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:
- Salmon Coast (Canada): Mindy Crandall
- Mountains to the Sea (Chile): Carlos Gonzalez, Claudio Guevara
- Italian Alps: Mariapaola Riggio, Eric Hansen
- Malaysian Borneo: Mark Needham, Matt Betts, Ian Munanura
- New Zealand: Dave Shaw, Chris Still, Adam Sibley
A version of this story appeared in the 2021-2022 College of Forestry Biennial Report.