Published on 24 February 2012
24 February 2012
Plans by the University of the Sunshine Coast and the Cooperative Research Centre for Forestry (CRCF) to develop a university-level education program in forestry operations management received a strong boost this week.
American expert in forest engineering, Professor Loren Kellogg of Oregon State University, arrived on Sunday as a guest of USC under the prestigious Australian-American Fulbright Commission.
The visiting Fulbright Senior Specialist will today (Friday 24 February) begin a nation-wide tour as a consultation and scoping exercise to assess the various education and training requirements of forestry operations across Australia.
Professor Kellogg will meet with senior forestry managers, forest operation managers and supervisors, contractors and forestry training and education providers in South Australia, Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania and Queensland over the next few weeks.
Half-day meetings will be held at Mount Gambier (today 24 February), Albany (27 February), Bunbury (28 February), Melbourne (1 March), Sydney (5 March), Mooloolaba (6 March), Hobart (13 March), Launceston (14 March), Traralgon (15 March) and Gympie (19 March).
Professor Kellogg is available for media interviews at each of these locations.
Professor Kellogg has a PhD in Forest Science, a Masters in Forest Engineering, a Bachelor of Science in Forest Management and has worked as a logger in the Pacific Northwest Region in the United States. He has more than 35 years of teaching, research and outreach education experience in forest harvesting and operations analysis.
During his tour of Australia, he will seek to define what the forest operation management training needs are, what format will best deliver on those needs and how best to interact with existing post-secondary forestry training available through the National Forestry Education Network.
Professor Kellogg said the extensive consultation process was required to consider the diverse needs of the likely end users of the education program.
“While there’s similarities in forest operations across Australia, there’s also big differences,” he said. “An education program has to meet all their requirements. If it’s going to be successful, it has to have characteristics of all different places.
“There are similar needs in these different areas, but there are unique conditions – such as terrain and climate – that have to be appropriately considered in developing post-secondary teaching in forest engineering in Australia.”
Professor Kellogg said a tertiary program in forestry operations management would need to incorporate aspects of biology, engineering, business management, economics, environmental science, sociology and other disciplines.
He said it would likely be provided in a blended learning environment, with some subjects offered on campus, in the field and online.
“With the scoping work that we are doing here, we are trying to fit in with other ongoing efforts to provide post-secondary education in forest operations area,” he said.
“It’s a really exciting project that we’re working on. I’m really enthused about it. What we are doing has great potential.”
— Terry Walsh