Our Mission!

Our department brings together biological and social scientists and philosophers to understand ecological systems, social systems, and the interactions between them. We work in terrestrial to aquatic systems, in wildland to urban settings, and from local to global scales. We evaluate the scientific and philosophical basis for management and policy decisions and provide enhanced frameworks for those decisions reflective of our latest findings. We conduct creative problem-solving and fundamental research; educate and engage the next generation of scholars, practitioners and users of the world’s natural resources; and share our knowledge and discoveries with others.

FES News

Prehistoric predators kept large animals in check, shaped ecosystems

“Large predators can have a major role in limiting their prey and in determining the structure and function of ecosystems,” said William Ripple, distinguished professor in the Oregon State University College of Forestry. “But scientists have thought that the largest herbivores, such as elephants, were immune from predation. We now know that’s not the case, and based on these data from the Pleistocene (the epoch which lasted from about 2.5 million to 11,700 years ago), we now think that large carnivores did limit the large herbivores at that time.”

Pulp fiction: Why wood is a dirty secret of clean energy

"A forest isn’t instantaneously renewable," said Oregon State University professor Mark Harmon, an advisor to the EPA on measuring climate pollution from wood fuel. "It renews over a time horizon that’s quite long. If people go out and start burning wood from an area that hasn’t been harvested for that purpose, it won’t be carbon neutral."

Morticulture: Forests of the living dead

Dead trees take a long time to disappear, allowing new life to spring up within them. Biologist Mark Harmon of Oregon State University (OSU), also known as “Dr. Death” for his scientific interest in forest mortality, is taking part in a 200-year-long study to monitor the decomposition of trees.

Event Calendar


BEE Fall Seminar: Catalina Segura, Department of Forest Engineering at OSU

Please join Biological & Ecological Engineering and The Conservation Biology Institute for their Fall 2015 Seminar Series: Updates from Corvallis Climate Change Research Community Tuesday, December…

WRGP Fall Seminar: Bryan Tilt, Oregon State University: Anthropology Program, College of Liberal Arts

Please join the WRGP & IWW for their Fall 2015 Seminar Series: Meeting Future Challenges in Water Resource Management Wednesday, November 18th, 2015 from 4-5 pm…

Natural Resources Virtual Career Fair

Join us as we partner industry representatives with students looking for jobs and internships in the Natural Resources field. Students register here and employers …