COF News & Events

Drones' New Mission: Save the Forests

The future of these forests—and those around the world—may depend on new technologies like those being developed in forestry professor Michael Wing’s Lab at Oregon State University.

OSU schedules Earth Week presentations on climate change

As part of Earth Week at OSU, Michael Nelson will lead a discussion on Thursday, April 21, at noon, at the Snell Hall International Forum titled “It’s Not Only Stupid, It’s Also Wrong to Wreck the World.” Michael Nelson is professor of environmental ethics and philosophy in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society.

Student Feature: Kendall Conroy

Kendall Conroy is a senior undergraduate student with a double major in renewable materials and sustainability. After recently returning from Brazil where she presented on gender diversity in the forest sector, we met with her to ask a few questions about her experience at Oregon State University and the College of Forestry.

  1. Why did you choose to attend Oregon State University?
    I have family that attended Oregon State and I knew the campus was beautiful. I was interested in the environment, but I had not decided on a major and I knew there were a lot of possible options. It was good to know I could start at Oregon State and choose a degree program later in my academic career.
  2. Why did you choose the Renewable Materials degree program?
    Since I was interested in forestry, I took a U-Engage class where a representative from each forestry department came in and talked each week. One week David Smith, the advisor for Renewable Materials came in, and I really liked his discussion. So, I took the intro to renewable materials class, I liked it, and I knew it would be the degree program for me.
  3. What is your favorite part about being an OSU student in the renewable materials degree program?
    I love the community feel. Everyone in the degree program knows my name. I’ll walk down the hall and a professor I had two years ago still knows who I am and asks how I’m doing. I recently returned to campus after going to a conference in Brazil, and every person I saw welcomed me back and asked about the trip. Everyone wants to help you. I’ve been approached by professors asking if I wanted to attend a networking event or conference, and I really appreciated them thinking of me.
  4. Are you involved in any clubs or other activities?
    I’m a part of two clubs. One, a more academic club, is the Forest Products Society (FPS), which is one of the OSU College of Forestry clubs. We meet each week, and sometimes go on tours of different manufacturing facilities. Last term, we went to a reclaimed wood facility up in Seattle and spent the weekend there. The other club I’m a part of is the OSU hammocking club which is really fun.
  5. You stated you recently attended a conference in Brazil, could you take a moment to discuss the experience?
    I’m doing undergraduate research on gender diversity in the forest sector with Eric Hansen, professor of forest products marketing. Last year, I went to the Society of Wood Science and Technology conference in the Grand Tetons National Park and presented our first stage of research. I wanted to go to the next year’s conference in Brazil, but at first I didn’t think it would be realistic financially. I knew the College of Forestry and College of Agricultural Sciences (home of the sustainability degree program) offered scholarships, and thanks to their funding opportunities I was able to go. Each day at the conference there were presentations from professors, students, and people in industry. Most of the presentations are on chemistry or design topics, or how to be more innovative in the industry. Many relate to classes that we take in renewable materials, and it’s really cool to know that I’m learning real, valuable information. My presentation on gender diversity was different, and people seemed to realize how it was important and relevant. I was approached by several people after with questions.
  6. You are about to graduate from Oregon State, what are some of your plans after you graduate?
    I plan to study abroad this summer, doing research in Slovenia for three months. I applied to OSU for the master’s degree program and am hoping to get accepted and get funding. Ideally, I’ll either get my master’s degree or get a job in sustainability in the forest products industry, possibly in Portland.

College and IWFL Award Funding to Four Wood Building Research Projects

The Oregon State University College of Forestry’s Institute for Working Forest Landscapes (IWFL) has awarded four projects following the latest call for proposals by the IWFL. The wood building research projects were awarded approximately $550,000 in funding and will enhance understanding of wood building structures and continue collaborations with the OSU College of Engineering and the University of Oregon’s School of Architecture and Allied Arts.

The proposals selected for funding are:

- Behavior of CLT Diaphragm Panel-to-Panel Connections with Self-tapping Screws; Lead PI - Thomas Miller;

- Cross-Laminated Timber Fastener Solutions for Tall Wood Buildings; Lead PI - Arijit Sinha;

- Fire Performance of Douglas Fir CLT Wall and Floor Assemblies Made in Oregon; Lead PI - Lech Muszynski; and,

- SMART-CLT – Structural Health Monitoring and Post-Occupancy Performance of Mass Timber Buildings; Lead PI - Mariapaola Riggio.

The awards mark the second round of funding distributed by the IWFL to support research programs devoted to finding innovative approached for managing landscapes that will enhance people’s lives and improve the health of our lands, businesses, and vital ecosystems. Launched in November 2013 by the College, the IWFL aims to develop adaptive forest management techniques that integrate social, ecological, and economic objectives at the landscape level.

Ph.D. student teaming up with undergraduates to develop UAV for wetland monitoring

Kate Fickas, a PhD student in Forest Ecosystems and Society and a member of the Laboratory for Applications of Remote Sensing in Ecology (LARSE), has been working with a team of senior engineering undergraduates from the OSU School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering’s capstone design program to build an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), ‘The Swamp Skimmer’, for wetland monitoring.

The engineers assembled the vertical take-off and landing quad-copter from parts, designed and 3-D printed a custom gimbal for the UAV’s two-sensor system, and hand-machined innovative aluminum landing gear. The Swamp Skimmer’s optical system contains a red-green-blue true color sensor along with a shortwave-infrared sensor to help capture specific ecological and hydrological features of wetlands. The Swamp Skimmer will be used to help validate wetland classifications of Landsat satellite imagery across the United States as well as monitor spatio-temporal dynamics of restored wetlands at fine temporal and spatial resolutions. LARSE is currently hiring licensed pilots for FAA regulated UAV flights, please contact Kate at if you are interested. Fickas is advised by Warren Cohen, USDA Forest Service/courtesy OSU faculty member.

Picture: MIME engineer John Diebold and Fickas holding The Swamp Skimmer. 

Nicole Kent elected as the Region Division Representative for NACADA

Nicole Kent, manager of undergraduate curricula and advising for the Oregon State University College of Forestry in Corvallis, OR has been elected as the Region Division Representative for NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising. Kent will assume this leadership role at the end of the NACADA Annual Conference being held in Atlanta, GA in October and serve in this position until October 2018.

NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising was chartered as a non-profit organization in 1979 to promote quality academic advising and professional development of its membership to ensure the educational development of students. Since that beginning, NACADA has grown to 13,000 members consisting of faculty members, professional advisors, administrators, counselors, and others in academic and student affairs concerned with the intellectual, personal, and vocational needs of students. In addition, NACADA is the representative and advocate of academic advising and those providing that service to higher education.

Triad Machinery Donates Log Loader to College of Forestry

At the 2016 Oregon Logging Conference in Eugene, Ore., Doug Summers, president of Triad Machinery, introduced the College of Forestry to its newest piece of equipment, a log loader valued at $108,000. The donation will give students the opportunity to train utilizing modern equipment technology while conducting logging operations on the College Research Forests.

Triad Machinery has been a partner with the College for nearly a decade, donating over $1-million in equipment for use by forestry students. The equipment has been an integral part of senior instructor Jeff Wimer’s Student Logging Training Program.

If interested in making an in-kind donation to enhance the overall student experience, contact Zak Hansen, COF director of development, at 541-737-4016.

KPFF Engineers Partners With NCAWPMD for Structural Research on Framework Project

KPFF Consulting Engineers has partnered with the National Center for Advanced Wood Products Manufacturing and Design, to conduct structural testing for the “Framework” project. The project, a 12-story tall wood building designed by Lever Architecture in Portland, is anticipated to create one of the first tall timber structures in the country. Structural testing at the Center will verify the performance of critical aspects of the wood lateral force-resisting system.

Once completed, the series of physical tests will provide data on structural performance of building subassemblies for project and increase the state of knowledge of mass-timber systems for building applications in the United States.

Oregon State University faculty members who will be working on the project include assistant professor of structural engineering Andre Barbosa, professor of structural engineering Christopher Higgins, and assistant professor of renewable materials Arijit Sinha.

Study shows forest thinning changes movement patterns, habitat use by martens

“There are two main reasons that martens avoid open forests,” said Katie Moriarty, a post-doctoral research biologist with the U.S. Forest Service, who conducted the research as a doctoral student at Oregon State University. “Martens eat a lot of food – up to a quarter of their body weight a day. It would be like you eating 100 hamburgers. They need downed logs and dense sapling cover to hunt successfully."

OSU gets grant to work on new wood products

“Code approval for new uses of wood products in these markets requires dedicated performance testing,” said Geoff Huntington, director of strategic initiatives for the OSU College of Forestry. “This testing is key to unlocking the engineered wood supply chain to meet growing demand.”