Welcome, Farewell, and Best Wishes
He is no stranger to Green Hall. Chris Edgar, a two-time graduate in forestry at the U, joined the Department in March as Research Assistant Professor of Forest Biometrics after working at Texas A & M. It is fitting that he will continue the instruction and scholarship of his former advisor, recently retired Professor Tom Burk, highlighted below. Chris looks forward to teaching forest measurements, assessment, and modeling courses, especially at the upcoming Introductory Cloquet Field Session. “I think learning experiences out in the field are an essential part of natural resources sciences and management education.” His research in forest inventory will be supported by the US Forest Service Northern Research Station’s Forest Inventory and Analysis Program. He is looking forward to the abundance of recreation opportunities here, the lakes and trails in the Cities as well as being at a cabin on a lake in northern Minnesota.
We are excited to welcome Forrest Fleischman as Assistant Professor of Forestry and Natural Resource Policy. He joined us in December 2016 from the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management at Texas A & M. Spanning from the U.S. to Latin America to India, his research examines how people’s participation in political life interacts with scientific knowledge and law to shape policy adoption, implementation, and outcomes. He is launching a new project this spring examining the implementation of tree plantations in the Indian Himalayas. In his new home state, he looks forward to studying how policy influences outcomes among diverse forest land management institutions, ranging from private industrial and non-industrial lands to tribal, federal, state, and county lands. On a more personal note, he is excited to introduce his two-year-old son to the beauty of northern lakes and forests.
Of the many faces of Forest Resources, Tom Burk is one of the most well known and soon to be well missed. He retired in April after 33 years in the Department. Tom first came to Forest Resources in 1976 as a graduate student and returned in 1984 after teaching at Virginia Tech for four years. His research has spanned all the areas of inventory, growth and yield, and information systems, and his instructional responsibilities have always focused on the quantitative aspects of forest and natural resource management. He has taught multiple incarnations of forest measurements and sampling courses on campus and at the Itasca/Cloquet field session. Tom remembers a particularly rewarding encounter with a student. “In my statistics course, a young woman approached me early in the semester certain she was going to fail the course. We talked and she persevered. Near the end of the semester she declared she wished to seek a minor in statistics!” For his dedication to making subject material accessible and enjoyable for students, he received eight nominations for the CFANS Outstanding Professor Award, an honor he received at the CFANS Borealis Night of Excellence. Thank you for your service Tom!
What was supposed to be a “quick” career change for Eric North became a life change from information security to urban forestry. Eric’s history in the Department traced from 2009 to the present, from a bachelor’s degree to a scheduled doctoral defense in May. He has worked with over twenty communities to train, inventory, and help advise on urban forestry management. In recognition of his service and leadership with the Minnesota Shade Tree Advisory Committee and the Minnesota Shade Tree Short Course, he was awarded the Community Forestry Leadership Award in March. He also co-taught Arboriculture, Issues in the Environment, and Dendrology which he cites as an instructional highlight.“Student enjoyment and excitement learning about trees and forestry, I hope has provided a lasting enthrallment with forests the world-over.” This spring he accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Urban and Community Forestry at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. “I am thankful for the encouragement and support of the Department of Forest Resources and particularly Professor Gary Johnson.” We hope and trust that Eric will visit often.