CoF Research in the News

Studies confirm effect of wolves, elk on tree recovery in Yellowstone National Park

Robert Beschta and William Ripple, two professors in the Oregon State University College of Forestry, analyzed the results of 24 studies of streamside vegetation published since 2001 and reviewed long-term trends in temperature, precipitation, snowpack and stream discharge. Their conclusions have just been released in the journal Biological Conservation.

Old-growth forests may provide buffer against rising temperatures

“Though it is well-known that closed-canopy forests tend to be cooler than open areas, little is known about more subtle temperature differences between mature forest types,” said Sarah Frey, postdoctoral scholar in the OSU College of Forestry and lead author on the study. “We found that the subtle but important gradient in structure from forest plantations to old growth can have a marked effect on temperatures in these forests.”

Carbon stored in Pacific Northwest forests reflects timber harvest history

The amount of carbon stored in tree trunks, branches, leaves and other biomass — what scientists call “aboveground live carbon” — is determined more by timber harvesting than by any other environmental factor in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, according to a report published by researchers at Oregon State University. Harold Zald, research associate in the College of Forestry, is lead author of the paper published in the journal Forest Ecology and Management.

Spring issue of Focus on Forestry now available

The Spring issue of Focus on Forestry includes articles on fire, guitars, students, and more!

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.

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. 

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."