Forest engineering undergrad Casey Warburton (class of 2023) did field research throughout Oregon and California during the summer of 2022.

Where and who did you work for?
I worked in many research forests all over Oregon and California including the HJ Andrews Experimental forest, Hinkle creek and even down in the redwoods. As for who I worked for, I assisted many grad students under Catalina Segura and Kevin Bladon while also doing tasks that they had specifically for me.

Was there a favorite project?
Yes, two that I particularly enjoyed were doing synoptic sampling of the HJ Andrews watersheds where we hiked up the 2 main streams collecting water samples and also hiking up most every tributary that flowed into the 2 main streams. The second project was looking at how water flows through the soil after large storm events. To get this project setup we dug 3 soil pits along a hillslope near streams in 3 different locations to install sensors that detect water in the soil.

What is one memory that sticks out?
One memory that sticks out to me was when my partner and I were taking samples out of one of the main creeks in the Andrews forest and looking around at the water, the trees all the rocks and downed logs and thinking how we were probably the 3rd or 4th people to ever see the stream right where we were. It was like we were pioneers or early explorers seeing new land that had never been touched before.

What did you enjoy most about this job?
What I enjoyed most about the job was the variety of work I was able to do and how many different projects I got to help with. Seeing all the different research that was going on just in our lab was eye opening to all the different parts and pieces of a watershed and how they interact.

Zach Menegat (class of 2023) studies outdoor recreation management and GIS, and he spent the summer working as a fly fishing guide for his second season in West Yellowstone, Montana for Madison River Outfitters.

What was the focus of your job?
My summer is focused on teaching people from all different backgrounds to fly fish on the Upper Madison River in the state of Montana as well as going into Yellowstone National Park for my clients choice of river to fish.

Describe the day-to-day of your job.
My days consisted of getting to the shop at around 8am and meeting my clients for the day. After that we would shuttle down to the water, I would give my little lecture on an introduction of what they needed to do for the day, and have a great day of fly fishing netting big brown and rainbow trout!

What is one memory that sticks out?
One memory from this summer I had was having the opportunity to take professor Dave Stemper out of the water and he absolutely killed it!

How will this job help you in your classes or future career?
Other than showing people my knowledge that I’ve gained over the years, this job has taught me so much in regards to resource management and fisheries sciences. Most importantly it has taught me the necessity of communication in any field. 

What was the hardest part of this job?
The hardest part of my job is consistency. In the guiding industry, when you are booked for a trip by your boss or shop staff, there is not much you can do to get a day off. As a part time guide I would still have 2 days off a week, but for next year as a full time guide I will likely be 13-16 days on, 1 day off. 

What did you enjoy most about this job?
The best part of this job was calling the river my office. As someone who grew up in the river fly fishing, this is a dream job and I could not have asked for anything better as a start to a career.

Where and who did you work for?
This summer, I spent time in Salem, Oregon’s enchanting Minto-Brown Park. Freshwater wetlands, thimbleberry patches, alder groves, and waterfowl ponds dominate this urban-proximate park. Marshland Minto-Brown resides in southwestern Salem, and it abuts the mighty Willamette River. I worked, researched, and learned under the tutelage of Ashley D’Antonio (OSU College of Forestry associate professor) and Gareth Hopkins (Western Oregon University assistant professor) throughout my experience. Gleaning insight from their years of experience in the field and academic settings, I researched recreationists’ impact on freshwater turtle species. To accomplish this task, I deployed observational methods, carefully monitoring human and wildlife interactions throughout a series of field sites, selectively chosen by the principal investigators, Ashley and Gareth.

Was there a particular project or focus?
I focused on classifying the types of recreationists and turtle species within five field sites, marking data sheets with information pertinent to the study design. A major goal of this study comprised whether recreationists (kayakers, bikers, trail-runners) have a substantial impact on (a) turtle species, (b) non-native vs native species composition, and (c) the general acceptability of habitat conditions. This co-facilitated project also involves the Oregon Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (ODFW), due to their investment in healthy and suitable human-wildlife relationships throughout the state. The management recommendations from this field season will assist in current and future planning initiatives regarding freshwater turtle habitat and species health.

One facet of this field research that I took a special liking to included the usage of a portable decibel meter. I used this device to quantify the level of physical noise that pulsated through our field sites. Acoustics play a vital role in wildlife behavior, hence allowing many species to communicate and develop, but they also act as barriers for species such as turtles that might need quieter environments to concentrate on selecting suitable habitats.

What is one memory that sticks out?
About three weeks into the summer season, I came across a convocation of golden eagles soaring through a narrow channel of water. I came upon this rare sight just minutes after arriving at the third field site. While unrelated to the focus of this study, the golden eagle’s presence demonstrated the splendor of avian life that Minto-Brown offers. After this occurrence kicked off the season, I went on to observe osprey, red-tailed hawks, bald eagles, and other birds of prey, of course in addition to turtles roving the surface waters of the park.

How will this job help you in your classes or future career?
I think about this question frequently, and I would eagerly say this experience taught me about field-based occupations. I also gleaned insight into the mental and physical endurance required to work/research as a field recreation and ecological scientist. This specific line of work requires adaptability, resilience, and patience, not to mention a knack for weather fluctuations! Going into this experience, I saw myself (down the road) working in a field ecology position, somehow connected to academia, and this summer certainly solidified my passion.

What happens now with this research?
Since the field season came to a close, the research team will embark on the subsequent data analysis stages, producing a series of metrics and values from the observational measurements. This stage will tie together loose ends from the sampling season, ultimately yielding baselines for management planning. After analyzing the data, we plan to write an academic paper, outlining human-wildlife conflicts throughout urban parks with threatened freshwater turtle populations. A management plan and paper will only conclude one part of this long-term partnership among the Oregon Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Western Oregon University, and OSU’s College of Forestry, as the years and researchers ahead of us will continue to examine the critical linkages among human disturbances, turtle species, and community-based conservation science.

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.

Graduates of the College of Forestry are our most valuable resource. Our alumni serve as a critical bridge between the university and the world, connecting Oregon State University and its students to communities and employers. They inspire our students to make a difference and they shape the world we live in.

This year, we honor the outstanding accomplishments of three College of Forestry alumni.

Nadine Orozco, 2012
M.S. Wood Science & Engineering

Born and raised in Southern California, Nadine attended Northland College in northern Wisconsin to earn a bachelor’s in business administration with an emphasis in ethical leadership and a minor in coaching. While there she had the opportunity to play and later coach NCAA Division III women’s basketball. After four years of lake-effect snow, she jumped at the opportunity to return to the west coast to attend the College of Forestry and complete her masters in wood science and engineering. Upon graduation, Nadine was introduced to Roseburg Forest Products and hired under their “Organizational Development Candidate” program. Starting in sales, Nadine successfully progressed through several different positions, and is currently the Strategic Business Development Manager, working as part of a team that evaluates the strategic fit of potential mergers and acquisition opportunities, capital investments, and developing a long-term business strategy. Nadine has maintained a strong relationship with the college, applying her industry knowledge and professional experience as an instructor of Forest Products Business WSE 453/553. In her spare time, Nadine enjoys the outdoors with her husband Sven and two daughters Emilia (7) and Tessa (5).

Ray Rasker, 1989
Ph.D. Resource Economics

Until 2022, Ray was the Executive Director of Headwaters Economics, an independent, nonprofit research group with the mission to improve community development and land management decisions. Headwaters Economics expertise includes the economic role of federal lands; state tax policy; reducing wildfire and flood risk to communities; expanding community trails and pathways; rural economic development; and developing free analytical tools for helping understand the link between the economy and the environment. Their partners include rural communities, state and federal legislators, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and other federal agencies, foundations, universities, and nonprofit organizations. Ray has a Ph.D. from the College of Forestry in resource economics, a master’s degree from Colorado State University in agricultural marketing, and a bachelor of science in wildlife biology from the University of Washington. Ray is the recipient of the Wilburforce Foundations’ Conservation Leadership Award and his work has been profiled in Harper’s Magazine, Chronicle of Philanthropy, New York Times, Economist Magazine, and many other news outlets. Ray was born in Canada and raised in Mexico in a Dutch family.

Peter M. Wakeland, ‘95
B.S. Forest Management

Pete is a member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, located in northwest Oregon. He graduated from the College of Forestry in 1995 with a bachelor’s of science in forest management, and has over 20 years of forestry and professional experience spending the majority of his career working for self-governance Tribes. He spent 18 years with his own Tribe at Grand Ronde as a Forester, Natural Resources Director, and Deputy Executive Officer. He also served as the Tribal Administrator for the United Auburn Tribe, and as the Natural Resources Director for the Coquille Indian Tribe. His federal career began in 2016 as the Chief Forester, Division of Forestry and Wildland Fire Management for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The Bureau of Indian Affairs is within the Department of the Interior and responsible for the administration and management of more than 55 million acres held in trust status on behalf of Native American Tribes by the federal government. The bureau serves all 567 federally recognized Tribes in the nation. Pete also served as the Mark O. Hatfield Fellow in the office of Oregon Senator Ron Wyden in Washington D.C.

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.

Name/ Major/ Where you consider home to be or where you currently live: 
My name is Rona Bryan, and I’m about to graduate with a post-bacc B.S. in natural resources with an individualized specialty option in art, education, and outreach and a minor in fisheries & wildlife sciences. I was born and raised in Hood River, Oregon and currently live in Salem.

Why did you choose the NR program and OSU College of Forestry? 
After I finished my first degree in art, I ended up serving and bartending for many years and always felt like I was missing a part of myself. As soon as I realized that I wanted to go back to school to study the natural world, OSU was my #1 choice. The fact that I could get a degree through Ecampus without entirely disrupting the life I had already built was even better. I chose the NR program because I wanted to apply my art background to my science studies, and the College of Forestry was open to that kind of interdisciplinarity in ways that set them apart from other options.

What do you hope to do after graduation? 
After graduation, I’ll be jumping right into OSU’s Master of Natural Resources program to delve deeper into my research on art and design in natural resources. Once I complete that program, I hope to work in an outreach and education capacity to increase the accessibility of science communication, bolster ecological literacy, and foster public engagement in environmental issues. 

What was your favorite experience or class or professor and why? 
I’ve had too many amazing classes and professors to pick just one, but any class that incorporated getting out in the field as a regular part of the curriculum never failed to recharge and inspire me. Collectively, engaging in hands-on work with the soils, waters, fish, vegetation, and ecosystems that are right in my backyard has been one of the best experiences of my life.

2022 alumnus Radford Bean (tourism, recreation and adventure leadership, outdoor recreation management option) traveled to Malaysian Borneo as part of our faculty-led program, Oil Palms and Orangutans: Forest Conservation in Malaysian Borneo. Radford sent the following reflection to us as part of our “What I did this summer” series – thank you Radford!

I spent much of June on Borneo looking at the impact deforestation, especially related to oil palm plantations, was having on the environment and ecosystem of Borneo. The group, led by Dr. Matt Betts, explored different landscape practices related to logging that will improve sustainability of the environment, economy, and the community. We learned of the sustainability practices one of the largest palm oil producers were taking to protect the environment.

Part of the sustainability practices we explored included looking at tourism activities that benefit communities on Borneo by helping to find sustainable tourism activities that improve the economy and lives of local communities. Tourism can play a major role in the improvement of communities if done sustainably and with involvement of people in the local community like we witnessed at KOPEL, a village-based co-operative focusing on ecotourism.

The Kinabatangan River, the largest river on Borneo, is heavily polluted with tons of plastic waste. All the plastic waste has to go someplace, and most of it will find its way to the ocean, where it will pose harm to the marine life. The sad thing is that the river supports a broad range of life. I observed macaques and endangered proboscis monkeys, water monitor lizards, saltwater crocodiles, herons, hornbills, and other wildlife relying on the river. The people also rely on the river as a source of food and drinking water.

Borneo is not a wealthy country, and the energy and water infrastructure are in serious need of modernization. I needed to drink bottled water because of a lack of adequate purification infrastructure.

Weaknesses in infrastructure aside, the island and its wildlife and people are amazing. I had some awesome wildlife photography opportunities, and my wildlife photography improved under the guidance of Dr. Mark Needham. The people were so friendly. Locals wanted photographs with me and others in my group.

It was an amazing experience, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in the trip. The trip allowed me to create a PowerPoint presentation I hope to deliver to local communities to inform them about the need to make wise consumer choices when it comes to purchasing products containing palm oil and its derivatives.

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 and we will be in touch!

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 and we will be in touch!

Nathan is a double major in renewable materials and forestry in the College of Forestry. This summer, he participated in our faculty-led program to the Italian Alps. Tradition and Innovation in the Wood Construction Industry: A Journey in the Italian Alps explored the past of European wood architecture and the future of timber engineering in the beautiful Dolomites of Italy.

What originally interested you in studying abroad?
I really wanted to go to Italy, and I thought the program sounded interesting.

What surprised you most during your travels? Why?
Everything. I felt almost constantly surprised. If I have to pick I would say I was most surprised at how purposeful the wilderness is. In the United States, I am never quite sure if a wild place is protected, or just hasn’t been built on yet. In Italy, it was clear by the resort-style “huts” deep in the mountains that they mean to leave that forest a forest. It was also interesting to me to see how close each town was to the next town. It seems like it would make it harder to get horribly lost.

How did your time abroad influence your thoughts on your field of study?
I feel like this trip really cemented in me the idea that my career could be international, and that I would like to do that, at least for part of it.

If you had to pick one, what was your all-time favorite experience while abroad? Why was it so meaningful?
Just talking to people on transit. I feel like I am supposed to have a flashier answer, but I met so many interesting characters in between activities for the program. I was surprised at how few Americans there were, but how many other friendly English-speakers wanted to get to know someone far from home. I guess everyone on transit is a traveler, no matter how many kilometers they cross.

What advice would you give to students considering an international experience?
Stay longer if you can, and rest one of the days you are gone. Don’t be afraid to apply.

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 and we will be in touch!