Where are you from? Where did you go to college?

I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Go Pack Go!), but I went to school in enemy territory at the University of Minnesota (Ski-U-Mah) where I received my Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Graphic Design.

What brought you to OSU? What is your role in the College of Forestry?

My husband and I moved to Oregon when he started a graduate program at UO. I was looking to make an industry change as I had previously only worked in professional sports, and was interested in opportunities within higher education. I saw the perfect job posted for a senior graphic designer at the College of Forestry and pounced on it! I currently act as the college’s Art Director. It has been my favorite job by far, even with the hour and a half commute!

What’s your favorite part about working for the College of Forestry?

The people and the subject matter. I work with a great team and love feeling like the work I do makes a difference.

What do you like to do outside of work? Hobbies, family, volunteer work, etc.

I have a 7 month old baby, Zoe. She takes up most of my free time outside of work. On weekends, we like to go on easy hikes and take our dog, Oliver, to the dog park. My family is incredibly dedicated to the TV show “Survivor” (yes, it’s still on!) and look forward to watching it every Wednesday night! When I can, I like to read mystery/thriller fiction and historical nonfiction. I highly recommend Tana French for the former and Erik Larson for the latter!

What’s your favorite food?

I LOVE mexican food. I could have rice and beans for every meal.

What’s your favorite time of the year? Why?

Summers in Oregon are hard to beat. The weather is beautiful.

Do you have any pets?

Yes! I have an adorable Pomeranian-mix, Oliver, and I am completely obsessed with him. It is my unbiased opinion that he is the world’s bestest, cutest and floofiest puppy dog.

What is something funny, interesting, or crazy that has happened to you in the past year?

I had a baby 7 months ago and life with her has been been every kind of funny, interesting and crazy! She keeps me on my toes!

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Why?

I just want to be a witch in the Harry Potter universe. I am a Hufflepuff, by the way.

Where are you from? Where did you go to college?

I grew up near Milwaukee, Wisconsin and also spent a lot of my time in the southwest part of the state, where my father’s family live and farm. I attended the University of Wisconsin (Madison) for my Bachelor of Science degree (Forest Science and Natural Resources).

What brought you to OSU? What is your role in the College of Forestry?

My husband, Jacob, and I moved to Corvallis from Denver in early 2016. My husband is a veteran of the Marine Corps, and it was time for him to finish his Bachelor’s degree under the G.I. Bill. OSU seemed like a great option. We were both intrigued by the PNW. For Jacob, it was the coastline and for me, the forests.

I work for the COF Research Forests, managing the forest inventory, GIS, and reforestation programs.

What’s your favorite part about working for the College of Forestry?

It’s really fulfilling to work with students on building their professional skillsets. I’ve been fortunate to work with highly motivated, bright, and curious student workers. I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned [and am still learning] with them and vice versa.

What do you like to do outside of work? Hobbies, family, volunteer work, etc.

I’m a part-time master’s student in the Sustainable Forest Management program, so that takes up a bit of my time. I enjoy vegetable gardening and general tinkering around my home. My husband and I both enjoy camping, fishing, backpacking and hiking.

What’s your favorite food?

For cooking, I like putting a healthy spin on American food. When eating out, I like restaurants that prepare more elaborate things that I can’t make [well] – like Japanese, Indian, and Thai food.

What’s your favorite time of the year? Why?

Fall – for sure! I prefer the cooler, refreshing temperatures, changing colors, and mist.

Do you have any pets?

I have one cat named Mesa.

What is something funny, interesting, or crazy that has happened to you in the past year?

Well, Covid-19 has been a real showstopper!

Back in July, my husband and I went to New Jersey for a good friend’s wedding. Due to thunderstorms, our flight home got delayed for a couple of days. We literally only had the shirts on our backs. After some hand-washing of laundry in the motel, we decided to use the bonus-day to tour Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. I was blown away by the history museum, and it was an unexpected, memorable change of events for us, especially on Fourth of July weekend.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Why?

I would be able to stop time, so I could fit in all of the fun that I want to have in this life.

The Stay at Home lecture series started with Dr. Ashley D’Antonio’s lecture on “Recreation Science in our National Parks.” Over half of the United States population participates in outdoor recreation activities like mountain biking, snowshoeing and hiking!  In 2014, the National Park Service hosted 294 million visitors, and visitations continue to increase. As she mentions in her talk, balancing recreation and ecosystem protection is becoming critically important.

Watch the video of Ashley D' Antonio's presentation.

Listen to Ashley’s lecture to learn how she has helped inform management of our national parks and other protected areas! If you are interested in working in critical fields that balance the needs of ecosystems and society, Oregon State University offers undergraduate degrees in tourism, recreation, and adventure leadership and natural resources, and provides a broad range of graduate opportunities.

—————– Dr. Ashley D’Antonio is the Gene D. Knudson Forestry Chair and an assistant professor of nature-based recreation.  She studies outdoor recreation science and how recreation science can be used to help inform management of our National Parks and other protected areas.

Oregon State University and the College of Forestry has created a new endowment based on a major donation from the Institute of Forest Biosciences, formerly the Institute of Forest Biotechnology.  

To honor the Institute’s long legacy of identifying ecologically and socially responsible paths for the use of biotechnologies in forestry, the donation will be used to create the Institute of Forest Biosciences Endowment for Forest Biotechnology and related Biosciences. 

Based on the wishes of the donors, the earnings from the endowment will be used to fund travel by students and early career scientists to present their work at national and international conferences.

After recently ceasing operation, the Institute donated its remaining funds to OSU in recognition of the work of the college and the career of Distinguished Professor Steve Strauss, who has had a long association with the Institute. 

As a collaborator and advisor, Strauss’ association with the Institute included hosting conferences, writing publications, and serving as Chair of the Science Committee for the Forest Health Initiative. The initiative focused on restoration of the American Chestnut and was organized in close association with the Institute. 

Strauss was also the first scientist to be recognized by the Institute as “Forest Biotechnologist of the Year,” which over time recognized several of the leading forest biotechnology scientists from around the globe. He received the honor for his work for that combines outstanding science with work to advance application and engagement with society around forest biotechnologies. 

On Thursday, February 6, we recognized our 2019 Dean’s Award recipients and retirees with an awards ceremony and celebration. Since 1990, the Dean’s Awards for Outstanding Achievement have recognized outstanding contributions by our community members that significantly advanced the mission of the College. 

McKenzie Huber was recognized for outstanding achievement in Fostering Undergraduate Student Success. Students noted that McKenzie “has been a huge part of my continued success at OSU,” and “McKenzie has helped tailor a plan that fits my needs as a non-traditional eCampus student serving on active duty.”

Interim Dean Anthony Davis with McKenzie Huber

Kellie Cleaver from FERM was awarded for outstanding achievement in Contributions as a Student Worker.  Nominators noted “Kellie is the first to volunteer to help in any way she can, even if it is outside her position,” and “She always has a smile on her face and is a shining light on the dim days.”

Interim Dean Anthony Davis with Kellie Cleaver

Ray Van Court was recognized for outstanding achievement in Graduate Student Leadership. Ray is a first year PhD student with five published peer-reviewed papers and one book chapter. They have three papers currently in review. Nominators noted “Ray is chair of the graduate student council, a member of the Forestry Executive Committee, treasurer for Xi Sigma Pi (the forestry honor society), member of leadership committee for IFSA (international forestry society), and they are also part of the graduate student advisory committee,” and “Ray’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is exceptional and their work on awareness and support makes the community much more inclusive for other graduate students.”

Interim Dean Anthony Davis with Ray Van Court

The Pauline Barto Award for Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion went to Shannon Harwood. Nominators said, “As she visits high schools, she delivers a message of empowerment to students from all backgrounds while informing them of the opportunities available to them at OSU and the College of Forestry. These visits occur all over the west coast, in rural and urban settings, and I’ve been surprised by the number of teachers who have reached out to me personally about what a great representative Shannon is for our programs.”

Interim Dean Anthony Davis with Shannon Harwood

Jed Cappellazzi and Reem Hajjar were recognized for outstanding achievement in the Mentorship of Graduate Students.  Students who nominated Jed noted, “Jed is an excellent resource to consult for in-depth, intellectual, and educational discussions on a variety of topics,” and “his guidance is always relevant, his expectations clear, and he always encourages progressive thinking.” One of the many students who nominated Reem noted “I entered Reem’s class feeling an incredible amount of anxiety about whether I was going to be able to do anything meaningful with my thesis, and left it feeling confident that I could pose and investigate questions that are relevant to me AND the broader scientific community.”

Interim Dean Anthony Davis with Jed Cappellazzi

There were four very deserving recipients of this year’s Outstanding Achievement in Distinction to the College. Ari Sinha has been spearheading ground-breaking research on new and existing mass timber products, and translating it into the public domain by providing guidance and data for engineers and architects to use it confidently. Chris Dunn participated on Forest Service Committees and the Governor’s Wildfire Council in 2019.  Members of that Council wrote personally to note that “Chris’s work on helping the committee with data gathering, assessment, and mapping products related to evaluating and responding to wildfire risk in Oregon has been invaluable. His hours of hard work in producing quality products and ability to ensure they are understandable to committee members have been remarkable.” Michael Nagle’s nominator said, “He is the most brilliant graduate student I have had in my 33 years at OSU, and he is keystone to our 4 million dollar project on gene mapping from the National Science Foundation that simply could not succeed without him.” Michael Collins nominators noted, “Michael has assembled and leads a team that has taken college communications to an entirely different level,” and “Michael is unflappable, maintains a sense of humor and perspective, and is a strong leader.”

Interim Dean Anthony Davis with Ari Sinha
Interim Dean Anthony Davis with Chris Dunn
Interim Dean Anthony Davis with Michael Nagle

Retirees Will Roger Admiral, Rob Pabst, Bev Law, and Glenn Folkert were recognized for their service to the college. Glenn joined the College in 1990 as a scientific buyer. If a product existed, he could find it, buy it and get it delivered in or out of the U.S. for the lowest price and fastest delivery.  In Rogers 23+ years with the college, he was on the project team for the construction of Richardson Hall, has centralized and/or supervised Communications and Marketing, Forestry Computing, the Media Center and the Student Learning Center, and has provided financial and administrative consultation to five deans and interim deans. Rob has spent the past 34 years with the college working first on ecology of woody plants, then riparian forest ecology, and then forest modeling with the Coastal Landscape Analysis and Modeling Study and the Forests-People-Fire Project.  Bev has served the State of Oregon and Oregon State University for 23 years in Biogeosciences, specializing in forest ecosystem response to climate and disturbance. Thank you for your service and contributions and all the best in retirement!

Interim Dean Anthony Davis with retirees Roger Admiral, Rob Pabst, and Bev Law

What are you studying?

I’m in the sustainable forest management program on the forest biometrics track. I’m researching Douglas fir growth in New Zealand and comparing it to Oregon. I’m trying to determine why it grows differently in New Zealand.

When I applied to Oregon State, Doug McGuire gave me a call to let me know about this project, and it had a lot of the things I was hoping to work on in grad school. I wanted to do something multifaceted that looked at environmental conditions and how they affect tree growth. I was also excited about traveling to New Zealand.

Have you traveled there already?

I did. I went over the summer. It was their winter, which was nice because there were fewer tourists. It’s a beautiful country.

What was your journey to Oregon State Like?

I’m from St. Paul, Minnesota. I did my undergrad at the University of Minnesota in music. I went back and got a second bachelor’s degree in forestry so I could do something more fulfilling. I love the outdoors and was really interested in managing natural resources, but now I think I’ll end up doing something more technical, maybe a research position with the Forest Service working with growth modeling or something like that.

What do you do when you’re not working?

I spend a lot of time hiking. I do photography as a hobby, and I’m really into road biking. I used to mountain bike more, but as I’ve gotten older, I’m less and less willing.

Do you still play music?

No. I played the bassoon. I started playing it in seventh grade, and I thought I would play professionally, but it’s very competitive. There’s not a lot of solo music for bassoon. You either need to play duets with another bassoonist or with a full orchestra.

What kind of music do you like?

There’s a great band in Eugene I like to hear play called Yob. Radio France also has an amazing streaming station called FIP that plays all genre of music including a lot of jazz. I listen to that all day.

What’s the most interesting fact you can tell us right now?

I know a lot of facts about strange musical instruments. For example, in the 19th century, people were disappointed with the volume and range of the double bass, so they built a two-story bass. One person was unable to bow the instrument and reach the fingerboard. They never caught on because they were so impractical.

What is your favorite breakfast?

Pancakes. Specifically blueberry pancakes. I like pancakes because they’re so versatile. You can add all kinds of interesting toppings to the simple batter. I also really like lemon ricotta and pumpkin pancakes.

What is your job?

It’s an eclectic mix of things.

I am the administrative director for the Northwest Fire Science Consortium, which is a regional outreach program funded by the Joint Fire Science Program. The consortium is responsible for the dissemination of recent and relevant fire science to federal and state agencies in Washington and Oregon.

I’m also the director of the Master of Natural Resources program, our online master’s program within FES.

I also teach a senior capstone course for natural resources majors and advise graduate students.

What is your favorite part of your job(s)?

I love the variety, even though there’s a lot of moving parts, and a lot of trying to keep up and make sure that I’m up to date and meeting expectations. It certainly isn’t boring. It is a lot of variety. I really like interacting with students, that’s one of my favorite parts. They are so bright and interesting and different than I was as an undergraduate. They have a lot of passion.

You came to Oregon State in 2010. What was that journey like?

In my first life I was an actor, but I went back to school in my 30s and got my master’s in wildlife biology. After that I worked for the Washington State University Cooperative Extension, the University of Arkansas, then back to WSU as a regional extension specialist in Spokane. From there, a position opened up here. Originally, it was a collaboration between the PNW Research Station and College of Forestry Extension, and the development of the Consortium started from there. 

What was it like making such a big change from acting to wildlife biology?

Well, I started acting when I was 12 in community theater, but it’s a very difficult career, and I had a lot of other interests. When I reached a certain point, I knew that if I didn’t explore them, then I never would, and that’s when I went back to school.

Do you miss acting?

Sometimes, but I don’t have any time to do it right now. I appreciate all that it taught me. For example, since acting isn’t stable and you’re never sure what your next job will be, I became very comfortable with that lack of stability, which helps me now in my position, which is funded mostly by soft money.

What do you do when you’re not working?

I like to ski, hike, kayak, cook. I’m also a Jazzercise instructor. Some people are surprised to hear that Jazzercise is still around, but it is, and it has been for 50 years!

What’s our favorite kind of food to cook or eat?

I love Italian food.

What have you been reading lately?

Right now I’m into everything and anything by neurologist Oliver Sacks. He writes about the neurological challenges people deal with in their lives. His work is an exploration of the human condition and who we are as people. He was a wonderful and sympathetic writer, and a true humanitarian.

Is there a skill or talent you’ve always wanted to learn?

I always thought it would be fun to play the cello. I took guitar lessons when I was a kind, but I don’t play any instruments now.

Are you a sports fan?

I love to watch women’s soccer and football. I follow the Beavers, but if the Beavers are playing Washington State, my alma mater, I try to remain neutral. I also follow the Patriots and the Packers.

What are you studying?

My project is on dwarf mistletoe in western hemlock. Dwarf mistletoe is an aerial parasite of trees. I’m working to quantify how it changes the structure of hemlock crowns and sapwood area.

How did you end up studying tree diseases at Oregon State?

I learned to climb trees as an undergraduate at the University of Washington. After that, I worked as a forester and arborist. I wanted to keep climbing trees. I found Dave Shaw online and told him that I knew how to climb trees and do canopy research, so we came up with this project because he wanted to do more with dwarf mistletoe and western hemlock. Part of the project is canopy mapping, and I’d done that before as well. We thought we could incorporate forest pathology into this canopy study, which isn’t done very often in big trees.

You’ll finish up in June. What’s next?

I’m not totally sure, but something to do with forest health. I’ll probably do public work. I’m on the search right now.

What do you do now when you’re not studying or working on your thesis?

I like to hike and go out and climb trees for fun. My goal is to get out at least once a week. I started drawing recently, which has been kind of cool. I want to get to a point where I could put a drawing in a paper I publish. I mostly draw trees and mushrooms.

What’s the biggest tree you’ve climbed?

I’m not sure. I have climbed a giant sequoia that was over 300 feet tall, but I’m not exactly sure how high up I got. The hemlocks I study are about 50 meters tall.

What’s the scariest part of tree climbing?

You shoot the anchor into the tree with a crossbow, and the first few times you do it, you’re never sure if you’ve done it right, but you just have to do it. When you get up there, you might realize that a tiny branch or a dead branch was holding all of your weight.

Have you traveled much?

When I graduated from undergrad, I did a tour of almost all of the national parks in the west. I lived out of my car for three months until I ran out of money and hiked and climbed trees.

What trees will you climb next?

I want to climb a redwood and a really tall species of Eucalyptus tree in Australia.

What’s your favorite national park?

Grand Tetons. It’s so beautiful. When I was there, I saw bears, moose and a few different types of deer. Being in the mountains is crazy. It’s very rugged, but there are also a lot of flowers. The flowers might be my favorite part of national parks.

What are you studying?

I’m currently working on my Masters with Dr. Ashley D’Antonio. Our lab uses mixed-method, interdisciplinary approaches to understand human behavior and their social/ecological impacts within parks and protected areas. For the past two years, my research has been in Grand Teton National Park where I conducted a visitor use and experience study at a popular lake destination. 

How did you end up studying tourism and recreation management?

My path to this point has certainly not been linear! My undergraduate degree is in History, specifically 20th century European history, so pretty hard to make a connection there. But I loved my liberal arts education and still am a total history buff. During the summers in college, I did trail work and trail design in Colorado. This experience catalyzed my interest in outdoor work, recreation management, and conservation. After college I worked for an ecological research unit in Fairbanks Alaska which further ignited my interest in science, data collection and analysis. After that I worked in communications and program management for local non-profits. 

What I’m doing now is a perfect combination of all these experiences: ecological research, social science, communications, and outdoor recreation. 

What do you love about your work now?

I love how dynamic and applied the work is. I have the opportunity to work with a diversity of data types: spatial data, ecological data, survey data, etc.  This work inspired me to get a GIS certificate in tandem with my Master’s. And I appreciate that most of our work directly informs management decisions in outdoor spaces. 

What do you do when you’re not working?

Well, I just had a baby, and my partner is in school for Mechanical Engineering, so we have been busy! But outside of that, my interests are simple but make me happy: hiking, reading novels, gardening, laughing and trying to craft all my Christmas gifts.

Have you watched any good shows lately?

I just watched the Canadian show, Working Moms. The show was irreverent and refreshing to watch. Oh and I recently binge watched Derry Girls – takes place in Northern Ireland in the 1990’s. So good.

Tell us about your family.

My partner, Marshall and I just joyfully welcomed a new baby into our lives, Hudson James. Marshall and I have been together for nearly a decade. He is definitely the yin to my yang: calm, steadfast, and easy going where I can be excitable, impulsive, and just a little uptight! We make a well balanced team. 

What’s your favorite place to nap?

I think hammock napping takes the cake: being outside on a warm day under a tree with a gin and tonic (or two). So happy, so sleepy thinking about it.

Do you have a favorite snack?

It has to be cheese. And not even fancy cheese. I could eat my weight in cheddar cheese.

What are you studying?

Wood Science. I just defended my Master’s thesis. My project looked at the possibility of using salvaged lumber from Portland deconstruction for the manufacturing of structurally rated cross-laminated timber panels. I collected a bunch of salvaged lumber from Portland and made nine panels in the high bay lab and tested them.

What were your results?

All panels were stiff and strong enough to meet the standard performance ratings, but they struggled with Delamination. One of my panels made with 100% salvaged lumber passed all the criteria, which is promising, but we didn’t have a large sample size.

How did you end up at Oregon State?

I was born in South Florida and finished high school in South West Georgia. Almost six years ago, I was hit by a car while riding my moped and in the hospital for about six months. That time helped me realize a lot of things, and I had a lot of ‘me time’ to think about problems related to energy and waste. I decided recycling and wood had to be a part of the solution to waste problems. When I went back to school at the University of Georgia, I had a stronger purpose. I knew I wanted to go to graduate school, and one of my professors knew Laurie Schimleck. I emailed him and told him I was interested in recycling and we figured out a project.

Now that you’ve defended your thesis, what’s next?

I’m not sure. If anyone out there knows of any opportunities, that would be great. I have an application out for a job I really want. I like connecting with people and finding solutions to problems. 

Will you stay in the Pacific Northwest?

I’ll go where opportunity takes me, where I can make the most impact. I love it up here even though it’s a little cold and rainy.

What do you do when you’re not working?

I like to cook, and I’m working on starting a chili oil business. I also love to hang out with my dog and friends, travel, explore the outdoors, make art, invent things, tinker, and play soccer and foosball.

What do you use your chili oil for?

It can be used as a cooking oil or topping. It’s good when cooking chicken and sea food, but I don’t eat that much meat. I usually put it on top of pizza and baked potatoes. You can add it to rice, ramen or pho. You can use it for dipping with bread a cheese.

Have you been watching any good shows lately?

I like The Good Place. It’s just a funny take on the afterlife.