forest conservation: then and now

Starker Lecture Series 2024

As part of celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Sand County Almanac, the first lecture will focus on Aldo Leopold and his role in forestry conservation. Leopold noted that a land ethic expands the definition of community to include not only humans, but all the other parts of the Earth, as well: soils, waters, plants and animals- “the land.” We must engage in thoughtful dialog with each other, inviting a diversity of perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds, as we explore the intertwined relationships between people and land.

A resilient forest is one that can absorb, rebound, and adapt to disturbances. How do we measure, research, and monitor the conservation, resiliency, and biodiversity of a forest? It’s important to understand biodiversity, especially what occurs in the soil and what may not be easily recognized without digging in further, as we will do in the second lecture.

The Starker Lectures Series is sponsored by the Starker Family in honor of TJ and Bruce Starker, the Oregon Forest Resources Institute and the Oregon State University College of Forestry.


April 3, 2024
3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Starker Forests Classroom PFSC 117

Lecture: Land Ethic: A Sand County Almanac 75th Anniversary

Speaker: Buddy Huffaker, President of the Aldo Leopold Foundation

watch the recording

Buddy Huffaker, President of the Aldo Leopold Foundation, highlights Leopold's special role in forestry conservation, noting, "Leopold's powerful voice continues to guide individuals, helping them reconcile their feelings with current events, and inspiring meaningful actions growing from an ethic of care that includes all places, and all people.” A Sand County Almanac leads readers through the diverse landscapes of Leopold’s experience. It culminates in the influential essay "The Land Ethic," in which Leopold calls for social responsibility toward the natural world. Leopold writes, “Nothing so important as an ethic is ever written…it evolves in the minds of a thinking community.”

April 10, 2024
Lecture and Open House at Peavy Lodge
5:00-5:30 p.m. – food + drinks
5:30-6:30 p.m. – lecture
6:30-8:00 p.m. – open house
Peavy Lodge, 8392 NW Peavy Arboretum Rd.

Lecture: Digging into Forest Soils - watch the recording

Speaker: Dean Tom DeLuca

Soils are the foundation of our forest ecosystems and harbor more carbon and biodiversity than the overstory; however, the secrets of the soil remain out of sight and out of mind for most of society. The purpose of this lecture is to help us understand the nature of soil ecosystems, their complexity, and biodiversity as it relates to forest health and function and the sustainable management of forests. The discussion will focus on natural and human disturbances and their influence on forest soils, nutrient turnover, and soil carbon storage.

More about the series

The Starker Lecture Series takes inspiration from the Starker Family's history of leadership in supporting sound forestry and vibrant communities through scientifically grounded education and positive, sustained action. The Starkers' long-time recognition of the value of closely observing and learning from actions and outcomes "in the woods" also inspires an integration of technical knowledge with practical, on-the-ground experience. An emphasis on issues and opportunities in the active management of forest resources, through lectures, in depth discussions, and field based events, will further honor the unique and exceptional example provided by the Starker Family.

All lectures are free and open to the public. The lectures will also be available via streaming video from this web site. A reception will be held immediately before the lectures. A capstone workshop will be held after the lecture series is complete to deepen the practical understanding and discussion of the lecture topics.