Departmental News

Dr. Cristina Eisenberg Wants Wolves in Our Backyards

Most people would sound the alarm at the sight of wolves in their backyard while breathing a sigh of relief once they’ve left. For FES post-doc Cristina Eisenberg, it was the exact opposite. She wanted them back. “Wolves touch everything in an ecosystem. They are what keep the web of life healthy and thrumming with energy,’ explains Dr. Eisenberg during an email correspondence from her home in rural Montana, just south of the Canadian-American border. “Coexisting with them is far more feasible than some people think.”

Blue Mountain timber: Top forester backs ambitious program of tree thinning and restoration

Many of the open, park-like expanses of Ponderosa pine that once characterized the Blue Mountains have disappeared, victims of a century of wildfire suppression and selective logging. According to Oregon State University extension agent Paul Oester of La Grande, fire-tolerant Ponderosas have been replaced by dense, unhealthy and explosively flammable stands of grand fir, Douglas fir and other tree species. In those dense stands, Oester said, wildfires burn fast and hot, and "ladder fuels" - underbrush, dry grass and low branches - carry flames upward into the forest crowns.

FES PhD candidate received fellowship

Garrett Meigs, a PhD candidate in the Forest Ecosystems and Society Department, was recently selected to receive the P.F. & Nellie Buck Yerex Graduate Fellowship by the Graduate School for the 2013-14 academic year.  Only one of these fellowships is awarded each year across the entire OSU campus to a student in a science or technology field.  Many outstanding nominees are considered for this award and receiving it is a significant honor.  Congratulations Garrett!

Dude ranch looks to expand its scientific efforts

A western Garfield County, Colorado guest ranch that sits in the middle of the region's gas patch is looking to expand its growing focus on scientific research aimed at protecting the area's natural environment. The proposed Cottonwoods/High Lonesome Institute project received a comprehensive plan amendment approval and sketch plan review by the Garfield County Planning Commission earlier this month. The High Lonesome Ranch already has a five-person science and conservation education staff, including FES forestry professor Hal Salwasser and FES post-doc Cristina Eisenberg.

The Nature of Oregon: Master Naturalists share their love of the land

The Oregon Master Naturalist Program is for people interested in Oregon’s natural history and natural resources management who want to dedicate their time as volunteers. Nearly 30 states nationwide have similar programs. Jason O'Brien, director of the program and FES member, is featured in this video about the program.

Where Few Trees Have Gone Before

Tall trees block light that meadow grasses, shrubs and wildflowers need to survive. Once trees become established, the surrounding seed banks of native grasses tend to fade away. The meadows' “biodiversity value is much larger than the amount of area they occupy,” explains lead author Harold S. J. Zald, postdoctoral research associate at Oregon State University in the FES department, who hatched the idea for the study while backpacking in the Cascade Range. The researchers do not yet know which plant or animal species would be endangered.

Report: Warming bringing big changes to forests

Big changes are in store for the nation's forests as global warming increases wildfires and insect infestations, and generates more frequent floods and droughts, the U.S. Department of Agriculture warns in a report released Tuesday. Beverly Law, FES professor of global change forest science at Oregon State University, said in an email that her research in Oregon showed that despite more fire, the amount of carbon stored in forests continues to increase.

“Food for Thought” lectures on ag, food biotechnology begin in January

The “Food for Thought” community lecture series will begin its eighth season this month at Oregon State University, bringing internationally recognized experts to discuss new options for food and fuel production, and implications for the environment, public health, and their economic and social viability.  FES professor Steve Strauss is director of the Outreach in Biotechnology program, which is supported by the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and the OSU College of Forestry.

2013 Winter Plant Science Seminar Series

During winter term every year, FES shares a seminar series with Crop and Soil Science, Horticulture, and Botany and Plant Pathology. Two of the speakers this term are from Forest Ecosystems and Society: Monday, January 14 - Barb Lachenbruch (Tradeoffs in withstanding drought and wind, from the cell to the whole-plant levels); and Thursday January 24 - Paige Fischer (Restoration of the ponderosa pine ecotype through cooperation among private forest owners on hazardous fuel reduction).

Related Documents: 

Sustainability Science: Ethical Foundations and Emerging Challenges

Why is it critical to address ethical issues when thinking about sustainability science, and why has our failure to do this created serious problems for sustainability? FES professor and Lead Principle Investigator for the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest Michael Nelson tackles this question in this article.