After a two-year COVID-19 hiatus, the College of Forestry was first out of the gate at Oregon State University to relaunch its international student programs.

Coordinating multiple international undergraduate and graduate student experiences, travel arrangements and academic details is no small feat. Adding a global pandemic to the mix? That adds a whole new level of stress and logistics.

But when the pandemic halted international travel, the International Programs team at the College of Forestry (Director Michele Justice, Manager Kerry Menn and Administrative Assistant Rona Bryan) rose to the challenge, shifting their focus to online engagement on a global scale. In 2021, the team hosted a virtual Future Forests workshop in partnership with the University of British Columbia and University of Helsinki, which drew over 500 viewers worldwide. Funded by the US Forest Service International Programs, the team also supported a cohort of 12 Peruvian students who completed the Master of Natural Resources program in an OSU-led project aimed at building capacity in the Peruvian forestry education sector.

In 2022, as travel restrictions lifted, the College of Forestry was first to relaunch their portfolio with five of the 11 programs offered university-wide originating from the college. Students embarked on exchange, study abroad and internship programs all over the world including Ireland, at Bangor University in Wales and at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. The Dean’s Tour resumed, and Dean DeLuca led a group to Finland and Sweden to learn about innovations in forestry and resource management.

Two new faculty-led programs also made their debut. The Salmon Coast: Forest + Resource Management for Sustainability in Canada launched on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The program introduced students to the interaction between sustainable forest management and Indigenous Knowledge.

Also new was the Land of the Long White Cloud: Ecosystems of New Zealand program. The popular Mountains to the Sea: Ecosystems of Chile program, in its fifth year, was relocated to Patagonia and hosted by a new university partner, Universidad Aysén de Chile.

“I returned from Chile with direction and hope,” said Maya Greydanus (‘23), a Forestry undergraduate specializing in forest restoration and fire option. “My time abroad influenced me to be more thoughtful and selfless in my planning. I now know I want to work towards reducing global waste, live like a citizen of an international community and seek out the humility of being a guest in another culture.”

2022 FACULTY-LED INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS:

A version of this story appeared in the 2021-2022 College of Forestry Biennial Report.

Andrew “Drew” Bullard, class of 2024, studies natural resources, fish and wildlife option. He spent this summer at an internship with Roseburg Forest Products, at their western regional office in Dillard, Oregon. His title was Forest Operations, with a focus on Forest Engineering.

What is a memory that sticks out?
A memory that sticks out to me was a true representation of fellowship in the workplace. Me and two co-workers had just finished one of the hardest unit layouts and stream buffers of the quarterly plan – code-named “canine radar”. After climbing 1,000 plus feet in slope distance, at approximately 80-90 percent grade, we sat down to talk, all winded and out of breath. It was the perfect example of how the forestry field brings people together through struggle and difficulty. We all 3 sat, talking about hunting for about 10 minutes, and then continued on. As we looked over the beautiful landscape littered with elk, that 10 minutes made the entire day feel like no work had even been done, but rather just another day in the woods. I think that is the beauty of forestry as a whole – we get to work in the places we love, with awesome people, and often times, it doesn’t even feel like work.

How will this job help you in your classes or future career?
This internship with Roseburg significantly contributed to my understanding of forestry in the real work world, and was valuable for personal growth and development as a result of those around me. I am looking forward to continuing my education in the field of natural resources, and the future that is ahead of me.

What is the correct way to photograph a fish?
The correct way to photograph a fish is with its head in the water, maintaining oxygen flow to its gills – this reduces stress and chances of mortality. Hero shots aren’t cool, if the fish doesn’t swim away – the fish are the real heros.

Photograph of Rajat Panwar at the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations

As world leaders convened in September in New Delhi, India for the 2023 G20 Summit, they were handed policy briefs created by Think 20 (T20) Engagement group to inform their discussion and decisions, including one, led by Rajat Panwar, an associate professor at the College of Forestry.

“Essentially the work of the T20 is to provide scientific input to the world leaders for the G20,” Panwar said. “Each taskforce focuses on a different concern or issue relevant to this year’s G20, from climate change to global conflict, and synthesizes their research into a single policy brief and recommendations.”

Initiated in 2012, The T20 is independent from national governments and comprised of think tanks and academia from all over the world. The engagement group does not advocate or campaign around specific ideas, but instead generates insightful policy proposals, synthesized into policy briefs and presented to G20 working groups, ministerial meetings, and leaders to help the G20 deliver concrete policy measures.

As a lead author of one of the policy briefs produced by a T20 taskforce focused on Accelerating Sustainable Development Goals, Panwar worked in partnership with four other high-level experts for four months to produce the policy brief Aligning G20 Industrial Policies with Biodiversity Conservation. Though their work consisted of many drafts and multiple revisions, they were also asked to summarize their work into a sentence or two.

“Though we had so much to say,” said Panwar, “Our key conclusion was that biodiversity conservation cannot be left to markets. G20 countries must make biodiversity conservation a core priority in industrial policies related to investments and manufacturing.”

Panwar’s policy brief group included Nagesh Kumar, Director, Institute for Studies in Industrial Development, India, VB Mathur, Former Chairperson, National Biodiversity Authority, India, Maria Jose Murcia, Associate Professor, Austral University, Argentina and Jonatan Pinkse, Professor, The University of Manchester, UK.

In addition to his work for the G20, Panwar is the lead author for a chapter on business and biodiversity in the upcoming assessment by The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). He’s also the lead author for the “Bioeconomy Assessment for Latin America” conducted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. In 2022, he was co-author on the State of the World’s Forest report published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) Extension fosters stewardship of Oregon’s forests

Get Outdoors Day returns
Sponsored by the OSU Research Forests, FNR Extension, the Benton County Health Department and Linn and Benton counties, Get Outdoors Day returned to the Peavy Arboretum for the first time since 2019. The theme was “Returning to the Forest,” and the day featured bilingual activities, self-guided tours, fishing and more. More than 20 organizations from the Willamette Valley worked together to host the event, dedicated to encouraging healthy, inclusive outdoor recreational opportunities.

Teaching youth to value forests
Associate Professor Alicia Christiansen, the FNR Extension agent for Douglas County, hosted the 60th annual Douglas County School Forestry Tour at the Glide Educational Forest in April. Students learned about topics such as wildlife, forest products, forest management, fire management, fisheries and hydrology, tree identification and archeology. They were also able to participate in activities like choker races and using crosscut saws. FNR Extension foresters like Christiansen are in the community teaching the public, including young people, about the value of Oregon forests.

Fire program expands outreach
The FNR Extension Fire program has a mission to teach all Oregonians how to be prepared for wildfires. The program developed and translated informational cards in Spanish about basic wildfire preparedness for the home, simple actions to reduce wildfire impact before it strikes, how to be smoke ready and tools to support mental health before, during and after a wildfire. The program also offers online resources for those who can’t attend in-person events, such as a recent webinar on preparing for wildfire season in Benton County.

Research shows Klamath Mountain Douglas-firs in ‘decline spiral’
A study by FNR Extension found there are multiple factors in the decline of Douglas-fir trees in the Klamath Mountains of southern Oregon. Douglas-fir growing on hot, dry sites are further stressed by drought and then left susceptible to flathead fir borers. The researchers, including Extension agent and Associate Professor Max Bennett and Professor and Forest Health Specialist David Shaw, developed a measuring tool that landowners and managers can use to predict a stand’s chance of infestation by borers, other insects and fungi to understand mortality risks.

Tree School returns in Oregon
Tree Schools, which are mini-colleges for people who love forests, were held this spring in Clackamas and the Oregon coast, and in early summer in Eastern Oregon. Participants include family forestland owners, foresters, loggers, arborists, teachers and the public. Classes are taught by FNR Extension foresters, natural resource professionals and experienced local landowners. Each year, regional Tree Schools are hosted in various counties around the state of Oregon.

Helping Oregon’s woodland owners manage their land
The Master Woodland Manager training is offered by FNR Extension as a high level course for private landowners who are interested in intensive forest management training and sharing the knowledge gained through this training with people in their local communities. The program addresses technical forestry topics such as forest planning and management, reforestation, wildfire, fire, timber harvesting and more. More than 600 landowners have been trained through the program, and in 2022, participants reported 3,400 hours of volunteer public education in their communities.

A version of this story appeared in the Fall 2023 issue of Focus on Forestry, the alumni magazine of the Oregon State University College of Forestry.

Forest birds with short, round wings more sensitive to habitat fragmentation
Tropical forest birds tend to have wings that are short and round relative to their body length and shape. Professor Matt Betts, the Ruth H. Spaniol chair of renewable resources, and Christopher Wolf, a postdoctoral scholar, found these birds are more sensitive to habitat fragmentation than species common in temperate forests. This study, published in “Nature Ecology and Evolution,” provides solid evidence for the idea that forest birds in the lower latitudes struggle to relocate when their habitat breaks up because they weren’t required to evolve in ways that promote movement to new areas. Birds from temperate forests, like jays, robins and migrant warblers tend to be better movers as they have long, narrow wings that are better suited to long-distance flight.

Bees flock to clearcut areas but decline as forest canopy regrows
Doctoral Student Rachel Zitomer and Associate Professor of Wildlife Ecology Jim Rivers studied 60 intensively managed Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) stands of multiple ages, including within the OSU Research Forests. They found that bee abundance and species richness declined rapidly with stand
age, decreasing by 61% and 48%, respectively, for every five years since timber harvest. This research is one of the first attempts to study how native bee communities change over time in the Oregon Coast Range. Management activities that keep the forest canopy open for a longer period during the initial stage of stand regeneration may enhance bee diversity in landscapes dominated by intensively managed conifer forests.

Temperature, more than drought, caused heat dome tree damage.
In June 2021, the Pacific Northwest had multiple days of record setting, triple-digit temperatures resulting in widespread tree scorch. A team led by Professor Christopher Still attributes the damage more to the temperature than to drought conditions, citing evidence that leaf discoloration and damage are consistent with direct exposure to solar radiation in combination with extreme air temperatures. A previous article had concluded that the trees’ problems were the result of drought and a failure in the trees’ hydraulic system. The coastal Douglas-fir and western hemlock plantation forests saw the most extensive impacts from the heat dome, and they experienced low levels of drought compared to the Willamette Valley and the western slopes of the Cascade Range, which experienced less foliar damage.

Woodpecker adapts to both burned and unburned forests
Research led by Doctoral Student Mark Kerstens and Associate Professor Jim Rivers sheds new light on the Black-backed Woodpecker. This species is known for its strong association with recently burned forests. It is also a species of conservation concern due to habitat loss stemming from post-fire management practices in those same forests. Kerstens and Rivers studied breeding Black-backed Woodpeckers in southern Oregon to evaluate whether nest survival and post-fledging survival differed between green and burned forests. The woodpeckers in green forests were equally successful at breeding as those in recently burned forest, although densities of nesting pairs in green forest were lower than those in burned forest. Certain types of green forest, particularly mature lodgepole pine, and practices that promote pyrodiversity—landscape-level spatial and temporal variability in fire effects—as well as connectivity between green and burned forest within fire-prone landscapes are likely to provide the greatest conservation benefit for this species.

Research explores how wildfire can help restore forests
Graduate Research Fellow Skye Greenler and Assistant Professor Chris Dunn studied the dry forests of Eastern Oregon, which evolved amid frequent, low-severity fires. To explore the potential for fire alone to restore these dry forests, they developed a novel method to predict the range of fire severities most likely to restore historical conditions. They found moderate severity fires can help restore resilient forest conditions, but multiple burns or treatments are required to fully restore historical conditions.

TDI continues to advance mass timber technologies
TallWood Design Institute (TDI) has received a $1 million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation to research innovations in mass timber architecture, engineering and construction in the region. The National Science Foundation awarded the grant as part of its “Regional Innovation Engines” program. Advancing Mass Timber technology promotes environmental resilience and U.S. global competitiveness through the increased use of sustainable mass timber products and their applications in
buildings, including affordable housing.

Moisture is key to soils’ ability to sequester carbon
Soil is the Earth’s second biggest carbon storage locker after the ocean, and a research collaboration has shown that moisture levels are key to locking in carbon. Previously it was thought that temperature and the mineral content of the soil would have a larger effect on how long carbon stayed in the soil. The findings are important for understanding how the global carbon cycle might change as the climate grows warmer and drier. Professor Jeff Hatten was a co-author of the study, and Doctoral Student Adrian Gallo analyzed many of the 400 soil core samples from 34 sites.

A version of this story appeared in the Fall 2023 issue of Focus on Forestry, the alumni magazine of the Oregon State University College of Forestry.

At Oregon State University College of Forestry, students, faculty and staff work collaboratively with alumni, donors and partners toward a shared desire to improve life for all. Whether it’s developing innovative approaches to forest management, creating new wood products, preserving the health and vitality of ecosystems or expanding and supporting local economies, the college is strengthened by this collective approach.

At this year’s Dean’s Dinner on May 24, the college community honored current students and alumni who are making a difference in our changing world. This year’s outstanding alumni are leading the charge to ensure healthy forests, gender equality, and robust and resilient economies. Learn more about their legacies and join the college in celebrating their accomplishments:

Jessica Leahy, Ph.D.
‘99, B.S. Forest Recreation Resources
‘01, M.S. Forest Resources

An advocate for women in forestry, Leahy was the second woman tenured in the University of Maine School of Forest Resources and first to achieve the rank of full professor. She was a founding member of SWIFT, a UMaine group supporting women and gender minorities in forestry programs, and was an advisory council member for the inaugural 2022 Women’s Forest Congress. She recently served as the associate dean for the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry and Agriculture and associate director of the Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station at UMaine.

 

 

Camille Chow-Moyers
‘14, B.S. Renewable Materials and
Interior Design

After graduation, Chow-Moyers went on to work for Roseburg Forest Products in quality assurance and sales, before a 6-year stint working as a program manager of international compliance and auditing for Benchmark International (Eugene, OR and Shanghai, China). Today, she is co-owner of MCM Global, LLC (Portland, OR and Yorkshire, England), a consulting and auditing firm that specializes in international forestry compliance and quality management systems.

 

 

 

Suzanne Simard, Ph.D.
‘89, M.S. Forest Science
‘95, Ph.D.

Simard is a professor of forest ecology at the University of British Columbia and the author of the book, “Finding the Mother Tree.” She is known for her work on how trees interact and communicate using below-ground fungal networks. Her work has influenced filmmakers and her TED talks have been viewed by more than 10 million people worldwide. She has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles, presented at conferences around the world and in 2023 she received the Kew International Medal.

 

 

 

During the dinner at CH2M Hill Alumni Center, the College of Forestry graduate scholarship committee recognized our top incoming and returning graduate students with College of Forestry fellowships. The committee selected 28 students, both Master- and Ph.D.-level, to receive college fellowships totaling just over $150,000 for the 2023-2024 academic year. Scholarships range in value from $3,000 to $8,000.

Pictured L to R: Victoria Diedrichs, M.S. Wood Science & Engineering; Katie Wampler, Ph.D. Water Resources Science, Forest Engineering, Resources and Management; Mark Kerstens, Ph.D. Forest Engineering, Resources and Management; Kira Minehart, Ph.D. Recreation Ecology, Forest Ecosystems and Society; Dean Tom DeLuca; Jacob Atkins, M.S. Wood Science & Engineering; David Hamilton, Ph.D. Forest Engineering, Resources and Management.

A version of this story appeared in the Fall 2023 issue of Focus on Forestry, the alumni magazine of the Oregon State University College of Forestry.

Alumni come home to help the Forestry Club host and win the 83rd AWFC Conclave logging sports event

Conclave 2023 participants test their skills and endurance in the choker race

Over the span of three days, from April 13-15, student forestry teams from across the American West gathered at Peavy Arboretum for the annual Association of Western Forestry Club’s Conclave logging sports event. Each day, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., more than 150 students competed in events like axe throwing, caber toss, birling and log chopping. The Oregon State University Forestry Club team proudly claimed the No. 1 ranking, with many of the team’s competitors also earning first place in their individual events.

Last hosted by Oregon State University in 2012, the success of the 2023 Conclave was due in large part to the support of dedicated alumni, including former logging sports team members, who secured sponsorships, spent hours in the research forest fixing up the arenas and volunteering at the event. This year, to celebrate that spirit of giving back, the chopping arena was dedicated to Patrick “Hoss” Fitzmorris who graduated from OSU in 2013. Patrick, along with his fellow logging sports team members from the classes of 2010-2015, worked tirelessly to build the George W. Brown Sports Arena and the chopping arena to host the 83rd Annual AWFC Conclave in 2012. Patrick passed away in December 2022.

The College of Forestry would like to thank all the community volunteers and the generous sponsors who helped make the 83rd AWFC Conclave such a success.

Oregon State Forestry Club Conclave 2023 Awards

  • Winning Team: Oregon State University, 1st place
  • Bull of the Woods: Eli Gold, 1st place; Zeke Bluhm, 2nd place; Angus Nicholson, 3rd place

View the photo album and see the full results on the Conclave website.

A version of this story appeared in the Fall 2023 issue of Focus on Forestry, the alumni magazine of the Oregon State University College of Forestry.

Editor’s Note: On Aug. 5, 2023, after this story went to print, the Lookout Fire was sparked by lightning in the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest. It will be some time until the full extent of the damage is determined. Meanwhile, regular updates on the fire are being posted on the HJ Andrews Forest website.

Celebrating 75 years of the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest

Some things happen in an instant. Other things take their time, gradually evolving over the years. The work on the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest Long Term Ecological Research Program is more of a take-your-time kind of thing — like 75-year kind of time.

Managed by Oregon State University in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, the Andrews, as it’s affectionately known, is a 16,000-acre ecological research site east of Eugene in Oregon’s western Cascades. First established in 1948 as a U.S. Forest Service Experimental Forest, the Andrews is committed to long-term, place-based research and celebrates its 75th anniversary this November.

“Most ecological research lasts for only two or three years,” says Matt Betts, a professor of landscape ecology and the lead principal investigator. “At the Andrews, we’ve studied tree growth and death in the same stands for 52 years, examined fish populations in the same section of stream for 37 years and measured climate and streamflow for 65 years across the forest.”

This kind of long-term research is incredibly rare and extraordinarily valuable because it’s nearly impossible to understand an ecological system on a two-to-three-year time scale. In fact, research results from short-term studies are often overturned by long-term studies.

However, this same commitment to long-term research can also be a challenge. How do you stay excited about looking at the same thing in the same place for 50 years?

Associate Professor and Co-Principal Investigator Catalina Segura says she never feels like her hydrology research at the Andrews is repetitive. “The ability to ask diverse questions in this same place keeps the excitement alive,” Segura says. “The overlapping research adds to the thrill, and on an emotional level, I have a deep love for the Andrews.”

Segura is not the only one. The love for the Andrews Forest runs deep and wide. And not just with scientists and researchers. The Andrews has a robust humanities program welcoming writers, artists, musicians and philosophers to explore the meaning of the ancient forest ecosystem.

“Though our data goes back 75 years, the legacy of the Andrews is found in its people,” says Betts. “We have a global, intergenerational alumni group and even now, have over twenty graduate students and postdoctoral fellows doing research, studying a range of topics from tree canopies and climate resilience to groundwater and streamflow to environmental psychology and social science.”

The collaborative nature of the Andrews extends its legacy goes beyond the College of Forestry. Posy Busby, a microbiologist and associate professor in the department of botany and plant pathology at the College of Agricultural Sciences and Brooke Penaluna, the lead scientist with the U.S. Forest Service, are also co-principal investigators, with a long history of research at the Andrews.

“The Andrews is a special and unique place because it makes you feel alive and curious about the world,” says Penaluna. “It’s also particularly special because of the people that make up its partnership, including Pacific Northwest Research Station, the Willamette National Forest, and the College of Forestry.”

A version of this story appeared in the Fall 2023 issue of Focus on Forestry, the alumni magazine of the Oregon State University College of Forestry.

As the #1 forestry college in the nation, the Oregon State University College of Forestry is a recognized leader in sustainable forestry, land management solutions, climate-friendly forest products, green building, and smart recreation and urban planning. We provide students with exceptional learning, research and development opportunities and are committed to building an inclusive culture at the College that identifies and removes barriers to learning and access. We prepare students to be agents of change, ready to create and contribute equitable solutions to present and future challenges concerning sustainability and global change.

Our transformational, collaborative research is carried out by faculty, staff and students and happens in classrooms, labs, on public and private lands across the state, including the H.J. Andrews Long Term Ecological Research Forest, in the College’s own 15,000 acres of Research Forests and in our 11 research cooperatives.

The College of Forestry received over $25 million in research grants and contracts for FY 2023. 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:

The Economic Development Administration awarded $8 million for three projects titled:
“Smart Forestry: Paving the Way from Forest Restoration to Mass Timber”
“Prototyping and Testing of Mass Timber Housing Systems” and
Construction of an “Oregon Fire Testing Facility”.
Business Oregon provided $1.9 million in matching funds for the project. Principal Investigators: Iain Macdonald and Woodam Chung

“Protecting water security from wildfire threats in the Western US”
Sponsor: US Forest Service for $1.6 million
Principal Investigator: Kevin Bladon

The USDI Bureau of Land Management awarded over $1.5 million for two projects titled:
BLM Pacific Northwest Tribal Conservation Corps Project for Seeds of Success
The Fort Belknap Indian Community Seeds of Success Native Seed and Grassland Restoration Project
Principal Investigator: Cristina Eisenberg

“Optimal individual tree management for climate smart forestry using process-based modeling”
Sponsor: USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture for $650K
Principal Investigator: Bogdan Strimbu

“Developing a Professional Fire Management Education, Training, and Experiential Learning Program”
Sponsor: USDI Bureau of Land Management for $800K
Principal Investigator: John Punches

“Forest Operations Training Partnership (LARI 202)”
Sponsor: US Forest Service for $267K
Principal Investigator: Francisca Belart

Predicting near real-time post-fire debris flows along ODOT corridors.

Landslides can have major environmental, societal and economic impacts — and they often occur in conjunction with extreme events, like heavy precipitation, wildfires and earthquakes.

In mountainous, forested terrain across the West, like in Oregon, shallow landslides are a persistent hazard that can impact aquatic ecosystems and the structure of a forest. But despite the prevalence of this hazard, much remains unknown about the interplay between a landslide, the forest structure, and events like heavy rainfall and wildfires.

Richardson Chair in Forest Engineering, Resources and Management, Ben Leshchinsky is leading a team to learn more about landslides in forested environments — which will help provide new insights into how the dynamics of a forest and its vegetation affect the size and rate of landslides. This group is developing models to predict the susceptibility of future slides in mountainous, forested regions and evaluate the importance of forest vegetation on landslide size and rate. These efforts will provide insights into how vegetation may influence shallow landslides, particularly following wildfire.

The team is using climate monitoring stations, remote sensing and field testing of burned and live roots across the Cascades to better understand how factors like slope vegetation influence the likelihood of landslides and debris flows, as well as the timing at which these hazards are critical. Understanding more about slope stability and susceptibility will also provide valuable insights into how extreme events like heavy rainfall might initiate slope failure — especially how forests and their associated root strength may control post-wildfire mass movements.

Oregon State University researchers are collaborating with many agencies on this project including the Oregon Department of Forestry, the United States Forest Service, the United States Geological Survey, Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, and Oregon Department of Transportation.

A version of this story appeared in the 2021-2022 College of Forestry Biennial Report.