Nathan is a double major in renewable materials and forestry in the College of Forestry. This summer, he participated in our faculty-led program to the Italian Alps. Tradition and Innovation in the Wood Construction Industry: A Journey in the Italian Alps explored the past of European wood architecture and the future of timber engineering in the beautiful Dolomites of Italy.

What originally interested you in studying abroad?
I really wanted to go to Italy, and I thought the program sounded interesting.

What surprised you most during your travels? Why?
Everything. I felt almost constantly surprised. If I have to pick I would say I was most surprised at how purposeful the wilderness is. In the United States, I am never quite sure if a wild place is protected, or just hasn’t been built on yet. In Italy, it was clear by the resort-style “huts” deep in the mountains that they mean to leave that forest a forest. It was also interesting to me to see how close each town was to the next town. It seems like it would make it harder to get horribly lost.

How did your time abroad influence your thoughts on your field of study?
I feel like this trip really cemented in me the idea that my career could be international, and that I would like to do that, at least for part of it.

If you had to pick one, what was your all-time favorite experience while abroad? Why was it so meaningful?
Just talking to people on transit. I feel like I am supposed to have a flashier answer, but I met so many interesting characters in between activities for the program. I was surprised at how few Americans there were, but how many other friendly English-speakers wanted to get to know someone far from home. I guess everyone on transit is a traveler, no matter how many kilometers they cross.

What advice would you give to students considering an international experience?
Stay longer if you can, and rest one of the days you are gone. Don’t be afraid to apply.

What I did this summer is a profile series of students, faculty and staff in the College of Forestry. Did you have a great job, vacation, or field research experience? Contact CoFThisWeek@oregonstate.edu and we will be in touch!

Sophia Brownlee, Class of 2024, is a natural resources major (ecological restoration option) in the College of Forestry, and this summer she worked for Chaco on their Fit For Adventure tour. This tour travels around the country offering on site repairs to keep their sandals on feet (and out of landfills) longer.

Describe the day-to-day of your summer job.
Our activation typically runs 12:00pm to 6:00pm which allows us a leisurely morning. I’ll either bike to work or catch a ride with the rest of the crew in one of our vans. Once we arrive at our activation, where the Chaco bus is staged, we begin to unload all of our equipment and set up the activation space. This includes a large table for checkout, a display table with the try-on Chacos and Chillos, and a design table featuring webbing options for folks’ custom sandals. Once activation begins I’ll either work on the ground getting people fitted in their Chacos, diagnosing Chaco repairs, completing transactions, and sharing stories and fond memories involving Chaco footwear. Otherwise, I work on the bus making and repairing the sandals themselves!

What’s one memory that stands out from your experience working this summer?
One thing that’s really stuck with me from working this summer is how excited people are to repair their Chacos. We offer free repairs to customers to promote sustainability and longevity of the shoes. I’ve worked with a few customers who were overwhelmed with joy that we were in their city and could repair their sandals, saving them from the landfill. They share stories of how important their Chacos are to them; how many states, rivers, trails, and countries their shoes have traversed. We get people who are so emotionally attached to their Chacos, they have a hard time saying goodbye! It brings us a lot of joy to salvage such a sentimental thing.  

What was your favorite place you traveled for this job?
Bozeman, Montana. Without a doubt. The people there were just lovely, and they were incredibly stoked to have us visit. On the bus, we have a capacity of 45 custom sandals/repairs, any additional orders we send to our factory in Michigan. On one of the days in Bozeman, we hit our capacity just an hour after opening! Bozeman has a great community of outdoor adventurers, and we felt right at home. The scenery was also spectacular, and we even got to witness an epic thunderstorm while rafting on the Gallatin river! I can’t wait to visit again, hopefully for a ski trip.    

How will your job this summer help you in your classes or future career?
This job opened my mind to the world of marketing and promotion, something I hadn’t been exposed to. It also piqued my interest in product development and design, which I’m considering adding to my curriculum at Oregon State. Besides the job itself, traveling and experiencing new cities has given me an appreciation for what we have in Oregon that may seem so commonplace, but does not exist, or is less accepted in other places. For example, bike lanes, quality tap water, a $13.50 minimum wage, and government-funded programs to help students access quality, local food are not available in most of the places we’ve traveled.   

Describe your perfect pair of Chacos.
This is a tough one! My favorite style of Chacos is the classic Z/1. I haven’t owned a pair of Chacos with the toe-strap (a Z/2), but I’d be willing to try ‘em out. The perfect pair of Chacos starts with a perfect fit, which is contingent upon the size, of course, and how the straps are adjusted. As for the design, it would be paralyzing to try to pick out even a handful of webbing options I’d consider my favorite, however, off the top of my head, the NRS, National Parks, and Grateful Dead collections are super rad.

What I did this summer is a profile series of students, faculty and staff in the College of Forestry. Did you have a great job, vacation, or field research experience? Contact CoFThisWeek@oregonstate.edu and we will be in touch!

The TallWood Design Institute, housed at the OSU College of Forestry, is a founding member of The Oregon Mass Timber Coalition (OMTC)—a partnership working to create a holistic vision for solving some of Oregon’s most pressing issues in forest health, affordable/sustainable housing and workforce development.  

In September 2022, the White House announced the coalition will receive $41.4 million in funding from the U.S Economic Development Build Back Better Regional Challenge to invest in the future of Oregon’s forests, mass timber industry and sustainable built environment through restoration initiatives, local manufacturing infrastructure, research and development and affordable modular housing production. 

Of the $41.4 million award, approximately $24.5M will flow to Oregon State University and University of Oregon to fund mass timber research and development, smart forestry initiatives and two new research facilities: the Oregon Acoustic Research Lab at University of Oregon, and the Oregon Fire Testing Facility at Oregon State. Oregon’s University Innovation Research Fund will contribute an additional $6M to the effort.

“Research and development has served as a critical tool in advancing timber in the built environment,” said Iain Macdonald, Director of Tallwood Design Institute. “The Oregon fire testing facility at Oregon State will help bolster the university and the region as a mass timber research and development hub.”

Forest engineering and resources management professor Woodam Chung is leading some of the research and development efforts. His smart forestry initiative aims to create a more resilient Oregon using data-driven forest restoration treatments with an emphasis on removing small diameter logs to increase fire resiliency, innovative technologies to increase forest workers’ health and safety, and workforce education to transform rural economies. According to Chung, forest restoration faces challenges from labor shortage, dangerous and outdated forest practices, and low-value wood.

“Innovative technology solutions are key to successful forest restoration projects to improve the resiliency of forests and forest-dependent rural communities,” said Chung. “ High quality forest inventory and wood procurement mapping will facilitate data-driven decision making for maximum benefits of forest restoration. Value-added wood products and improved efficiency of wood supply will enhance the economic viability of forest restoration projects. And finally innovative education, well-paying modern job opportunities and improved logging technology will support local forest industries, rural communities and improve forest workers’ health and safety.”

Tallwood Design Institute will also utilize the funds to help manufacturers and designers fabricate, prototype and test mass timber housing solutions with an emphasis on design that uses small-diameter logs. Mass timber is a sustainable substitute for carbon intensive materials and building systems and is an affordable, quality and energy efficient option for modular and affordable housing. Read more about the project!

This story is part of the College of Forestry 2022 Fall Update – learn more about our research, new hires, and outreach.

The College of Forestry at Oregon State University is leading a three-year $4 million-dollar project, with the US Forest Service, Washington State University, Montana State University, and multiple other partners from academia, government, tribes, and community organizations, to develop critical knowledge and increased capacity to inform policy and management decisions for resilient forested watersheds and downstream communities to ensure the protection and distribution of safe drinking water.

When watersheds burn, there is increased potential for floods, erosion, mass movements, and introduction of contaminants to streams and rivers. This issue is critical, because wildfire prone forested watersheds supply water to between 60–70 percent of the US population. These hazards and contaminants can catastrophically impact downstream community infrastructure, drinking water treatment, public health, and aquatic ecosystem health.

“The effects from wildfires on water supplies can persist for decades, resulting in hidden costs to communities that have been estimated to be 30-times greater than the costs of wildfire suppression,” said College of Forestry Professor Kevin Bladon, forest disturbance hydrologist and lead investigator on the project. “Additionally, many communities are unknowingly vulnerable because of inadequate drinking water treatment plant processes and preparedness to treat climate change and wildfire-associated changes in water quantity or quality.”

The funding for this work was part of the 2022 U.S. federal budget and was put forward by Oregon state Senator Jeff Merkley as a priority issue. The research will provide decision makers with information and tools critical to improve their understanding of wildfire impacts in forested watersheds, the opportunities for active forest management to mitigate risks, and to identify communities at greatest risk for impeded distribution of safe drinking water.

“Safe drinking water is one of society’s most basic needs,” said Bladon. “Preventing or mitigating the potentially devastating and long-term impacts of wildfire and climate change on essential clean water supplies in downstream communities is crucial to increase community preparedness, ensure healthy communities and reduce long-term aquatic impacts and financial costs.”

This story is part of the College of Forestry 2022 Fall Update – learn more about our research, new hires, and outreach.

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded the Oregon Mass Timber Coalition (OMTC) $41.4 million to develop and expand Oregon’s emerging mass timber industry. The award was announced September 2, 2022, and addresses three significant issues across Oregon:

  • A worsening housing crisis
  • Increasing threats of wildfires
  • The need to create good-paying jobs in communities recovering from the pandemic

The grant will support university research involving the use of mass timber in housing; spur development of a factory by the Port of Portland to produce mass timber housing; fund forest restoration projects in the Willamette National Forest; jump-start public-private partnerships to grow employment in the creation and use of mass timber in housing; and support efforts to modernize building codes in Oregon communities impacted by recent wildfires to enable recovery efforts using mass timber products in housing.

The EDA’s $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge is a signature initiative of the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan program. It aims to boost economic recovery from the pandemic and rebuild American communities, including those grappling with decades of disinvestment. The OMTC is one of 21 coalitions selected from a nationwide pool of 529 applicants to receive funding through the EDA’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge. 

“I’d like to thank the Biden-Harris Administration and the U.S. Economic Development Administration for recognizing the incredible work being done by the Oregon Mass Timber Coalition,” said Governor Kate Brown. “From the new roof for the Portland International Airport to housing materials, Oregon’s mass timber industry is at the cutting edge of sustainability and economic opportunity––helping to address the climate and housing crises while enhancing forest resiliency and creating jobs for people from rural communities, people with low incomes, and people of color.”

“This is a transformational moment for Oregon,” said Port of Portland Executive Director Curtis Robinhold. “The project will create rural and urban jobs with products grown and manufactured right here in Oregon. The innovations will enable production of high-quality building products from low-quality wood. This will increase housing, provide jobs and promote forest health. That means more homes at lower costs, new workforce opportunities and more climate-resilient communities. We are grateful to Oregon’s entire Congressional delegation for their support of the OMTC project and our vision for growing Oregon’s mass timber industry.”

The Oregon Mass Timber Coalition is a partnership between the Port of Portland, Business Oregon, Oregon Department of Forestry, the Department of Land Conservation and Development and the TallWood Design Institute (a collaboration between the University of Oregon and Oregon State University).

Mass timber is an advanced engineered wood product that is an alternative to the use of concrete and steel in multi-story buildings. “Already a global leader in mass timber, the Northwest is poised to bring mass timber forward as a housing solution,” said Iain Macdonald, director of the TallWood Design Institute. “Mass timber allows for rapid construction using sustainable, locally sourced, low-carbon wood products.”

President Biden visited Portland International Airport in April as part of a national infrastructure tour. He met with members of the OMTC and observed the use of locally sourced mass timber construction in PDX’s new nine-acre mass timber roof and learned how mass timber can be used in housing.

The $41.4 million federal investment will jump start development of mass timber housing products. The Port of Portland will use the funding for site improvements that will lead to constructing a factory at Terminal 2 in Northwest Portland to build mass timber housing.

“This award recognizes Oregon’s leadership in mass timber design, engineering and construction, supported by the TallWood Design Institute’s research and development work” said Judith Sheine, professor of architecture at University of Oregon. “The EDA grant will fund lab facilities and additional research and development critical to the continued growth of the mass timber sector and its expansion into the affordable housing market.”

The Build Back Better funding will support a comprehensive strategy for expanding the mass timber housing market, including:

  • Mass timber research and innovation: The award will accelerate the mass timber research and development efforts by constructing an acoustic testing laboratory at University of Oregon and a fire testing facility at Oregon State University. In addition, the award advances applied research at UO and OSU by testing mass timber housing prototypes for structural, seismic, durability and energy performance.
  • Terminal 2 Mass Timber Innovation Hub: Federal investment will offset the costs of site development for a mass timber modular home factory, the University of Oregon’s acoustics research lab and a fabrication facility at the Port of Portland’s Terminal 2. Planning for site improvements at T2 will begin immediately, with construction of the lab and site work expected to begin in 2024.
  • Public-Private Partnerships will be developed to produce mass timber homes at a greater pace and promote workforce training opportunities in advanced manufacturing and the use of mass timber in construction.
  • Sustainable sourcing: The Oregon Department of Forestry will receive funding to implement forest restoration projects within the Willamette National Forest to improve resilience, reduce wildfire risk, and provide a sustainable supply for mass timber production. Resilience treatments will utilize a materials track-and-trace program to provide utilization and resource accountability.
  • Smart forestry initiative: OSU will receive funding for research and development to modernize forest restoration practices, including improved forest inventory mapping, enhanced forest worker health and safety, and efficiency within wood supply chain activities. OSU also will develop workforce training curriculum to help promote employment in the forest and wood products industry. “From forests to manufacturing to the construction site, we have designed a holistic suite of investments that create benefits across the supply chain,” said Iain Macdonald, Director of the TallWood Design Institute.
  • Model development codes: The Department of Land Conservation and Development will modernize development codes to support the use of mass timber in newly built modular workforce housing in 10 communities, prioritizing those impacted by the 2020 wildfires. This will serve as a model for other communities looking to accelerate housing production using mass timber. 

For more information about the Oregon Mass Timber Coalition, visit www.masstimbercoalition.org/projects

For more information about the Port of Portland’s focus on mass timber, visit www.portofportland.com/masstimber.

As one of the world’s premier centers of forestry education and research, the OSU College of Forestry is a recognized leader in sustainable forestry, sustainable land management solutions, climate-friendly forest products, green building, and smart recreation and urban planning: a comprehensive breadth of expertise necessary to develop the principles, practices, processes and products that improve rural and urban livelihoods while protecting the environment.

Our research is carried out by faculty, staff and students and happens in classrooms, labs, on public and private lands across the state, in the College’s own 15,000 acres of Research Forests and in our 11 research cooperatives. 

The College of Forestry received over $14.7 million in research grants and contracts for FY 2022. The awards support College of Forestry research that advances scientific knowledge critical to the health of forests, people and communities.

Here are some examples of the new awards:

“Reconciling timber production and biodiversity conservation : Testing the Triad approach to providing ecosystem services”
Sponsor: USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Principal Investigator: Matt Betts

“DISES: Modeling interactions between community forest dynamics and local livelihoods amidst institutional changes”
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Principal Investigator: Reem Hajjar

“Assessing post-fire land management practices to improve recovery of soil health, vegetation, and ecosystem services”
Sponsor: USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Principal Investigator: Kevin Bladon

“Predicting Near Real-Time Post-Fire Debris Flow Along ODOT Corridors”
Sponsor: Oregon Department of Transportation
Principal Investigator: Ben Leshchinsky

“Collaborative Research: Will it stay, or will it go? And if it goes, when? Parameterizing the Drivers and Timing of Post-Earthquake Landslides”
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Principal Investigator: Ben Leshchinsky

“Evaluating the response of native pollinators to fuel-reduction treatments in managed conifer forests”
Sponsor: CAL FIRE
Principal Investigator: Jim Rivers

It is our pleasure to announce that Professor Temesgen Hailemariam has been appointed as the N.B. and Jacqueline Giustina Professor of Forest Management and the Director of the Center for Intensive Planted-forest Silviculture. 

Temesgen earned his Ph.D. in Forest Biometrics from the University of British Columbia in 1999 and has been with the College of Forestry since 2003. Temesgen has a prolific career in growth and yield modeling, silviculture, forest operations, carbon estimation, and climate change issues. His work has resulted in over 90 peer-reviewed publications and $4 million in funding. Importantly, he has trained 7 Ph.D. and 15 M.Sc. students that have gone on to distinguished careers in academia, agencies, consulting, and private industry. Over his career, Temesgen has been honored with several awards including the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Mentorship of Graduate Students (2019), the Xi Sigma Pi Mentor award (2008), and the Emerging Scholar Faculty Award of the OSU chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi (2007).

The Giustina Professor of Forest Management endowment honors Nat, ’41, and his wife Jacqueline Giustina. Their son, Larry Giustina, ‘71 and his wife Carolyn Keen Giustina, ’71, generously supported this endowed professorship. Larry, an OSU Lifetime Trustee, founding chair of the College of Forestry Board of Visitors, and an OSU College of Business alum, was a staunch advocate and friend of the College of Forestry .

Congratulations Temesgen!

It is with great pleasure that we share that Dr. Cristina Eisenberg will be joining the College as the Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence and Director of Tribal Initiatives in the College of Forestry. After a nationwide competitive search process culminating in the interview of three outstanding candidates, we identified Dr. Eisenberg as an excellent match for our needs and hopes for this new position within the College. 

In this role, Dr. Eisenberg will direct a new Office for Tribal Initiatives in the College, serve as our primary liaison with the nine Tribes of Oregon and with Tribal Nations throughout the Northwest, oversee the execution of the College’s DEI strategic plan, and work closely with our new Director of Student Success to improve recruitment, retention and completion of under-served student populations and help advance the College as a program dedicated to diversity, equity, justice and inclusion. Dr. Eisenberg is a first-generation Latinix and Native American (Apache and Rarámuri) scholar who comes to us with years of experience in Traditional Ecological Knowledge, restoration ecology and wildlife biology. She has previously served as the Chief Scientist at Earthwatch Institute at Harvard University, as Director at Large on the Board of the Society for Ecological Restoration and Director of the Traditional Ecological Working Group, as a member of the Board of Trustees of Prescott College, and as a member of the Board of Directors of Sustainable Northwest. She has conducted extensive work as an independent scientist and researcher. Dr. Eisenberg holds a PhD from Oregon State University, a MA from Prescott College, and a BFA from the University of California-Long Beach and was previously courtesy faculty in the department of forest ecosystems and society. Dr. Eisenberg will start in early September.

Dean Tom DeLuca plants a tree in Finland

Roughly every two years, the College of Forestry Dean leads a tour of the College’s senior stakeholders to learn about innovations in thought and practice in the world of sustainable forest management and wood product development. In May of this year, the group visited Sweden and Finland to learn about social license for forestry, and advances through the integration of digitization and artificial intelligence into assessment, harvest and supply chain practices. In Sweden, Skogforsk, the Forestry Research Institute of Sweden, and the forest owners’ association Mellanskog hosted the group. In Finland, Dr. Ritva Toivonen, Dean of Agriculture and Forestry at the University of Helsinki, hosted the group at her family forest/farm, and she and faculty members joined the group in a visit to the Metsä Bioproducts Mill at Äänekoski, the largest wood processing plant in the Northern Hemisphere, to learn about its energy generation and sidestream product development. The tour culminated with informational presentations from Trimble, Ponsse, and Collective Crunch, all companies working to integrate digitization into forestry practice and carbon assessment for greater accuracy and sustainability.

The trip was organized and run by the College of Forestry International Programs office. Thank you to Michele Justice, director of International Programs, for this summary of the trip!

Mill tour in Sweden
Forest management lecture in Sweden
Remote control operation of a forwarder

The Dean’s Dinner is a yearly celebration of our scholarship recipients, donors, and college community. With student recruitment and enrollment in the College of Forestry at an all-time high with over 1000 undergraduates and over 250 graduate students there was a lot to celebrate this year!

Dean Tom Deluca started the formal awards ceremony by recognizing professor emeritus Richard Waring for being the recipient of the 2020 International Marcus Wallenberg Prize for his work in developing a revolutionary computer model to predict forest growth in a changing climate.

Randy Rosenberger, Associate Dean for Student Engagement, acknowledged the work of the student clubs and organizations: Xi Sigma Pi, SAF Student Chapter, Forest Utilization Society, the Forestry Club, the Natural Resources Club, and the International Forestry Students Association. The College of Forestry Ambassadors help us recruit prospective students, represent college academic programs to legislators and key stakeholders, work with alumni groups, and represent the College at many on and off campus events. Randy recognized them for their service to the College, which is in addition to their outstanding academic performances, involvement in extracurricular activities, family responsibilities, jobs, and community connections.

The winner of the Pack Essay Award was ecampus student Duane Ackley, senior in natural resources. His essay was titled “Dying Mens’ Future”. The Photo of the Year award went to Kelly Lynne Burke, a natural resources student, for their picture titled “Patagonia Rainbows.” Each year the College of Forestry is honored and privileged to award graduate fellowships and undergraduate scholarships to deserving new and returning students.  These awards are made possible through the generous contributions and continued support from our scholarship and fellowship donors. The College of Forestry’s Scholarship Committee reviewed 316 applications, and 215 students were selected to receive scholarships scholarship offers totaling $774,250 for the 2022-2023 academic year.  The students who were able to attend came up in small groups for congratulations with the Dean, pictured below.