OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Bio: Richard (Dick) Waring

After obtaining degrees in forestry (B.S.) and botany (M.S.) at the University of Minnesota, I studied the ecology of coast redwood while completing my Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley. Upon graduation I accepted a position at Oregon State University, College of Forestry.  My early research involved quantifying the environmental distribution of the flora in the species-rich forests of southwestern Oregon. From that my graduate students and I went on to create some of the first process-based predictive models of forest growth and water use. As part of the International Biological Program in the 1970s, I was involved in constructing more complicated ecosystem models, which proved too difficult to apply. In the early 1980s, outbreaks of bark beetles and spruce budworm provided a chance  to conduct field experiments that helped us better understand  the role of insects  in forests and how we might better manage them. Later in the decade, I became interested in doing climate change research sponsored by the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA). We started to design models that took advantage of information acquired from earth-orbiting satellites to predict productivity, biodiversity, and the susceptibility of forests to natural agents of disturbance. This kind of research, based on a search for common ecological principles, attracted the attention of scientists across the U.S. and from abroad. As a result, I started writing  textbooks about forest ecosystems and review articles for a wider audience (see publications). My view of forests was greatly expanded  by  time spent at the Ecosystems Center at Woods Hole, Massachusetts, NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., University of Western Australia in Perth, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, University of Innsbruck, University of Edinburgh, CSIRO in Canberra, Australia, and the University of Waikato in New Zealand.  I remain active in teaching and research as a Distinguished Professor of Forest Ecology (emeritus) at Oregon State University,and have recently completed, with Joe Landsberg, a book aimed at a wider audience who are interested in forests, the way they function and their importance in the modern world. (more)

the club
“Founders of the Club”: Dick Waring (U.S.A.), Paul Jarvis (U.K.), Joe Landsberg (Australia), and Sune Linder (Sweden)