Weyerhaeuser and John Deere are partnering to supply the College of Forestry’s Mechanized Harvesting Laboratory with four new harvesting simulators that will engage students, teach machine operation skills, and provide experiential learning activities in forestry. The laboratory is directed by Kevin Lyons, the Wes Lematta Professor in Forest Engineering, and now has 22 harvesting machine simulators with nine available for our high school loan program. The new John Deere forest harvesting simulator systems will permit OSU to expand the high school loan program, which provides career and technology education in high schools.

The mission of the Mechanized Harvesting Laboratory is to increase the knowledge of modern mechanized harvesting systems. Students in forest engineering labs run simulations and explore how to reduce environmental impacts due to harvesting forest products. By bringing these simulators into high school classrooms, high school students can get a taste for how advanced forestry tools allow for efficient timber harvesting and support environmental stewardship.

The state-of-the-art John Deere forest harvesting simulator system includes a terrain editor where users can easily build terrains based on map data or their own imagination. The harvesting machine simulator is designed for training operators, and provides experiential learning opportunities for machine operation and management. Students are able to compare potential forest treatment options gaining a deeper understanding of the links between the environment, machine and treatment prescriptions.

Participating high schools are provided with a forest harvesting machine simulator to use in their classroom. Currently the Mechanized Harvesting Lab is partnering with Yoncola, Oak Ridge, Sweet Home, Tillamook, and Nia-Kah-Nie high schools. Schools value having the OSU College of Forestry provide simulator equipment, workshops at their schools run by OSU faculty and students, and access to the Peavy Forest Science Center and the Mechanized Harvesting Lab for class field trips. This gift from the Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund and John Deere will help expand the number of schools the lab is able to partner with.

Learn more about our forest engineering program.

Steven Kontra is a graduate student in wood science and engineering, specializing in structural engineering. This summer he participated in the International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in Chile.

What surprised you most during your travels? Why?
During my travels to Chile, what surprised me the most was the striking contrast between the vibrant urban life in Santiago and the serene coastal beauty of Viña del Mar and Valparaíso. I spent most of my time on the coast, and absolutely loved the colorful streets and unique artistic culture that helped reveal the rich history of the region.

How did your time abroad influence your thoughts on your field of study and/or career path?
Participating in the International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in Chile was a transformative experience that deeply impacted my perspective as a student of structural engineering. This conference not only broadened my understanding of LCA but also underscored the vital importance of adopting a life-cycle mindset in design. Immersed in a new environment and surrounded by industry professionals who share this fervor, I gained a heightened appreciation for the implications of sustainable design choices that extend well beyond immediate project boundaries, but exert an influence on the environment and communities over time. This experience has reaffirmed my desire to integrate life-cycle principles into my future career in structural engineering.

If you had to pick one, what was your all-time favorite experience while abroad? Why was it so

The best memories I had on my trip were exploring the coastal cities surrounding Viña del Mar with my friends from the conference. Instead of an Uber, we opted to take the local bus system whenever possible, and immensely enjoyed the experience—though slightly chaotic at times. On these trips, we made many new local connections who offered suggestions of the best restaurants and attractions to visit which significantly enriched our adventure.

What advice would you give to students considering an international experience?
For students considering an international experience, I would highly recommend first connecting with international peers right within your own department. These international students are often well- traveled and have firsthand experience from various parts of the world—providing insights and perspectives that you won’t find online. In addition, having a network of international connections can be extremely beneficial when traveling abroad. As one of the friends in my research group is from Chile, he was able to connect me with his cousin who lived in Viña del Mar; this allowed me to stay for free while also significantly enriching my experience.

David Hamilton is a Ph.D. student studying forest engineering and his research topic is electric logging trucks. He is beginning his third year and is an international student from Vancouver, BC, Canada. He is currently the CTO of a start up, Mauka Forestry Consulting, a forestry & GIS consulting company based out of Vancouver, Canada. This summer, he traveled to Merrit, BC, to collaborate with Edison Motors, the inventors of the first electric logging truck. This collaboration led him to write a paper on mapping electric logging truck range as a proof of concept for his tool using their truck schematics.

What is the focus of your Ph.D.?
Recent policy shifts have resulted in USA Pacific states encouraging the adoption of heavy-duty electrical vehicles (EVs). The state of California has mandated that by 2035 all heavy-duty non-freight vehicles must produce zero emissions. Similarly, Oregon has passed the Clean Trucks Rules requiring an increasing percentage of heavy-duty trucks to produce zero emissions, starting in 2024. To meet these policy requirements, automotive manufacturers have begun the mass production of EVs. This led to a 68% rise in global EV sales from 2017 to 2018. However, market penetration of heavy-duty EV trucks is still low compared to passenger EV penetration levels in the United States. Range anxiety driven by battery size limitations (capacity to weight ratio) and a lack of charging infrastructure is one factor hindering the adoption of EVs. I developed multiple tools for mapping electric log truck range across a forest landscape. The purpose of my tools are to help alleviate range anxiety amongst policy makers, truck manufacturers and buyers.

What did you work on this summer?
This summer I collaborated with OSU’s innovation team to develop a patent based on my research for the university. I was also awarded the dean’s international travel award to go to Canada and collect international educational harvest footage. While in Canada I traveled to Merrit, BC, to collaborate with Edison Motors, the inventors of the first electric logging truck. This collaboration led me to write a paper on mapping electric logging truck range as a proof of concept for my tool using their truck schematics.

What are the next steps?
This fall, John Sessions and I were awarded OSU’s $15,000 Accelerator Innovation and Development grant to improve my tool and implement it across a major forest owner’s land base. To achieve this, I will be collaborating with Edison motors and their clients in Canada and the USA. This grant will also fund a trade show booth along with Edison to promote collaboration and industry awareness. In September, Edison also deployed the first fully electric logging truck.

What do you do when you aren’t working on your Ph.D.?
My hands can rarely keep still when I’m not working on my Ph.D. I enjoy painting, playing music and games. I’m particularly fond of painting acrylic paintings and miniatures, the guitar and role-playing/strategy games. I also participate in the Corvallis Guitar Folk Society, lead the forestry grad student band, undercut, and plan various on and off campus social events. However by far my favorite activity is playing with my dog, Tango.

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.

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.

Nearly a century of data provides knowledge for the future.

Since 1926, Oregon State University has conducted hundreds of studies across the College of Forestry’s 15,000 acres of research forests. These studies have contributed impactful solutions to the everyday and real-world challenges of sustainably managing forests for many uses.

Cat Carlisle who is pursuing a graduate degree in the Forest Engineering and Resource Management department, is adding her own study to the mix, examining the potential for Oregon’s forests to contribute to carbon storage and sequestration. Carlisle is analyzing the inventory of carbon stock in the McDonald and Dunn Forests — and projecting how different forest management strategies might shift carbon levels in the forests over the next 150 years.

“The hope is to find ways to use forest management to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and sequester it in biomass, to contribute to climate change mitigation. I hope this project sheds light on how to manage a sustainable working forest in a way that considers ecological factors like carbon stock, especially as the climate changes,” Carlisle explained.

Because Carlisle is conducting this work in the research forests, she was able to immediately jump in and access a wealth of existing data.

Edmund Hayes Professor in Silviculture Alternatives, Klaus Puettmann, manages a long-term research study in the McDonald-Dunn and facilitates opportunities for students to learn in the forests. His study investigates alternatives to clearcutting and examines whether features of mature and old-growth Douglas-fir forests could be retained through a variety of types of timber harvests. He is a staunch advocate for the research forests and their value as a long-term resource.

“The research forests offer examples of a wide range of forest conditions and hold great value for researchers and teachers who want to consider a multitude of forestry approaches,” Puettmann says, “We don’t have many examples of different silviculture treatments that are this close to campus
and accessible to students.”

Puettman says one of the greatest benefits of performing his research project on the McDonald and Dunn research forests is the wealth of long-term data available. “Researchers and educators investigating various studies can potentially launch their project with the help of decades of data,” he said.

Learn more about past and present research in Oregon State University Research and Demonstration Forests.

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

Trevor Denning is on a mission to make the outdoors more accessible for people with physical disabilities. And he’s starting with Peavy Arboretum, in the Oregon State University College of Forestry Research Forests.

Denning, who graduated in 2022 from the College of Forestry with his bachelor’s degree in tourism, recreation and adventure leadership, with a double minor in natural resources and leadership, has been in a wheelchair since 2011, after a spinal injury when he was 15. With the guidance of his major professor Ashley D’Antonio, he focused his final capstone project on ways to make Peavy Arboretum more accessible to those with physical disabilities. That project launched him into a short-term position with the research forests.

“I believe there needs to be more people who are disabled making decisions about accessibility because we are the ones with the real-world experience and know what needs to change,” said Denning. “On many occasions, I have visited a local, state or national park that is deemed ‘accessible,’ when in fact, it is not.”

Accessibility, according to Denning, is “not a one-shoe-fits-all type of problem to address.”

“One of the greatest barriers or obstacles to accessibility is the lack of knowledge about the vast amounts of disabilities that exist,” said Denning.

His work in the research forests will include providing trail information to people with disabilities so they can be empowered to make the best and most informed decision for themselves about whether they can navigate the trail. Information like trail length, width, travel surface, grade, elevation gain, location of the steepest pitch, as well as trail conditions, will be posted on the research forest website.

As the research forest team and volunteers perform trail maintenance and work on new trails, Denning will provide input and guidance and review processes like entrance and gate accessibility.

“Most people don’t think of the research forest as a place for people with physical disabilities. But it needs to be,” said Stephen Fitzgerald, director of the Oregon State University Research Forests. “Peavy Arboretum has shorter trails with less elevational pitch that have the potential to be modified easily. Trevor had a plan, ideas, expertise and the lived experience to help us begin to make these changes.”

“Navigating a nondisabled world is tough,” said Denning. “Restaurants, grocery stores, bookstores, classrooms and housing are some of the many things that need to be made more accessible. The first step is having people who are disabled in a position to make these changes. For the longest time, I have wanted to be one of those people.”

And now he is. After his work in the research forests, Denning hopes to work for a federal agency such as the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service or the Army Corps of Engineers, helping give people with physical disabilities greater access to the outdoors.

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

Major & specialization area:
Forestry with options in Forest Management & Forest Restoration and Fire

Why did you choose your degree program/major?
When I committed to going to OSU, I knew I wanted to pursue a degree that would lead to a job working outdoors and when I discovered that OSU’s Forestry program happened to be the #1 in the country, it was an easy decision to make. I knew I could always transfer to a different degree if I didn’t like it, but I’ve never second-guessed my original choice.

What’s the best experience you’ve had as a student?
Field School was by far the most transformative and fun experience I had at college. I met so many cool people and spent two weeks outside learning real, tangible forestry skills both in the Willamette Valley and in Sisters, OR.

Have you participated in any experiential learning opportunities? How has this impacted your student experience?
In my Junior year, I went on a Spring break trip to the Patagonian region of Chile. I got scholarships from the College of Forestry that helped make it possible, and a lot of support/encouragement from faculty and professors. It was my first time going abroad and it was pretty transformative for me, both in terms of my education on forestry topics and learning about the culture and history of the area. The professor, Carlos Gonzalez-Benecke, his graduate student, Claudio Guevara, and many others put a lot of effort and thoughtfulness into organizing the trip which made it an incredible experience.

What are your plans after graduation?
For the next couple of years, I’m planning to alternate between seasonal field work jobs and traveling now that I’m done with school. Eventually, I hope to find a forestry company back in the PNW where I can start working at and continue learning.

What’s one thing that you would like incoming OSU students to know?
Keep your mind open because there are so many more paths you can take than the ones you know of. Also, don’t hesitate to reach out to the professors/faculty in your college if you have an idea or goal you want to pursue; they are more than happy to help.

Have you received any scholarships from OSU or the College of Forestry? If so, what has it helped you accomplish?
I received several scholarships from OSU and the College of Forestry over my four years here that have made a huge difference for me financially. While I still had to work while being a student, it definitely reduced the burden of tuition, made my trip to Chile possible, and also allowed me to take several extra PAC classes such as Bush Craft, swimming, and dance classes for fun.

What are your go-to snacks?
I’ve always been a big fan of the West Dining Hall sandwiches-especially because of how close to Peavy they are.

Major & specialization area
Tourism Recreation Adventure Leadership with a concentration in Recreation Management

Why did you choose your degree program/major?
I chose my degree program because I love being outside in nature hiking and learning about ecosystem interactions that make a place so special and worth protecting. My goal is to be able to inspire other people to love parks as much as I do. There is much that goes into planning and maintaining a recreation destination and many variables to consider such as user experience and impacts to the environment that should be carefully monitored. Ultimately, I would like to take this awareness and combine it with an environmental education perspective to become a coordinator for interpretive programs.

What’s the best experience you’ve had as a student?
I have really enjoyed the opportunity to represent the CoF as an Ambassador by leading tours for future students, building community, hosting events, and sharing about the program. My favorite course was TRAL 456, a capstone class that pulled many concepts together in a group setting to create and design an outdoor recreation plan with consideration to public and private lands. This class was taught by my favorite professor and mentor, Ashley D’Antonio. What makes her exceptional is that she is understanding and approachable to students, while being dedicated to student support and growth at OSU. Ashley has a wealth of knowledge that she is willing to share with students concerning recreation ecology and she is well connected within the National Parks system because of her research and hard work that speaks for itself.

Have you participated in any experiential learning opportunities? How has this impacted your student experience?
The experiential learning opportunities I have participated in include an internship at the Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council where I was able to help create outdoor school curriculum and shadow the Youth Education Coordinator. I have also become more well-rounded through volunteering for local organizations such as Corvallis Parks and Rec to do trail maintenance or the Sustainability Coalition to do wetland restoration work at Bald Peak. Finally, I have been fortunate to be able to participate in the faculty-led trip to Vancouver Island, British Columbia for spring break 2022 where we learned about their forest management practices and how that relates to salmon in comparison to Oregon’s own system. All of these experiences have informed my education decisions and how I approach new opportunities for growth and development.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan to take some time off to be with my 9 month old daughter and co-owning a store with my business partner and friend. Then I plan to resume my studies by enrolling in the Natural Resources graduate program. In the meantime, I am looking forward to a slower pace while keeping up with professional organizations and volunteer opportunities.

What’s one thing (or piece of advice) that you would like incoming OSU students to know?
A piece of advice that I would like incoming OSU students to know is that your life and experience will be much richer if you immerse yourself into what OSU has to offer. This means joining clubs, volunteering for fun events, becoming a part of the Leadership Academy to grow yourself professionally and make new friends, and finally utilizing all your resources on campus to help support you as a student. For me that meant the Family Resource Center and the Food Pantry in the College of Forestry. Lastly, for an unforgettable experience you will not regret, I would highly recommend studying abroad and applying for as many scholarships as possible to help with the funding.

Have you received any scholarships from OSU or the College of Forestry?
I have received two generous scholarships from the College of Forestry. One has enabled me to take advantage of the International Programs opportunity to study abroad in Canada during spring break 2022. The other CoF scholarship has allowed me to attend my classes knowing that my education expenses are covered so that I could fully concentrate on the effort required for my education.

What are your go-to snacks?
My essential go-to snacks for hiking and being outside include trail mix (minus the raisins), peanut butter pretzels, any fresh fruit, cheese, and jerky.

Anything else would you like to share?
The only other thing I would share is that I am extremely grateful for my experiences at OSU that have made me who I am today. Going forward, my goal is to continuously learn while staying humble, and I look forward to giving back to the CoF by helping future students.