Lecture series explores leadership role of women in forestry, forest products

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The annual Starker Lecture Series at Oregon State University will this year focus on women who act as agents of change within the forestry and forest products sectors, and also in their communities.

“Women of Forestry: Inspiring Leadership” kicks off Feb. 27 and celebrates the 75th anniversary of the first degree conferred by the OSU College of Forestry upon a woman, Pauline Barto Sandoz.

“The College of Forestry celebrates the accomplishments of all women who are students, staff, faculty, and alumni in our community as it strives to become a more inclusive space,” said Anthony S. Davis, the college’s interim dean. “This series will explore the triumphs of women as well as the myriad of challenges they face in forests, mills, research labs and beyond.”

The series begins with a screening of “Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, at the Whiteside Theater in Corvallis. Maathai was the founder of the Green Belt Movement of Kenya and the first African woman to receive a Nobel Peace Prize.

Following the film, interim dean Davis will moderate a panel discussion on the confluence of gender and international forestry featuring Beth Hahn (Southern Africa program manager, U.S. Forest Service International Programs, Reem Hajjar (assistant professor in integrated human and ecological systems, OSU College of Forestry, and Shamiso Mupara (founder, Environmental Buddies, Zimbabwe).

In addition to the film and discussion, the series includes three lectures and a capstone workshop. All lectures and the film are free and open to the public. There is a $25 registration for the capstone workshop.

The lectures are March 16, April 8 and April 29; all start at 5:30 and are preceded by a 30-minute reception.

The first lecture, at the CH2M Hill Alumni Center, is “Women as change agents in forestry,” by Robin Wall Kimmerer of SUNY-Syracuse, who will speak on the integration of indigenous and Western knowledge into ecology and forestry.

The second, in room 117 at the new Peavy Forest Science Center, is “Pyrocultural Forestry: Connecting people and nature through fire,” by Amanda Rau of the Nature Conservancy.

The final lecture, also in room 117, is “The Road Less Traveled: How women in forestry can save the world,” by Edie Sonne Hall, founder of Three Trees Consulting.

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