CFR Quarterly, College of Forest Resources, University of Washington
Volume 2, No. 3, Spring, 1999

Faculty Profile:
Peter Schiess
Faculty News
Faculty Reports

Staff Profile:
Geetha Sukumaran
Staff News

Student Profile:
Jay Singh
Student News
  Student Reports


Washington Forester
Other News
Past Issues






Sneak Previews

Arbor Day Fair

Tagging Wild Professors

Capstone Design Course

Deanís Notes

Dear Colleagues,

Beginning on a sad note, Iíd like to say a few words in memory of our late Dean Emeritus, Jim Bethel, who died on May 18th. Dean Bethel was one of the most influential and recognized deans in the history of American forestry and was a principal architect of programs and creative innovations during his seventeen years as dean that endure in one form or another today, eighteen years after he stepped down. He set an undeniably high mark for his successors ó faculty and administrators alike. Please see the tribute to Dean Emeritus Bethel on page 14 of this newsletter.

CFR Retreat

I want to thank everyone who attended and participated in the May 21-22, 1999 College Retreat at Camp Long. This was the fifth in a series of such events where members of the College had the opportunity to engage in a discussion of topics of relevance and importance to our institutional well-being.

At Camp Long we focused on a wide-ranging discussion concerning our goals related to undergraduate education. We listened to two panels composed of alumni and external advisors discuss skills our graduates should possess. With the participantsí help, we identified the following common set of concepts and skills that we believe all graduates of the College should be exposed to and gain competence in during their undergraduate education:
  • Sustainability/scarcity
  • Reasoning (quantitative, problem solving, design, scientific methods)
  • Communication
  • Ethics/value systems
  • Creativity/innovation
  • Fundamental knowledge (ecology, math, chemistry, physics)
  • System design
  • Project management
  • Trade-offs
  • Interface linkages of science and policy
  • Ability to function well on an interdisciplinary team

We acknowledged that while these were important to us, in many instances we are not currently providing enough instruction in these areas. Ways to do a better job of covering the concepts and skills were widely discussed.

At the conclusion of the retreat, I suggested that a small committee of faculty be appointed to continue to develop ideas related to the Collegeís undergraduate educational goals. This committee will shape and, importantly, will also look at the next generation of curricula that should be considered. The committee will be asked to report its findings and recommendations to the College in the coming academic year.

Advanced Technology Initiative

Iím very pleased to report that the Advanced Technology Initiative was funded by the WA State Legislature. The final outcome of the initiative was $2.5 million to the UW and $1.5 million to WSU. Of the UWís funding, $.5 million is earmarked for precision forestry, providing a complement to the WSU funding, of which $.5 million will be for precision agriculture. The precision forestry initiative, which includes the full scope of forestry activities from management to wood processing and products manufacturing, will address the issue of urban-rural income disparity in the state. The development and use of advanced technology, the rational application of silvicultural principles, and the careful engineering design and implementation of in-woods processing will increase forest productivity, wood quality, and habitat conditions. The expectation is that the precision forestry initiative will be transformational both within the University and in the context of rural economies. Over the summer, a prospectus will be developed outlining the rationale for the initiative and its relationship to WSUís precision agriculture initiative. Once the prospectus is developed, briefing sessions with the UW administrators, private sector cooperators, and involved communities will be undertaken.

As you can see, we have a busy summer ahead of us! But I hope you have a relaxing and enjoyable break, as well as a productive one.

David B. Thorud

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The CFR Quarterly is published four times annually, at the close of Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer Quarters.

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