|Volume 5, No. 2||
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
I am honored to have been appointed the seventh dean of the College of Forest Resources this past January. During the months and years ahead, I am committed to developing and sustaining funding for CFR’s programs so that we can continue to carry out our mission of providing knowledge for the stewardship of natural and managed environments and the sustainable use of their products and services. Our vision is to provide internationally recognized knowledge and leadership on environmental and natural resource issues. In order to achieve this vision, the College counts on you—academic colleagues, alumni, friends, and stakeholders in public agencies, private enterprise, and the general public—to support us. To guide us, we draw on two themes: 1) sustainable forest enterprises and 2) land and ecosystem management in an urbanizing world. Sustainability is our key integrating concept. While no single word can capture all we do (or may do in the future), the concept of sustainability guides our educational, research, outreach, and development programs.
The College’s vision and priorities are consistent with the shift towards a sustainable society. We must anticipate the future so that we can provide teaching and learning environments enabling resource professionals, scientists, decision makers, and informed citizens to take leadership roles and use the best, most appropriate science to solve problems. We must partner with society to define and initiate new academic, research, and outreach programs, modify existing programs, and discontinue programs that do not effectively respond to the new challenges bestowed upon us. These will be difficult tasks to accomplish, but our vision and goals must respond to all of them in a timely manner.
The following key elements must be present if CFR is to meet its growing challenges: a well-educated and diverse faculty with opportunities to continue to grow professionally, well-prepared and motivated students, state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure, and ample opportunities for enhanced student learning. To achieve our vision and to provide these critical elements, we have identified the following five priority development goals.
(1) Enhance student learning opportunities
As a state-funded research university, we rely heavily on the legislature to provide adequate funds to support student learning opportunities. We seek support to enhance these opportunities by providing experiences that will allow students to be better educated and prepared to enter the professional work force upon graduation. Chief among these are support for: experiential learning; integrated capstone case study courses; regional, national, and international field trips, conferences, and symposia; study abroad and field research, provision of state-of-the art computers and other types of electronic equipment; unrestricted scholarships and graduate fellowships; and discretionary funds.
(2) Promote faculty research and development activities
Maintaining a well-educated and motivated faculty is critical to the long-term success of an educational institution. Although self-motivated, faculty benefit from new opportunities to undertake research and to develop new capabilities. We seek funds to: endow faculty chairs and professorships; provide seed money for proposal preparation; develop unrestricted funds for travel to regional, national, and international meetings, conferences, and symposia; support the publication of unsupported research; and provide increased opportunities for graduate research seminars, honored seminar speakers, and faculty sabbaticals or other leaves for retooling to face new challenges.
(3) Improve College facilities and associated infrastructure
We seek funding to complement that provided by the state legislature to enhance and improve selected facilities and the associated infrastructure. For example, we need to: modernize classrooms; connect to the internet as well as other electronic media; update laboratory facilities for functionality; keep library collections current and complete; provide and maintain student computer facilities throughout the College’s units; maintain the plant collections at the Washington Park Arboretum; and provide funds to expand the College’s buildings on the Seattle campus.
(4) New Initiatives
New research and teaching initiatives that will allow the College to achieve its vision of sustainable urban and wild land environments include the following:
• Sustainable forestry: Sustaining and protecting forest resources are key to achieving a sustainable society. An increase in population with increasing standards of living and leisure time will result in a greater demand for goods and services produced by managed forests, natural wild lands, and urban and suburban ecosystems—all from a declining available land base. We propose to develop research, learning, and outreach programs utilizing exciting technologies and an interdisciplinary approach involving economic, ecological, and social sciences to find solutions to these problems. Areas we will focus on include: active silviculture (including forest protection) in managed forests; precision forestry, plant biotechnology, and ecological engineering to produce forest products sustainably; conservation and restoration of forested lands and their wildlife; and amenities management to help extend the forest resources of Washington State for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.
• Sustaining urban environments: An inherent conflict exists in developed societies—a desire for technological advancement and a high standard of living, as well as ready access to natural wild lands and sustainable urban and suburban environments. Population growth and increased consumption with their resulting byproducts leave no corner of the globe untouched. We propose to study and solve problems regarding the sustainability of urban environments by focusing on urban ecology, urban and community forestry, urban horticulture, public gardens, and issues at the urban-rural interface. We envision taking an interdisciplinary approach involving the ecological, biological, social, economic, and policy disciplines to find solutions to these problems. Issues to be studied and solved include how to better utilize horticultural science to solve plant related problems in urban areas, urban wildlife, the practice of forestry on the urban-rural fringe, fire protection in suburban areas, the management of arboreta, green belts, parks, and gardens, and a variety of similar urban challenges.
• Sustainable forest enterprises: Washington State’s managed forests support a forest products industry that constitutes an important economic asset. Solid wood, pulp and paper, and secondary manufacturing contribute to this dynamic industrial sector. Technological change and increased levels of environmental protection are not new to this industry. Efforts to reduce the stresses (or the “footprint”) that forest products conversion processes place on the planet are now demanding that each of its activities be more sustainable and environmentally sensitive. Additionally, opportunities exist to develop our non-timber forest products as well as non-commodity uses of the forest such as eco-tourism, outdoor recreation, and scenic amenities. We propose to develop research, learning, and outreach programs that include finding solutions related to environmental chemistry, life-cycle analysis, recycling, biosolids disposal and reuse, restoration of contaminated sites, and phytoremediation (using plants to remediate contaminated sites).
(5) Program Support
Increased program support is required to maintain current key programs and is necessary to produce opportunities for the advancement of research and knowledge. Current interdisciplinary programs and centers in the College of Forest Resources include: Center for International Trade in Forest Products, Center for Streamside Studies, Center for Urban Horticulture, including the Washington Park Arboretum, Olympic National Resources Center, Pack Forest, Precision Forestry Cooperative, Rural Technology Initiative, Stand Management Cooperative, Wind River Canopy Crane, and the Urban Ecology Initiative.
All of these endeavors will need your support to thrive and to continue to bring excellence in teaching, research, and outreach to bear upon the challenges of our world today. I pledge my tenure as CFR Dean to ensuring that this mission is fulfilled.
The CFR Quarterly is published four times annually, at the close of Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer Quarters.
Please send comments or submit news items to Cecilia Paul: firstname.lastname@example.org; 3-3075; 107E Anderson, Box 352100.
Photo credits this issue: George Shore
Web Design: Marianne Elliott