Professors Matt Betts and Mark Needham

Mark Needham, professor in the department of forest ecosystems and society, was one of the program leaders in our faculty-led summer trip to Borneo. Oil Palms and Orangutans: Forest Conservation in Malaysian Borneo introduced students to the major conservation challenges facing Borneo while traveling around the Malaysian state of Sabah.

How long were you in Borneo? Was all the time devoted to the program or did you do some other sightseeing while you were there? 
The program lasted two weeks in June 2022.  All of my time was devoted to the program and I did minimal extra sightseeing.  There were 17 undergraduate and graduate students from various programs across campus (e.g., natural resources; fish and wildlife; tourism, recreation, and adventure leadership).  This course focused on intersections among forest management, wildlife conservation, ecotourism, community well-being, and poverty alleviation.  The students observed many animal species (e.g., orangutans, sun bears, pygmy elephants), engaged with local communities and organizations (e.g., palm oil plantation companies, community-based ecotourism enterprises, government agencies, non-governmental organizations), engaged in various experiences (e.g., tree planting, cooking local foods, playing local music), and participated in daily discussions and debates as well as working on their assignments.  Through this immersive and experience-based learning opportunity, the students gained a wide understanding and appreciation for these issues and the local cultures.  It also broadened their perspectives on various topics. 

What is one memory from the program that sticks out? 
Seeing my first orangutans and first sun bears in the wild; the variety and diversity of wildlife species in Borneo are incredible!  I will also never forget how thoughtful, engaged, and kind all of the students were. This was the first multi-week study abroad course that I led and it impacted me more than I ever imagined.  I was energized by the student enthusiasm and passion.  I was encouraged by the student thoughtfulness and appreciation for the complexity of the issues discussed.  And, I was touched by the student compassion and caring for their fellow students and the local community members.

What advice do you have for students interested in this program? 
Just do it!  Step out of your comfort zone and go for it!  Traveling internationally in developing regions and with a class group can be difficult and challenge you in various ways, but the experiences, relationships, and knowledge gained are priceless, and you will never forget it.

I know you love photography, how many pictures did you take in Borneo?  
Yes, I am a professional wildlife photographer.  I took more than 2,000 images of wildlife in Borneo.  I am only now just starting to sort through and process (i.e., digitally develop) some of them, as right after Borneo, I traveled straight to South Africa, then Botswana, then New Zealand, and then Australia, so this summer has been a whirlwind of amazing places and adventures!

Anything else you would like to share? 
At the end of the course, many of the students said things such as “this trip changed my life,”  “it solidified my choice to study natural resources and all of the complexities associated with managing these resources and the people who depend on them,”  and “I now want to study these issues in much more depth, perhaps by continuing on with a graduate degree.”  This feedback is awesome and so gratifying!

Our faculty led programs offer students the opportunity to study special topics for academic credit with College of Forestry faculty. These programs are both led and conceived by our faculty, and may incorporate study with international students and instructors. They are often shorter than the length of a term and may take place during spring break, winter break, or the first or last few weeks of summer term.

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.

Ashley D’Antonio is an Associate Professor of Nature-Based Recreation Management. She does research focused on recreation ecology and outdoor recreation management, and teaches undergraduate courses on similar topics. This summer, she continued work on an ongoing research project just outside Falls City, Oregon on land managed by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) called Black Rock Mountain Biking Area.

Describe an average day
Most days we would pick up our field gear at Richardson Hall around 9 am and then drive out to the trailhead (about 50 minutes away). On a typical day, we’d do one of two types of data collection. Some days we head into the trail system to download data from automatic trail counters that we’ve installed throughout the mountain biking trail system. These automatic counters estimate how many people are using the trails. We also are conducting visitor surveys as people wrap up their visit – these surveys help us understand who is using Black Rock Mountain Biking Area, why they are using the area, and what changes they may like to see to the area. When doing surveys, we spend quite a bit of time waiting at the trailhead for folks to finish mountain biking, it can get really busy, but it’s also good to have a book to read during downtime between visitors.

Describe a non-average day
Part of this project is also to help ODF think about how they might monitor recreation use at other recreation sites they manage. So, I did have one non-average day when our fieldwork was a guided tour of the Tillamook State Forest. We were able to see the varied types of recreation offered by ODF including OHV use, hiking trails, and campgrounds. It was great to meet with ODF managers and spend time with my project collaborators from the University of Washington in the field.       

Describe your field crew/other entities you worked with
This project would not be possible without the amazing field crew of students that have been helping! Skyler Cristelli, a Natural Resources student in the College of Forestry, has been leading the fieldwork on this project. Last winter and spring terms, Opal Christian – a recent TRAL grad – helped Skye will all of the data collection until she graduated. And then this summer, a new Masters of Natural Resources student, Jon Anderegg, joined the project. We’re out there working at least 4 days a month for an entire year, so student help has been essential. We are also collaborating with Spencer Wood and Sama Winder at the University of Washington’s Outdoor Recreation and Data Lab. They are using remote methods (social media and a chatbot) to monitor use at Black Rock Mountain Biking Area and we’ll be comparing our data to see which approaches will be best for ODF broadly.

What happens now with this research?
We’re still collecting data on this project for a few more months. After that, we’ll be collaborating with the University of Washington to write-up a project report for ODF. We hope the work helps them to better understand and manage use at Black Rock Mountain Biking Area. And also, the overall project will help inform ODF about approaches for monitoring recreation use at other recreation destinations that they manage.

Anything else you want us to know?
I don’t mountain bike (I am too risk adverse, ha!), but Black Rock Mountain Biking Area is an amazing location! The folks that ride there are so nice and friendly, and the trail system is pretty unique. I’ve had some of my most positive experience surveying folks about outdoor recreation at this site this past summer.

What I did this summer is a profile series of students, faculty and staff in the College of Forestry. Did you have a great job, vacation, or field research experience? Contact CoFThisWeek@oregonstate.edu and we will be in touch!

It is our pleasure to announce that Professor Temesgen Hailemariam has been appointed as the N.B. and Jacqueline Giustina Professor of Forest Management and the Director of the Center for Intensive Planted-forest Silviculture. 

Temesgen earned his Ph.D. in Forest Biometrics from the University of British Columbia in 1999 and has been with the College of Forestry since 2003. Temesgen has a prolific career in growth and yield modeling, silviculture, forest operations, carbon estimation, and climate change issues. His work has resulted in over 90 peer-reviewed publications and $4 million in funding. Importantly, he has trained 7 Ph.D. and 15 M.Sc. students that have gone on to distinguished careers in academia, agencies, consulting, and private industry. Over his career, Temesgen has been honored with several awards including the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Mentorship of Graduate Students (2019), the Xi Sigma Pi Mentor award (2008), and the Emerging Scholar Faculty Award of the OSU chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi (2007).

The Giustina Professor of Forest Management endowment honors Nat, ’41, and his wife Jacqueline Giustina. Their son, Larry Giustina, ‘71 and his wife Carolyn Keen Giustina, ’71, generously supported this endowed professorship. Larry, an OSU Lifetime Trustee, founding chair of the College of Forestry Board of Visitors, and an OSU College of Business alum, was a staunch advocate and friend of the College of Forestry .

Congratulations Temesgen!

It is with great pleasure that we share that Dr. Cristina Eisenberg will be joining the College as the Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence and Director of Tribal Initiatives in the College of Forestry. After a nationwide competitive search process culminating in the interview of three outstanding candidates, we identified Dr. Eisenberg as an excellent match for our needs and hopes for this new position within the College. 

In this role, Dr. Eisenberg will direct a new Office for Tribal Initiatives in the College, serve as our primary liaison with the nine Tribes of Oregon and with Tribal Nations throughout the Northwest, oversee the execution of the College’s DEI strategic plan, and work closely with our new Director of Student Success to improve recruitment, retention and completion of under-served student populations and help advance the College as a program dedicated to diversity, equity, justice and inclusion. Dr. Eisenberg is a first-generation Latinix and Native American (Apache and Rarámuri) scholar who comes to us with years of experience in Traditional Ecological Knowledge, restoration ecology and wildlife biology. She has previously served as the Chief Scientist at Earthwatch Institute at Harvard University, as Director at Large on the Board of the Society for Ecological Restoration and Director of the Traditional Ecological Working Group, as a member of the Board of Trustees of Prescott College, and as a member of the Board of Directors of Sustainable Northwest. She has conducted extensive work as an independent scientist and researcher. Dr. Eisenberg holds a PhD from Oregon State University, a MA from Prescott College, and a BFA from the University of California-Long Beach and was previously courtesy faculty in the department of forest ecosystems and society. Dr. Eisenberg will start in early September.

Dean Tom DeLuca plants a tree in Finland

Roughly every two years, the College of Forestry Dean leads a tour of the College’s senior stakeholders to learn about innovations in thought and practice in the world of sustainable forest management and wood product development. In May of this year, the group visited Sweden and Finland to learn about social license for forestry, and advances through the integration of digitization and artificial intelligence into assessment, harvest and supply chain practices. In Sweden, Skogforsk, the Forestry Research Institute of Sweden, and the forest owners’ association Mellanskog hosted the group. In Finland, Dr. Ritva Toivonen, Dean of Agriculture and Forestry at the University of Helsinki, hosted the group at her family forest/farm, and she and faculty members joined the group in a visit to the Metsä Bioproducts Mill at Äänekoski, the largest wood processing plant in the Northern Hemisphere, to learn about its energy generation and sidestream product development. The tour culminated with informational presentations from Trimble, Ponsse, and Collective Crunch, all companies working to integrate digitization into forestry practice and carbon assessment for greater accuracy and sustainability.

The trip was organized and run by the College of Forestry International Programs office. Thank you to Michele Justice, director of International Programs, for this summary of the trip!

Mill tour in Sweden
Forest management lecture in Sweden
Remote control operation of a forwarder

The Dean’s Dinner is a yearly celebration of our scholarship recipients, donors, and college community. With student recruitment and enrollment in the College of Forestry at an all-time high with over 1000 undergraduates and over 250 graduate students there was a lot to celebrate this year!

Dean Tom Deluca started the formal awards ceremony by recognizing professor emeritus Richard Waring for being the recipient of the 2020 International Marcus Wallenberg Prize for his work in developing a revolutionary computer model to predict forest growth in a changing climate.

Randy Rosenberger, Associate Dean for Student Engagement, acknowledged the work of the student clubs and organizations: Xi Sigma Pi, SAF Student Chapter, Forest Utilization Society, the Forestry Club, the Natural Resources Club, and the International Forestry Students Association. The College of Forestry Ambassadors help us recruit prospective students, represent college academic programs to legislators and key stakeholders, work with alumni groups, and represent the College at many on and off campus events. Randy recognized them for their service to the College, which is in addition to their outstanding academic performances, involvement in extracurricular activities, family responsibilities, jobs, and community connections.

The winner of the Pack Essay Award was ecampus student Duane Ackley, senior in natural resources. His essay was titled “Dying Mens’ Future”. The Photo of the Year award went to Kelly Lynne Burke, a natural resources student, for their picture titled “Patagonia Rainbows.” Each year the College of Forestry is honored and privileged to award graduate fellowships and undergraduate scholarships to deserving new and returning students.  These awards are made possible through the generous contributions and continued support from our scholarship and fellowship donors. The College of Forestry’s Scholarship Committee reviewed 316 applications, and 215 students were selected to receive scholarships scholarship offers totaling $774,250 for the 2022-2023 academic year.  The students who were able to attend came up in small groups for congratulations with the Dean, pictured below.

At the virtual 2022 Oregon Society of American Foresters (OSAF) Annual Meeting on April 28, 2022, Jacob Putney received the Forester of the Year Award. This award is given annually to the OSAF member who has been recognized by his or her peers for contributing to both the profession and the public through application of his or her professional skills to the advancement of forestry in Oregon and through public service that benefits his community or some larger segment of society. 

“Although Jacob is new to his position in the OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension program, he clearly has already stepped up as a leader and collaborator, helping coordinate programs to best meet the needs of the community,” says Lauren Grand, the forestry and natural resources extension agent for Lane County. “He is the team leader for a carbon publication, has hosted numerous podcasts on forest management, and is one of the lead organizers of Tree School Eastern Oregon and Life on the Dry Side.”

A graduate of Oregon State University, Putney is an active OSAF member, serving as secretary and chapter chair for the Blue Mountain Chapter, delegate-at-large for OSAF in 2021, general chair for the 2021 OSAF Annual Meeting, program chair for the OSAF 2022 meeting and is OSAF chair-elect for 2023. He is also on the SAF National Quiz Bowl Committee member.

Additionally, Putney is an associate member of Oregon Small Woodlands Association, secretary for the Northeast Oregon OSWA Chapter, and has been instrumental in reviving, restructuring, and revitalizing the Baker OSWA Chapter. He is an inspector for the American Tree Farm System and co-chair for the Baker Resources Coalition. He participates in several collaboratives including the Blue Mountain Forest Partners, Northern Blues Forest Collaborative and ‘My Blue Mountains Woodland’ partnership. Not to waste a spare moment, Putney is also a volunteer firefighter for the Baker Rural Fire Protection District.

OSAF and its 15 local chapters represent all segments the forestry profession within the state. The society includes public and private practitioners, researchers, administrators, educators, and forestry students. Its mission is to advance the science, education, technology, and practice of forestry; to enhance the competency of its members; to establish professional excellence; and to use the knowledge, skills, and conservation ethics of the profession to ensure the continued health and use of forest ecosystems and the present and future availability of forest resources to benefit society.

On April 27, 2022, Beavers everywhere came together for Dam Proud Day, a 24-hour online event dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of the Oregon State University community. As part of this event, we raised over $72,000 for College of Forestry scholarships, which help ensure all of our students can afford this world-renowned education.

The amount raised is equivalent to over 23 additional scholarships for College of Forestry students. For many students, scholarships are life-changing, and financial gifts of all sizes can help. For example, $120 in scholarship support is equal to more than 10 hours of work at $12/hour – that’s 10 more hours a student can use to study or to participate in professional organizations, leadership training or other opportunities, making the most of their time at Oregon State.

Thank you to the 81 generous donors who gave anywhere from $5 to $25,000!

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.