May-June 1998


  1. PENCIL AND PAPER
  2. SOCIETY NEWS
  3. CONNECTIONS
  4. COMING EVENTS
  5. INFORMATION PLEASE
  6. CORRESPONDENT'S CORNER


Pencil

I have thoroughly enjoyed preparing the last three Newsletters. It reminded me of my high school days as the Editor of our student newsletter. This next reminded me of sports, and parties, and boys, .....
Excuse me for digressing here. Back to this Newsletter and this timezone.

Even though it's been fun, I will be turning over the duties next issue to John Phelps, who has volunteered to be our new Editor. You can reach him at Southern Illinois University, Department of Forestry, Mailcode 4411, Carbondale, IL 62901-4411, PH: 618-453-7464 and FAX 618-453-7475, email: jphelps@siu.edu
I know he would appreciate any support you can give him in the way of news.

Welcome aboard, John!


news NEWS


SWST Annual Technical Session - "Wood Products Industry in the 21st Century: Knowledge, Technology and Work Force Training Needs",
JUNE 21, 1998, Fiesta Americana Hotel, Merida, Mexico

8:00 - 12:45 Technical Program
(Yucatan III)
8:00 - 8:25 Harry Cullinan, Professor
Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
Pulp & Paper Education and Research Alliance
8:25 - 8:50 Heinz Koester , Professor
F. H. Rosenheim, Germany
European Industry Perspective
8:50 - 9:15 Ricardo Ayub, President
Duraplay Co., Chihuahua, Mexico
Mexican Industry Perspective
9:15 - 9:40 Guillermo Guelle, President
Forestal Copihue, Chile
Chilean Industry Perspective
9:40 - 10:05 Wood Links Demonstration
10:10 - 10:45 Discussion (all speakers)
Moderator: J. David Barrett , Professor
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia
10:45 - 11:45 Award Presentations
11:45 - 12:45 Annual Business Meeting and Lunch
1:00 - 4:00 Joint SWST/FPS Plenary Sessions
Session 1: Forest Fiber Biology, Its Control with Silviculture and the Effects
on Wood-Based Products (Merida I)
Session 2: Predictive Techniques for Characterizing the Structural Performance of Fiber-Based Composites (Merida II and III)

Session 3: Using Knowledge of Wood Physics to Improve Wood Drying
(Valladolid room)
4:00 - 5:30 Joint SWST/FPS Technical Forum and Student Posters
(Student poster competition held June 20,

Constitutional Change

-

A change needs to be made in the Constitution regarding the procedure for succession should the office of president-elect be vacated. The current method of succession would create a void in the presidency the year following the vacancy since the president-elect would have advanced to this office. The following constitutional change will be brought up for a vote before the membership at the Annual Meeting, followed with a letter ballot in July (per the regulations for amendment to the Constitution).

Current Version:


Article VI -- Elections - Section 10.

If the office of president-elect is vacated, the duties of the president-elect shall be performed by the vice-president, who will advance to the president-elect in the normal manner at the end of the term as vice-president. If the office of vice-president is vacated, it shall remain vacant until the next election, at which time both a president-elect and a vice-president will be elected.

New Version:


Article VI -- Elections - Section 10.

If the office of president-elect is vacated, the duties of the president-elect shall be performed by the vice-president, who will advance to the presidency without election at the end of the term as vice president. A president-elect and a vice-president will be elected at the next election . If the office of vice-president is vacated, it shall remain vacant until the next election, at which time both a president-elect and a vice-president will be elected.


Committee Reports

Accreditation - Tim Faust, Chair - On behalf of the accreditation committee, I am submitting this letter as a report of our activities for 1997-1998. There were four tasks that the committee was responsible for this year. They were:

1. Notify all current SWST accredited programs of any upcoming reports or visits required by June 1999. The schools have been notified by phone and by letter.

2. Contact SAF regarding a revision of the 5-year interim report format. This task has been completed and Greg Smith of SAF has sent the proposed 5-year interim report format that they are recommending. This new format is a significant change from the old format (essentially a complete self-study report with no site visit) in that the interim report is abbreviated to include changes to the curriculum and faculty and not all the extensive documentation that is required in the self-study report for accreditation. Having done three of these accreditation site visits myself, this is logical streamlining of the process and in no way compromises the ability of the committee to determine significant changes to the program which would jeopardize accreditation standards. We recommend to the SWST Board that this new format be adopted.
Greg Smith also mentioned that a thorough review of the accreditation process was upcoming in 1998-99. He said that he would contact Bob Rice (upcoming Chair) when that process was initiated.

3. Contact Clemson University and University of Maine for potential accreditation. Both Maine and Clemson are currently accredited. As assigned in task one, both were contacted by phone and by mail. We need to take action in the case of Clemson University. Clemson did not submit a 5-year interim report in 1997, as required by accreditation standards. I talked to John Syme (Clemson University) at length on the telephone and he said that the Forest Products major at Clemson was reduced to a minor in 1997 (however there are 25-30 students in the program). Furthermore, he is retiring in one month and is not being replaced. This would bring their faculty members down to two (David Hann and Andy Lee). He also mentioned that Dr. Hann may be leaving shortly and may not be replaced. This change in curriculum and faculty place the program below the minimum standards for accreditation. We recommend that the SWST Board send a letter to the administration head of Clemson Universiting warning that faculty and curriculum have fallen below the minimum standards and accreditation may be withdrawn from Clemson University.

4. Contact Dave Barrett at UBC concerning the development of procedures for SWST accreditation of Canadian wood science and technology programs. We have made initial contact through a letter but will have to pursue this matter further in the upcoming year.

I would like to thank the accreditation committee for its efforts this year and I will look forward to working with them in the coming year.

Constitution and Bylaws - Perry N. Peralta, Chair - This committee was assigned to review the procedure for succession should anyone of the executive officers be unable to complete his/her term. Under the current method of succession (Article VI, Section 10 of the Constitution), a vacancy in the office of president-elect would create a void in the presidency the year followintg the vacancy. Two suggestions were forwarded by Myron Kelly, last year's committee chair. These suggestions, worded in the form of a constitutional amendment, are as follows: (note: words with strikethrough are presently in the constitution and will be deleted in the amendment, while words in bold face font are to be added to the existing section)

Suggestion 1: Section 10. If the office of president-elect is vacated, the duties of the president-elect shall be performed by the vice-president, who will advance to the president-elect in the normal manner at the end of the term as vice president presidency without election at the end of the term as vice president. A president-elect and a vice-president will be elected at the next election . If the office of vice-president is vacated, it shall remain vacant until the next election, at which time both a president-elect and a vice-president will be elected.

Suggestion 2: Section 10. If the office of president-elect is vacated, the duties of the president-elect shall be performed by the vice-president, who will advance to the president-elect in the normal manner at the end of the term as vice president. A president and a vice-president will be elected at the next election. If the office of vice-president is vacated, it shall remain vacant until the next election, at which time both a president-elect and a vice-president will be elected.

There were no other suggestions forwarded to the committee. The members unanimously endorsed the first option as an amendment to the constitution since it provides continuity in the leadership of the organization even though it means shortening the vice-president's tenure on the executive board. The second option would result in the organization having a president with no previous exposure to the operation of the executive board and the society.

In reviewing the Committee's annual reports the past three years, the only item we have not acted on concerns the non-agreement between amendment dates in the Constitution and those in the Bylaws. I suggest that this be one of the Committee's charges for the next year.

(Editor's Note: At the SWST Board Meeting on March 14, the Board passed a motion to accept Suggestion 1 above. This has been announced in the ballots, will be voted on at the Annual Meeting, and will then be later sent out for a letter ballot.)

Education - Cynthia West, Chair - Since August 1, 1997 the Education Committee has made the following progress towards completing the tasks assigned for this year:

1. Replenish the materials in teaching unit no. 1: There are currently six sets of materials on hand for this teaching unit. We have not had any requests this year for teaching unit no. 1. This next year I recommend we look into this matter.

2. Complete teaching unit no. 2: Teaching unit no. 2 was reviewed and a solicatation call was put together to complete development. The Executive Committee decided not to pursue additional development before we assessed the availability and value of similar educational materials offered by other organizations. We are currently in the process of doing so and have been surprised by the amount of information that is being developed by different organizations to educate on the values and properties of wood. At this point, my concern is that information is developed and disseminated that may be inaccurate or biased. I suggest that SWST offer to review this material and certify its scientific merits.

3. Liaison with WoodLINKS: We are still currently pursuing this. Major sponsors of WoodLINKS are WMIA and WMMA. These organizations have formed an Educational Forum. Part of this Forum's mission is to serve as a clearing house for wood inudstry education and training information; to create opportunities for wood industry and educators to seek out and maximize available resources, and form innovative partnerships; and to promote the development and coordination of universally accepted skill standads for the wood industry. These groups are producing educational materials. We have proposed to assist this effort and to review materials.

4. Review the student poster competition process: Audrey Zink is leading the student poster process this year. Posters have been solocited and will be judged at the Annual Meeting in June.

I recommend that we spend some time discussing the role of SWST in educational material development, review, and dissemination at the annual meeting. Specifically, we should look at what we can do best as a professional society and where we can createand maintain strategic partnerships that will enhance our educational mission. In addition, we need to consider how we support and disseminate information with rapidly changing technology.

Membership - Chip Frazier, Chair - I am happy to report good progress on some of the assigned charges of the membership committee, and, unfortunately, no progress on others.

Regarding the SWST membership survey, 825 surveys were mailed thanks to Vicki Herian and her staff. The surveys have been trickling into Blacksburg over the past several weeks. The data is being compiled and analyzed by Delton Alderman, a recent M.S. graduate from our department who has extensive experience in this area. Delton is entering the data into a software package which is designed for this purpose; it will provide some interesting groupings and relationships, despite some of the technical failings in the design of the survey. I have not counted, but I would estimate that we have received about 200 responses. If that number is accurate, then we have fallen slightly short of the desired response of 248, or approximately 30% of the total mailing. The results of the survey will be ready for the SWST meeting in Merida. So far the total expense amounts to printing and postage, as well as the hourly wage ($10/hour) for Delton's services. Vicki may have the expenses for printing and postage, and I have no estimate of Delton's charges at this time. Good progress has been made; it looks as if interesting ahd hopefully useful information will be obtained.

Regarding the other charges to the membership committee, I am sorry to report that no progress has been made in these other areas. Of course this sad report is my own responsibility since I have made the survey my top priority, with respect to my SWST service.

Public Liaison - Daryle Layton, Chair -
1. The initial sense about the relevance of this committee is that it can provide a valuable effort in promoting that the use of wood is environmentally friendly. In this effort, contact has been made with the Wood Products Promotion C9uncil about their Wood Works program. This program ended its three year life in 1997. It is now being reevaluated for continuation. As an organization, SWST should encourage continuation. Howard Rosen tells me that the message of the virtues of renewable resources would be well received by the Renewable NAtural Resources Foundation. I have volunteered to be a delegate to its Congess on "Human Population Growth: Impacts on the Sustainability of Renewable Natural Resources".

2. The list of cooperating organizations is very small. I would like to expand this and need suggestions as to how large the list should be and how to make sure it is complete. Off the top of my head I can think of: Wood Machiner Manufacturers Association, International Wood Collectors Society, International Association of Wood Products Societies, New Uses Council's new proposed organization of bioproducts, USDA's committee on ??, Wood Products Promotion Council, AF&PA (AWC).

#3. No action yet on displays for younger students.

Other: Frank Beall has written an invited article on the sustainable use of wood for the California Department of Forestry. I have requested a copy of it which I will submit to the Renewal Natural Resources Journal for publication.

(Editor's Note: This report was available at our March Board meeting. Action taken - Additional societies we should be working with: Southern Forest Productrs Association, Western Wood Products Association, Engineered Wood Association, Canadian Wood Council. A motion was passed to have Daryle write a letter showing SWST's support of WWPA's Wood Works program.

Publication Policy - Art Brauner, Chair - On August 8, 1997, SWST President Fred Kamke issued a charge to the SWST Publications Policy Committee to complete five tasks prior to April 15, 1998. The following is the status of those five tasks.

1. Publication of SWST Members, Officers and Committee Members on the Web Page - Currently the names and addresses of SWST Officers and Committee members are on the SWST web page. It was the unanimous consensus of the Publication Policy Committee that this practice should be continued, as it allows members ready reference on who to contact regarding various programs and activities within the Society. However, the Committee is much less enthusiastic about a proposal to make a directory of the entire SWST membership available on the web page. It is the recommendation of the Committee that a directory of members not be made available to individuals accessing the web site other than active (paid-up) SWST members. If the Board decides that such a directory would provide an important information source to members (recognizing that members have access to a printed directory), it is our recommendation that the annual billing that goes to members include a box that members can check to grant permission to include their name in the electronic directory and that a PDF version of the directory be prepared with password protection on downloading to restrict access to members only.

2. Publication of Wood and Fiber Science Abstracts and /or Tables of Contents on the Web Page For Current Issues - Allen Press has agreed to start in 1998 putting the T.O.C. and abstracts of articles in W&FS up on their web page at no charge. Committee members concurred that SWST should establish a link to the W&FS address on the Allen Press site, thereby allowing visitors to the SWST site to access information on current contents of W&FS. The Committee, however, recognizes that this access may generate a volume of requests for article reprints that may be difficult for Vicki to keep up with, and yet would probably be too small to warrant hiring clerical help on a part-time basis. Assuming that the logistical problems of retrieving article originals, making copies, and mailing copies out can be resolved , and the Board decides to provide such a reprint service, it is recommended that any reprint order system that is devised include two requirements: 1) a minimum order charge of $10.00 regardless of the number of reprints ordered, and 2) absolute adherence to the rule that all reprint orders must be accompanied by prepayment. The number one recommendation; however, would be for SWST to sign a reprint agreement with the Copyright Clearance Center and that individuals who wish to obtain reprints be directed (on the web page) to the Copyright Clearance Center for reprints. This would totally alleviate the clerical and accounting burden involved in providing reprints, and yet would provide m odest reprint income through the royalties paid by the CCC.

Abstracts and TOCs for Past Issues - Allen Press has provided a quote of $2.75 per article to key and code past W&FS abstracts (1969-1997) to be included on their APT-Online service. A rough count of articles published between 1969 and the end of 1997 indicates about 1,000 articles, so the cost would be just under $3,000. This seems to be a reasonable charge; however, if the Board decides in the near future to convert full-text articles to electronic format, it seems unwise to spend $3,000 now to just put the abstracts and T.O.C.s up (see recommendations under Item #5).

3. CABI Proposal for Production of W&FS in Print and/or Electronic Version - The Committee was in full agreement that the CABI proposal as currently written is totally unsuitable and should not be considered. The proposal is financially unworkable and assumes that there is significant untapped potential for future W&FS subscribers, which we (the Committee members) simply do not believe exists.

4. TEEAL Proposal to Produce Electronic Versions of the Last 5 Years and Subsequent Issues of W&FS Science for Distribution to Thirld World Countries - It is the Committee's understanding that this proposal was considered by the Board at their November 1997 meeting and was rejected by the Bord.

5. Allen Press Proposal to Cooperative Publish W&FS as a Full Text Journal on the Internet - The Committee was in unanimous agreement that SWST must move toward full-text electronic capability; however, we feel that the Society should not rush into any agreement with Alle Press before over avenues are explored. The Committee was also in full agreement that public access to full-text versions must be accompanied by an automated system that would enable charging for any articles being downloaded. Committee members also questioned the market potential for CD-ROM versions versus market potential on the Internet. The Forest Products Society is currently in the process of investigating the costs of converting past FPJ articles, proceedings, manuals, etc., to electronic format and creating an on-line system that will allow users to search the contents of all files, retrieve files of interest, and selectively download (at a cost) files through a "shopping-cart" applicatin that provides secure handling of credit card transactions. The SWST Publications Committee recommends that SWST maintain close contact with the FPS regarding this project and the FPS and SWST work together to explore all possible pros, cons, and costs of on-line internet access and CD-ROM production before responding to the Allen Press proposal.

(Editor's Note: This report was available for our March meeting. The following action has been taken: #1 - maintain current Executive Board and Committees names on the weg page, but do not put the membership list. #2 - A motion was passed to have Allen Press begin putting TOC and Abstracts on the web, along with a link to CCC. A motion was also passed to put the back issues' TOC and Abstracts on the web for $3000, provided SWST has ownership of it. #3 - A motion was passed to reject the CABI proposal. #4 - already handled in November. #5 - A motion was passed to not accept this proposal at this time. SWST should also continue to liaison with FPS.)

Wood and Fiber Science - Bob Youngs, Editor - The pace and quality of publication of Wood and Fiber Science has continued as in recent years, with at least 100 pages per issue. Emphasis has been on the basics, as is appropriate, but we have had a good distribution of papers across the field. The peer review/Editor/author revision process has been working well. Many authors have expressed thanks for the review comments and suggestions. Time from initial receipt of manuscripts by the Editor to publication in the Journal has been averaging abour 8-9 months, which is very good for a journal of this type.

We are beginning to see references to on-line sources in papers submitted to the Journal. THis will no doubt increase and we need a common approach to dealing with such references. The July issue (Volume 30, No. 3) will contain the Columbia Online Style model, which seems to be well adapted to our needs. Editor Bob Youngs will appreciate comments on its usefulness.

We have published nine book reviews during the past year. More are welcome. Please call to the attention of the Book Review Committee or the Editor new books that would be of interest to review for the journal. Also, we have an editorial in each issue and Bob will welcome your thoughts for the good of the cause in editorial form.

The following Commitees did not have reports available for the Newsletter, but will present at the Annual Meeting - Book Review, Critical Issues, International Relations, and Visiting Scientist.


Connections

Michigan Forest Products Industry List -- A comprehensive electronic list of Michigan's forest products industires is now available on the Internet and on CD-ROM. Compiled by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the list provides detailed information on the State's entire forest products industry. The data can be searched by such variables as company name, location, product, and service. The web site (www.dnr.state.mi.us/dnr/main.htm) is free of charge. The CD-ROM costs $50, including shipping, handling, and tax. The CD-ROM can be ordered through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Forest Management Division, P.O. Box 30452, LAnsing, MI 48909-7952,
PH: 517-373-1275; FAX 517-373-2443. For more information, contact Anthony Weatherspoon at 517-335-3332.
Fifth World Conference on Timber Engineering, Lausanne, Switzerland, August 17-20, 1998
The objective of this conference is to present the latest advances in the research, design and construction of engineered timber structures. The conference will serve as an international forum for researchers, designers, academicians and manufacturers to exchange ideas and learn from each other. It will promote better understanding of engineered wood construction through technological cooperation. More information may be obtained from: WCTE' 98 - Conference Secretariat, Pierre-Aime Favre, Executive Administrator, EPFL-IBOIS, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland, PH: 41-21-693-23-95, FAX 41-21-693-23-94, email: pierre-aime.favre@ibois.dgc.epfl.ch

International Woodworking Machinery and Furniture Supply Fair will be held August 20-23 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta . More than 1,200 companies will exhibit their machinery, supplies, and services for the plastics and woodworking industries. Technical experts will be available for advice on production problems for both small shops and large production manufacturers. For more information, visit the Fair's Web site (http://www.iwf98.com) or call 770-746-0608.


6th International Inorganic-Bonded Wood and Fiber Composite Materials Conference, is scheduled for September 27-30, 1998, in Sun Valley, Idaho. This conference series is designed to benefit the participants in a number of ways: 1) present current information on scientific, industrial and marketing developments for mineral-bonded wood and fiber products, 2) provide a forum for exchange of ideas and sharing of information, 3) facilitate an environment for making important scientific, technical or business contacts, and 4) present truly innovative composite developments which may not be bonded with mineral binders. For more information contact Conferences and Events, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844-1205, PH: 208-885-6662, FAX 208-885-6226, email: karenk@uidaho.edu. Web site at http://www.uidaho.edu/cfwr/inorganic/

Call for papers for First International RILEM Symposium on Timber Engineering, Stockholm, Sweden, September 13-14, 1999 . Abstracts of 200 words are due November 1, 1998, with the full paper being due April 1, 1999. Papers are welcomed on trends and design of timber structures, timber connections, fracture and creep of timber, and testing of timber. More information is available from SP Swedish National Testing and Research Institute, Lars Bostrom or Carl-Johan Johansson, Box 857, SE-501 15 Boras, Sweden, PH; 46-33-16-50-00, FAX 46-33-13-45-16, email:
info@sp.se. Web site at http://www.sp.se
The Environmental Impact of the Paper and Wood Industries, From Production Through Consumption and Recycling, is the topic of a recently released special issue of the Journal of Industrial Ecology. This journal is published quarterly by MIT Press for Yale University with headquarters at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES). The recent release of three major studies of the pulp and paper industry by three very different authors prompted the special issue. The sometimes controversial studies are by the Environmental Defense Fund Paper Task Force (EDF PTF), the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), and Maureen Smith of the Pollution Prevention Research and Education Center of the University of California at Los Angeles in a book for MIT Press. The EDF PTF sought to expand the market for environmentally friendly paper by combining comprehensive technical analysis with the purchasing power of six major consumers of paper (EDF, Duke University, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald's, The Prudential Company, and Time Inc.). The World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a group of multinational businesses that encourages high standards of environmental management, funded the London-based IIED report. Titled "Toward a Sustainable Paper Cycle", the report is an independent assessment of the issues facing the pulp and paper sector in the context of sustainable development. For more information about the special issue, visit the journal 's web site at http://mitpress.mit.edu/JIE or call 203-432-6949.


(This Article will be run in two parts - The first part in this issue, the second in the July-August Newsletter. Your Board felt that this historical look at Wood Science and Technology was appropriate for this year's celebration of SWST's 40th Anniversary)

Wood Science and Technology in America, 1884-1994 -- excerpts from:
Scientific Annals, Vol.37, 1994
Dept. of Forestry and Natural Environment
Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki
FREDERICK F. WANGAARD
Professor Emeritus, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA

A number of years ago I attributed the recorded beginnings of scientific inquiry into the properties of American woods to the Tenth Census of the United States (1884). At the same time I noted that these pioneering studies had been preceded by more than 175 years of European research on wood. That this was clearly an understatement has been clarified by none other than George Tsoumis who identifies Theophrastus (372-287 B. C.), through his writings, as the father of forest utilization. In matters of Greek history I humbly defer to Professor Tsoumis.

Having just cited Theophrastus I hesitate to claim, and do so only in a modern sense, that George Tsoumis and I share a long association. Memory fails me as to the exact year that he first appeared in my laboratory at the Yale School of Forestry in New Haven, Connecticut -- certainly no later than 1954 -- as records show that he received his doctorate in 1957. I have pleasant memories of long discussions over lunch at the Yale Commons with him and Arthur Koehler - world known authority on wood technology - who was then in retirement from the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory in Madison and serving temporarily on the Yale faculty; the graduate student illuminating the senior scientist and the newly promoted professor on the Greek origins of many terms common to technical English discourse.

As a graduate student George Tsoumis made significant contributions to our on-going research on the properties of tropical woods. A decade later he returned to Yale to work with Bob Kellogg and me on studies of cell-wall density of wood. I trust that the results of that work, published in Wood and Fiber 1 (3): 180-204 (1969), and distinguishing between the density of the cell wall and that of wood substance, provided the definitive answer to a controversial issue of that day. Still later, while on a year's sabbatical leave, George Tsoumis spent the greater part of it in residence at Colorado State University. That gave me an opportunity to review with him the manuscript of his major publication, "Science and Technology of Wood", 507 pp., Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York (1991). These recollections serve only to illustrate the many and varied experiences that George Tsoumis and I have shared over the past 40 some years. I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this volume of the Annals that you have dedicated to our mutual friend and colleague, George Th. Tsoumis.

Quoting from an article that I prepared for the Encyclopedia of American Forest and Conservation History (Macmillan, New York, 1983): "In the later 1880s, research in forest products assumed high priority in planning within the new [U. S.] Division of Forestry . . . Recognition of the importance of efficient wood utilization as a partner of silviculture and forest management in the conservation of a threatened timber resource underlay planning... [that led to] the research program set forth in 1892 by Bernhard E. Fernow in [the Division's] Bulletin No. 6, "Timber Physics"."

One outcome of these investigations was a treatise by Filibert Roth, begun while he was still a student at the University of Michigan, published in 1895 as Bulletin No. 10 of the Division of Forestry under the title "Timber: An Elementary Discussion of the Characteristics and Properties of Wood". It is appropriate today to recognize Roth, through this work, as author of the first American textbook on wood.

Subsequent studies conducted by the U.S. Forest Service, successor to the Division of Forestry, provided a data base that was to serve as a foundation in the development of the discipline known today as wood science and technology. Among the earliest, yet among the most durable, of these studies was the work of Harry D. Tiemann on the "Effect of Moisture upon the Strength and Stiffness of Wood" published in 1906 as Forest Service Bulletin No. 70. From his studies emerged the concept of fiber saturation point.

Returning to the early years of this now waning century, the U.S. Forest Service centralized its research activities in Madison, Wisconsin in 1910 with the establishment of its Forest Products Laboratory. Quoting again from my Encyclopedia article: "With its charter to deal with all aspects of wood research including structure, properties, treatments, and use of wood in the United States, [the Madison laboratory] achieved worldwide recognition . . . and contributed in many ways to the development, diversification, and growth of American forest products industries."

Its Wood Handbook, most recently revised in 1987, has become, through its authoritative and comprehensive coverage, one of the most widely used books of its kind. More specific research results have been published in literally thousands of technical reports, monographs, conference proceedings, journal articles, etc., all contributing to the arsenal of information on wood with which the discipline of wood science and technology is armed.

The first forestry schools in the United States were established early in this century. Quoting again: "The availability of a significant body of literature, deriving to a considerable extent from the work of FPL and its predecessors, inspired and encouraged many of these schools to incorporate into their curricula individual courses, and later complete programs, in forest products, utilization, and wood technology."

During part of my tenure at Yale, 1945-1967, I held the chair of Manufacturers Association Professor of Lumbering. This Chair had a substantial history having been established in 1906 through the efforts of Gifford Pinchot and funded by an endowment provided by the National Lumber Manufacturers Association. Gifford Pinchot, widely recognized as the father of American forestry, envisioned a close relationship between forestry and forest industry that characterized American forest policy for three-quarters of a century.

(See the next issue of the Newsletter for the
"rest of the story".)

The SWST Newsletter is published six times a year by the Society of Wood Science and Technology, One Gifford Pinchot Drive, Madison WI 53705 USA. Phone 608-231-9347, FAX 608-231-9592 email vicki@swst.org web site ws13.fpl.fs.fed.us/swst/


SWST is a technical and professional organization for scientists and engineers working in academia, government, consulting, and the forest products industries and is dedicated to providing education and expertise regarding better ways to use and produce wood products. Items for the newsletter may be sent to Vicki Herian, at the above Society address.
Society of Wood Science and Technology
President: Fred Kamke
Past President: Duane Lyon
President Elect: J. David Barrett
Vice President: Tom McLain
Executive Director: Vicki L. Herian
Directors: Douglas D. Stokke, Francis G. Wagner, Audrey G. Zink, and H. Daryle Layton.
Editor, Wood and Fiber Science: Robert L. Youngs
Editorial Assistant: Carol B. Ovens
Newsletter Editor: Vicki L. Herian


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Last updated: 6/9/99
For further information, please contact Vicki Herian at vicki@swst.org