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e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

ESF To Celebrate Graduates 12/9/2020

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The College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) will celebrate its fall graduates in an online commencement online ceremony at 7 p.m. Dec. 11. The ceremony can be viewed by visiting www.youtube.com/esftv

During the online ceremony, ESF will confer approximately 114 bachelor's degrees, with about 49 students receiving master's and doctoral degrees.

ESF kicked off its commencement festivities in November with the virtual Inclusive Excellence Graduation Reception, which celebrated and honored the diversity of ESF's graduates. The reception included but was not limited to, women, United States military veterans, domestic students of color, international students, students who identify as members of the LGBTQ community, students with disabilities and those with other underrepresented statuses.

During the online ceremony, ESF President Joanie Mahoney and Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs David Newman will offer remarks.

Courtney Scheffler, of Margaretville, New York, will be the student speaker. Scheffler graduates with a degree in environmental studies, with a focus on policy, planning, and law. She has been involved with environmental justice initiatives and conducted synthesis research on humane education as a practice to promote pro-social behavior towards environments and all inhabitants, with a focus on non-human animals.

Student marshals are Rosemary Adrat of Garnerville, New York, and Jessica Proctor of Trumansburg, New York. Adrat is an environmental science major with a focus on renewable energy and a minor in sustainable construction. Proctor is a conservation biology major.

Three ESF alumni will be honored during commencement. Graduate of Distinction Awards will be bestowed upon Dr. Edwin J. Green '79, Dr. Jeffrey J. Morrell '77 and Makoto Hagi '10.

Makoto Hagi will receive the Incipiens Quercu (Beginning Oak) Award. After graduating ESF in 2010 with a degree in landscape architecture, Hagi began his career working on several public space projects benefiting Western New York. Of particular note was the multi-phased Geneva Lakefront Park and work on the Genesee Valley Park West master plan originally designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.

In 2017 Hagi was selected as a winner of the National Grant Competition for Emerging Professionals in Landscape Architecture sponsored by Anova. His accredited green roof professional credential and active involvement in many LEED projects are tangible commitments to promoting biodiversity in urban environments.

Dr. Jeffrey J. Morrell '77 and '81 will be honored with the Notable Achievement Award.

After receiving both his B.S. and Ph.D. in environmental and forest biology from ESF, Morrell began a distinguished career in the field of wood preservation spanning over 35 years. As a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Wood Science and Engineering at Oregon State, his research focused on identifying the fungi associated with the deterioration process, assessing the potential for biological control of decay, developing methods for improving wood treatments, and systems for arresting decay once it has been initiated.

He successfully advised 60 masters and Ph.D. students and published more than 700 articles in the area of wood protection.

In 2018 Morrell moved to Australia where he is the Director of the National Centre for Timber Durability and Design Life, based out of the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Dr. Edwin J. Green '79 will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. After earning his master's degree in silviculture and forest influences from ESF, Green received his Ph.D. in forest biometrics from Virginia Tech. His educational and research background led him to Rutgers University where he began a lifelong career challenging the conventional method of approaching statistical analyses as it applies to forest ecology.

Green has been a pioneering member of the forestry community through his early and continuing efforts to develop, apply and raise awareness of Bayesian methods in forestry and ecology. Although Bayes' Theorem was postulated in the 1700s, it remained largely of theoretical interest in ecological investigations before Green's work utilizing Bayesian statistical methods in forestry research. He had a profound influence on the way statistical analyses are viewed in environmental and forestry applications and earned the highest regard of his peers in the biometrics community.

Green also served as a National Science Foundation panel member and as a member of a Technical Advisory Committee for the USDA Forest Service.

He is the author or co-author of more than 75 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals including leading forestry and ecological research journals. He was also one of several statisticians who co-authored a landmark publication in Nature Human Behavior titled "Redefine Statistical Significance" which has the potential to have wide influence regarding the measures of statistical significance and how such measures should be interpreted by statisticians and scientists.