W.M. Aust. 2012. Virginia Tech forest road and bladed skid trail cost estimation method. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry 36(1):26-32.
  • Munsell, J.F., S.M. Barrett, and M.C. Bolding. 2011. An exploratory study of biomass harvesting among logging firms in Virginia and North Carolina. Forest Science 57(5):427-434.
  • Aust, W.M., M.B. Carroll, M.C. Bolding, and C.A. Dolloff. 2011. Operational forest stream crossings effects on water quality in the Virginia Piedmont. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry 35(3):123-130.
  • Worrell, W.C., M.C. Bolding, and W.M. Aust. 2011. Potential soil erosion following skyline yarding versus tracked skidding on bladed trails in the Appalachian region of Virginia. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry 35(3):131-135.
  • Conrad, J.L. and M.C. Bolding. 2011. Virginia’s woody biomass market: opportunities and implications. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry 35(2):67-72.
  • Conrad, J.L., M.C. Bolding, R.L. Smith, and W.M. Aust. 2011. Wood-energy market impact on competition, procurement practices, and profitability of landowners and forest products industry in the U.S. south. Biomass and Bioenergy 35(1):280-287.
  • Lakel III, W.A., W.M. Aust, M.C. Bolding, C.A. Dolloff, P. Keyser, and R. Feldt. 2010. Sediment trapping by streamside management zones of various widths after forest harvest and site preparation. Forest Science 56(6):541-551.
  • Conrad, J.L., M.C. Bolding, W.M. Aust, and R.L. Smith. 2010. Wood-to-energy expansion, forest ownership changes, and mill closure: Consequences for U.S. South’s wood supply chain. Forest Policy and Economics 12(6):399-406.
  • Bolding, M.C., S.M. Barrett, J.F. Munsell, and M.C. Groover. 2010. Characteristics of Virginia’s logging businesses in a changing timber market. Forest Products Journal 60(1):86-93.
  • Bolding, M.C., L.D. Kellogg, and C.T. Davis. 2009. Soil compaction and visual disturbance following an integrated mechanical forest fuel reduction operation in southwest Oregon. International Journal of Forest Engineering 20(2):47-56.
  • Moldenhauer, M.C. and M.C. Bolding. 2009. Parcelization of South Carolina’s private forestland: Loggers’ reactions to a growing threat. Forest Products Journal 59(6):37-43.
  • Bolding, M.C., L.D. Kellogg, and C.T. Davis. 2009. Productivity and costs of an integrated mechanical forest fuel reduction operation in southwest Oregon. Forest Products Journal 59(3):35-46.
  • Bolding, M.C. and B.L. Lanford. 2005. Wildfire fuel harvesting and resultant biomass utilization using a cut-to-length / small chipper system. Forest Products Journal 55(12):181-189.
  • Murphy, G.E., H.D. Marshall, and M.C. Bolding. 2004. Adaptive control of bucking on harvesters to meet order book constraints. Forest Products Journal 54(12):114-121.
Selected Presentations
  • Bolding, M.C. and W.M. Aust. 2012. Forest operations research at Virginia Tech. Invited presentation at the Forestland Group Annual Forest Operations Meeting; Blacksburg, VA. May 10, 2012.
  • Bolding, M.C. and T.N. Dowling. 2011. An analysis of woods and mill turn times to improve trucking efficiency. Invited presentation at the Mill Operations Technical Advancement Group (MOTAG) Winter Meeting; Atlanta, GA. February 4, 2011.
  • Bolding, M.C. 2010. Harvesting and forest management issues associated with biomass utilization. Invited presentation at the Virginia Logger’s Association Annual Meeting; Lexington, VA. August 28, 2010.
  • Aust, W.M. and M.C. Bolding. 2010. Modeling erosion from skid trails and stream crossing approaches in the Allegheny Plateau. Invited presentation at the Appalachian Hardwood Forest Research Alliance Annual Meeting; Elkins, WV. June 17, 2010.
  • Barrett, S.M. and M.C. Bolding. 2010. Harvesting in Virginia: current status and future opportunities. Invited presentation at the Virginia Forestry Association Annual Convention; Wintergreen, VA. April 16-18, 2010.
Completed Graduate Students (20)
  • Cristan, Richie R. April 2016. Effectiveness of state developed and implemented forestry best management practices in the United States. PhD Dissertation, Virginia Tech. (Co-chair with Dr. Mike Aust)
  • Parkhurst, Brian M. November 2015. Soil response to skidder and dozer traffic as indicated by soil stress residuals. MF Paper, Virginia Tech. (Co-chair with Dr. Mike Aust)
  • Morris, Brian C. May 2015. Effectiveness, cost, and implications of forest haul road stream crossing structures and best management practices in Virginia. PhD Dissertation, Virginia Tech.
  • Hanzelka, Nathan, C. May 2015. The prevalence and operational feasibility of utilizing pre-commercially thinned pine as a woody biomass energy source. MS Thesis, Virginia Tech. (Co-chair with Dr. Jay Sullivan)
  • Saulnier, Will J. February 2015. Characteristics of Virginia’s private forest landowners and their attitudes toward harvesting. MF Paper, Virginia Tech.
  • Cockram, Drew G. May 2014. An analysis of unique biomass harvesting strategies in steep terrain of Virginia. MF Paper, Virginia Tech. (Co-chair with Dr. Scott Barrett)
  • Lang, Albert J. November 2013. Streamside management zone failures associated with stream crossings, gullies, and harvests in the Piedmont. MF Paper, Virginia Tech. (Co-chair with Dr. Mike Aust)
  • Barrett, Scott M. June 2013. Operational adaptations and environmental implications on integrated biomass harvesting operations. PhD Dissertation, Virginia Tech. (Co-chair with Dr. Mike Aust)
  • Roberts, E. Talcott. June 2012. A ten year analysis of timber harvesting injuries in the Southeastern United States. MF Paper, Virginia Tech.
  • Wear, Laura R. May 2012. Skid trail stream crossing closure techniques for protecting water quality. MS Thesis, Virginia Tech. (Co-chair with Dr. Mike Aust)
  • Groover, Miles C. December 2011. A comparison of chipper productivity, chip characteristics, and nutrient removals from two woody biomass harvesting treatments. MS Thesis, Virginia Tech.
  • Chandler, Josh L. November 2011. Biomass harvesting effects on soil physical properties in the Coastal Plain of North Carolina. MF Paper, Virginia Tech.
  • Conrad, Joseph L. August 2011. Anticipated impact of a vibrant wood-to-energy market on the U.S. South’s wood supply chain. PhD Dissertation, Virginia Tech.
  • Sawyers, B. Clay. May 2011. Effectiveness and implementation costs of overland skid trail closure techniques in the Virginia Piedmont. MF Paper, Virginia Tech. (Co-chair with Dr. Mike Aust) 
  • Wade, Charlie R. December 2010. Evaluation of bladed skid trail erosion BMPs and determination of erosion model accuracy and applicability. MS Thesis, Virginia Tech. (Co-chair with Dr. Mike Aust)
  • Ford, Will S. May 2010. A comprehensive literature review of the impacts of forest harvesting systems on Appalachian hardwood stands. MF Paper, Virginia Tech. (Co-chair with Dr. Mike Aust)
  • Dowling, Tripp N. May 2010. An analysis of log truck turn times at harvest sites and mill facilities. MS Thesis, Virginia Tech.
  • Conrad, Joseph L. May 2010. Virginia’s woody biomass market: opportunities and implications. MF Paper, Virginia Tech.
  • Moldenhauer, Matthew C. February 2009. Parcelization of South Carolina’s private forestland: loggers’ reactions to a growing threat. MFR Paper, Clemson University.
  • Lucas, Aaron C. January 2008. An assessment tool for examining impacts of recreational forest trail use on stream crossings. MFR Paper, Clemson University.
Current Graduate Students (3)
  • AJ Lang (PhD): Erosion from forest roads (Co-chair w/Dr. Mike Aust)
  • Charlie Neaves (MS): Long-term tree growth following wet weather harvesting (Co-chair w/Dr. Mike Aust)
  • Brian Parkhurst (PhD): Soil erosion following different silvicultural treatments (Co-chair w/Dr. Mike Aust)
Professional Memberships, Activities and Honors

Professional Memberships

  • Council on Forest Engineering
  • National Scholars Honor Society
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
  • Society of American Foresters
  • Virginia Forestry Association
  • Xi Sigma Pi Honor Society

Professional Activities and Honors

  • 2012-2013 Outstanding Faculty Award, Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, Virginia Tech
  • Member, Virginia Forestry Association Board of Directors. April 2012 – Present.
  • Southern Regional Extension Forestry 2011 Awards for Excellence - Silver Award for National/International Project. “Wood Bioenergy Assessments in Support of Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program”. Authors: J.F. Munsell, J.P. Ignosh, and M.C. Bolding.
  • Southern Regional Extension Forestry 2011 Awards for Excellence - Gold Award for Journal Publication. “Virginia SHARP Logger Survey: Characteristics of Virginia’s Logging Businesses”. Authors: S.M. Barrett*, M.C. Bolding, and J.F. Munsell.
  • Southern Journal of Applied Forestry Associate Editor for Harvesting, Engineering, and Utilization. July 2011 – Present.
  • Forest Resources Association Appalachian Region 2010 Technical Writing Award 2nd Place. Technical Release 09-R-30, “Trucking Safety/Efficiency Manual as Continuing Ed Resource”. Authors: M.C. Bolding, T.N. Dowling, and S.M. Barrett.
  • Forest Resources Association Appalachian Region 2010 Technical Writing Award 3rd Place. Technical Release 10-R-11, “Loggers’ Willingness to Adapt to Biomass Harvesting”. Authors: S.M. Barrett, M.C. Bolding, and J.F. Munsell.
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of Agricultural, Forest, and Environmental Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, SC. 2008 – Present.
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA. 2008 – Present.
Brochure and Website
    Headshot of Chad Bolding

  • (540) 231-6924
  • bolding@vt.edu
  • Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation (MC0324)
    Cheatham Hall, RM 228-A, Virginia Tech 310 West Campus Drive
    Blacksburg, VA 24061

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