How did you end up at Oregon State?
My wife got a job at Oregon State in the Crop and Soil Science Department, and we moved to Corvallis in fall of 2009. I worked remotely on my post-doc until 2010, at which point I began a research position the fisheries and wildlife department . In 2015, I transitioned to a tenure track position with ajoint appointment between Forest Ecosystems and Society and the Department of Fisheries Wildlife. I have to say that I really enjoy working in two departments. Of course, I go to two faculty meetings and serve on more committees, but it’s been a great fit for me in terms of my research interests and potential for collaboration.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
I love working with graduate students. They do amazing work. I love building rapport with them and seeing them going through the learning process where at the end of their time they are writing really stellar thesis drafts.
You won a dean’s award this year, and were recently awarded tenure. How does it feel?
It’s great. Gaining tenure is a weight off my shoulders. I think any faculty member would tell you that there’s no time when you’re not thinking about work and I’m hoping to take at least a bit of a breath next year sometime and start to unwind a little. I won the dean’s award for graduate student mentorship. I have a great group of students and really all I did was what I like to do the most (talk a lot to students about science).
What are your plans for summer?
I have an NSF grant to do work in Yellowstone. I’m headed out there for a couple weeks. Then I’ll visit family back East, and when we get back to Oregon I’ll catch up on my projects here – one at HJ Andrews and one on managed forest landscapes in the Coast and Cascade Ranges, then back to Yellowstone for a week. I’ll recover after that and spend time with my kids. We hope to spend a few weekends camping on the coast.
What kinds of things are your kids into?
They both do gymnastics at KidSprit, and my oldest is taking riding lessons from Michele Justice’s daughter, which has been a cool College of Forestry connection.
What else do you do when you’re not working?
I’m enjoying experiencing children’s literature again through my kids. I’m reading them lots of Shel Silverstein and Rahl Dahl. We’ve also recently started skiing as a family. I’m looking forward to reclaiming more of my old hobbies like wood working, fishing and playing hockey. Hopefully I can gain better work-life balance in the coming year and start integrating those back into my life.