The Society of American Foresters recognizes excellence and outstanding achievements of individuals and organizations in the field of forestry and natural resources. Each year, through its 14 national, Presidential Field Forester, and Fellow awards, SAF honors scientists, researchers, educators, innovators, leaders, communicators, field foresters, and others that have made significant impact on forestry in the United States and internationally. 

SAF is pleased to recognize our 2020 award winners.

National Awards

Award in Forest Science – Robert Burns
Carl Alwin Schenck Award – Pete Bettinger, CF
Employer Leadership Award – Resource Management Service LLC
John A. Beale Memorial Award – Shelby (Lee) Spradlin
Sir William Schlich Memorial Award – Rich Guldin, CF
Barrington Moore Memorial Award – Ruth Yanai
Diversity Leadership Award – Alex Singleton
Honorary Membership Award – Kathy Abusow
Outstanding Forestry Journalism Award – Alex Paul
Student Leadership Award – Samantha Seamon
Technology Transfer Award – Jonathan Kays
Young Forester Leadership Award – Nan Pond

Award in Forest Science

Robert Burns

Recognizes distinguished individual research in quantitative, managerial, and/or social sciences leading to the advancement of forestry.
Burns discussing agritourism with coffee plantation owner in Parana state, in the south of Brazil.A long-time SAF member, Robert Burns is director of and professor at West Virginia University’s School of Natural Resources and an interdisciplinary social scientist whose research focuses on human interactions with natural resources. He is dedicated to merging research in outdoor recreation with that of scientists from other disciplines and develops relationships that breed success for all. A researcher of international reputation, he is an extremely hard worker and has maintained active research in Brazil and the US – a considerable effort requiring travel, proficiency in another culture and language, and endless energy. 

He took over as director of the Division of Forestry about a year before COVID burst on the scene. He has continued to do what it takes to get the job done, while leading the division calmly and diligently through these interesting times.  Robert brings impactful research, scholarship, skills as an educator, and passion for collaboration across the globe to the field of forestry. 
Robert Burns is one of those stereotypical “quiet” people – soft spoken, yet creating a tremendous impact in his work. He isn’t flashy or congratulatory, he just gets the job done. – Mary Beth Adams 
A few words from Robert Burns:
Burns and academic partners from Ponta Grossa State University (Brazil) and Duke University visiting the Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in the Amazon on the Tapajos National Forest, state of Para, Brazil.I am honored and humbled to receive this award. It is the many successes of the talented group of students, faculty members, instructors and staff at West Virginia’s Division of Forestry and Natural Resources that allows me to receive this award. As a social scientist, I have the opportunity to study and learn about the human dimensions of forestry, energy land management, outdoor recreation, fisheries and wildlife, and wood science technology. I marvel at the applicability of our research findings, and the unique role that humans play (both positive and negative) in our forested landscapes and adjacent lands and waters. 

As we struggle to find our “new normal,” our forested landscapes will increase in value to people in many ways. We will need to understand more about future threats to our land and water settings, including climate change, invasive species, wildfire impacts, and direct negative human influences such as unmanaged recreation and unsustainable harvesting. However, our strengths are many, and with positive, educated people who care about our lands and waters, we can look to the increased efficiency of feedstock for bio-energy, to providing outstanding recreational opportunities, sustainable forestry, and well-managed ecosystems that support our wildlife and fisheries resources. It is up to us to make sure the strengths outweigh the threats, and we are poised to do so. Our hope for a brighter future for the field of forestry is seen in the young faces of our students at the SAF conference, and in our federal, state and private forest resource managers. I am proud to represent each of them. 

Top right photo—Robert Burns discussing agritourism with coffee plantation owner in Parana state, in the south of Brazil.
Bottom left photo—Robert Burns and academic partners from Ponta Grossa State University (Brazil) and Duke University visiting the Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in the Amazon on the Tapajos National Forest, state of Para, Brazil.
Photos courtesy of Robert Burns

Barrington Moore Memorial Award

Ruth Yanai

Recognizes outstanding achievement in biological research leading to the advancement of forestry.
Ruth YanaiRuth is a professor at the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry. She is one of the most innovative forest soils/ecology researchers in the field, and her success is fueled by her curiosity and energy, as well as by her continuing quest to bring together scientists on interesting problems. She has an innate ability to ask interesting questions that are outside the mainstream problem set.

Ruth is an important partner in the long-term, internationally famous Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study, where she is a member of the Committee of Scientists helping to guide the research program. She has consistently given numerous talks every year, both invited and volunteered presentations, to a wide variety of audiences about her research.

Her research has significantly advanced the understanding of nutrient and carbon cycling in forest ecosystems, improved estimates of pollution deposition to forest ecosystems, and has led to improved models of growth, productivity, and regeneration in forests.

Ruth YanaiHer achievements as a scientist are partly due to her ability to work interdisciplinarily and her joy of good collaborative relations. She is also an excellent mentor to junior scientists, many of which continue her passion and dedication to advancing scientific discovery in our forested ecosystems.

Ruth’s research in forest soils and ecology continue to impact forestry and expand our understanding of forest ecosystems.
Ruth’s ability to infuse people with her enthusiasm and help make their own programs better is inspiring and impressive. – David Newman

Carl Alwin Schenck Award

Pete Bettinger, CF

Recognizes devotion and demonstrated outstanding performance in the field of forestry education.
Pete BettingerPete is a professor at the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. He is truly devoted to instructing students about forestry. He has a varied and heavy teaching load, with courses covering both basic and advanced topics. He developed two first-year courses that attracted students from across the campus.

His goal for students is for them to be competent and confident in what they learn. Using creative instructional techniques with undergraduate and graduate students in the classroom and in research settings, he helps students make real-world connections with what they are learning in the classroom and challenges them to think objectively, creatively, and independently. He believes in developing his student’s communication skills, emphasizing the importance of being able to work effectively in a diverse workplace and teaching effective negotiation skills. In fact, he often negotiates with a class representative the conditions related to exams and extra-credit exercises.

Pete’s high ethical standards, dedication, imagination, intelligence, and work ethic make him an inspiration to others.
When I think of Pete, I think WOW! Pete is someone who excels at many things. He cares about what he does and tries to do the best at everything in which he is engaged. – Donald Grebner
A few words from Pete Bettinger:
Pete BettingerThe Carl Alwin Schenck Award is certainly a great honor. I am humbled to join the select group of educators who have received it from the Society of American Foresters. Although I am nearing the end of my career, I continue to think about how I can motivate students to become both competent and confident foresters. Like Carl Alwin Schenck, I often consider myself a generalist educator in the field of forest management, which may be reflected in the variety of courses I have offered (forest measurements, forest management, forest planning, GIS, aerial image interpretation). While for others teaching may seem to be an easy endeavor, teaching forestry to college students and seasoned professionals has been one of my greatest personal challenges. The breadth and depth required to effectively teach a forestry course can often be extensive. Fortunately, my career path through private industry and public agencies has helped, as a great deal of my forestry knowledge has been gained through work experiences and interactions with seasoned professionals. So, I wish to say to all of my former students, and to all the foresters I've met over the years, thank you for helping me become the educator I am today.

Diversity Leadership Award

Alex Singleton

Recognizes outstanding individual achievement leading to innovative and exemplary diversity and inclusion efforts.
Alex Singleton with sonAlex is a fiber supply manager with International Paper in Georgia. But being a professional, adaptable, and multi-faceted forestry operations manager is not the reason for receiving this award. It is what Alex did along the way to initiate and promote the profession to underserved minority young people, lay the groundwork for and help systematize forestry assistance to underserviced minority landowners to return their lands to productivity and sustainable family wealth, and share his experience as an African-American forester with young people wherever he has lived and worked.

Alex has demonstrated exceptional initiative, deft leadership, and long-term commitment to addressing diversity and inclusion issues within the profession and beyond. Where he saw problems he addressed them, engaged with others to solve them in collaborative ways, and invented new systems to address institutional issues. He has worked to grow the diversity of the profession, increase the diversity of service providers to underserved landowners, positioned foresters as trustworthy professionals, and turned previously unproductive forests into working forests for the landowning families. Alex is truly a trailblazer for our profession and the Society.
Like the seeds he planted, the lives he has touched, and the leadership he has demonstrated, Alex’s impact is far-reaching. – Tom Davidson
A few words from Alex Singleton:
Alex Singleton with daughterI extend a huge thanks to SAF for granting me this year’s Diversity Leadership Award. My 30-year career in forestry has been a career of love. Through forestry and SAF I have developed and sustained my passions: Love of all things outdoors (the environment), love for our industry (providing sustainable goods and services), and love of people (networks, mentoring, and community support). My desire to share those passions with others in my community led to my early engagement in diversity efforts. I was blessed to work for companies (Westvaco, Mead Westvaco, Plum Creek, Weyerhaeuser, and International Paper) that not only supported but encouraged (great co-workers and managers) my involvement in diversity initiatives.

The Westvaco/Mead Westvaco Natural Resources career camp, during a 13-year run, touched the lives of over 150 African American high school students. Several students went on to pursue careers in natural resources, paper manufacturing, and biological sciences. These students came away from the camp with a greater understanding of natural resources careers and the importance of maintaining healthy working forests. MWV, Plum Creek, Weyerhaeuser, and IP have all supported my involvement with the Center for Heirs Property Preservation. Through the Center’s educational programs and boots-on-the-ground support (clearing title, forest management plans, technical forestry advice), they have helped historically under-served families retain ownership of family homes and land by. Thank you, SAF, for recognizing me for my passion to “making others aware of our wonderful careers!”

Photos: Alex and his daughter Lauren and son Jordan love outdoor adventures. 

Employer Leadership Award

Resource Management Service LLC

Recognizes an employer that demonstrates leadership through consistent support of employee participation in SAF and broad engagement in the profession.
NC Student TourResource Management Service LLC was founded in 1950 by two SAF members and is a well-respected leader in the forestry profession with a long history of practicing sound, professional forest management.

Over the years, RMS employees have served in numerous SAF leadership roles. The company supports employees’ involvement in SAF by encouraging their activities in the Society, granting them time and resources required to participate in SAF events, and by paying for travel and other expenses they incur as a consequence of their involvement with the organization. The involvement of RMS employees in SAF and other professional forestry and conservation organizations is routinely considered as part of the company's performance review and appraisal process.

RMS also displays impressive leadership by sponsoring an expansive internship program for college students who are studying forest management and promoting diversity within the profession. RMS demonstrates commitment to advancing the forestry profession and willingness to give back to the profession and SAF.
RMS North Carolina exceeds every standard of leadership in the Society of American Foresters, and is a model for organizational support. They are a model for SAF and the forestry profession. – Fred Cubbage
A few words from RMS:
RMS foresters from the North Carolina region RMS is proud to be recognized as the 2020 recipient of the Society of American Foresters (SAF) Award for Employer Leadership. To be recognized by your professional peers is an honor of the highest magnitude. RMS’ belief that we must give back to our profession is reflected in our vision statement: “to advance the practice of forestry and appreciation for the societal importance of privately-owned forests.”

The SAF Employer Leadership Award represents our leadership in giving back to the profession by recruiting and retaining the best and brightest people from all sectors of society, by mentoring young foresters and resource professionals, and by helping introduce the forestry profession to those students who may not have previously seen members of their gender, race, or culture represented within the profession. It is our hope and belief that our leadership and the time and treasure invested by RMS will pay both immediate and long-term dividends with the ultimate result being an inclusive forestry profession truly reflective of all members of our society.

Top right photo: RMS foresters from the North Carolina region participated in hosting over 600 students for the North Carolina Forestry Association’s Forestry & Environment Camp in Wilmington, NC. This camp educates area 6th graders, their teachers and parents in land and tree measurements, forest ecology, silviculture, and forest products.

Bottom left photo: The support of education surrounding the responsible use and management of natural resources, as well as the continuation of forestry as a profession, is very important to RMS. Exercising good stewardship through responsible management for all forest resources means the forests of today will be available for future generations.

Honorary Membership Award

Kathy Abusow

Recognizes individuals whose contributions to forestry are viewed as outstanding by their peers.
Kathy AbusowSince 2007, Kathy Abusow has been president and CEO of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). She has greatly expanded SFI’s network across the US and Canada to include the forest sector, brand owners, conservation groups, resource professionals, landowners, educators, local communities, Indigenous peoples, governments, and universities.

She is driven by the belief that sustainable forests are critical to our collective future, and her vision is of a world that values and benefits from sustainably managed forests. Under Kathy’s leadership, SFI has become much more than a set of forestry standards, and is now a strong community that engages in conservation projects, youth education, and community building initiatives. Kathy is a strong voice for gender equality and is a mentor to other women in the forestry sector.

Kathy’s work to advance forestry in North America embodies the criteria for the Honorary Membership award.
She is a global leader in the field and knew before many that forest certification was the next step in the advancement of the profession of forestry. – Bill Banzhaf
A few words from Kathy Abusow:
Kathy AbusowI am honored to receive this SAF Honorary Membership Award. As a Canadian, it means a lot be recognized by the Society of American Foresters for my leadership in this important space of sustainable forest management which positively affects our quality of life and the health of our planet. I would like to congratulate SAF for recognizing that it takes all sorts of skills, backgrounds and professions to ensure we have a world that values and benefits from sustainably managed forests. Having worked 30 years in sustainable forest management, I certainly feel like I have learned a lot about this important sector and yet I am not a professional forester. While this critical sector supports a diversity of jobs and professions and professional backgrounds, it is important that everyone feel welcome and that we all feel inspired to make a meaningful contribution.

It is my hope as a woman leader in a male-dominated sector and as a non-forester working in a space that traditionally would be occupied by a forester, that through receipt of this award, more people will be aware that the forest sector can benefit and thrive with a diversity of people with a variety of skills. At SFI, we have launched a mentorship program to ensure a diversity of youth exploring or entering the forest sector have an understanding and inspirational partner as they consider this important career pathway so that they feel welcome and supported no matter their gender, skills, race, culture or experience.

John A. Beale Memorial Award

Shelby (Lee) Spradlin

Recognizes outstanding efforts over a sustained period by an SAF member in the promotion of forestry through voluntary service to the Society.
Lee Spradlin on the Appalachian Trail In professional organizations, the volunteers and the leadership responsibilities they take on are essential to the success of the organization. Lee’s record as a leader at all levels of SAF has been exemplary and his contributions the past 44 years have spanned from chapter chair to Virginia Division and Appalachian SAF chair to District 8 representative on the then SAF Council. Lee spent his career as a “boots-on-the-ground” forester managing both private and company-owned forestland in Virginia and West Virginia. While Lee has been enjoying retirement since November 2015, his long and continuous service to the forestry profession has not stopped. He continues to be involved in the Virginia SAF division, Boy Scouts of America, and other community organizations. Thank you, Lee, for your selfless contributions, leadership, and significant positive impacts to the Society, the profession, and society in general.
Lee doesn’t volunteer just to get the task done; he does it to make it better. Whatever he does, it is done with total devotion, integrity, and professional expertise. – David Wm. Smith
A few words from Lee Spradlin:
Lee Spradlin summit of Mt. Katahdin in MaineForestry has always been a calling for me. I never considered any other career. As a forester I was blessed to have had the opportunity to be a steward of our natural resources and to work with wonderful colleagues and clients. The Society of American Foresters was the icing on the cake throughout my career. The SAF provided me leadership opportunities and introduced me to natural resource managers from all over the country, many of whom are still dear friends. In short, the SAF was my hobby within my profession.

It is the SAF that defines forestry and makes it a profession. It is the SAF that sets high ethical standards for our stewardship of the land and dealings with others. It is the SAF that ensures natural resource graduates are well prepared to uphold these standards. To be a member of SAF provides one with the opportunity to pay back to our profession. I am truly grateful to have that opportunity.  

I appreciate having this opportunity to express my gratitude to my wife, friends, mentors, and colleagues; former employer, Westvaco/MeadWestvaco/WestRock for supporting my SAF activities over the years; and to my friends with the Appalachian SAF for nominating me for this award.

Top right photo: Lee painting a white blaze on the Appalachian Trail as part of his weekly trail maintenance work.
Bottom left photo: Lee Spradlin on the summit of Katahdin in Maine when he completed a 20-year section hike of the Appalachian Trail. 

Outstanding Forestry Journalism Award

Alex Paul

Recognizes high quality journalism that increase the American public’s understanding of forestry and natural resources.
Alex PaulAs a reporter for the Albany Democrat-Herald in Albany, Oregon, Alex Paul wrote a series of articles about a $1.1 billion class-action lawsuit filed by a group of Oregon counties against the state, claiming improperly reduced timber harvests deprived the counties of their revenue share. Alex used his story-telling skills to provide daily newspaper coverage during the month-long court case, summarizing each day’s events.

Most of these articles were prominently displayed on the front page. Readers learned about complex forest resource issues in an easy-to-follow format free of technical jargon. Witnesses testified about economics, harvesting, wildlife, sustainability, history, among other topics, which Alex admirably broke down while maintaining the integrity of the subject matter. The series of articles will have lasting impact. If appeals are filed, the issues will be brought back to the forefront, and the articles will be reviewed as “the record” of the trial.

Alex Paul is a skilled journalist who brought balanced reporting that improved the public’s understanding of complex forestry issues.
Rarely does forestry make the front page and even less often is that article “above the fold.” This was an intense case. It involved a lot of testimony by experts in forestry, and Alex was there every day of the trial. His coverage has the potential to advance forestry through public education. - Tammy Cushing

Sir William Schlich Memorial Award

Richard Guldin, CF

Recognizes broad and outstanding contributions to the field of forestry with emphasis on policy and national or international activities.
Rich Guldin Teton Mountains field tourRichard W. Guldin is principal, Guldin Forestry LLC, a consulting forestry practice working for national and global clients on forest science-policy issues. He previously worked for the US Forest Service has been an influential member of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations.

With deep interests in forest policy and science, Rich has committed his entire life to serving the forestry community in his home country and at an international scale. As coordinator of the IUFRO Task Force on Forest Science-Policy Interface, he was successful in an innovative field and contributed to developing a better understanding of the ways forest research results influence the development and implementation of policies to protect, manage, and utilize forests and forest resources.

Rich brings enthusiasm, openness, and transparency that has forged new partnerships and increase the likelihood that future policies will be built on a solid scientific foundation.
Rich is known as an energetic motor behind the most important activities of promoting communication of forest science to larger audiences. – Niels Elers Koch, Past President of IUFRO and Director General, Trap Denmark A/S
A few words from Rich Guldin:
Rich Guldin at the World Forestry Congress in 2009 In today’s society, people get trophies just for participating. It’s supposedly egalitarian and recognizes that one has put forth some effort—at least to show up. But I think leadership is about more than that. A stone mason isn’t rewarded or remembered for every stone shaped and laid. Rather, what ultimately determines a stone mason’s reputation is the strength of the foundation, built from loads of stones all carefully chipped and interlocked, that enables others to build something great upon it. Like Schlich, I spent my career creating sturdy foundations for others to build upon, and I’m encouraged when I see what they are building.

On a personal level, I feel a deeper sense of both humility and satisfaction about my career. We all have our heroes—people who our mentors have held up as visionary and highlighted as successful foresters. We’ve been encouraged to attempt to emulate them. But what yardsticks are appropriate for measuring how one makes progress? Awards like this are one of the mechanisms. They require several of one’s peers to take notice and go to the trouble of nominating, then additional peers to review and recommend, and finally SAF’s Board of Directors to elect one to the pantheon of previous recipients.

Top right photo: Rich Guldin on a Teton Mountains field tour.
Bottom left photo: Rich Guldin at the World Forestry Congress in 2009. 

Student Leadership Award

Samantha Seamon

Recognizes individual student achievement and leadership at the local, regional, or national level.
samantha seamon planting oak Samantha graduated in June 2020 from Mississippi State University with a B.S. in forestry and is currently pursuing a graduate degree at the university. She has been an active member and officer of the SAF Student Chapter since her freshman year, including chair and as District 11’s representative on the national Student Executive Committee. Samantha has compiled a stellar academic record and pursues work experiences to grow professionally and inform her future career decisions. She has demonstrated outstanding levels of motivation, initiative, leadership, commitment, and responsibility that were crucial for building and maintaining interest and members in the chapter. She coordinated and recruited students to participate in community-oriented activities including Adopt-a-Highway Program Cleanup, and Habitat for Humanity, and has participated in numerous university-wide activities and events such as Academic Insight and Campus Arbor Days.

Samantha is a talented, hard-working young professional that exemplifies the true qualities of a leader. We look forward to Samantha’s continued involvement.
I don’t believe you will find a more deserving candidate for this award; but if you do, please let me know. I’d would like to offer them a job. –Craig Blair, President and CEO, Resource Management Service, LLC
A few words from Samantha Seamon:
Samantha Seamon measuring treeWhen I arrived at Mississippi State in 2016, the upperclassmen and faculty, specifically Dr. Steve Grado, who taught the freshmen introduction course, advised me to get involved. It’s a great chance to network, learn the industry, and develop the necessary skills for a professional career. This advice certainly proved to be true.

Student leadership roles within the college and organizations like SAF not only helped me gain problem solving and team building skills, but allowed me to meet and communicate with professionals in the forestry sector. The leadership opportunities I had through my college, SAF, and local/state associations have gotten me to where I am today. I want to emphasize my appreciation to those who gave me such opportunities, and I hope to encourage other students to take on similar experiences.

I also want to emphasize that this leadership award represents and recognizes the accomplishments of all the student members. I feel honored to lead such a passionate and motivated group. I have seen this enthusiasm first-hand in my university’s student chapter and with the Student Executive Committee for SAF, and I know that the passion extends nationally in all student chapters and similar organizations. Thank you SAF for recognizing my hard work and involvement in the forestry community. I certainly plan to continue this involvement once I begin my professional career next year.

Top right photo: Samantha Seamon plants a variety of bottomland oak species on Hurricane Katrina-damaged sites as part of a Master’s student’s research.
Bottom left photo: Measuring trees in the woods near Dorman Lake as part of a research study. (Photo credit: Megan Bean) 

Technology Transfer Award

Jonathan Kays

Recognizes outstanding performance in the areas of technology transfer, implementation, and extension.

Jonathan KaysJonathan is a forestry specialist at the University of Maryland Extension’s Western Maryland Research and Education Center. He has demonstrated leadership on a variety of fronts involving technology transfer. As a regional and now statewide Extension specialist, he has led programs from the traditional forest management and silviculture perspective to new and innovative areas such as biosolids, wood energy, wildlife damage, woods in your backyard, and rural enterprise development through alternative enterprises for woodlot owners. After participating in Jonathan’s educational programs, many stakeholders have adopted sustainable forest management practices and have promoted those practices to their neighbors and other landowners. He has amassed an amazing body of work that spans the breadth of educational tools and approaches demonstrating his commitment to sharing information.

He demonstrates a deep understanding and knowledge of the value, importance, and best practices for effective technology transfer. He brings leadership, passion, and impactful and collaborative work that reaches across the natural resources community. Jonathan is truly a leader in our profession and also serves as a volunteer leader with the Maryland/Delaware Division of the Allegheny SAF where he is a tireless advocate of forest management, stewardship and the profession.
Jonathan demonstrates enthusiasm for making things happen that raise the importance of caring for the land. – James C. Finley
A few words from Jonathan Kays
Jonathan KaysMy career as a professional forester has been extremely rewarding and SAF has been key to my growth and learning. Working as an extension forester with UME for the past 32 years has provided the opportunity to collaborate, teach, learn and develop extension outreach programs in diverse areas to help forest landowners and policymakers make informed decisions about the forest stewardship. I have served SAF in many capacities over the years and it has yielded invaluable working relationships with foresters from all arenas – government and private.

As our world faces so many environmental challenges, many citizens (landowners, policymakers, etc.) lack an understanding of the principles and practices of forest resource management. Foresters are unique in having a breadth of experience and knowledge that is invaluable to addressing the many issues facing our world and I am thankful to have contributed to educational efforts through my extension programming.

Key to motivating my efforts is a personal philosophy to reinvent myself every 3 to 5 years so as not to become complacent and build on previous program efforts – always learning. My greatest personal rewards have come from the excitement of those I have taught and seeing how it opens up a whole new world to them and motivates change in behavior and practices, and sharing with others. I am honored to be a member of SAF and always encouraged fellow foresters to become involved and commit to the professionalism exemplified by our organization. I sincerely thank my colleagues and SAF for acknowledging my contributions through this award. 

Young Forester Leadership Award

Nan Pond

Recognizes an outstanding young leader in the development and promotion of an individual program or project, or for a sustained leadership role benefiting the practice of forestry and SAF.
Nan PondNan is chief biometric officer at SilviaTerra in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she leads a team of forest biometricians and analysts delivering cutting-edge work that has pushed forestry organizations to adopt innovative approaches to solve challenges with big data in the 21st century.

Nan is an outstanding young professional who leads by example and with enthusiasm. She is a mentor to young foresters, a tireless volunteer for SAF’s mission, and an enthusiastic professional in the biometrics community. As chair of SAF’s Forest Science and Technology Board, Nan’s work has advanced the role, presence, and active engagement with our science communities. She is a vigorous advocate for making connections between research and on-the-ground management, and improving the visibility and accessibility of applied science for all.

Nan’s leadership in the forestry profession exemplifies the spirit of SAF’s Young Forester Leadership Award. Congratulations, Nan, the forestry profession is lucky to have you!
Five years ago, Nan walked up to the SilviaTerra booth at the SAF National Convention, confidently introduced herself, and told us that we needed to hire her. It remains one of the best decisions our company has made. Through her structured problem solving, brilliant analytical skills, and unflagging work ethic, Nan has risen to become our Chief Biometric Officer and a leader in the field. -Zack Parisa
Nan PondA few words from Nan Pond:
It’s an honor to receive this recognition. I’ve been a proud member of SAF since 2003 and am grateful for opportunities I’ve had to serve our organization in many capacities. To be honored as a leader is impossible without acknowledging my peers and colleagues with whom I work. Thank you to everyone who serves along with me on the FS&TB – it’s a joy to be a leader when you have an amazing team around you! I’d also like to acknowledge those who nominated me for this award; knowing that people I respect greatly took time to put my name in for this is humbling. 

Presidential Field Forester Awards

Recognizes foresters that have dedicated their professional careers to the application of forestry on the ground using sound, scientific methods and adaptive management strategies.

District 1 – Richard Hopkins, CF
District 2 – Mark Morgans, CF
District 3 – Brian Rueger
District 4 – John Riling
District 5 – Joe Rademacher
District 6 – Mark Tremblay, CF
District 7 – Conrad Franz
District 8 – Stan Warner
District 9 – Greg Bailey
District 10 – Michael Dooner, CF
District 11 – George Tiley, CF

Class of 2020 Fellows

Recognition bestowed on a member by their peers for outstanding contributions and service to SAF and the profession.

M. Teresa (Teri) Batchelor, Allegheny
Ronald Boldenow, CF, Oregon
Dale Bosworth, Montana
William “Wally” Covington, Southwestern
Jib Davidson, CF, Southeastern
Adam Downing, Appalachian
George Foster, Jr., Colorado/Wyoming
Jennifer Gagnon, Appalachian
James Guldin, Missouri
Steven Kallesser, CF, Allegheny
Thomas Martin, CF, New York
James McCarter, Southeastern
Marcus Measells, Mississippi
Timothy Phelps, Kentucky/Tennessee
David Bruce Powell, Jr., CF, Appalachian
George Ramsey, CF, Louisiana
Joe Reddan, Colorado/Wyoming
Thomas Troxel, Dakotas

2020 Gregory Award Winners

This award provides economic assistance to outstanding students or professionals from outside of the United States and Canada to attend the SAF national convention.

Rudo Violet Denga 

Kitwe, Zambia 
Doctoral candidate at Copperbelt University 
“I fully understand that becoming a future leader in forestry will require a number of skills and cutting-edge technology that are not readily obtainable in developed countries. This virtual convention will be a means for me to acquire the needed skills and knowledge through engaging and exchanging knowledge with colleagues at international level.”

Kevin Kipkurui Kiptoo

Nairobi, Kenya
Master's student at Bangor University 
“I believe promoting forestry education is extremely important in meeting sustainable development goals and I would like to play my role by empowering others.”

Luke Makuluni Mwale  

Lilongwe, Malawi 
Early-career professional working for the Malawi Scotland Partnership
“[The Gregory Award] is a golden opportunity for me to expand my knowledge base and skills in forestry and environmental management. I strongly believe that such interactive sessions are important in grooming future leaders in forestry.”

Richard Ndaki Banda

Mzuzu, Malawi 
Master's student at Mzuzu University 

Uwitonze Narcisse    

Kigali, Rwanda 
Master's student at Wageningen University

Outstanding SAF Student Chapter Award

First Place: Mississippi State University SAF Student Chapter 
Second Place: Cal Poly SAF Student Chapter 
Third Place: Stephen F. Austin State University SAF Student Chapter