CORVALLIS - Barbara Bond, an expert in forest tree physiology and a professor of forest science at Oregon State University, has been named the first holder of the Ruth H. Spaniol Chair of Renewable Resources.
This endowed chair was made possible by an 800-acre donation of timber land to the OSU College of Forestry by Ruth Spaniol, a Stayton, Ore., resident and OSU alumnus, and the creation of the Spaniol Charitable Remainder Trust.
Spaniol, who graduated from OSU in 1933 and later worked as a school teacher, began to acquire timber land in the 1940s upon the advice of her father, H.W. Currin, who also had graduated from OSU in 1903. Her long-term vision, university officials say, is to promote the science and educational programs that will allow Oregon forests to be well managed for many future generations.
"Mrs. Spaniol's generosity means that we will be able to permanently enhance our programs far into the future, while honoring the Spaniol family name," said Hal Salwasser, dean of the College of Forestry. "Endowed chairs provide the research and salary revenue that helps us attract and retain star faculty, thereby maintaining our status as one of the top forestry schools in the nation."
Bond, who has been on the OSU faculty since 1992, is an expert on the physiology of tree growth processes. She studies such issues as changes in structure and function in aging forests, ecohydrological interactions in small watersheds, and impacts of large-scale plantations of exotic forest trees on water resources in Patagonia.
Bond has twice received recognition from graduate students with the Outstanding Faculty Award and is a widely published researcher. One of her research publications was cited by Oxford University Press as one of the 20 most important papers in ecology. In her laboratory, she has worked with students ranging from high school to the post-doctoral level, and also become a strong advocate for encouraging more women to pursue careers in science.