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Branchlines Vol. 15, No. 1 (2004) Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia; Watts, Susan B. 2004-03-31

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BRancH  LIneS FACULTY OF FORESTRY  Volume 15 No. 1  March, 2004  UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA  Forestr y as a n asset to the community Forestry an How ccan an forestry be an asset to the community? The answer to that question will determine how the st practice of forestry will evolve in the 21 century. Communities increasingly look to the forests that surround them for a variety of uses and benefits – not only economic and environmental, but increasingly social and spiritual as well. How these values are recognized and accommodated in forest management decisions will determine whether forestry is seen as a relevant force for the social good. Work in visualization at the Faculty of Forestry, led by Dr. Stephen Sheppard, has brought forward a remarkable example of how forested landscapes are valued and used, as well as how good stewardship can recognize and maintain those values. Dr. Sheppard and his students helped staff at the UBC Malcolm Knapp Research Forest design harvesting patterns on a hillside near Pitt Lake, 40 kilometres east of Vancouver. The area is bordered by several parks and a wildlife refuge, and is heavily used for hiking, kayaking, fishing and hunting. Over 300,000 people visit the area each year, making it one of the most intensely viewed forested landscapes in B.C. The students first helped to develop a long-term vision of where roads and harvest blocks could go on the hillside. That vision was based on the objective of preserving the scenic value of the landscape, along with economic and environmental constraints and goals. They then used computer programs that apply new visualization technology drawing on existing scientific models, to show a realistic 3D picture of the impact that their decisions would have. This work enabled  planning staff at the Research Forest to easily compare benefits of various options against future risks, and to engage community members in an objective consultation and planning process over issues like habitat, recreation, and watershed protection. The work formed the basis for the selection and location of those roads and cutblocks on the ground.  In 2003, Telus SuperPages selected a photograph of the site taken by local photographer Al Harvey, as the front cover for the Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows telephone directory (see left inset). Over 100,000 copies of that edition are in print. This unintentional tribute to the work of the Research Forest and Dr. Sheppard’s Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning (CALP) illustrates how today’s forestry integrates a variety of disciplines and expertise into the creation and execution of plans and practices. CALP’s Landscape Immersion Lab at the Forest Sciences Centre houses a 3-screen display (see photo on front cover) that students and researchers use to help visualize the different land management plans in a giant immersive format. Recently, several school groups have toured through this facility and have been intrigued at the near life size projections that can be displayed. Sheppard adds, “Visualization also enables us as scientists to identify flaws in our models or data, and can reveal unforeseen effects of land management plans. This is important in improving decisions on sustainable forest management.”  If you are interested in learning more about these highly informative tours, contact Caitlin Akai at caakai@interchange.ubc.ca. For further information on forestry visualization research, contact Dr. Stephen Sheppard at 604-822-6582, email stephen.sheppard@ubc.ca.  Since work began on the project in 1999, eight cutblocks have been harvested and over three kilometres of road have been built in the area.  Forestry and frogs Frogs don’t eat trees, but there is a connection. Many species of frogs are dependent on the moist surface conditions of the forest floor, the bugs for food, and woody debris to provide cover against possible predators. Forest harvesting can affect all of these. One species in particular, the tailed frog has these requirements, and more, since their streamdwelling tadpoles can also be sensitive to forestry in the same way young salmon can. For the past 12 years, Dr. John Richardson’s research group in the Department of Forest Sciences at UBC has been doing research to determine what forestry activities affect tailed frogs in each of their life stages. The tadpoles may take up to 3 or 4 years to transform to juveniles and leave the stream, and during that time they are vulnerable to factors such as high temperatures and fine sediments in streams, both of which can be caused by forest harvesting. However, in steep coastal streams, where temperatures are usually cool even when harvesting removes the streamside cover, tadpoles actually appear to grow faster and occur in higher densities than in other situations. BRANCH LINES | PAGE 2  More light and nutrients can actually help to increase the thin layer of algae on rocks in streams, which is the tadpoles’ main source of food. This is not true everywhere, and in areas where temperatures can reach o 20 C, or where fine sediments are highly mobile, tadpoles do not fare so well. Adult tailed frogs prefer areas with forest shade close to stream sides. When forestry removes this shade from stream banks, the adults move away to nearby forests. The British Columbia government considers tailed frogs to be vulnerable to threats from forestry and our research is intended to find solutions to ensure that forestry activities have minimal impacts on the species. An important aspect of conservation biology is that the same activities will have different impacts in different places. Our research has shown us that some effects are predictable and that we shouldn’t fear such variation, but we do need to realise that this uncertainty needs to be incorporated into our plans. Tailed frogs photograph by Brad Moon The bottom line is that we need a balance in our activities, and research is the way to find the balance to conserve species. For further information on this research project, contact Dr. John Richardson, Department of Forest Sciences at 604-822-6586 or email john.richardson@ubc.ca.  Fuels from wood: Forest products for the 21st Century In the United States and Canada, over 11 billion litres of ethanol was produced and used as fuel in 2002 – enough to supply the annual fuel needs of both British Columbia and Alberta. Forests can supply more than just raw material for lumber, paper or wood products. The biomass generated by the forest can be viewed as a renewable source of chemical building blocks, which provide an alternative to our rapidly diminishing fossil fuel reserves. In the future, we will derive a combination of materials, fuels and chemicals from wood to supply a carbohydrate-based economy. The Economist, October 2003.  Ongoing work by the Forest Products Biotechnology Group at the Faculty of Forestry is examining the viability of converting wood into ethanol for use as a transportation fuel. Our premise derives from the fact that over half the total substance of wood is comprised of cellulose and hemicellulose, which are made up of sugar complexes. Our group – led by Dr. Jack Saddler – is examining methods to release these sugars from wood, a process known as hydrolysis. In the past, hydrolysis was carried out with strong acids. Today, we utilize a combination of enzymes including cellulases and beta-glucosidases to cleave individual sugar molecules from the wood matrix, a method that has improved yields and has the potential to be  less expensive than acid hydrolysis. The freed sugars can then be fermented to produce ethanol, a renewable fuel that can be used in blends with gasoline or on its own. In the future, it is expected that ethanol use will grow. In fact, the European Union has recommended that, by 2010, 5% of its total fuel needs should be met by renewable fuels, including ethanol. Significantly, ethanol is characterized by a relatively advantageous hydrogen-to-carbon ratio when compared to fossil fuels, which makes ethanol an ideal bridge for introducing hydrogen-powered vehicles and generating stations in the future. We have only just begun to tap the chemical potential of wood. In our laboratories, we are working to create other, value-added products in conjunction with ethanol, including adhesives and pharmaceuticals. We lead the International Energy Agency’s Bioenergy Task on Liquid Biofuels, collaborating with other researchers on technical studies as well as policy issues such as taxation, carbon credits, and fuel mandates. Finally, we are constructing a $2 million Process Development Unit at the Faculty which will allow us to scale up and demonstrate our technology for biomass-to-ethanol production. For further information contact Dr. Jack Saddler at 604-822-2467, email jack.saddler@ubc.ca, or Dr. Warren Mabee at 604-822-2434, email warren.mabee@ubc.ca.  Forestry degree a ticket to adventure Can skills rooted 100 years in the past have modern applications? For the past eight months fourth year Forest Operations student Doug Griffin has been finding out. He’s been working at the Haliburton Forest, a reserve adjacent to Algonquin Park in Ontario. “It was an amazing experience and one I would highly recommend,” says Doug. “Not only did I learn a unique and specialized skill, but I also got to see first hand what it takes to make integrated resource management actually work.” Doug isn’t alone in finding that a forestry degree can lead to exciting work opportunities. Chris Martin, a graduate of the Natural Resources Conservation program, is charting a career in international waters. Chris works for the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service. He lives aboard commercial fishing vessels to monitor their catch data, ensuring compliance to  commercial fishing regulations and collecting valuable information on fish populations. “There is always the opportunity to move around and live in different areas at any time of the year. Last summer I was in the Arctic Circle on a Flatfish trawler, and shortly I will be on a Swordfish longliner along the Mexican border!” The new UBC Forestry Career Centre can help employers recruit students to the workplace. The Centre offers employers free postings for job opportunities and services including resume collection and interview room bookings. The Centre will be available on-line to students beginning September 2004. If you are considering hiring a student or recent graduate, please contact Geoffrey Anderson in the Faculty of Forestry at 604-827-5196 or email geoffrey.anderson@ubc.ca. BRANCH LINES  | PAGE 3  Knowledge about ecosystems and their distribution across the landscape is essential for stand-level forest management and research, because trees and associated vegetation develop according to the sites on which they grow.  Site mapping of the Alex Fraser Research Forest This project was undertaken to provide a detailed ecological framework for supporting ecosystem-specific research, education, planning and operations. Products include: a large-scale site series map, site identification tools specific to the forest, silvicultural and forest nutrient status interpretations, a CD-ROM (report and map), field demonstration sites and images of forest communities for each site series at different locations. The project is a co-operative effort between the UBC Forest Sciences Department (led by Dr. Karel Klinka), the Alex Fraser Research Forest and the Forest Management Institute of the Czech Republic. With some deviations, the researchers followed the 1998 Standards for Ecosystem Mapping in British Columbia and used the classification system described in the 1997 Field guide for site identification and interpretation for the Cariboo Forest Region Region. A transitional area was introduced between adjacent biogeoclimatic units, in recognition of the fact that climate change is gradual along a longitudinal gradient in both Knife Creek and Gavin Lake blocks. Local site modifiers were described to enhance environmental information at the site series level. The 1:10,000 mapping scale allowed delineation of a high proportion of single-site-series polygons. A global positioning system was employed for locating over 2,269 waypoints. To ensure maximum map reliability, approximately 90% of the polygons were inspected in the field and revised if necessary. Over 1,700 digital images were taken as a visual library of forest stands, plant species and sites. Detailed ecological descriptions and soil and foliar chemistry data were hyperlinked to  polygons in a GIS to provide a spatial database for each site series. Similarly, hyperlinked images of forest communities provide a virtual reference of vegetation in various stages of disturbance and succession for each site series. These tools are expected to improve understanding of site classification, identification, and interpretation, as well as the management, teaching and research activities at the Research Forest.  Karel Klinka (right) and visiting scientist J. Macku.  For more information, please contact Claire Trethewey at the UBC Alex Fraser Research Forest, in Williams Lake at 250-392-2207, email claire.trethewey@ubc.ca, or Dr. Karel Klinka at 604-822-3047, email karel.klinka@ubc.ca.  Forestry major contributor to UBC’s Research Awareness Week March 6-13, 2004 was UBC’s annual celebration of university research and the Faculty of Forestry supplied a packed week of recognition events. March 9, DR. HOSNEY EL-LAKANY, Assistant Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Forestry Department, Rome, Italy: “Higher international forestry education and research: opportunities, modalities and constraints.” March 10, DR. STEWART ROOD, Professor and Board of Governor’s Research Chair in Environmental Science, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta: “Trees of the people: the science and conservation of Canadian cottonwoods.” March 11, DR. MICHAEL FLACH, Professor of Architecture, University of Innsbruck, Austria: “Wood – an efficient building material for holistic design.” These lecture presentations can be viewed at www.forestry.ubc.ca/events. Following each lecture, the audience viewed thirty-five faculty and student research poster presentations highlighting projects ranging from gene conservation to climate change, and the psychological impacts of wood use in interiors. For a full listing of these projects, including research abstracts and photographs of the winning posters, visit www.forestry.ubc.ca/research. Also part of our research week celebrations, was the announcement of a new Timber Building Technology Research Group at UBC. This initiative involves the departments of Architecture, Civil and Mechanical Engineering and Wood Science, as well as the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing, and its launch was marked by a full day of presentations and demonstrations focusing on market opportunities and new technologies in the field of wood building. For further information visit www.cawp.ubc.ca/cawp.tbtg. BRANCH LINES | PAGE 4  A W A R D S... Congratulations to all award winners The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) recently awarded three UBC Forestry professors with its prestigious New Opportunities Award for 2003.  Phil Evans, Suzanne Simard and Jörg Bohlmann  Drs. Phil Evans (Wood Science, CAWP), Suzanne Simard (Forest Sciences), and Jörg Bohlmann (Forest Sciences, Botany) were presented with this award by UBC President Martha Piper and CFI President & CEO David Strangway at a special ceremony November 14, 2003. Congratulations to our winners of this award which was established by CFI to enable universities to provide infrastructure for newlyrecruited faculty members undertaking leadingedge research.  Sue Grayston and John Kadla  Congratulations also to our newest Canada Research Chair (CRC) holders, Drs. Sue Grayston and John Kadla, who have received substantial grants from CFI and the BC Knowledge Development Fund. Sue Grayston, our  CRC in Soil Microbial Ecology, has been awarded funding for a soil microbial ecology laboratory for the identification and development of indicators of forest sustainability. John Kadla, our CRC in Advanced Biomaterials, has been awarded funding for an integrated laboratory for biopolymers and biomaterials from renewable resources. Dr. Phil Evans, director of the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing (CAWP) and Iain MacDonald, CAWP’s associate director, have received a grant of one million dollars from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) as part of the agency’s University Partnerships in Cooperation and Development Program. This program draws on Canadian university expertise to help build capacity of developing-country education and training institutions in addressing the sustainable development priorities of their countries. Phil and Iain will be assisting the University of Stellenbosch and Port Elizabeth Technikon to achieve their goal of delivering viable undergraduate programs in value added processing, thereby increasing the availability of trained managers for South Africa’s wood industry.  Markus Weiler has joined the faculty as the new Forest Renewal BC Chair in Forest Hydrology and assistant professor in the Department of Forest Resources Management. Prior to joining UBC, Markus was a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Forest Engineering at Oregon State University where he was involved in projects on runoff generation in forested catchments, hydrological processes at the hill slope and plot scale, and impacts of forest management and forest fire on runoff and nutrient dynamics. Markus has a Ph.D. in hydrology from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. As a joint appointment between the departments of geography and forest resources management, he will be teaching courses in watershed hydrology to forestry and geography students as well as pursuing an active research program. Markus can be reached at 604-822-3169 or email markus.weiler@ubc.ca.  Nicholas Coops will be joining the Forest Resources Management Department as an associate professor in remote sensing. Nicholas has a Ph.D. in remote sensing from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. Nicholas has been working at the Australian Commonwealth Industrial and Scientific Research Organization (CSIRO) in Canberra and Melbourne for the past 10 years. Nicholas’ research interests include the application of remote sensing technology and spatial data modelling to forestry and ecology issues such as automated extraction of forest inventory attributes, application of physiological based process models, and use of new remote sensing technologies to forest inventory and health. He has also worked on NASA funded projects and has strong collaborative links with a number of forestry organizations around the world. His teaching responsibilities will include instruction in remote sensing. Nicholas can be reached (after May 3, 2004) at 604-822-6452 or email nicholas.coops@ubc.ca.  Candace Parsons Parsons, B.S.F., RPF, has joined the Faculty as our new director of student services. After beginning her career with the Canadian Forest Service in Victoria, she then went on to work for the Association of BC Professional Foresters, firstly as Registrar’s assistant and then Registrar. For the past 12 years, Candace has served as the executive director of Forest Management Institute of BC (formerly the Silviculture and Forest Engineering Institutes). In her new role at UBC, Candace is responsible for student services from recruitment through to graduation. Candace directs a team that includes: Steve Baumber, B.S.F., RPF, Recruitment Officer; Jacqueline Cavill, B.S.F., Associate Recruiter, Kate Bottriell, B.Sc. (Natural Resources Conservation), Associate Recruiter, and Chiara Longhi, M.A., International Programs & Recruitment Officer. Candace’s responsibilities include undergraduate program promotion, student advising and advocacy, scheduling, and liaising with Enrolment Services on behalf of the Faculty of Forestry. Candace can be reached at 604-822-3547 or email candace.parsons@ubc.ca. BRANCH LINES  | PAGE 5  Dean’s Diary If you are a regular Branch Lines reader you will have noticed our change in format. We are now making use of full colour, including more pictures and introducing less formality to the layout design (this is all part of an evolving process as we assess feedback from our readership). We hope that the articles will appeal to the general reader as well as the scientific and academic community and that Branch Lines will provide a window into the breadth and diversity of our faculty involvements and activities. As I mentioned previously, we are greatly concerned about the perceived image of forestry and, consequently, that of our Faculty, and the revamped image and content of Branch Lines is one attempt to show you what we, in the Faculty of Forestry, are truly about. Another part of this re-imaging process includes a redesign of our web site that will be completed this summer. You can check our webpage by visiting www.forestry.ubc.ca. As well as working with focus groups we hope that you, the reader, will contact us (our editor, Dr. Susan Watts, in particular) to help determine the best “messaging” that Branch Lines can provide. Rs” In past issues I have described the Faculty’s commitment to the three “R of recruitment, reinvention and research. We continue to devote considerable efforts on Recruitment and retention of the best students (we now have three full time recruiters) and we are currently evaluating various first year “streaming” options to see if more of the excellent students that come to UBC can be attracted into our own undergraduate programs. Our Research programs continue to expand (we remain second highest in research funding per faculty member on campus, second to the Faculty of Medicine). Our research success is due, in part, to the excellent quality of our new faculty appointments over the past three years, ranging from Hydrology to Remote Sensing professionals. Our third R, Reinvention, has been the focus of substantial attention ranging from a review of our communication efforts (including a revamping of this newsletter and our web site), retention of outside consultants and focus groups to help us better understand our true image perceptions, to the development of a vision, road map and strategic planning exercise that will define where the Faculty would like to be by st 2010. As UBC is revising its “Trek 2000 Vision for the 21 Century” document, we have seized the opportunity to take stock and update our own strategic plan to be synergistic with UBC’s overarching goals. Our Faculty of Forestry management team has developed a draft road map document, recently reviewed and modified by faculty and senior staff,  NEWSLETTER PRODUCTION Branch Lines is published by the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia three times each year. ISSN 1181-9936. www.forestry.ubc.ca Editor: Susan B. Watts, Ph.D., R.P.F. In-house typesetting, design and layout: Patsy Quay and Susan B. Watts.  BRANCH LINES | PAGE 6  with particular attention paid to the primary areas of undergraduate and graduate studies, research and internationalization. We are also in the final stages of defining forestry’s “community” for incorporation into our strategic plan. As this issue of Branch Lines go to press, we meet with our Forestry Advisory Council (whose membership represents the broad forest-related community) to obtain their advice and guidance on what the Faculty’s vision and priorities should be for the next 6 years. I will share the outcome of these deliberations with you in future issues of Branch Lines Lines, and provide a sense of where the Faculty would like to be in 2010, if not attending as many of events as possible when our City and Whistler host the Winter Olympic Games! You can contact me by phone at 604-822-3542 by email at jack.saddler@ubc.ca or by letter at the address provided below. Jack Saddler  Alumni alert!!! If you are an alumnus of the UBC Faculty of Forestry you should have received two extra inserts with this re-vamped edition of our Branch Lines newsletter. We intend maintaining these “alumni news” and “faculty development” bulletins as additional pieces with each Branch Lines issue. If you are an alumnus and did not get these inserts, please let us know and we will update our files accordingly.  Upcoming Public Lecture Please join us on Monday, April 5, 2004 for the 10th and final Public Lecture Series event of the 2003/04 academic year. Johanna B uchert, Research Manager, Product Buchert Engineering, VTT Biotechnology, Helsinki, Finland, will be talking on “Enzymes: potential tools for the food and fibre industry” in room 1005 of the Forest Sciences Centre. Johanna’s lecture will begin at 5:45 pm and will be followed by light refreshments at 7:00 pm. For further information visit our website at www.forestry.ubc.ca.  Questions concerning the newsletter or requests for mailing list updates, deletions or additions should be directed to Dr. Susan Watts, Newsletter Editor at: Faculty of Forestry, Dean’s Office University of British Columbia Forest Sciences Centre 2005 – 2424 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z4  Tel: 604-822-6316 Fax: 604-822-8645 Email: sue.watts@ubc.ca Recycled paper  


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