Heesung Woo recently joined the College of Forestry as an Assistant Professor of Advanced Forestry in the forest engineering, resources and management department. He is a dedicated researcher in the field of forestry and information technology, originally from South Korea. He holds two masters degrees, one in forestry and forest management from Kangwon National University, South Korea, and another in forest engineering from Humboldt State University in California, USA. His academic journey has been driven by a keen interest in the application of information and communication technology (ICT) techniques in forestry to enhance data quality and operational efficiency.

Tell us about your background – what drew you to your specialty area?
During my masters programs, I became deeply intrigued by the potential of ICT in forestry. This led me to pursue a Ph.D. in information technology at the University of Tasmania in Australia. My doctoral research focused on value chain optimization through the integrated use of ICT techniques in the forest supply chain. After completing my Ph.D. program, I had the privilege of receiving national research funding in South Korea. This funding allowed me to embark on an exciting project aimed at developing a multi-functional forest vehicle equipped with robotic, LiDAR, and vision sensors. This project aimed to gather crucial data for forest management through advanced technology. My primary and enduring research interest is centered around the development of autonomous forest machinery systems. I am driven to contribute to the advancement of robotics and automation technologies to enable efficient and sustainable forest management. My specific focus involves the design, construction, and optimization of autonomous machines capable of performing various tasks, including tree harvesting, thinning, and transportation.

What courses will you teach / labs will you lead?
Based on my research background and experiences, I want to teach and lead a lab related to forest operation and harvesting, advanced forestry, forest robotics application, ICT and sensors application in forestry, supply chain optimization.

What are your favorite hobbies?
My favorite hobby is cooking. I am happy to share my food with my family and friends.

Anything else you would like to share?
Currently, there is a significant demand for ICT applications in forestry. Drawing from my research background, I possess a strong foundation in both forestry and ICT technologies. I aspire to serve as a valuable bridge between the realms of forestry and ICT.

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.

by Loren Kellogg

I have been working on the Lookout Fire, in the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, with my son, Scott. We have been there almost 50 days. Our work started out with help in building fire lines using our Ponsse harvester/forwarder. We have shifted to more reclamation work while the fire is being closely monitored. Most recently I was working on the division that is directly in the HJ Andrews. I found it real interesting looking at the fire coverage through the forest. I had a lot of thoughts of my OSU Forestry colleagues with all of their long term studies. I am hopeful that they will find that at least some of their research sites are still intact. I think that there will also be some exciting opportunities for establishing new research looking at the immediate ecological impacts from the fire and then follow the longer term vegetation development.

Working on the fire also brought back memories of George Brown and his early career days with watershed research. George conducted a state of the art watershed study in the 1960’s on the Andrews that evaluated soil and water impacts from “new” long span skyline logging with minimal roads compared with more conventional logging methods at that time. The long span skyline system involved unique technology from Switzerland (Wyssen system). I also later conducted commercial thinning research with Wyssen skyline carriage technology.

Loren Kellogg is an emeritus professor in the College of Forestry. Updates about the Lookout Fire can be found on the H.J. Andrews website.

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.

Podcast brings science-based information to woodland owners and managers.

When woodland owners encounter problems beyond their expertise, they often approach Oregon State University Forestry and Natural Resources Extension Service experts for help, either through email or phone or through professional Extension events like field days, workshops, seminars and short courses.

Those approaches can be limiting, though. Direct contact involves travel time for all involved and conflicting schedules and obligations mean some people can’t attend events.

In response, Lauren Grand, OSU Extension forester in Lane County, and her Extension colleagues created a podcast. Instead of having to be present at a certain time and place to reach a limited audience, Extension professionals present their educational content to an unlimited audience 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing more people access to the information they want and need.

Twice a month, the “In the Woods” podcast shares stories and interviews with forest scientists, land managers and members of the public, communicating science-based and forest-related research. The podcast helps strengthen the forestry community, reaching both traditional and new audiences. While the traditional Oregon woodland owner is often older, listeners to “In the Woods” trend younger with 39% of listeners ages 28-34 and 26% ages 23-27. Reaching more young, urban, non-forest owners and natural resource professionals is in line with Extension’s mission of being accessible to all.

The podcast was one of the top 20% of podcasts shared globally on Spotify and the three highest-rated podcasts discussing water, soil and forest fungi. Half of listeners have, or plan to, adopt tips and skills they learned about in the episodes they’ve listened to. 75% of listeners report the podcast has improved their understanding of how research informs natural resource management.

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

Prescribed fire training and education transforms rural residents’ relationship to fire and builds a foundation for effective landscape restoration.

For many Oregonians, fire means smoke, summer anxiety and blackened landscapes. With the increasing number and intensity or wildfires, the need to do something is urgent.

More than 1 million acres of land — many of them forest and wildlands — burned during the highly destructive wildfires of 2020. Clearing brush is essential to mitigating wildfire in Oregon, and one way to do this is through controlled burning — purposeful lighting of fire under ideal weather conditions, with safeguards in place. But controlled burning can be difficult for private landowners to implement.

The Oregon State University Extension Service, in partnership with the Rogue Valley Prescribed Burn Association, a cooperative composed of landowners and fire professionals, is doing work in the Rogue Valley to change perspectives and offer help through education and outreach.

To help normalize controlled burns, Chris Adlam, OSU Extension wildland fire specialist, is delivering hands-on learning opportunities, including live-fire trainings, workshops and conferences to help participants envision a better future dealing with fire.

This outreach has helped establish a new model for prescribed burning on private lands and has led to broader stakeholder involvement. With OSU Extension’s help, membership in the Rogue Valley Prescribed Burn Association has grown to include landowners, forest workers and wildland firefighters, including several federally qualified burn bosses, and attracted interest from collaboratives and community groups across the region.

North of the Rogue Valley, the day was gray and the skies threatened to open, but nothing could dampen the enthusiasm of the 20 trainees from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, who gathered in the Oregon State University Dunn Forest for lessons in prescribed fire.

The class — taught by OSU Forestry and Natural Resources Extension faculty — was a three-day learning experience for employees of NRCS, which consults with private landowners about land-use restoration solutions. In order to recommend prescribed fire, NRCS staff need to be certified.

Tom Snyder works in the Eugene NRCS field office and concentrates on oak woodland and savannah, a fire-adapted landscape that’s been shaped for thousands of years through intentional burning by the Indigenous peoples now known as the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians. Cultural burning supports wildlife habitat and plays an important part in the traditions, culture and Sovereignty of Tribes.

“We’ve been doing restoration without fire, which is the tool that created this landscape,” Snyder said. “We’ll be able to use fire in the future as part of our restoration methodology within the Willamette Valley.”

In most cases, according to Stephen Fitzgerald, Extension silviculture specialist and director of the OSU
College of Forestry Research Forests, landowners use heavy machinery, mowing, spraying and grazing to thin out overgrown land. Grazing is better than mowing because there’s no thatch buildup that remains as fuel for wildfires. But nothing beats fire.

“Fire recycles nutrients and causes a flush of growth. Then those plants support insects, which are important pollinators, and other wildlife,” he said.

Extension by the numbers
 -5381 educational presentations
 -1,140 consultations with Extension agents
 -7 extension agents carry out statewide fire program

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

Assessing post-fire land management practices to improve recovery of soil health, vegetation and ecosystem services.

With the dramatic increase in wildfire activity in the western United States, post-fire land management has also increased to recoup economic value from burned forests, improve forest safety and expedite recovery and restoration of soil health, vegetation and forest and aquatic ecosystem functions.

However, limited research on post-fire land management strategies — like emergency stabilization, salvage logging or herbicide application — has led to uncertainty about the effectiveness of available management practices, particularly in relation to soil and water.

Professor Kevin Bladon is leading research to quantify the effects of wildfire and post-fire land management practices on soil physical properties, biogeochemical processes and vegetation recovery. He and his team hope to facilitate improved policy and management decisions that will reduce soil erodibility, improve soil nutrient availability and encourage vegetation regeneration in areas impacted by wildfires.

“Our research is occurring on the west side of the Oregon Cascade Mountains in collaboration with a range of landowners who have each approached post-fire land management differently,” Bladon said. “Our preliminary data has led to unexpected and conflicting results,” he added, “which indicates the need for additional research to inform the development of better decision support tools for land managers.”

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

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.”


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

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.

Photograph of Rajat Panwar at the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations

As world leaders convened in September in New Delhi, India for the 2023 G20 Summit, they were handed policy briefs created by Think 20 (T20) Engagement group to inform their discussion and decisions, including one, led by Rajat Panwar, an associate professor at the College of Forestry.

“Essentially the work of the T20 is to provide scientific input to the world leaders for the G20,” Panwar said. “Each taskforce focuses on a different concern or issue relevant to this year’s G20, from climate change to global conflict, and synthesizes their research into a single policy brief and recommendations.”

Initiated in 2012, The T20 is independent from national governments and comprised of think tanks and academia from all over the world. The engagement group does not advocate or campaign around specific ideas, but instead generates insightful policy proposals, synthesized into policy briefs and presented to G20 working groups, ministerial meetings, and leaders to help the G20 deliver concrete policy measures.

As a lead author of one of the policy briefs produced by a T20 taskforce focused on Accelerating Sustainable Development Goals, Panwar worked in partnership with four other high-level experts for four months to produce the policy brief Aligning G20 Industrial Policies with Biodiversity Conservation. Though their work consisted of many drafts and multiple revisions, they were also asked to summarize their work into a sentence or two.

“Though we had so much to say,” said Panwar, “Our key conclusion was that biodiversity conservation cannot be left to markets. G20 countries must make biodiversity conservation a core priority in industrial policies related to investments and manufacturing.”

Panwar’s policy brief group included Nagesh Kumar, Director, Institute for Studies in Industrial Development, India, VB Mathur, Former Chairperson, National Biodiversity Authority, India, Maria Jose Murcia, Associate Professor, Austral University, Argentina and Jonatan Pinkse, Professor, The University of Manchester, UK.

In addition to his work for the G20, Panwar is the lead author for a chapter on business and biodiversity in the upcoming assessment by The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). He’s also the lead author for the “Bioeconomy Assessment for Latin America” conducted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. In 2022, he was co-author on the State of the World’s Forest report published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.