2019 Dean’s Dinner and Awards Ceremony

This year’s Dean’s Dinner was held on May 14, after the grand opening of the A. A. “Red” Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Laboratory.

After opening remarks from Anthony Davis, Interim Dean for the College of Forestry, three outstanding alumni were honored. Jim Johnson, interim department head of Forest Engineering, Resources & Management, presented the award to Mike Cloughesy. Mike graduated from OSU with a M.S. in Forest Science in 1983 and is currently the Director of Forestry for the Oregon Forest Resources Institute, a statewide forestry education agency. He is responsible for the development and implementation of OFRI’s forestry education programs for landowners and the general public.

Troy Hall, department head of Forest Ecosystems and Society, presented the award to Cristina Eisenberg. Cristina graduated from OSU with a PH.D. in Forestry and Wildlife in 2012. She has worked as the Chief Scientist at Earthwatch Institute, an organization based in Boston, Massachusetts since 2014.

Eric Hansen, department head of Wood Science and Engineering, presented the award to Jerrold E. Winandy. Jerrold graduated from OSU with a PH.D. in Wood Science and Engineering in 1993. He is now principal partner of Winandy & Associates LLC and an adjunct professor in the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering at the University of Minnesota. Congratulations to each of our outstanding alumni!

Each year the College of Forestry is honored and privileged to award graduate fellowships and undergraduate scholarships to deserving new and returning students. 134 undergraduate students were selected to receive scholarships totaling $486,060 for the 2019-20 academic year. Nicole Kent, our head advisor, helped congratulate these students. Twenty six graduate students, both Master- and PhD- level, received college fellowships totaling just over $121,500 for the 2019-20 academic year.

Donor contributions make a difference in the lives of our students by allowing them to fulfill their dreams of a college education, and to be successful contributors in our communities after graduation. These are the stewards of our forest ecosystems and economies, and I cannot think of a greater return on investment than their education. Donors and alumni, thank you for your wonderful generosity and outstanding contributions to the College!

To honor the dedication shown by those who support students in the College, two faculty awards were presented. The Xi Sigma Pi Julie Kliever Mentorship Award went to Bogdan Strimbu and the Aufderheide Award to Laurie Schimleck.

The evening wrapped up with two student awards. The winner of the Pack Essay Award was Paul B. Pliess for his essay: “Multicultural Stakeholders in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge”. The Photo of the Year award went to Graham Lyons, for his photo taken in the California Coastal Redwoods.

Graduate Student Q&A: Raquel Albee

  • How did you end up at Oregon State as an undergrad? Why did you decide to stick around? What’s it like being a graduate student?

I grew up in a family of Beaver fans, so even though I’m a first-generation college student, I always saw myself here. I love the College of Forestry and the community of Corvallis. It’s a really nice place to stick around. Being a graduate student is extremely busy, but rewarding.

  • What’s your favorite part of studying wood science?

I really like that the program is technical-science focused, with a focus on industry, research and development. Hands-on experiences, in addition to industry exposure, have been crucial. The program itself has faculty and students with many diverse interests and areas of study, which provides unique perspectives and experiences.

  • What do you do when you’re not studying/working? (You could talk about your hobbies, family, friends and/or what you do for fun!)

When I’m away from campus, I enjoy hiking, fishing, and running wherever I can get away to with friends and family. I grew up around a lot of animals, so I enjoy a lot of time with my dog, Rogue, who often goes hiking with me. I enjoy watching sports, especially any Oregon State team.

  • When will you finish your program? What’s next? What’s your dream job?

I will be finishing up my master’s this June, then I will spend the summer traveling around Europe and the United States. After summer, I will be starting my career within forest products. My dream job and my eventual career goal is to be an executive on a forest products board of directors, where I can combine my knowledge, skills, and experience to benefit the company.

  • If you could be an animal, what animal would you be and why?

I would be a dog because loyalty, friendliness, ability to learn fast, fast-speed, and an adventurous spirit are great traits to have, which a dog already possesses.

Training for the future

The simulator has prepared you for the task ahead, yet sweat starts to drip from your brow, and the controls feel stiffer than they should. The first lever is pulled harmoniously. The second seems to stutter before falling into place. The last one brings a hard feeling to your gut, and you look out to the landscape full of logs in front of you. You have successfully replicated the simulator and moved around your first tree.

Since the 1980s, The Student Logging Training Program (SLTP) has been a part of the College of Forestry, according to Jeff Wimer, a senior instructor with the Oregon State University College of Forestry. The program allows students to experience real-world logging systems up close.

Connecting with the community and getting into the field is forest engineering student Dean Maben’s favorite part of being a member of the SLTP crew.

“I love getting the chance to get into the field and apply the things I’ve learned in the classroom,” Maben says. “It enhances my education as I am able to bridge the connection between the real world and what I am taught in class.”

Maben credits the SLTP with molding him into the person he is today.

“I’ve developed relationships I’ll have for my entire life,” he says “It’s taught me to be professional and to never stop learning.”

Maben says lifelong learning is something Wimer preaches to the crew, as he educates the next generation of professional foresters who will leave Oregon State and lead the industry.

“We have the ability to slow everything down and take the time to better teach how the various systems work. The technology we utilize is real world,” Wimer says. “We are fortunate that various machine manufacturers donate to us, on an annual basis, brand new equipment. On the crew, we continue to explore the rapidly changing technology of our industry.”

Equipment in use includes a Koller 501 Yarder, Link Belt loader and a John Deere skidder.

The SLTP also provides students the chance to participate in unique outreach experiences. In 2018, the student logging crew participated in the Pacific Logging Congress’ (PLC) Live In-Woods Show. The event invited the public to participate by viewing the latest forest industry technology in the woods.

“The show gave SLTP students a chance to interact with audiences they might now work with on a daily basis,” says Wimer, who also serves as president of the PLC. “It provided them the unique opportunity to educate other students, teachers, government representatives, loggers and the general public on the positive and sustainable methods used in the forest industry today.”

The SLTP helps Oregon State meet its land grant mission and reaches to a variety of audiences for education and training purposes.

“The program is quite unique in that there are very few universities that have such a program,” Wimer says. “The students who go through the program tend to have a leg up with their class work. Their field experience with the program gives them a frame of reference and hands on experience which allows them to excel in many of their classes.”

Welcoming art, welcoming everyone

Blank walls in the Richardson Hall knuckle inspired the first College of Forestry art contest in 2017. Temporary walls replaced the connection point to old Peavy Hall, as construction began on the new Oregon Forest Science Complex.

The college’s faculty and staff found themselves scattered throughout other campus buildings including Richardson, Snell and Strand Hall and needed a reason to come together.

The first art contest and show with the theme, ‘The Other Side,’ was held February 17, 2017, and diversity was key to organizers and participants.

All faculty, staff and students were invited to participate, and art mediums chosen were as diverse as the people creating them. The contest saw paintings, sculptures, wood working, photography and more. The pieces were judged by representatives throughout the college and campus.

With the College of Forestry’s commitment to equity, inclusivity and diversity, 2017 also saw the formation of the college’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. The college and committee are devoted to addressing DEI issues in the realm of forestry and natural resource management – through education, research and public engagement. The committee will draw fully and inclusively on the power and force of human imagination, experience and creativity to meet the needs of today’s world.

With this in mind, the art show continued in 2018 with the theme of ‘Innovation.’

Assistant Professor Seri Robinson requires students in the art and design option within the renewable materials program to participate in the art show each year.

“It gives the students a chance at expression using media they are familiar with,” Robinson says. “Because they all have a deep science background in wood and forests, they can apply deeper meaning to art created with the art show’s theme in mind.”

Robinson thinks the art shows have been a great success. “We’ve had some really great work submitted,” Robinson says. “And it’s been a great opportunity for students to talk about their feelings about the college climate, especially in terms of diversity, in a more public forum.”

Staying busy, making an impact

Oregon State University College of Forestry Ph.D. Student Pipiet Larasatie doesn’t have her head stuck in her books. She’s a serious learner and researcher, of course, but she’s not just concerned with her own projects. Instead, she’s working hard to make the college community and industry setting more open and inclusive for all.

She began working toward this goal in her home country of Indonesia. After earning her bachelor’s degree, she served as a civil servant in the forestry service and helped develop rural areas for ecotourism opportunities.

After earning her master’s degree in New Zealand, Larasatie was awarded a prestigious scholarship from the Indonesian government – the opportunity to earn a Ph.D. anywhere in the world, as long as the program was highly ranked.

Larasatie chose Oregon State.

“I came here because I wanted to work with Eric Hansen, who now serves as department head of Wood Science and Engineering,” Larasatie says. “All I knew about Oregon State was that Eric was here, and that he has expertise in forest products marketing and innovation, and that’s what I wanted to study.”

Hansen responded to Larasatie’s inquiry about the wood science graduate degree program quickly, despite the 14-hour time difference. “I knew that because he was responsive, it would be easy to build a relationship with him,” Larasatie says.

And it was. Luckily, Larasatie likes living in Corvallis as well.

Since arriving in 2016, Larasatie has already completed one research project about the Pacific Northwest’s public perception of mass timber buildings. What started as a class project became a peer reviewed, published research study, funded by the Oregon Forest Resources Institute, and a presentation to conference participants worldwide.

Larasatie enjoys presenting her work to scientists, industry partners and even members of the public.

“I believe that science should be communicated,” she says. “I don’t want to write a dissertation that only lives in a library archive somewhere. We need to reach a broader audience. We need to let the public know what we’re doing. We shouldn’t limit ourselves, especially because of the digital age we live in now.”

To emphasize this, Larasatie serves as a digital communication coordinator for the Society of Wood Science and Technology and participates in the steering committee for the Western Forestry Graduate Research Symposium, hosted at Oregon State each spring.

“I campaign to my fellow graduate students to get them involved as well,” she says. “I really believe that we all need to practice communicating our science.”

Larasatie also serves on the College of Forestry Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, which strives to make the college a diverse and welcoming environment.

“I felt that participating was the right thing to do,” she says. “It also relates to my dissertation topic.”

Larasatie’s dissertation is still in the research phase. She’s studying gender diversity in the forest sector, in the industry and in higher education.

“Increasing gender diversity is no longer a right thing to do, but becomes a smart thing to do,” she says.

Larasatie’s dream is to become a university professor.

“I like to do research, I like to teach, and I like to mentor young students,” she says. “I also like the university setting. Oregon State, for example, is a hub for international people coming in to reach their dreams. We all have the same goal: to make life better.”

College of Forestry graduate degrees

Earning an advanced degree
The Oregon State College of Forestry enjoys a century-long reputation as a leader in forestry research, teaching and extended education. Currently the college has more than 200 graduate students, including 35 international students from all over the world. The college offers graduate degrees in four distinct areas administered by three separate departments. About 75 faculty members teach at the graduate level, and the college employs more than 300 faculty, staff and support personnel.

Graduate degrees offered include Master of Forestry (MF), Master of Science (MS), Master of Natural Resources (MNR) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).

FOREST ECOSYSTEMS + SOCIETY – MF,  MS,  PH.D.
The forest ecosystems and society graduate program develops interdisciplinary thinkers, highly capable scientists and natural resource leaders who are prepared to solve complex problems wherever they exist on the socioecological spectrum.

Students in this program learn to identify and contribute to collaborative solutions in ecology and natural resources-related social science. Students are not limited by mandated curriculum or required study tracks. Instead, faculty and professionals work with students to create their own course lists, program objectives and research projects, allowing students to focus on the skills and knowledge most relevant to their interests.

Students may earn an MF, MS or Ph.D. as they build the skills and knowledge needed for a fascinating career in research, teaching, management policy or outreach.

MASTER OF NATURAL RESOURCES – MNR
The master of natural resources graduate program is an interdisciplinary program designed for natural resources professionals. The 45-credit program is taught entirely online through the nationally-acclaimed OSU Ecampus. The program is offered as a nonthesis option only, similar to the Master of Business Administration (MBA) or MF.

Students in the program develop analytical and problem-solving skills needed to provide workable solutions for complex natural resources challenges and learn how to balance competing economic, health and environmental interests.

Graduates of this program enjoy virtually unlimited career opportunities in natural resources management, ranging from GIS experts and water conflict managers to wildlife habitat specialists and environmental policy analysts.

SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT – MF,  MS,  PH.D.
The sustainable forest management graduate program emphasizes the conservation of forest-dominated landscapes to meet ecological, economic and social criteria over long time frames through active forest management.

Students in this program may earn an MF,  MS or Ph.D., and can specialize in one of six areas of concentration: forest operations planning and management; forest policy analysis and economics; forest biometrics and geomatics; silviculture, fire and forest health; forest soil and watershed processes; or engineering for sustainable forestry.

The sustainable forest management graduate program provide graduates with the foundation for excellent career opportunities throughout industry, higher education, government and nonprofits.

WOOD SCIENCE – MS,  PH.D.
The Department of Wood Science and Engineering at the Oregon State College of Forestry offers a graduate education fully engaged in the dynamism and diversity of a rapidly evolving international field. Its wood science graduate program is fundamentally collaborative in nature and offers MS and Ph.D. degrees in a wide range of specialties, from chemistry to business.

Dual graduate degrees are encouraged. Common partner disciplines include civil engineering, mechanical engineering, materials science or forest science.

The demand for energy and thousands of consumer and industrial products made from wood and other renewable materials continues to grow as society becomes more aware of sustainability and green issues. The wood science program provides the foundation for great careers.

GRADUATING OUR FUTURE LEADERS
Educating the future research, teaching and outreach leaders in forest landscapes and ecosystems, the college awarded 102 graduate degrees in FY 2017 and FY 2018.

PARTNERSHIP IDENTIFIES TALENTED GRADUATE STUDENT CANDIDATES
In December 2017, an initiative for recruitment of Native Americans for the college’s graduate forestry programs was developed, funded partially by the department with a supplemental Graduate Laurels Block Grant. A committee including Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Intertribal Timber Council, the USDA Forest Service, and Salish-Kootenai College assisted in identifying potential graduate student candidates. Four Native American students were selected for admission in Fall 2018 and offered these tuition support awards. These students represent 23 percent of the fall 2018 class of forestry graduate program students.

FELLOWSHIPS PROVIDE AFFORDABLE OPPORTUNITIES
• The Dean’s Investment Fund funded two $30,000 matches to the Provost’s Distinguished Doctoral Fellowship, awarded in FY 2017 and FY 2018. The college also awarded more than $200,000 in graduate fellowships in FY 2017 and FY 2018, with a portion of funds coming from the Dean’s Investment Fund.
• With the goal of recruiting and retaining graduate students based on diversity and/or academic merit, the college awarded and administered $140,000 in tuition scholarship funding as part of the Graduate Laurels Block Grant from the OSU Graduate School.

SHARING GROUNDBREAKING RESEARCH
Organized by graduate students, the college hosted the fifth and sixth annual Western Forestry Graduate Research Symposium. The symposium showcases current graduate student research and promotes academic excellence by challenging students to present their work and receive feedback from their academic and professional peers. In 2017 and 2018, the symposium showcased more than 80 combined poster and oral presentations.

Emily Burkhart: embracing undergraduate research

Emily watching the sunset

Emily Burkhart, a natural resources student, loves being part of the Oregon State community. As a member of the National Society for Leadership and Success, the Natural Resources Club, an intern at Avery Nature House and student arboretum specialist technician at Peavy Arboretum, she’s always reaching out and getting involved.

During the summer of 2017, Burkhart worked in Starkey Experimental Forest. Research in the riparian forest focuses on small mammals, cow and deer in relation to one another and the ecosystems they inhabit.

“When people think of ecosystem management and habitat relations, a lot of people think of large mammals and carnivores, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that it starts at a smaller level,” Burkhart says.

Burkhart spent two weeks checking about 200 traps every day to collect data on animals to learn about population dynamics in areas near water.

Species analyzed ranged from flying squirrels to jumping mice. The small mammals in these locations eat butterflies and their larvae as a food source, so researchers wanted to know population numbers and the roles they play in the conservation of species.

“Overall I processed and collected data on around 1,054 animals,” Burkhart says. “Once an animal was in a trap, we would tag its ears and collect data on its sex, age, weight, previous captures and reproductive state.”

Burkhart says she learned a lot from the experience and had a great time.

“At Starkey, I got to meet 25-year-old elk, explore Eastern Oregon and understand the importance of small species,” Burkhart says. “My amazing team made it a really great experience.”

Burkhart says she is grateful for her College of Forestry experience and how it opened her eyes to the world around her.

During the summer of 2018, Burkhart took part in a faculty-led study abroad experience to Malaysian Borneo. Back home in Corvallis, she enjoys spending time in the forest.

“We are so lucky to have the College Research Forests only 12 minutes away from campus.

By working at the arboretum, I really learned how these managed forests operate, and how much it gives back to us in research, recreation and pure happiness,” Burkhart says. “People really need to go check out the arboretum at least once in their life because one visit can leave such a positive, everlasting impact.”

Cody Knight: serving others through working with renewable materials

Cody Knight and crew

Renewable materials student Cody Knight is a recipient of three scholarships: the Lois & Dick Kearns Scholarship, John R. Snellstrom Scholarship and the Friends of Renewable Materials–Roseburg Forest Products Wood Science and Engineering Scholarship. Before coming to Oregon State, Knight served in the military.

The financial support he receives and his experience in the military inspired him to serve others through his work in the renewable materials program.

“My military experience left me asking a lot of questions about humanity, sustainability the western world and material possessions,” Knight says. “I want to create products from renewable materials that aid in sustainability.”

Knight, who grew up in northern Idaho, remembers spending summers at the lake, sleeping in log cabins.

“There, it was easy to appreciate the beauty of nature,” he says. “I want to preserve that beauty and those kinds of experiences for future generations.”

He’s working to reach his goals through hands-on learning activities outside the classroom. Knight has participated in undergraduate research with Arijit Sinha, associate professor of renewable materials at Oregon State. Knight is helping conduct testing on Freres Lumber’s new mass plywood panel product.

“I was also selected for the Research and Extension Experience for Undergraduates (REEU) program,” Knight says. “This is a three-month long mentored research program with students at Oregon State and from colleges across the United States.”

Knight says his research will evaluate the shear strength of plywood and oriented strand board (OSB) after it has experienced varying degrees of temperatures and cooling times to get a clear picture of the mechanical strength of both products in the event of fire and seismic activity.

“The importance of this is plywood and OSB are typically used in residential housing for the exterior sheathing, which provides lateral support and stability for the structure,” Knight says. “Little research has been done to test their behaviors under these conditions, and I’m excited to find some answers.”

Undergraduates explore use of mass timber

Students nervously pace the second-floor knuckle of Richardson Hall on a cool, spring day. Some flit to the walls to make sure their posters are perfectly secured and their models are ready to shine. Others nervously nibble on chips and watermelon.

It’s final exam time, and for students in assistant professor Mariapaola Riggio’s class, that means making a presentation in front of their classmates, other faculty members and industry professionals.

The class, Timber Tectonics in the Digital Age, examines how the design and construction of timber structural systems benefit from digital techniques. Architecture students from the University of Oregon’s School of Design are invited to enroll alongside Oregon State students studying renewable materials, wood science, civil engineering and construction engineering management.  All students work collaboratively, as part of a small team, thinking critically about how digital tools might be able to change the wood construction sector.

For their final project, the students were tasked with creating a ‘wood products pavilion’ that might represent the TallWood Design Institute at the International Mass Timber Conference in Portland in 2019. The institute is one of the nation’s top research collaboratives focusing exclusively on the advancement of advanced wood products. The students used parametric techniques to design adjustable forms, and then refined them according to structural analysis information. The final challenge has been to plan the construction process appropriate materials and detailing.

“We’ve had a great partnership,” says Nancy Yen-Wen Cheng, Architecture Department head at the University of Oregon. “And it has been a privilege to co-teach with [Riggio]. She brings knowledge of the latest advances in timber structures and has been insightful about how to employ my digital design specialization.”

Brent Stuntzner of CB Two Architects in Salem agrees. He served as one of the judges of the students’ final projects.

“I’m always really excited to go in and ask the students questions,” Stuntzner says.

Despite their nervousness, the students prevailed and presented thorough and exciting final projects.

“They are full of creative ideas,” says Stuntzner. “And after this class they are prepared to go into a variety of different environments within the construction and wood products industries.”

Congratulations, Class of 2018

excited student at commencement

Congratulations to our 2018 College of Forestry graduates. We believe these graduating students will go on to be extraordinary citizens of the world continuing our legacy of proactively managing our forest resources, protecting our vital ecosystems and keeping our communities safe and healthy. They join the almost 10,000 other alumni who have earned degrees during the 112-year history of the college.

Our two commencement speakers are Alyssa B. Forest and Benjamin Victor Post.

Alyssa B. Forest of Sacramento, California, graduates Oregon State this year with a degree in natural resources with an option in natural resource policy and management. Her childhood adventures throughout northern California inspired her love of natural resources. Forest served as a College of Forestry ambassador, representing the college at a variety of events and programs. Forest says she hopes to “be a bridge between science and policy, so the decisions of our leaders reflect the best possible future.”

Benjamin Victor Post of Portland graduates from Oregon State this year with a degree in forestry with a forest management focus. Post also earned a GIS certificate and Spanish minor. He spent summers as a wild land firefighter and forest naturalist with the Oregon Department of Forestry and completed an internship with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. During his Oregon State career, Post also served as an officer of the Society of American Foresters OSU student chapter and studied abroad in Chile.