Research Programs

Forest Residues and Bioenergy

Principal Investigator: John Sessions
Key People:
  • John Bailey (FERM) - Silvilcultural Strategies
  • John Campbell (FES)– Carbon System Dynamics and Accounting
  • John Sessions (FERM) - Collection, Processing, and Transport Logistics
  • David Smith (WSE) – Facility Design and Costing
  • Kristin Trippe (ARS) – Biochar Characteristics and Testing
  • Daniel Leavell (KBREC) – Forestry Outreach
  • Stephen Machado (Soil Science) – Agricultural Outreach
  • Marcus Kauffman (ODF) – Forestry Outreach
  • Jeremy Fried (PNW Station) - Silvicultural Strategies
  • Joshua Petitmermet (MS, FERM) - Harvest Operations, Silvicultural Strategies

This is one of the 2015 College of Forestry Integrated Working Forest Landscape (IWFL) projects with the goal of evaluating opportunities for biochar production to reduce forest wildfire hazard, sequester carbon, and increase productivity of dryland soils. Industrial partners include BSEI INC and Walking Point Farms.

Principal Investigator: John Sessions
Key People:

FERM Faculty:

  • Darius Adams - Forest Residue Supply Projections
  • John Bailey - Silvilcultural Strategies
  • Jeff Hatten - Long-Term Site Productivity
  • Greg Latta - Forest Residue Supply Projections
  • Doug Maguire - Long-Term Site Productivity
  • John Sessions - Collection, Processing, and Transport Logistics
  • Rene Zamora - Collection, Processing, and Transport Logistics

FES Faculty:

  • Matt Betts - Wildlife Impacts of Forest Residue Removals
  • Keith Jayawickrama - Genetic Improvement Strategies

WSE Faculty:

  • Scott Leavengood - Outreach and Community Involvement

Oregon State University is a collaborating institution in the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA) led by Washington State University.  This five-year $37.5 million USDA NIFA funded grant is to build a supply chain for aviation biofuel with the goal of increasing efficiency in from forestry operations to conversion processes. Using primarily softwood forest harvest residues, the project aims to create a sustainable industry to produce aviation biofuels and important co-products.

Principal Investigator: John Sessions
Key People:
  • Joshua Petitmermet, MS student
  • Michael Berry, PhD student

Oregon State University is a collaborating institution in the Waste to Wisdom research project led by Humboldt State University.  Waste to Wisdom is an innovative biomass research project funded by a $5.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy under the Biomass Research and Development Initiative program. Humboldt State University and 15 regional partners are building on existing research on the conversion of forest residues into bioenergy and other valuable bio-based products.

Applied Economics

Principal Investigator: Darius Adams
Key People:
  • Greg Latta

The Timber Assessment Market Model (TAMM) system is one of the best known examples of forest sector models. Since its inception in the late 1970's, TAMM has undergone a number of extensions and revisions designed to improve the realism of its projections and the utility of its output to resource analysts and policy makers.

Forest Biometrics, Geomatics, and Mensuration

Principal Investigator: Dr. Michael Wing
Key People:
  • Jonathan Burnett
  • Richard Gabriel

The relative ease at which missions can be planned and flown makes unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) a perfect fit for forest management applications.  Our Aerial Information Systems (AIS) laboratory is investigating a wide range of lightweight sensors for UAV application on both fixed wing and helicopters to support forest management, forest engineering, forest protection, wildlife habitat, and search and rescue operations.

Potential applications for forest management include

  • fire monitoring and assisting with firefighting operations
  • fire impact measurements and preparation for regeneration activities
  • stand mapping, disease detection
  • vegetation health assessment
  • height and age estimation
  • fertilization sensitivity stand exams
  • regenerations surveys
  • inventory and analysis

 Potential forest engineering applications include

  • logging system design
  • road and bridge design
  • sale layout
  • terrain modeling and slope stability assessment

Potential forest protection applications include

  • fire monitoring, hotspot detection
  • boundary protection
  • search and rescue and grow operation detection

Potential wildlife applications include

  • fishery population estimation
  • wildlife detection and tracking
  • habitat assessment
  • wildlife opening detection

Search and rescue operation applications include

  • finding people in rugged and hard to reach areas
  • reducing risk to search and rescue teams
  • increasing the efficiency of search and rescue efforts
Principal Investigator: Temesgen Hailemariam
Key People:
  • Temesgen Hailemariam
  • David McClung
  • Bianca Eskelson

The Forest Measurements and Biometrics Lab (FMBL) focuses on three major areas and seeks to develop or extend: 1) imputation methods that support dynamic forest inventory, silvicultural planning, and habitat analysis; 2) sampling and statistical methods to characterize and quantify status and change of selected attributes including biomass and carbon and 3) application of LiDAR to forest measurements and assessments.

In addition to integrating the three themes of my research with other disciplines of forestry, this endeavor has helped the FMB program to achieve a regional and a national recognition, and identify some of the most significant challenges.

Drawn to opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration, I have led a group of prominent scientists to identify the status and future needs of forest measurements and biometrics in the Pacific Northwest, culminating in a recent article in the Journal of Forestry.

Currently, FE 357 GIS and Forest Engineering Applications, is offered to students who wish to learn more about GIS and other spatial tool applications in forestry.

Principal Investigator: Dr. David W. Hann
Key People:
  • David Larsen
  • David Marshall
  • Doug Maguire
  • Martin Ritchie
  • John Scrivani
  • David Walters
  • Chao-Huan Wang

ORGANON is an individual tree growth model developed for Southwest Oregon, Northwest Oregon and the lands of the Stand Management Cooperative. It will project stand development for several species mixes, stand structures and management activities.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Thomas Hilker
Key People:
  • Erick Mc Adam
  • Celio Sousa
  • Yhasmin Mendes

Remote sensing of terrestrial ecosystems uses observations collected from satellites to airborne platforms to research towers to obtain information about vegetation over land and relate this data to models of the carbon, water and energy cycle regionally and globally. One aspect of this work is studying the links between vegetation structure and function, which can be obtained for instance using multi-angle optical systems, but also from airborne and terrestrial laser scanning (LiDAR) data.

Our group also studies changes in vegetation and vegetation cover over time using time series of satellite data. This research includes mapping of land cover and land use change and ecosystem disturbance as well as degradation of vegetation over time. Remote sensing is very much interdisciplinary in that it builds on mechanistic approaches based on plant physiology, ecosystem and atmospheric science and requires collaborations across related earth science fields.

Forest Operations

Principal Investigator: John Sessions
Key People:
  • Woodam Chung
  • Ben Leshchinsky
  • Jeff Wimer 
  • Tamara Cushing
  • Laurel Kincl
  • John Garland
  • Robert Crawford 

Photo Credit (John Sessions): Photo of harvesting simulator in the College of Forestry Harvesting Simulation Laboratory as a joint project between Ponsse and the College of Forestry. FE senior R.J. Morgan describing harvester operation.  


Silviculture and Forest Disturbances

Principal Investigator: Dr. Doug Maguire
Key People:
  • Mark Gourley - Starker Forests
  • Randall Greggs - Green Diamond Resource Company
  • Steve Wickham - Plum Creek Timber
  • Greg Johnson - Weyerhaeuser Company
  • Chandace Cahill - Rayonier
  • Scott Ketchum - Forest Capital Partners
  • Mark Kincaid - Lone Rock Timber
  • Chris Lipton - Longview Fibre/Brookfield
  • Jeff Madsen - Port Blakely Tree Farms
  • Bill Marshall - Cascade Timber
  • George McFadden - USDI-Bureau of Land Management
  • Scott McLeod - Washington Department of Natural Resources
  • Ted Reiss - Seneca Jones Timber
  • Doug Robin - Oregon Department of Forestry
  • Dave Rumker - Campbell Group
  • Dean Stuck - Hancock Timber Resources Group
  • Dave Walters - Roseburg Forest Products

The mission of the Center for Intensive Planted-forest Silviculture (CIPS) is to understand the interactive effects of genetics, silviculture, protection (from insects, disease, and animal damage), competition, nutrition, and soils on the productivity, health, and sustainability of intensively-managed, planted forests.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Steven D. Tesch
Key People:

Steven D. Tesch

Director of Research, College of Forestry Research Office, 109D Richardson Hall, Corvallis, Oregon 97331-5751.  Phone 541-737-2222 Fax 541-737-3008 Email:

The mission of the program is to provide new information about fish and wildlife habitat within Oregon's actively managed forests through research, technology transfer, and service activities. Current priorities for new program activities favor those that contribute to the scientific information base that supports the Oregon Forest Practices Act and also Oregon's actively managed federal forest lands. The goals are to provide the information needed by forest managers to guide responsible stewardship of fish and wildlife habitat resources consistent with land management objectives, and by policy makers to establish and evaluate informed forest policy and regulations.

Principal Investigator: Dave Shaw, Extension Forest Health Specialist
Key People:
  • Gabriela Ritokova

The Swiss Needle Cast Cooperative (SNCC) was established in January 1997. The mission of the SNCC is to conduct research on enhancing Douglas-fir productivity and forest health in the presence of Swiss needle cast and other diseases in coastal forests of Oregon and Washington.

The VMRC consists of private companies, public land management agencies, and scientists from Oregon State University that are working together to conduct applied forest regeneration research. Our goal is to design management systems that integrate the best available science with the practical needs of our cooperators in order to successfully establish Pacific Northwest forests.

Water and Watersheds

Principal Investigator:
Key People:
  • Catalina Segura

Our research is multidisciplinary and seeks to investigate the interactions between fluvial geomorphology, hydrology, and ecology at multiple scales ranging from individual stream reaches through small catchments up to the whole continent!  Our research strategy incorporates both field-based studies and data modeling utilizing detailed laboratory analysis such as water stable isotopes, streambed grain size distribution analysis, or benthic chlorophyll a concentrations. The idea is to find how the physical landscape influences the interactions among different components of the ecosystem. Some of the questions we are interested in answering are:

  • How does water aggregate in space and time within a watershed? 
  • What are the effects of climate change and land cover type on hydrologic flow paths?
  • What are the relations among sediment transport, water quality, and stream ecology?
  • How does the frequency and intensity of extreme hydrologic events change due to climate change?
Principal Investigator: Dr. Jeff A. Hatten
Key People:
  • Adrian Gallo
  • Francisco Guerrero-Bolaño
  • Kurt Krapfl
  • Kris Richardson
  • Max Taylor

The mission of our group is to understand the interaction of humans with forest ecosystems in the interest of sustainable management of forest, soil, and water resources.  We utilize a balanced approach of basic and applied research to examine the links between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems at multiple scales through the study of soil, water, sediment, nutrients, and carbon.  Further, we engage and educate students to manage land responsibly in the face of climate change, population growth and other pressures on natural resources. 

Example Projects:

  • Long-Term Soil Productivity
  • Novel Biofuel Production Systems
  • Sub-plot variation of soil nutrient distribution
  • Role of contemporary and historical harvesting practices on sediment and carbon
  • Source of sediment and carbon in managed and unmanaged watersheds
Principal Investigator: Dr. Jon Souder
Key People:

Alsea Watershed Study Revisited:

  • Kevin Bladon
  • Sharon Bywater-Reyes
  • Nick Cook
  • Cody Hale
  • Jeff Hatten
  • George Ice
  • Judy Li
  • Jeff Light
  • Jeff Louch
  • Catalina Segura
  • John Stednick

Hinkle Creek Paired Watershed Study:

  • Mike Adams
  • Kevin Bladon
  • Sharon Bywater-Reyes
  • Nick Cook
  • Kermit Cromack
  • Lisa Ganio
  • Robert Gresswell
  • David Hockman-Wert
  • Judy Li
  • Arne Skaugset
  • Matt Sloat
  • Christian Torgersen

Trask Paired Watershed Study:

  • Mike Adams
  • Alba Argerich
  • Ivan Arismendi
  • Bob Bilby
  • Kevin Bladon
  • Sharon Bywater-Reyes
  • Nick Cook
  • Jason Dunham
  • Collin Eagles-Smith
  • Joan Hagar
  • Jeff Hatten
  • Sherri Johnson
  • Judy Li
  • Brooke Penaluna
  • Catalina Segura

The mission of the Watersheds Research Cooperative (WRC) is to conduct research on the effects of current and expected forest practices on intensively managed commercial forestland on water quality, fisheries and other water-related values.