CORVALLIS - A new endowed professorship designed to improve the sustainability of Pacific Northwest forests through advanced forest operations and management has been established in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University.

The Faye and Lucille Stewart Endowed Professorship in Forest Engineering has been set up in the OSU Department of Forest Engineering, through a contribution of $1.1 million from the late Faye and Lucille Stewart. An OSU alumnus, Faye Stewart received his bachelor's degree in 1938 in forest engineering and business, and was a long-time supporter of OSU and its College of Forestry.

The first holder of the professorship will be John Sessions, an OSU distinguished professor of forestry. Sessions is internationally recognized for the development of sophisticated computer models used in forest planning, and for his work in transportation planning, harvest scheduling, forest economics and logging mechanics.

"This honor for Dr. Sessions recognizes a career of innovation and leadership in advanced forest harvesting techniques," said Steven Tesch, professor and head of the OSU Department of Forest Engineering. "Research in this area will help us improve both the environmental performance and economic competitiveness of the Pacific Northwest forest products industry."

The Stewart Professorship, Tesch said, will be especially important as the emphasis increases on landscape level forest management and sustainable forestry. This requires conducting the right activities at the right time, having a viable forest industry to carry out those activities and understanding both their costs and benefits. Continuing research under the new professorship will target all of these goals.

This might include such things as use of geographic information systems to improve transportation planning in landslide prone areas, or developing methods to consider both environmental and economic issues in road management decisions.

"Having known Faye Stewart for 26 years, I am honored to be the first Stewart Professor and to thank a family that has provided so much support to our college and university," Sessions said.

Sessions received his doctorate in forest management in 1978 from OSU and has been on the OSU faculty since 1983.

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Steven Tesch, 541-737-4952