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Bridgen Receives Chancellor's Award for Teaching

ESF Ranger School


imageSYRACUSE, N.Y.- Dr. Michael Bridgen, an associate professor at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry's (ESF) Ranger School in Wanakena, received a Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award recognizes faculty members who consistently have demonstrated superb teaching at the undergraduate, graduate or professional level.

Bridgen, who joined the Ranger School faculty in 1992, teaches four required courses - dendrology, silviculture, spatial analysis of forest resources, and timber harvesting - and contributes significantly to two other team-taught classes in the school's intensive, fieldwork-oriented curriculum. Students and colleagues writing in support of Bridgen's award cited his thorough knowledge of his subject areas, his use of innovative teaching techniques and, in particular, his focus on the importance of learning.

Bridgen arrives on campus early and stays late, serving as mentor to many students in addition to his own advisees. He developed a four-hour introductory hike around the Ranger School campus where he describes the history and contemporary nature of the school and its curriculum in order to engage students early in their program of study. He organized a Ranger School student hockey team, and taught a martial arts class in the evenings. Bridgen also participates in weekend outings with students interested in learning more about dendrology.

In addition to teaching and student service, Bridgen is an active researcher. He has worked with the Akwesasne Nation to develop a map that identifies the type of forests that exist in the Hogansburg area. He also worked with the nation on a project to preserve the black ash trees that are used for traditional basketry. He has studied the regeneration of white pine stands and strategies for restoring or improving poor quality hardwood stands in the northern Adirondack region.

Bridgen earned his bachelor's degree from Pennsylvania State University and his doctorate from Michigan State University.