Working Group Members Highlight State-of-the-Art Forestry Innovation Through the Technical Program 

Written by James Westfall

A large number of technical sessions will be offered to attendees of the 2023 SAF National Convention. Topic areas are wide ranging and essentially encompass all subjects relevant to the forestry profession, including silviculture, policy, recreation, biometrics, education, and economics. To better navigate the plethora of options, attendees may begin by identifying which broad themes are of primary interest and then examining the specific session topics therein. In an earlier blog, Program Chair Marcella Windmuller Campione describes our themes and subthemes.

Many technical sessions were organized to specifically bring together several experts in the field of study. Thus, the sessions not only afford unique learning opportunities, but also allow for convention goers to interact with knowledgeable presenters and fellow attendees having interest and expertise in the topic area. This year in Sacramento, we will have over 50 student speakers in the science and technical concurrent sessions alone--making convention a great opportunity for collaboration and networking over research, case studies, and boots on the groundwork.

While attendees are encouraged to seek sessions pertinent to their interests (including those sponsored by Working Groups to which they belong), participation in sessions focused on less familiar topics can also be valuable to expand forestry knowledge base and potentially find additional avenues of professional interest.

SAF Working Groups play a critical role in shaping the science and technology program. Volunteer officers coordinate and organize community members to submit. This year, several working groups are hosting sessions:

Working Group Technical Sessions

Thursday, October 26

  • Urban and Community Forestry working group(B2) is hosting a panel discussion on Urban Forestry in a Changing Climate
  • Soils (C2) is hosting a two-part organized session Why Foresters and Soil Scientists Should Be Best Friends Forever!
  • Forest Health and Genetics is hosting the organized session Assisted Migration: Perspectives on Forest Health, Sustainability, and Climate Resilience
  • Recreation and Wilderness Management (F2) is hosting the organized Session Exploring the Benefits of Nature Through Recreation
  • Diversity and Inclusion (F3) is hosting a seminar OUTside with Pride: As Diverse as Our Forests

Friday, October 27

  • Inventory and Biometrics (A1) is hosting a panel discussion on Emerging Technologies and Forest Inventory: What Does the Future of Forest Inventory Look Like?
  • International Forestry (B3) is hosting an interactive discussion International Forestry: Why be Involved
  • Agroforestry (B4) is hosting the organized session Agroforestry: It's in Our DNA
  • Philosophy and History (F5) is hosting an interactive discussion From Forest Bathing to Old Growth Imaginaries: Ways of Knowing Forests in Tense Political Climates

Saturday, October 28

  • · Agroforestry (B4) is hosting the organized session Foundations for Successfully Integrating Livestock into the Woods Through Silvopasture
Beyond these highlighted, several speakers are working group members, officers, and leaders on the Forest Science and Technology Board. This year working group members contributed to the overall technical session program by 32%. This is significant because a major objective of the science program is to present interdisciplinary programs, aimed at understanding the management, conservation, and policy development of forest resources at the SAF National Convention. 

These concurrent sessions will begin after the opening plenary, on Thursday, October 26, and are scheduled through Saturday, October 28. View the full technical program here

James Westfall serves as the A Subject Area Representative on the Forest Science and Technology Board and a member of the 2023 SAF Committee on National Conventions Programs. Westfall is a Research Forester with the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station.