Scientist Jeff Ward to present research about Connecticut forests March 7
Feb. 28, 2013 - Jeff Ward, chief scientist of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, will present the findings from his study, "The Dynamic Connecticut Forest: An 80-Year Record," at the next meeting of Quinnipiac's Sigma Xi Chapter at 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, in the Clarice L. Buckman Center, Room 129, on the Mount Carmel Campus at Quinnipiac.
Ward's study provides insight into how disturbances have shaped Connecticut's forests and how they will affect the composition of future forests. Since the loss of the American chestnut in the early 1900s, Connecticut forests have been dominated by oak. Today, the state's forests are gradually converting from oak to other species, especially maple, birch and beech.
Similar to the shift from chestnut to oak forests at the beginning of the century, the emergence of a forest dominated by other species will alter the economic, ecological and aesthetic values of state forests. Through long-term monitoring, scientists at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station have been conducting one of the oldest and most comprehensive studies of forest dynamics for more than 80 years to understand these changes.
Ward received his bachelor's degree in forest biology and master's degree in silviculture at The Ohio State University. After serving in the Peace Corps in Guatemala, he later earned his doctorate in forest ecology at Purdue University. He has been in the Department of Forestry & Horticulture at The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station since 1987. Author of more than 90 papers, Ward has been secretary of the Connecticut Tree Protection Examination Board since 1998 and is an adviser to Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Endangered Species Committee. He is a past president of the Connecticut Tree Protective Association and forest science coordinator for the New England Society of American Foresters.
Sigma Xi is an international, multidisciplinary research society whose programs and activities promote the health of the scientific enterprise and honor scientific achievement. There are nearly 60,000 Sigma Xi members in more than 100 countries around the world. Sigma Xi chapters, more than 500 in all, can be found at colleges and universities, industrial research centers and government laboratories. The society endeavors to encourage support of original work across the spectrum of science and technology and to promote an appreciation within society at large for the role research has played in human progress.