Feature: Natural Resources Major Bridges Gap Across Disciplines
It's been ten years since the Natural Resources major was created to educate natural resource professionals who are interested in and capable of working across disciplinary boundaries. Today, four colleges offer the program: Forestry, Agricultural Sciences, Science, and Liberal Arts, with classes drawn from 21 different departments. Fall 2002 statistics show 139 students registered through the OSU campus, 18 through the Cascades Campus, and 53 through the Extended Campus. The depth of study and degree received are the same regardless of how students access the program.
The program is designed to teach students the science and social policy aspects of natural resource management. To earn the degree, students are required to complete the baccalaureate core, a natural resources core to provide depth of knowledge, courses from seven areas in natural resources to provide breadth, and a specialty option. This broad training produces professionals who are comfortable with and capable of working across traditional disciplinary boundaries. "People who hire our students tend to seek them out because of the breadth of their training," says Bo Shelby, Professor in Forest Resources and Natural Resources Program Director.
Twelve options currently exist, such as Agroforestry, Human Dimensions in Natural Resources, Natural Resources Policy, and Watershed Management, but a mechanism exists for adding options. This mechanism provides additional flexibility to quickly adapt to innovation within the field.
"It's a curriculum that can respond to new ideas and new fields very quickly," says Shelby. It not only allows change, but because people all over campus know the mechanism for change exists, feedback and suggestions for new options are frequently brought to the attention of program administrators.
The Natural Resources program also offers a distance learning program to provide an avenue for professionals to remain current with their education.
"The program provides opportunities for new people to come into the field, but also offers continuing professional development for those already in the field," says Bob Ehrhart, Assistant Professor and Natural Resources Program Leader on the Cascades Campus. "Many students literally couldn't get a degree if we didn't offer these distance courses."
Assistant Professor Enjoys Moonlighting on the Gridiron
College of Forestry alumna Shorna Broussard, who earned her doctorate in Forest Resources in 2001, begins her rookie year this fall —as a cheerleader for the Indianapolis Colts football team! This seemingly unlikely turn of events comes as no surprise to John Bliss, Professor in Forest Resources and Broussard's advisor both at Auburn University, where she began her graduate work, and here in the College of Forestry, where she finished it."Nothing about Shorna surprises me," says Bliss."Shortly after Shorna completed her PhD, she was featured in the national magazine, Muscle and Fitness Hers. I still get comments from students who wonder what I'm doing with a women's fitness magazine in my office!"
When not appearing at Colts football games, Broussard may be found before smaller audiences at Purdue University, where she is an assistant professor of forestry and natural resources.And, according to Dale Whittaker,Associate Dean and Director of Academic Programs in the School of Agriculture, Broussard is not only a very good professor and researcher but "one of our young stars."
Cheerleading helps provide some balance to Broussard's busy schedule as a young professor on the tenure track. She teaches three courses at Purdue, two dealing with human dimensions in natural resources and one in natural resource policy, and is developing an additional, interdisciplinary course in conjunction with the Landscape Architecture and Hospitality and Tourism Management Departments.
Interdisciplinary projects are not new for Broussard, however, who found ways to connect natural resources and the arts while studying community forestry and natural resources policy at OSU. She was involved with a project called, " Art About Forestry," which uses art as a way to communicate natural resource issues to people who otherwise might not seek out information about those issues.
Broussard's interest in artistic expression combined with her extensive background in gymnastics and dance helped her make it through the intensive tryout process. Once a part of the elite cheerleading squad, she had to learn the routines and prepare for the experience of cheering before 50,000 football fans. Furthermore, the group is involved with charity work and fund-raising activities throughout the state of Indiana. Although this creates additional demands on her time, it is particularly appealing to Broussard, who has long been committed to community service.
Besides serving as an additional outlet for the multi-faceted Broussard's considerable energy and abilities, providing balance to the demands of academia, and offering the opportunity for community service work, is there anything else about cheerleading for the Colts that Broussard enjoys?
"Cheering for an NFL team is phenomenal," she says."The football fan in me loves seeing and hearing the game right from the sidelines." Besides all that, there's one thing more. "I didn't realize that a group this large could truly bond like we do, but we are like family," Broussard says. "I have developed some great friendships, which is an unexpected reward."
2003 Starker Lectures
The College of Forestry at Oregon State University is proud to announce the fall, 2003 Starker Lecture Series.
The Starker Lecture Series is sponsored by the Starker family of Corvallis in memory of T.J. and Bruce Starker, leaders of modern forest management and visionaries for sustainable forestry in Oregon.
"This year we continue the Starker Lecture Series tradition of presenting thought leaders in natural resources," says John Bliss, Starker Chair in Private and Family Forestry and Associate Department Head for Graduate Programs, Department of Forest Resources.Together, participants will explore the complex relationships between ecological, social, and economic dimensions of natural resources.
Starker Lectures are held in the Starker Classroom, Richardson 107 or at LaSells Stewart Center on campus.All lectures are free and open to the public.
"But if you can't make it to a lecture in person, you may be able to join in ‘virtually' through the internet or on your local cable channel," says Bliss."This year,we're enhancing the Starker Lecture tradition by reaching out to new audiences through the use of new media technology. In any case,we welcome you to the 2003 Starker Lecture Series!"
For more information, visit http://www.cof.orst.edu/starker lectures/
Forest Resources welcomes Dr. Randy Rosenberger who will be joining us this November as Assistant Professor of Natural Resource Economics. Rosenberger was previously an Assistant Professor at West Virginia University, Agricultural Resource Program, Division of Resource Management. He holds a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from Colorado State University, an MA in Applied Ethics from Colorado State University, and a BA in Philosophy from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.
Forest Resources is proud to have Dr.Temesgen Hailemariam as its most recent faculty addition. Temesgen was previously a Research Associate in Forest Biometrics and Measurements with the University of British Columbia (UBC) and holds a BSC from Alemaya University of Agriculture, a MSc in Silviculture from Lakehead University, and a PhD in Forest Biometrics from UBC. He is currently developing his research program in the area of forest biometrics and landscape analysis. He will also be instructing Forest Mensuration and Forest Biometrics.
Forest Resources also welcomes Iñigo Lizarralde, a visiting scholar from the University of Vallodolid, in Palencia, Spain. Here during Fall term, Lizarralde, a PhD candidate in forest modeling, will be working with Professor David Hann in developing a diameter growth model.
Kreg Lindberg has been selected as the new Associate Professor in International Ecotourism at the OSU-Cascades Campus in Bend. His academic home is in the Forest Resources Department, but his major responsibilities will entail teaching, research, advising, and service for the new Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Tourism program in Bend. Lindberg is a 1995 College of Forestry graduate from the Forest Social Science PhD program here at OSU, and was on the faculty at Colorado State University.
Successful Forest Resources Graduate Students — Congratulations!
Chris Dowling, MS "Comparing Structure and Development of Douglas-fir Oldgrowth, Plantations, and Young Natural Forests in Western Oregon"
Ke Du, MS, "Land Tenure Change under recent conservation policies in China: A case study in Sichuan Province, P.R. China"
Jenny Hawkins, MS, Non Thesis
Mayumi Takahashi, MS "The Land-Water Interface: Patterns of Riparian Vegetation and Channel Morphology in an Oregon Coast Range System"
Forestry Communications Group, Peavy Hall 256