Caitlyn Reilley has worn many hats during her time at Oregon State University.

First, she was an undergraduate pursuing a career as a clinical dietician. Then, after realizing how heavily social, economic, and environmental factors influence individual health outcomes, she switched gears to focus on community-level health. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public health in 2016, securing a job as an outreach coordinator for the Linus Pauling Institute, a nutrition research institute at OSU.

While working as the outreach coordinator, Reilley began eyeing opportunities to return to school to study environmental policy. She learned about the opportunity to join the College of Forestry as the coordinator for the Elliott State Research Forest project.

“The Elliott project coordinator role was such a unique opportunity to bring my skillset to a project situated at the intersection of public lands policy, natural resource management, and rural community well-being,” Reilley says. “It was also fulfilling to help the College envision a path forward for the Elliott that benefits local communities while providing critical research into the best way to deliver the myriad of social, economic, and ecological values our forests provide.”

According to Reilley, developing a proposal for a research forest was often messy and included many difficult conversations. Overall, however, it was a joyful experience for her and gave her confidence in the ability of humans to work together to solve complex natural resource issues.

It also confirmed her desire to study natural resources management. As a current graduate student in sustainable forest management with a concentration in economics and policy, Reilley is working with Mindy Crandall, assistant professor of forest policy and economics. Crandall’s research focuses on the role that natural resources, especially forests, play in human well-being.

Together, she and Crandall are a part of a collaborative project studying the human dimensions of wildfire with researchers at the Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station. Her master’s research explores community vulnerability to wildfire and the social drivers of human-caused fire ignitions.

“The majority of fires in Oregon are started by people, and research into what drives these human-caused fires can help inform fire prevention strategies,” Reilley says.

Reilley’s research into socially vulnerable populations allowed her to support the implementation of Senate Bill 762 (SB 762), Oregon’s omnibus wildfire bill allocating millions for landscape scale forest restoration and community wildfire preparedness projects.

“As a part of this project, we are identifying and mapping socially vulnerable communities to help allocate resources provided by SB 762,” says Reilley. “Not all communities are equally equipped to prevent or respond to wildfire and it has been really encouraging to see how much interest there is in using this type of data to prioritize funding and support for communities that need it most.”

When Reilley is not in front of her computer analyzing data, she is in the forest and enjoys long-distance running and mountain biking with her Australian shepherd pup Ginger.

“Thanks to a rigorous Ginger-driven training plan, I was able to complete my first Ironman triathlon last summer in Coeur D’ Alene, Idaho,” Reilley says. “I also recently started building live edge furniture. I love to hunt for unique slabs of wood and am slowly building my arsenal of power tools.”

“I’ve learned so much from working with College of Forestry faculty these past three years. The Elliott project and implementation of SB 762 have provided incredible opportunities to see first-hand how the research informs real world management and policy decisions that promote healthy ecosystems and communities. Oregon communities are really at the heart of the work I’ve been able to be a part of here in the College, and I feel so fortunate for that.”

As the recipient of two scholarships from the College of Forestry: the Hal Salwasser Fellowship and the Lu Alexander Graduate Fellowship, Reilley is looking forward to using her scholarships to present her research at conferences this spring. After graduating this summer, she plans to continue working in the wildfire policy realm and hopes that her future career path never takes her too far from her home here in Oregon.

A version of this story appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of Focus on Forestry, the alumni magazine of the Oregon State University College of Forestry.

The 2021 Dean’s Award recipients and retirees were recently honored 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.

Dean Tom Deluca and Leon Rogers

Leon Rogers was recognized for outstanding achievement in fostering undergraduate student success. Leon is a Ph.D. candidate in wood science and engineering. A student nominator wrote “since starting his Ph.D., Leon has been the regular go-to for intern and undergraduate training. Whenever a student has a question in the lab, they go to him first, and he always seems to have the answer to every problem (also grad student problems!).”

Nick Miller was awarded for outstanding achievement in contributions as a student worker in his job at the helpdesk. Nominators noted “if Nick can’t solve the problem on the first visit, he is sure to schedule a follow-up. While he could just pass along the problem, he goes above and beyond to make sure that he is the familiar face that continues to work with them. His breadth of knowledge allows him to solve many problems without having to involve full-time staff.”

Dean Tom Deluca and Karla Jarecke

Two graduate students were recognized for outstanding achievement in graduate student leadership – Karla Jarecke and Caitlyn Reilley. Nominators noted “Karla has made outstanding contributions to the College through teaching. Karla TA’ed two classes (FES524 & FE434) for a total of four times and co-taught sections on soil water in FE434. Karla also mentored 7 undergraduate students through the undergraduate mentored employment program.” Nominators noted that Caitlyn “provides tremendous service to the FERM department as the student representative on the College’s graduate student council. Her upbeat attitude and friendly demeanor made it easy for her to connect with our latest cohort of incoming graduate students at the 2021 CoF grad student orientation.”

Dean Tom Deluca and Caitlyn Reilley

The Pauline Barto Award for Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion went to Ray Van Court and Jessica Fitzmorris. Ray has not just been the go-to for discussion and practical evaluation of wide commitments to diversity but has been an exemplary model of outreach and equity focused leadership that many students and faculty look up to. Jessica serves as one of the chairs on the Starker Lecture Series Committee and led the charge to get “Women of Forestry: Inspiring Leadership” a series focus. She rallied the sponsor to embrace this topic and built a team to facilitate the selection of speakers, organize a capstone experience that will enhance the education and opportunities for young women in the fields, and built excitement for the series among the college and external community.

Dean Tom Deluca and Ray Van Court

The award for outstanding achievement in the mentorship of graduate students went to Tyler Deboodt. Tyler has only been in the wood science and engineering department for the last 18 months and has already made an indelible mark in the progress and research profile of graduate students. Tyler was instrumental in recovery after the COVID related shutdowns and prioritized graduate student research as the resumption took place in order for the students to graduate.

Dean Tom Deluca and Tyler Deboodt

Meg Krawchuk received the award for outstanding achievement in distinction to the college. Meg took on leadership of the DEI community building and inclusion task force in 2020. Since then, she has been an inspirational leader to this group, and it is due largely to her efforts that the “community nook” space has taken shape. Her thoughtful, inclusive and participant-driven approach to this task has embodied DEI principles.

Retirees Jeff Wimer, Janey Lee Sutton and Badege Bishaw were recognized for their service to the college. Jeff Wimer was with the college for 18 years. He was responsible for providing leadership and management for the College of Forestry Student Logging Program, teaching an upper division course in use of harvest simulators, delivering guest lectures in several courses to support the department’s professional forestry degree, research support, and assisting in college development and outreach. Janey Lee Sutton worked in the Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) office. A colleague noted “Janey made the FNR extension team feel like home, feel like a family. You could always count on a good story and an even better laugh when you went into her office. She knew the ins and outs of the college like the back of her hand and was always willing share that knowledge to help get you where you needed to be.” Dr. Badege Bishaw enjoyed a 26-year career in the College of Forestry. Over his career, he taught many courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level, including International Forestry, Agroforestry, Introduction to Sustainable Natural Resources, and Sustainable Natural Resource Development.

The College of Forestry at Oregon State University celebrates the induction of Alumni Clark W. Seely, class of 1977, into the Florida Foresters Hall of Fame. Announced by the Florida Division of the Society of American Foresters, the Hall of Fame honors residents of Florida who have made outstanding contributions to the forestry profession in Florida, other states, or internationally.  Election to the Hall of Fame is the highest honor and recognition of professional service one may receive from Florida SAF.  Mr. Seely is a resident of New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

Mr. Seely’s professional forestry career began with the Oregon Department of Forestry in 1974. In the next 20 years he advanced with that Department through positions with increasing responsibility around the state.  In 1994 he became Director of Fire Protection and Management in the state office, and by retirement in 2009 he was Associate State Forester for Oregon.  In 2012 Mr. Seely moved to Volusia County, Florida and formed Seely Management Consulting Inc , an independent consulting firm focused on client results, specializing in natural resource policy and organizational management.  In 2014 he became an adjunct faculty member with the Natural Resource Policy and Administration Master’s Program at the University of Florida.  

Mr. Seely is a 1977 graduate of the Oregon State University College of Forestry (Bachelor of Science in Forest Management) and a 1993 graduate of the Covey Leadership Center Executive Excellence Program.  He is currently a Board member and Co-Vice Chairman with the Forest History Society.  He is a Society of American Foresters Fellow and has had significant career-long involvement with the SAF.  He held numerous national, state, and local elected and appointed offices in SAF, including Chair of Oregon SAF in 1991 and President of the national organization in 2016.

*Press release courtesy Florida SAF.

The Society of Wood Science and Technology (SWST) has selected four members of the Oregon State University Department of Wood Science and Engineering community to serve as “Women Ambassadors Creating the Future of Wood Science.”

Associate professor of wood design and architecture Mariapaola Riggio, wood science and engineering alumna Balkis Bakar (PhD, ’19), former OSU graduate faculty member Andreja Kutnar, and Anne Toppinen, who completed her sabbatical at OSU in the 1990s, will be recognized throughout the following year for their contributions and mentorship of women entering the wood science field.

Committed to the field of wood science for the future, the SWST has created a sponsored exhibition piece designed to celebrate women ambassadors in the field. The four members of the OSU community, along with 12 other women, will be a part of a traveling exhibition over the next year to recognize their efforts.

The first exhibition will occur during the 2022 SWST International Convention in Kingscliff, Australia, from July 10-16. It will travel worldwide until the 2023 SWST International Convention in Asheville, North Carolina. The exhibition will be displayed at Oregon State during the Fall 2022 term. The announcement coincides with the International Day for Women and Girls in Science, which the United Nations created in 2015 to achieve full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls, and further achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

The first published results from the Play2Cope project reports that engaging in leisure activities during COVID-19 supported stress reduction and enhanced wellbeing.  The Play2Cope project is a collaboration between the Health, Environment, and Leisure (HEAL) research lab led by Xiangyou (Sharon) Shen, assistant professor (visiting) in the department of forest ecosystems and society, and colleagues in Oregon State University College of Public Health and Human Sciences.

These results, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, are the first investigation of U.S. adults’ overall leisure engagement and its association with mental health amidst the major disruptions and sustained stress of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participants reported general increases in home-based traditional leisure and digital/online activities and decreases in physical and nature-based activities. The most popular outdoor activities were walking and gardening. A very small proportion of people started a new favorite leisure activity during COVID-19 and most people continued or fell back on activities they had engaged in before the pandemic.

The results suggest that engaging in leisure activities during times of prolonged, heightened stress could be a way to cope with stress. Failing to maintain or make adaptive changes to one’s leisure engagement was associated with a higher risk of developing depressive symptoms. The study also revealed that the positive aspect of mental health was primarily predicted by people’s own evaluation of their leisure engagement relative to a desired level, and less by the actual level of leisure activities.

Shen X, MacDonald M, Logan SW, Parkinson C, Gorrell L, Hatfield BE. Leisure Engagement during COVID-19 and Its Association with Mental Health and Wellbeing in U.S. Adults. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(3):1081.

This study was supported by the Hallie E. Ford Center Team Science Seed Grant from the Hallie E. Ford Center for Healthy Children & Families, College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University.

Climate change is increasing pressure on the built environment and building sector to transform from a major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions to a central solution. The development of mass timber technology and the use of wood to construct mid to high-rise buildings can serve as a pathway to a more sustainable future, meeting a rapidly growing global urban population while decreasing carbon emissions and increasing human health benefits.

International networking and collaboration with researchers at the cutting-edge of mass timber technology, wood science and data-driven infrastructure safety is key to achieving the much-needed breakthroughs to advance innovative mass-timber buildings.

The College of Forestry at Oregon State University is partnering with researchers at InnoRenew CoE, faculty of mathematics, natural sciences and information technologies at the University of Primorska and faculty of agriculture and forestry at the University of Helsinki to create an international, informal alliance to share mass timber technology data related to structural health monitoring. Structural health monitoring refers to analyses of data generated from sensors and information technologies that observe and monitor changes over time in buildings.

For a wide and systematic use of data from mass timber buildings, there remains a need for standardization and collaboration among researchers. The alliance will utilize first-hand data from three mass-timber projects, the George W. Peavy Forest Science Center (PFSC) in Corvallis, Oregon, USA, InnoRenew CoE in Slovenia, and the Hyytiälä forest station in Finland (University of Helsinki), to help create standards for structural health monitoring. The alliance will collect unique and innovative structural systems data, develop benchmark data for further applications, and cross-reference with other projects.

Peavy Forest Science Center, College of Forestry, Corvallis, OR, USA

The PFSC is a three-story building completed in 2019 at Oregon State University and utilizes mass-timber structural elements. These include self-centering, rocking, cross-laminated timber (CLT) shear walls, CLT-concrete composite floor systems, a mass plywood panel roof system, and glulam beams and columns. To determine if the building is performing under static, dynamic, and environmental loads as expected, the PFSC serves as a full-scale living laboratory equipped with sensors. The sensors monitor outdoor and indoor climate conditions, heat and moisture transfer in CLT assemblies, moisture content of structural elements, movement of CLT floor and wall panels, tension losses in CLT shear walls, and global dynamic behavior of the structure.

InnoRenew CoE’s building, Slovenia

The InnoRenew CoE’s building, the biggest wooden building in Slovenia, is a hybrid combination of timber, concrete and steel. It was designed according to state-of- the-art principles of contemporary sustainable construction following the principles of REED (Restorative Environmental and Ergonomic Design) based on research outputs from the InnoRenew CoE.

Hyytiälä forest station, Finland

In Finland, four new mass timber buildings at the Hyytiälä forest station, faculty of agriculture and forestry of the University of Helsinki, are under construction and will be completed in 2022. The structures and walls are CLT, while flooring and roofs are laminated veneer lumber (LVL) based. The buildings are 1-2 story comprising a large catering and studying/conference hall and three accommodation buildings with studio-type rooms. Wooden (walking) bridges and platforms connect the facilities. Two of the buildings will be used to collect data, research structure and material characteristics, and monitor indoor air quality. The buildings offer an opportunity to research human health and well-being, both perceived and experimentally measured.

The academic partners agree to cooperate in exchange for the mutual advancement, support and development of joint projects, publications and scholarship opportunities. Partners will develop standard practices for future structural health monitoring projects by creating standardized data collection, processing and management protocols, and establishing a common methodology for reporting project outputs. To inform transparent governance, ownership and regulation, the network will develop a repository and website with information about projects, data and outputs.

The alliance aims to further expand by attracting researchers from around the world to contribute to new knowledge and future developments in the field of built environment.

For more information about joining the alliance, contact:

Oregon State University: Mariapaola Riggio

InnoRenew COE and University of Primorska: Andreja Kutnar

University of Helsinki: Ritva Toivonen, Laura Alakukku

Rootstock, a new resource for students, faculty and staff of the College of Forestry, opened on January 11, 2022. Located on the first floor of the Peavy Forest Science Center on the campus of Oregon State University, Rootstock is a community space providing food and resources to those in need.

“OSU is already doing a wonderful job of addressing issues of food insecurity and the OSU Human Services Resource Center provides great resources and programs for students in need,” said Jessica Fitzmorris, outreach and event manager at the College of Forestry. “We are not trying to duplicate their efforts, but rather work with them to provide additional resources, education, and experiences for College of Forestry students to meet immediate needs.”

Food insecurity remains a significant problem in Oregon and among OSU students. According to research by Mark Edwards, professor of Sociology and Director of OPAL (OSU Policy Analysis Laboratory) at the School of Public Policy, 24% of OSU students on the Corvallis campus are estimated to be food insecure. Though there is not specific food insecurity data related to College of Forestry students, 34% of College of Forestry students have high financial need compared to 28% of OSU’s population. College of Forestry students also have the 4th highest financial need of OSU Colleges.

After former College of Forestry dean Anthony Davis’ staff attended an event highlighting food insecurity faced by Forestry students, a seed was planted for the idea of Rootstock. With the opening of the new Peavy Forest Science Center building, Fitzmorris saw the opportunity to house a food pantry in the event kitchen. Rootstock also includes a drop off space on the 2nd floor of Peavy where people can donate fresh food from their gardens. College of Forestry event organizers are also encouraged to use to-go containers to save leftover food to be distributed later to students.

Other College of Forestry staff, including Madison Dudley, the curriculum and accreditation coordinator for the department of forestry engineering and resources management and Terralyn Vandetta, director of computing forestry resources, joined Fitzmorris to brainstorm what kind of products could be stocked in the pantry. Students will find food for meals, snacks, condiments, as well as menstrual products, and cleaning supplies. They will also receive information about programs available to them through the OSU Human Services Resource Center, including SNAP benefits and textbook loaning programs.

Rootstock food pantry

The food pantry will be open on Tuesdays from 1:00-3:30, with other times available by appointment. To donate non-perishable food items (not expired), garden produce, eggs from your chickens, toiletry items, household cleaning supplies, or cash, contact Jessica Fitzmorris ( Volunteers are also needed during pantry hours.

Students can follow the Twitter accounts @eatfreeosu and @cof_rootstock for announcements about event leftovers. More information can be found within the Rootstock website, including educational events and community resources.

Have you ever hiked in the McDonald Forest and found a perfectly placed bench, appearing just as you need a moment to rest and enjoy the forest? You have just come across a commemorative bench! These benches commemorate an individual, a group, or an event and support the OSU Research Forests Recreation and Engagement Program, which creates and maintains the trails in the OSU Research Forests.

The most recent bench addition can be found on the Beautiful Trail. Long-time friends and avid trail runners Steve Strauss and Gary Barnes generously donated the bench “to honor all who run and appreciate the beauty of the forest and the joy of connection”. Strauss is a Distinguished Professor of Forest Biotechnology in the College of Forestry.

Gary Barnes and Steve Strauss enjoy testing out the newest commemorative bench.

There are currently 14 benches installed throughout the McDonald Forest. OSU Research Forest Recreation Field Coordinator Matt McPharlin and College of Forestry students construct the benches, using wood sourced from trees in the forest. In addition to the benches, the Research Forest honors people with memorial rocks and other installations.

“We’ve seen a notable increase in interest for our commemorative bench program,” says Jenna Baker, the Research Forests Recreation and Engagement program manager. “As a result, we’re in the process of thinking up some other creative and meaningful ways for people to commemorate and donate to our Recreation and Engagement program.”

The McDonald Research Forest, a short 15-minute drive from the Oregon State University campus, is part of the OSU Research Forests. These forests serve as a living laboratory and outdoor classroom for students, researchers and managers to learn about forest ecosystems and management. OSU utilizes the Research Forests to find new ways to sustainably manage forests for conservation, education, business, and recreation. If you are interested in learning more about how you can contribute and get involved with the Research Forest Recreation and Engagement program, contact Jenna Baker at!

Position at Oregon State University: PhD Candidate, Graduate Research Assistant

Tell us a little bit about where you are from…
I’m originally from the foothills of Colorado. I went to Grinnell College in Iowa for my BA in anthropology and biological chemistry, then moved to Portland to get back to mountains and forests.

What brought you to OSU? What is your role in the College of Forestry?
When I lived in Portland I was part of the Oregon Mycological Society, which hosts monthly talks. In one of these I heard about research going on in the college making sustainable products using fungal pigments, and was particularly interested in the use of one of them as a semiconductor. I quit my corporate job and came to OSU to get involved finding new ways to make a better world with fungi.

What’s your favorite part about working for the College of Forestry?
The diverse resources that we have for projects and the excellent people that I work with.

What’s a cool work-related project you are working on right now?
I’m working on a project using ectomycorrhizal fungi for bioremediation of heavy metal treated wood waste. At the moment, wood treated with metals like arsenic and copper is disposed of in landfills where these metals can move into the environment. Fungi are known to sequester metals or produce compounds that will react with them, reducing their toxicity and potential environmental issues. Some species of ectomycorrhizal fungi in particular are known to tolerate heavy metal environments, and initial work has shown they may be able to reduce metal toxicity. Use of ectomycorrhizal fungi may be a sustainable way to reduce the environmental impact of these metals and potentially allow for reclamation.

What do you like to do outside of work?
My primary hobby is mushroom hunting. I’m in the forest looking for fungi most weekends. I am also into plants, both growing them and admiring them in the wild. I have a large collection of tropical orchids in a vivarium and a bog of carnivorous plants, plus more orchids in my yard. I’m particularly enthusiastic about parasitic plants and others that are dependent on fungi. I also am a woodworker, mostly woodturning, and like to cook.

What’s your favorite food?
Matsutake mushrooms.

What’s your favorite time of the year? Why?
I love late summer/early fall. The mushroom season has started on the coast by then and my favorite species of chanterelle is out, plus there are still huckleberries to snack on. Also it is still warm and sunny outside, and gardens are going crazy. Definitely the best time of year.

Do you have any children or pets?
Just plants and fungi.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Why?
This is incredibly specific, but I would love to be able to look at a plant/fungus and know exactly what it needs to be happy. I work with high maintenance ectomycorrhizal fungi which are normally in symbiosis with trees, and we really do not know how to replicate what the tree (or other organisms in the ecosystem) normally provide to the fungus. There are many genera that no one has figured out how to culture. I’ve been playing around in the lab working on medias, but it would be so nice to just be able to know so we can do research on them more effectively. Knowing what plants need would also be nice for my orchid habit. An alternative superpower would be to instantly make things sterile and/or being able to select what grows in culture – that would be wonderful.

The Western Wood Preservers Institute (WWPI) donated $100,000 to support the construction of a pressure treating facility in Richardson Hall on the Oregon State University campus. The lab will be utilized by the Utility Pole Research Cooperative and the Environmental Performance of Treated Wood Research Cooperative, two preservative-treated wood cooperatives housed in the College of Forestry.  Stella-Jones Inc. will be donating an experimental treating cylinder once the facility is ready, saving the cooperatives about $300,000 in equipment costs.

The repurposed facility will enable more versatile treated wood research, particularly into how to improve the treatment and durability of large wood commodities such as utility poles, railroad ties, and marine pilings. In addition, the facility will function as an educational resource, allowing students in wood science to gain hands-on experience with the process of wood treating.

Representatives of WWPI and Stella-Jones visited the Oregon Forest Science Center to deliver the donation, met with Tom DeLuca, Cheryl Ramberg-Ford and Allyn C. Ford Dean of the College of Forestry, and toured the new Peavy Forest Science Center, A.A. “Red” Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Lab, and the Peavy Arboretum. They also visited the lab spaces used by Gerald Presley, assistant professor in wood science and engineering, and his team.

“This donation enables us to advance science related to pressure treated wood and wood products,” said Gerald Presley, director of the two research cooperatives. “Pressure treatment enables wood to perform well in applications that would otherwise only be occupied by steel, concrete and plastics and OSU is now well-equipped to improve preserved wood products for better performance. This donation also helps us equip the next generation of leaders in wood science and engineering.”

Eric Hansen, department head of the department of wood science and engineering; Dean Tom DeLuca; Gerald Presley; Kyle Cassidy, President of Western Wood Preservers Institute and Director of Quality Assurance & Technical Services at Stella-Jones; Phil Schumock, Director of Sales for Residential Products at Stella-Jones; Dallin Brooks, Executive Director of Western Wood Preservers Institute. Not pictured, but in attendance were Butch Bernhardt, Senior Program Manager at Western Wood Preservers Institute; Mark Clark, Senior Technical Manager-Fire Safety with Hexion and Roy Hultberg, RJH Enterprises.