October 24, 1932 – August 30, 2022
It is with great sadness that we share that Mike Newton, Professor Emeritus in the department of forest engineering, resources and management, passed away August 30, 2022.
Mike earned both his master’s and Ph.D. at Oregon State and was a faculty member at the College of Forestry for 40 years. During that time he conducted extensive research on the use of herbicides to control weeds in a wide array of forest settings, with the ultimate aim of determining the ideal environment for reforestation initiatives.
Over the course of his OSU career, Mike led significant investigations into competition between trees, shrubs and weeds in areas of differing rainfall and soil type and oversaw a major program in silviculture, with specific focus on the response of trees to different managed competition environments. In the latter stages of his tenure on the OSU faculty, Mike turned his attention to tree growth in cold weather climates. He also oversaw a mature forest study, which attempted to model the ideal regeneration of segments of forestland based on planned thinning and harvesting schedules. Mike was likewise involved in stream temperature studies during this period, working to determine the ideal types of riparian cover to maintain water temperatures that are optimum for healthy freshwater fish populations.
Although Mike retired from the College over 20 years ago, several folks shared memories of him. Jeff Hatten remembered how welcoming Mike was to both him and Ben Leshchinsky shortly after being hired at OSU. Jeff recalled Mike inviting them to come out to his forestland and spend the day on multiple occasions and share his knowledge from his forty years with OSU.
John Sessions, a close friend of Mike’s, shared a favorite memory of Mike. He said a number of years ago he was on a tour where Mike was explaining his work on conifer restoration in riparian zones in the Coast Range. One of the audience members challenged Mike by asking, “How do you know conifers grew here?” Mike replied, “I am standing on a conifer stump.” John said he was proud to call Mike a friend.
Mike retired from OSU in 1999, but remained very active as a scholar and mentor. Over the course of his career, Mike supervised 66 graduate students hailing from 11 different countries and published over 400 papers on forest science. To learn more Mike’s career and his contributions to the College of Forestry, please visit the Oregon State Oral History Project. To learn more about Mike’s life, family, and legacy please visit his obituary.
Mike is survived by his children, Dan and (Kathy), children and great grandchildren, Linda & (Mike), and children, Tom and (April) and children.
A Celebration of Life will be Saturday, October 29th, 2022 at 11:00 am at the First Presbyterian Church of Corvallis, Dennis Hall: 114 SW 8th St. Corvallis, OR. Memorials are welcome to Oregon Small Woodland Association or Community Outreach, Inc. of Corvallis.