The Forestry Source - February 2011 - (Page 9)
Grays Harbor College Reinstates Forestry Program, Launches SAF Chapter
fter a more than 20-year absence from providing forestry education to students in southwestern Washington, Grays Harbor College is back with a reinstated forest technology program— and a brand-new SAF student chapter. Chapter officers—Jebb Kinney, chair; Travis Greenway, chair-elect; and Eva Dossett, secretary-treasurer—received their chapter charter on December 16, about nine months after some of the students enrolled in the re-established forestry program, and their forestry instructor, Todd Bates, decided to establish an SAF student chapter. Bates, a former chair of an SAF student chapter during his college career, acknowledged that he presented the idea of forming a chapter to his students, but he didn’t have to work too hard to sell it. “I was a student chapter chair when I was in college, and I received a lot of benefits from my association with SAF back then,” Bates said. “I wanted to provide the students with a chance to have a similar opportunity, so I came to the students and said, ‘Hey, there’s this professional society out there, they have student chapters, are you interested?’And they said, ‘Yes.’ So it was my pushing, but not all that hard.” Bates didn’t need to push the idea of starting a chapter, he said, because the chapter reflects its members’ interest in both the professional aspects of forestry and starting their careers off on the right foot. “They want to build contacts with future peers within the profession, they want to attend professional chapter meetings, and they want to develop their leadership skills,” said Bates of his students. “It helps their résumé,
which helps their job prospects—it allows them to combine their academic interests and career ambitions.” The chapter also gives its members the chance to meet and work with their peers, such as the SAF student chapter at Green River Community College, which has helped the Grays Harbor chapter get established and welcomed them into the fold. “Green River has been a shining example of an excellent student chapter,” said Bates. “They’re really organized and they’ve made a conscious effort to reach out to us as part of this larger organization and say, ‘We’d like to work with you.’ It takes a lot of energy to start a chapter, so I commend them for helping to foster that interaction.” Giving his students the chance to interact with the different populations within the larger forestry community and introducing them to all the opportunities the profession has to offer are precisely the kinds of things Bates wants Grays Harbor forestry students to get out of their involvement in SAF. “As an adviser and a mentor, I’m just trying to make them aware of all the opportunities that are out there. The student chapter is a great platform for that,” he said. “They’re going to interact with other professional members and be asked to participate in committees and provide input. SAF helps to open those things up.” Of course, the chapter doesn’t mind taking the initiative when it comes to getting involved in the community, where the forest products industry has long played an important large role. “The Aberdeen area has forestry in its
Grays Harbor College student member Alex Thompson prepares a survey grid to complete a study of species composition during a forest ecology field trip to Dosewallips State Park near Brinnon, Washington.
blood, so we’re trying to make as much of an impact as possible within the community,” Bates said. “The students have been involved with FFA events, and they’ve been interacting with high school students, letting them know that forestry is still a viable career option. On campus, we’ve provided a Christmas tree to the college and done a wreath-making holiday activity. In regard to the general public, we’ve been involved with
invasive-species eradication efforts in local parks and tree planting projects. We’re making inroads and getting involved in all facets of local life—the college, the community, and local high schools.” For more information, contact Todd Bates, forestry instructor, Grays Harbor College, 1620 Edward P. Smith Drive, Aberdeen, WA 98520; (360) 538-2517; email@example.com.
The Harbor Is Green Again
By Todd Bates fter a more than 20-year absence from providing forestry education to students in southwestern Washington, Grays Harbor College is back. The college’s forest technology program—now the third one in Washington after Green River and Spokane Valley—was approved by the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges in the spring of 2009 and is on the verge of graduating its first class of students this coming fall. How did this happen? Given the recent economic downturn, the days of fully funded technology programs are gone and community colleges have been forced to look elsewhere for partnerships. The college, located in Aberdeen, didn’t have to look far for a willing partner. Just down the road in Elma, Washington, is Satsop Development Park, which is owned and operated by the Grays Harbor Public Development Authority (GHPDA), which took over the Grays Harbor County facilities of the defunct Washington Public Power Supply System. The development park has approximately 1,200 acres of forestland surrounding the industrial facilities, and the GHPDA was looking for partners to manage its resources while providing educational opportunities in natural resource management. Partnering with Grays Harbor College was a natural fit. Grays Harbor College currently has a healthy program enrollment of 30 to 40 students. These students wanted to become more involved with extracurricular activities and interaction with other foresters. With the help of Washington State Chair
John Walkowiak, Counselor Chuck Lorenz, and all of the members of the Southwest Chapter of the Washington SAF, the bylaws for a student chapter were written. These were recently adopted by the executive council to form the newest SAF student chapter in the nation here at Grays Harbor College. The students look to become very active in society affairs and plan to interact at conferences, meetings, and other SAF activities throughout the Pacific Northwest. The college has adopted the guiding principles of the Society of American Foresters “Standards and Procedures for Recognizing Educational Programs in Forest Technology” and has formed the natural resources program around these standards. The 12 technical subject areas for the forest technology curriculum, along with necessary classes in oral and written communication, mathematics, natural and physical sciences, social sciences, business, and computer skills, have been boiled down to 24 courses taken in a span of two years with 106 quarters hours of credit attributed to these classes. The program should meet all of the expectations set forth in the recognition standards of 2007 except for the minimum number of full-time faculty. At this time, it is financially difficult to bring on another faculty member in forest technology, but with double-digit enrollment in the classes there is hope for the future with brighter budget allocations. Bates is forestry instructor, Grays Harbor College, 1620 Edward P. Smith Drive, Aberdeen, WA 98520; (360) 538-2517; firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Forestry Source
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Forestry Source - February 2011
The Forestry Source - February 2011
Forest Carbon Marketplace: 2010 Carbon Market Ups and Downs.
Grays Harbor Reinstates Forestry Program, Launches Student Chapter.
Libby Chapter’s Forum Airs Candidates’ Views on Natural Resources Issues.
People in the News
forestryimages.org: Photos for Forestry and Natural Resources.
Field Tech: Soil Erosion Modeling With the Modified Universal Soil Loss Equation.
The Forestry Source - February 2011