OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

COF News & Events

Ambassador Profile: The Forest Called Her Name

Alyssa Forest is a junior from Sacramento, CA majoring in Natural Resources, with an option in Natural Resource Policy and Management. Being in Northern Central California, she grew up near amazing landscapes including blue Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, and the monumental Redwood Forests. These landscapes inspired Alyssa’s deep-rooted love for nature.

“My family always loved outdoor recreation; and adventuring through the beautiful forests of California gave me a sense of responsibility to respect the environment,” she explains.

When it came to choosing a university, the beautiful state of Oregon was practically calling her name. When Alyssa visited Oregon State University, it truly felt like home.

“The town of Corvallis, combined with the welcoming campus, was the right choice for me instantly, and I knew there was nowhere else I’d rather attend college,” Alyssa recalls.

Initially, Alyssa declared a major in Graphic Design. At the beginning of her third year, she decided to change her major to Natural Resources because she wanted to apply her love of the outdoors and protecting the environment with her degree.

“Natural Resources gives me the chance to learn all of the science surrounding natural areas, along with the policies that have the ability to shape their future,” she says. “I hope to be a bridge between science and policy, so that the decisions of our leaders reflect the best possible future.”

As a Forestry Ambassador, Alyssa hopes to learn leadership skills that will help shape her future career. She also wants to encourage new and prospective students to realize their true potential through Oregon State University. Meet the Forestry Ambassador team.

Forest recreation to be the focus of annual Starker Lecture Series

Hiking, biking, camping and other types of recreation draw thousands of outdoor enthusiasts to the woods every year. When conflicts arise, users can be at odds with each other and with the businesses and agencies responsible for managing forestland. The annual Starker Lecture Series at Oregon State University will explore this issue with presentations, discussions, forest tours and a capstone field trip.

How the World's Smallest Birds Survive the Winter

In cold weather, hummingbird bodies enter into an "energy-conservation mode called torpor," according to Oregon State ecologist Adam Hadley. Birds that stay north for the winter experience a nightly "mini-hibernation," in which their 107-degree body temperatures can plummet to 48 degrees.

Mark Needham Honored with Excellence in Teaching Award

Dr. Mark Needham, an associate professor of nature-based recreation and tourism, social science, and natural resources in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society at Oregon State University’s College of Forestry, was recently honored with the national Excellence in Teaching Award from The Academy of Leisure Sciences, the leading organization of scientists focusing on park, recreation, and leisure research. Dr. Needham received the award at the 2016 National Recreation and Park Association conference in St. Louis, Mo.

Administered and voted on by The Academy of Leisure Sciences, the Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes a colleague who has demonstrated outstanding ability as a teacher of parks, recreation, and leisure services over the course of her or his career.

In his 12th year at OSU, Dr. Needham has routinely been recognized for excellence in both teaching and research. He received the College of Forestry Dean's Award for Outstanding Teaching and Advising Professor in 2009, and the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society Graduate Students’ Award for Outstanding Faculty in 2013. In 2007, Dr. Needham was recognized with the College of Forestry Dean's Award for Outstanding Research Professor.

From 2012 to 2015, Dr. Needham held the OSU Gene D. Knudson Chair in Forestry. This endowed chair position was established to recognize and reward outstanding teaching, advising, and mentoring of undergraduate students, and visible leadership of undergraduate education. During his time at OSU, Dr. Needham has advised 15 masters and doctoral degree seeking students, taught several courses every year, and served on numerous other curriculum and student advisory committees.

An accomplished researcher, Dr. Needham has published 57 refereed articles in leading journals, authored one book and nine book chapters, and presented over 130 papers at local, national, and international conferences. He serves as the Director of the Natural Resources, Tourism, and Recreation (NATURE) Studies lab at OSU, and is also Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Human Dimensions of Wildlife.

Dr. Needham received his bachelors and masters degrees from the University of Victoria in Canada, and his Ph.D. degree in human dimensions of natural resources, recreation, and tourism from Colorado State University.

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The Academy of Leisure Sciences was founded in 1980 with its central purpose as the intellectual advancement of leisure sciences.

Economics of forest biomass raise hurdles for rural development

In a model of the forest industry, researchers in the College of Forestry combined an evaluation of costs for collecting, transporting and processing biomass with the potential locations of regional processing facilities in western Oregon. Each location was chosen because it is adjacent to an existing or recently-closed wood product operation such as a sawmill or plywood manufacturing plant.

Starker Forests Plans for Next Generation

Congratulations to Bond Starker on his upcoming retirement. The College of Forestry thanks you for your support and we wish you the best. Enjoy that trip to Hawaii!

Camille Moyers: Alumna promotes international use of renewable materials

Camille Moyers graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Renewable Materials and an option in Marketing & Management. Camille started her journey at Oregon State University studying Interior Design, but met with the academic advisor for Renewable Materials during her sophomore year, and found an opportunity for students interested in aesthetic appeal and renewable products.

During her sophomore, junior, and senior years at OSU, Camille worked as a research assistant for Dr. Chris Knowles, Associate Professor of Forest Products Marketing and Assistant Director of the Oregon Wood Innovation Center. Her position involved collecting market research on renewable materials used in public and private sectors. Camille was surprised to learn that many architects and contractors did not prioritize the use of renewable materials in their work. In addition participating in research, Camille gained work experience while interning for Roseburg Forest Products in quality control. As an intern, she researched the moisture content of veneer, a thin decorative layer of fine wood applied to a coarser material.

Camille now works for Benchmark International as an international inspector. She travels abroad with inspectors, translators, and at times clients, to mitigate the purchase of timber products harvested illegally. Since 2008, amendments made to the Lacey Act ensures that companies are purchasing legally harvested timber.

Companies contact Benchmark International to audit manufacturers and ensure that manufacturers are following Lacey compliance. By tracing the chain of custody for products purchased internationally, Camille aims to protect forest land from those who harvest illegally. Tracing renewable materials back to their origins is not an easy task. Documents showing the chain of custody can trace where renewable materials were harvested. It is up to Camille to identify documents that seem out of place. Most audits take place in Asia, but Camille also travels to Canada, Europe, and South America for audits.

In addition to Camille’s international relations, she works with the Air Resources Board (ARB) in California to ensure international manufacturers who sell products in California are compliant to formaldehyde emission measures. Under the airborne toxic control measure, Camille works with manufacturers to minimize formaldehyde emissions from composite wood found in various products like furniture.

On average, Camille spends 60-70 percent of her time travelling internationally, and her main office is in China. Camille’s favorite part of being an International Inspector is planning her next trip and playing tourist on her days off. Since graduation, Camille is continuing to do a remarkable job at protecting companies that chose to purchase products internationally.

New prototype plywood panels tested at Oregon State may be world’s largest

The company announced its new panels in October, capping more than a year of development and performance testing at Oregon State’s Advanced Wood Products Laboratory. “The results look very promising,” said Ari Sinha, assistant professor in OSU’s College of Forestry, who oversaw the tests. “This is a unique product with the potential for creating jobs in rural Oregon.”

Saving Pine Forests

Professor Steve Strauss was recently interviewed on Idaho Agribusiness Today about saving pine forests.

OSU receives $4 million grant to identify mechanisms for control of genetic engineering in plants

“Many crop species, and many of the valuable varieties within them, remain extremely difficult to genetically engineer,” said Steve Strauss, OSU distinguished professor in the College of Forestry and project leader. “This greatly limits the ability of this method to be used for plant breeding and scientific research. There can be blockages at any of the several steps. Regeneration of modified cells into plants is usually the most difficult to overcome.”

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