Starker Lecture Series 2022

 “Women of Forestry: inspiring leadership, focuses on women who act as agents of change within the forestry and forest products sector as well as within their communities. The College of Forestry graduated its first woman student, Pauline Barto Sandoz over 75 years ago. Today, the college celebrates the accomplishments of all women who are students, faculty, and alumni in our community as it strives to become a more inclusive space for all. This series will educate explore the triumphs of women as well as the myriad of challenges they face in forests, mills, research labs and beyond.

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.

Please note: To reduce the risk or spread of COVID-19, you will need to provide proof of COVID vaccination or a negative test result within the previous three days of the event to attend. An OSU representative will check your vaccination status or review your negative test result upon your arrival at the event. Further information can be accessed at

2022 Events

Lecture: Women as change agents in forestry

Speaker: Robin Wall-Kimmerer, Plant Ecology, Ethnobotany, Traditional Indigenous Knowledge

Wednesday, January 26, 2022
La Sells Stewart Center, Austin Auditorium

Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She is the author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, which has earned Kimmerer wide acclaim. Her first book, Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing, and her other work has appeared in Orion, Whole Terrain, and numerous scientific journals. She tours widely and has been featured on NPR’s On Being with Krista Tippett and in 2015 addressed the general assembly of the United Nations on the topic of “Healing Our Relationship with Nature.” Kimmerer lives in Syracuse, New York, where she is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology, and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, whose mission is to create programs which draw on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge for our shared goals of sustainability.

Registration required: Please register here.

Lecture: Beyond the Land Ethic: Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Forest Management and Conservation, A Native American Perspective

Speaker: Cristina Eisenberg, Graduate Faculty, College of Forestry, OSU

February 16, 2022, 3:30-5:00pm

117 Peavy Forest Science Center 

Dr. Eisenberg will share her personal journey and lessons learned as a Native American woman in science, from her early academic work with mentor Nina Leopold Bradley, to her work with Indigenous people globally as Chief Scientist at Earthwatch Institute, to the work she is doing today in North America, building respectful collaboration between Tribal Nations and US and Canadian federal governments to restore degraded ecosystems and empower Indigenous communities. She will explore the concept of forest resiliency, what it meant to Aldo Leopold and his family, and how this concept was strongly inspired by the Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) held by Indigenous people globally about living rightly and sustainably on the earth. She will discuss how TEK that supports Tribal Nations’ treaty and sovereignty rights can be applied to conserve the forests of the future in our rapidly changing world.

 Registration is required: Please register here.

Lecture: Pyrocultural Forestry: Connecting People and Nature Through Fire

Amanda Rau, Regional Wildland Fire Specialist, OSU Extension

March 9, 2022, 3:30-5:00 pm

117 Peavy Forest Science Center 

Cultural use of fire has long influenced natural landscapes throughout the world, providing humans with important resources and connecting them with nature, in addition to moderating wildfire risk.  In many places, such as the Willamette Valley, pre-contact biodiversity of prairies, savannas, and woodlands wholly depended upon frequent indigenous burning as often as every year.  The burning practices of the indigenous peoples of southern Oregon and northern California met natural ignitions to maintain some of the most resilient and biodiverse forests in North America.  Forests and rangelands alike have long been shaped by the coalescence of natural ignitions and indigenous burning practices.

 Colonialism is largely to blame for the cessation of anthropogenic fire in North America.  Fire exclusion, including suppression of forest and rangeland fires caused by lightening as well as the cessation of indigenous burning, was mandated in the US after the fires of 1910.  The dire consequences of fuel accumulation that resulted from this approach became apparent before the century was over.  As a response to the wildfire problem that we all face today, prescribed fire offers the direct benefit of wildfire hazard mitigation, as well as opportunities for people from all walks of life to connect with nature and how it is affected by different kinds of fire.

 Registration is required: Please register here.


Lecture: The Road Less Traveled: How women in forestry can save the world

Speaker: Edie Sohn Hall, Founder and Principal, Three Trees Consulting 

April 20, 2022, 3:30-5:00 pm

117 Peavy Forest Science Center 

Hall will weave together a series of personal stories and lessons learned that demonstrate the importance of women having courage, confidence, collaboration, and compassion to harness the power of trees to create a world with global population living well within the limits of the planet.

 Registration is required: Please register here.

Capstone Workshop

May 10, 2022 8:00-5:00pm

CH2M Hill Alumni Center

Featuring keynote speaker Nalini M. Nadkarni, Professor of Biology, University of Utah

More information here


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.