Scientific research in the Forest Service puts theory into practice. Many of the original employees of the agency were scientists, working in laboratories, nurseries, and experimental forests. Their work enhanced the agency's knowledge and understanding of fire, the effects of grazing, seed dispersal, wood characteristics, and tree growth. Forest Service scientists have improved methods for turpentining, forecasting fire danger, building homes, and recycling wood. They have also contributed to our understanding of forest and wildlife ecology.

Some, like George B. Sudworth were world renowned; others, such as Earle Clapp, Richard McArdle, John McGuire and Jack Ward Thomas rose to the rank of chief. These pages highlight notable individuals and their professional accomplishments.