School of
Forest Resources and
Environmental Science
Managing Forest Resources in the 21st Century: An Integrated Approach
July 6, 2004
North American Forest Biology Workshop
July 12-15, 2004
Michigan Technological University
Houghton, Michigan, U.S.A.


Workshop Updates:
  • More information about the Social Mixer aboard the Keweenaw Star - click here

  • Register Today!. Click here for registration form
    Single day registration available at $60/day. Indicate "single day" on your registration form.

  • Contributed Papers Sessions - Oral Presentations Click here for schedule

  • Poster Session - Wednesday, July 14, 3:00 to 5:00 in the SFRES atrium

  • Full Conference Schedule Click here

  • Keynote Speaker Announced: Dr. Ann Bartuska, Deputy Chief of Research & Development - USDA Forest Service. "A Vision for Forestry Science in the 21st Century" Click here for abstract.

Please check back for updates!

We are proud to be hosting this year's workshop. The 18th North American Forest Biology Workshop is the most recent in a series of biennial technical conferences that began at Michigan State University in 1970.

Sponsored by the Tree Physiology and Forest Genetics working groups of the Society of American Foresters, the conference was originally conceived as a forum for scientists concerned principally with tree physiology and forest genetics. It has since evolved into a "must attend" event for exchange of technical information and ideas amongst scientists working in many areas of basic forest biology, ecology, silviculture, genetics and conservation throughout North America.

The 2004 Workshop is being hosted by the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (SFRES) on the campus of Michigan Technological University in Michigan's beautiful Upper Peninsula.

The 2002 Workshop hosted by the Department of Natural Resource Sciences on the Pullman Campus of Washington State University addressed the theme Rocky Mountain Ecosystems: Diversity, Complexity and Interactions.

The Upper Great Lakes region of North America is a land dominated by the largest freshwater system in the world and some of the most extensive forest ecosystems in the eastern United States. Compared to other regions of the U.S., the landscape has experienced little fragmentation. The complex physiography is the product of the advance and retreat of the Wisconsinan glaciation, approximately 12,000 years ago, and the underlying geology. Landforms range from Pleistocene-age flat sandy outwash plains with coarse texture soil and rolling moraines of fine texture, to relatively high elevation Pre-Cambrian crystalline bedrock outcrops in highly dissected terrain.

The climate is strongly influenced by the energy balance of the Lakes, being more moderate than surrounding continental regions, and experiences extreme gradients of temperature and precipitation.
Changes in elevation, soils, and distance from the Lakes create a wide variety of environmental conditions to which a diverse array of ecosystems have become adapted since the land was last covered by ice. Industrial exploitation of vast timber and mineral resources resulted in several economic booms during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, resulting in almost total deforestation and severe pollution of the region. A changing global economy and resource depletion caused economic collapse and depopulation, allowing an amazing recovery of the forests, lakes, and streams.

The world's population and economy are once again changing, creating new pressures on our natural resources. Rising human population and economic growth are increasing the rate of development and landscape fragmentation, changing the biogeochemical cycles of water, carbon, and nitrogen, and moving non-indigenous species around the globe at an unprecedented rate. These changes threaten the climatic stability and fundamental capacity of the Ecosphere to sustain life. A key factor to our success in meeting these challenges will be science-based management of global water and forest resources.

Given the history and natural resources of the Upper Great Lakes region, it provides an ideal venue for the 18th North American Forest Biology Workshop. It is the goal of the Workshop to provide a forum where scientists and natural resource professionals from government, academia, industry, and conservation can work together to begin to position society to best preserve the ecological capacity of forest and aquatic ecosystems, while meeting human demands in the coming century.

Keynote Speaker

A Vision for Forestry Science in the 21st Century
Dr. Ann Bartuska
Deputy Chief of Research & Development - USDA Forest Service

Abstract - Early in the 1990's, Federal natural resource agencies adopted "ecosystem management" as a framework for dealing with the increasingly complex issues facing them. Ecosystem management was as much about recognizing the ecologial context for management, as integrating social and economic values and pressures into science and decisions. The concepts of ecosystem management have evolved and have laid the foundation for sustainability of our forests and grasslands, and our science has been part of this change. However, are our organizations and our professional disciplines positioned to respond to these changes as we move into the future? What new skills and new approaches should we be considering?