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 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. We also recognize our Student Diversity Scholars and Gregory Award winners.

SAF is pleased to recognize our 2022 award winners. 

For 2023: Award nominations will open in January and are due by March 15.  
If you have any questions, please email [email protected].

National Awards

Barrington Moore Memorial Award in Biological Science — Timothy Martin, Ph.D.
Carl Alwin Schenck Award — M. Chad Bolding, Ph.D.
Employer Leadership Award — Weyerhaeuser
John A Beale Memorial Award — Barry New, CF
Outstanding Local Unit Achievement Award — Missoula Chapter, Montana SAF
Sir William Schlich Memorial Award— Gordon Sanders, CF
Student Leadership Award — Ashley Carter
Technology Transfer Award — Laurence Swan
W. D. Hagenstein Communicator Award — David Coyle, Ph.D.
Young Forester Leadership Award — Kelly Norris, CF
Honorary Membership Award — Chuck Leavell

Barrington Moore Memorial Award in Biological Science

Timothy Martin, Ph.D.

The Barrington Moore Memorial Award in Biological Science recognizes outstanding achievement in biological research leading to the advancement of forestry. 

Watch this video to hear a few words from Dr. Martin. 

Dr. Timothy A. Martin is a professor at the School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences at the University of Florida. His long-term collaborations with colleagues influence forest genetics and forest carbon cycle science, as well as ecological aspects of silviculture. Martin’s published work has garnered over 6,000 career citations, with an h index of 40 being on par with the top few percent of full professors in forestry departments across the globe. 

Martin infuses cutting-edge, ground-breaking technologies into his research that move forest biology into new frontiers. He introduced the use of xylem sap flow gauges to the South, which he assembled from scratch and deployed in field trials to monitor the ebb and flow of water from the root system to the atmosphere. He collected and analyzed eddy covariance flux data, which measures the oscillation of carbon dioxide entering and leaving the forest canopy. He was an early advocate of carbon isotope discrimination data as a time-integrated proxy assessment of water use efficiency in Southern pines. 

Martin is a relentless advocate of interdisciplinary approaches, and he consistently designs experiments in the Forest Biology Research Cooperative that integrate physiology with genetics, pathology, entomology (i.e., forest health), modeling, and remote sensing. Martin’s research activities significantly affect the course of subsequent research and the way Southern pine forests are managed. 
"Dr. Martin’s work has substantially advanced our understanding of physiological processes in forest soils and how changes in these processes cascade through the forest ecosystems and impact them in unforeseen ways. His work has been used by scientists in forestry, tree physiology and ecology, to better understand the fundamental processes affecting forest growth and ecosystem dynamics and how forests respond to management and climate change." Thomas R. Fox, Ph.D. VP Research, Productivity, Sustainability, Rayonier
A few words from Dr. Martin:

I am deeply humbled and gratified to be awarded the Barrington Moore award. The list of previous awardees is a who’s who of forest biology research, and many of them have served as mentors or inspiration for me.  That being said, and not to diminish the intent of this recognition, science awards to individuals usually don’t tell the whole story.  Forest science has not been a solitary endeavor for a long time. It is a highly interdisciplinary, collaborative enterprise, usually involving scientists, graduate students, staff, and collaborators from many disciplines and organizations. These multidisciplinary teams not only enable us to tackle complex forestry problems but working with both academics and practitioners facilitates the two-way dialogue necessary to focus science on important questions. My research career is certainly a reflection of this fact, with most of my science contributions arising from collaborative efforts such as the Forest Biology Research Cooperative, PINEMAP, and the AmerFlux network. Accordingly, I take this award as a recognition of my willingness to seek out and work with talented individuals and organizations motivated, like me, to use forest science to inform the sustainable management of our forest resources in perpetuity. I am confident that most Barrington Moore awardees worked hard on their science, in collaboration with others, because they wanted to make the world a better place for us and for our grandchildren. That is something worth recognizing.

Top Photo: Martin measuring net photosynthesis in a young loblolly pine experiment.
Bottom Photo: Martin conducting a loblolly pine clonal block plot experiment.

Carl Alwin Schenck Award

M. Chad Bolding, Ph.D.

The Carl Alwin Schenck Award recognizes devotion and demonstrated outstanding performance in the field of forestry education.

Dr. Chad Bolding is currently a professor and Langdale Endowed Chair in Forest Business, at the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia. Until recently, he taught in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech, where he was the recipient of a prestigious College Certificate of Teaching Excellence and received the college’s Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award. His letters of support document an untiring commitment to students, high academic and ethical standards, and a knack for developing and delivering practical instruction and experiential learning as a hallmark of his teaching. 

Bolding’s teaching objective is to develop the students’ knowledge and skills regarding the capabilities and limitations of forest operations and fiber supply systems in a broad range of forest management situations. He utilizes classroom, laboratory instruction, and practical field trips to apply his expertise and strengthen his curriculum.

Bolding designs field labs that prepare students for careers in the natural resources profession. He accomplishes this by tactfully arranging field sites, facilitating discussions with professionals of varying backgrounds, and creating lesson objectives that encourage students to communicate with one another. By emphasizing communication at multiple levels, the students not only gain fundamental knowledge, but also learn different perspectives of stakeholders, assess ethical contemplations, and simply help people solve real-life problems. 
"Dr. Bolding goes the extra mile in helping students succeed, whether spending time performing labor intensive field work in harsh weather conditions or in the office answering questions. He feels a responsibility to instill a respect for working hard and accomplishing tasks as instructed, and he sets the example for them of proper work ethic, careful decision-making, and the importance of integrity and reputation to his students’ personal and professional success. He passes along a 'heritage' of respect and dignity which they undoubtedly will use in the future as an example to follow when they find themselves in mentoring roles. We all are a product of our past experiences, and Dr. Bolding’s treatment of students as colleagues and friends will enable them to move forward in their careers with this same respect and appreciation for the role of mentor/mentee." — Jay Sullivan, Professor and Head Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, Virginia Tech
A few words from Dr. Bolding:

I am honored to be nominated for and receive the Schenck Teaching Award. Dr. Schenck laid the foundation for forestry education in the United States, and I am proud to be a small part of his legacy in preparing the next generation of environmental stewards. The fact that there are so many deserving recipients, many of whom are mentors of mine, that have still yet to win this award makes it even more humbling and special to me. I am grateful to my nominator, Dr. Dendro (aka Dr. John Seiler), a former winner of the award who is deserving of it every year. Many thanks also to colleagues and students who provided letters of support. The most rewarding praise is from those who are in the trenches together and have a direct appreciation for the challenges, and fun, of forestry education. Bringing applied research findings and practical “boots on the ground” concepts into the classroom is the land grant mission at work.  This is what excites me about teaching. I desire to connect students with the reality of their future careers. Observing them mature and succeed as they solve problems for our industry and landowners motivates me to continue to work hard to be a better, more effective teacher. As a first-generation college student, my most impressionable mentors helped me find a career that has allowed me to flourish and serve. My goal is to facilitate learning and assist students as they explore and ultimately find their roles in our profession.

Top Photo: Bolding measures standing trees prior to a harvest.
Bottom Photo: Bolding assesses a recent harvest and evaluates product quality. 

Employer Leadership Award


The Employer Leadership Award recognizes an employer that demonstrates leadership through consistent support of employee participation in SAF and broad engagement in the profession. 

Watch this video
to hear a few words from Weyerhaeuser. 

Weyerhaeuser was founded in 1900 and employs approximately 9,200 people with operations in 25 states. The company owns 11 million acres of productive timberlands: 6.8 million acres in the Southern US, 2.9 million acres in the Western US, and 1.8 million acres in the Northern US. 

Weyerhaeuser views involvement with SAF as an opportunity for their foresters to become knowledgeable about emerging local and national issues affecting the forest industry, as well as sustainability issues facing foresters and landowners. Weyerhaeuser supports SAF throughout the United States by offering their employees’ time and opportunity to participate in various leadership positions in local, state, and regional chapters and committees. They cover SAF dues, attendance at state and national conventions and other science workshops, and special event fundraisers such as golf tournaments and fun runs. 

Weyerhaeuser’s Giving Fund has provided $60,000 in funding to SAF to provide more opportunities for science transfer and awarding of student research at convention through the Kurt Gottschalk Science Fund. They also support diverse graduate students through the Mollie Beattie Fund. Weyerhaeuser has sponsored state and national conventions; assisted with student chapters; and provided training, speakers, and tour opportunities. Almost everywhere SAF exists, you will see Weyerhaeuser doing everything they can to help SAF continue to thrive.
“Throughout my career, Weyerhaeuser had supported myself and other employees in their desire to remain active in SAF in several different ways, from financially supporting attendance at local and national events, to allowing time and energy to be committed to various leadership roles. Citizenship is one Weyerhaeuser’s core values and their dedication to it shows in the many ways that they support and provide leadership in SAF. I cannot think of a more deserving employer for this award.”  – Noelle Arena, Weyerhaeuser Project Manager
A few words from Weyerhaeuser:

Weyerhaeuser is honored to receive SAF’s Employer Leadership Award this year. SAF is an integral part of the lives and careers of so many of our team members. Often, before our employees come to Weyerhaeuser, they’ve already been introduced to or are active in SAF as students or from previous roles. It is very easy for us, as an employer, to encourage our employees’ continued participation in the organization that supports them and our broader industry so well. There are so many, tangible benefits of SAF involvement from the leadership and professional development opportunities to networking and information sharing. SAF encourages excellence in forest management and people development, and we’re thrilled to partner with your organization on these goals.

Top and Bottom Photos: Weyerhaeuser tree planting

Sir William Schlich Memorial Award

Gordon Sanders, CF

The Sir William Schlich Memorial Award recognizes broad and outstanding contributions to the field of forestry with emphasis on policy and national or international activities.

Gordy Sanders, CF, is a resource manager at Pyramid Mountain Lumber Company in Seeley Lake, MT, and has successfully coordinated their team of foresters for over 20 years. His dedication to the timber industry is evident not only in his devotion to his team, but also in the advancement of new and sustainable forest management practices. Sanders works alongside many state and federal agencies, timber groups, and other relevant partners to help craft national policy that affects our nation’s forests and the rural economies and workers that rely on the sustainability of our natural resources. 

As Policy Chair of the Montana SAF, Sanders is instrumental in spurring conversations about forest reform nationwide to increase the pace and scale of active management across the landscape. He represents all of Montana’s forested landscapes when it comes to interacting with Congressional delegation and has shown that forest management policy founded in Montana steers the rest of the nation. Due to his tireless work, Sanders is hailed as a national leader in forest collaboration.

Sanders has either initiated or helped advance terminology which promotes forest management through common thinking and shared perspectives that resonate with the public, are readily adopted by elected officials, and are highly visible in Congressional language which is now institutionalized. He brings together a diverse array of partners across the state to advance forestry issues. 
“Gordy’s lasting impact on the forests in Montana and across this nation, however, go far beyond the policy changes in forest management he has championed throughout his career; he has built a legacy rooted in faith of the power of collaboration and a commitment to the spaces we all work to protect every day.” – Sonya Germann, Montana State Forester
A few words from Gordy Sanders:

First of all, I want to thank my fellow forestry professional, Scott Kuehn for his persistent pursuit of the Sir William Schlick Memorial Award on my behalf. It is an incredible honor and a privilege to even be considered. Receiving such prestigious recognition from fellow forestry professionals is quite humbling. Speaking for all of us receiving a National Award, we do not pursue recognition, credit, or expect awards. We grow our networks and relationships while engaging in efforts that make a difference and promote SAF, forestry, and science-based active management for the benefit of society and all the demands that various interests expect and value.

As Natural Resource professionals, regardless of whom we may work for, it is important that we pay attention to legislative and congressional language which formulates forest policy direction and ultimately may have a potential positive or negative impact on our ability to appropriately implement forest management treatments on federal, state or private forest lands. In closing, always strategize for success and involve folks, inside and outside the profession, that can help you be successful in pursuing end results.  Very little is accomplished by yourself and don’t think about who gets the credit – others notice and share their perspectives.  Again, thank you.  I sincerely appreciate being selected to receive the Sir William Schlick Memorial Award.

Top Photo: Sanders in Lara Tomov’s "Life in the Landscape" short film, which focuses on collaborative efforts in various rural areas in Montana. 
Bottom Photo: Sanders in the field with the Montana Forest Restoration Committee.

John A. Beale Memorial Award

Barry New, CF

The John A. Beale Memorial Award recognizes outstanding efforts over a sustained period of time by an SAF member in the promotion of forestry through voluntary service to the Society.

Barry New, CF, is the technical development & planning branch head with the North Carolina Forest Service, NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. His leadership and commitment to the forestry profession have remained strong throughout his career. As a long-standing SAF member, his leadership and service span all levels of SAF. New was actively engaged in SAF early in his professional career and continued his volunteer leadership service while working in Kansas by serving as secretary/treasurer of the former Kansas Division, and later the Great Plains SAF. 

New’s impact is felt at the student, chapter, division, society, and national levels of SAF. He believes strongly in giving back to the profession through service in SAF and has been energetic in obtaining grants to support membership recruitment and in community outreach. 

New has an intense interest in SAF leadership development. He organized multiple leadership events for both the NC Division (1996) and the ApSAF (2000, 2005, 2017). He is acknowledged by his peers on numerous occasions including receiving the NC Division Young Forester Leadership Award, ApSAF Young Forester Leadership Award, NCSAF Division Merit Award, ApSAF Distinguished Service to Forestry Award, and SAF Fellow. New has been a professional leader for 38 years and is still making his presence known to everyone around him. 
“It is very clear, Barry has dedicated his life to furthering the practice of good forestry and serving those who grow, manage, and depend on our forests. His past and continuing service and leadership inside and outside of SAF make him a very deserving recipient of the John A. Beale Memorial Award.” – Charles W. Becker Ill, CF, Forest Products Technologist, USDA Forest Service. 
A few words from Barry New:

Thank you to the Society of American Foresters for selecting me as the 2022 recipient of the John A. Beale Memorial Award. This is a true honor. I especially owe gratitude to my APSAF family and to those who championed my nomination. I know the effort it takes to coordinate nomination packages, write endorsement letters, and meet deadlines. To have my name listed among the past recipients of this award is sincerely humbling. Thank you all!

At the center of this award is voluntary service to the Society and profession. I have been very fortunate throughout my career to have employers and supervisors who were supportive of my involvement with SAF and recognized the greater good that resulted from that. For that support, I am truly grateful. Throughout my career, SAF has served as an anchor in grounding me within the profession of forestry. SAF has introduced me to a brotherhood of foresters nationwide and created lasting friendships. Honestly, I can’t imagine a career in forestry without SAF.  

For those reading this who are earlier in your career, I encourage and challenge you to find your place within SAF. Volunteers are the heartbeat of SAF. No volunteer task is too small. Make the effort to get involved in some way and continue your involvement throughout your career. You will benefit in ways that might not be readily apparent while at the moment, but you will most certainly get back more than you put in!  

Top Photo: Barry New evaluating natural regeneration of cutover swamp in Eastern, NC, 2017.
Bottom Photo: International Forestry Tour of Preston Floyd’s Tree Farm in Granville County, NC 2007

Outstanding Local Unit Achievement Award

Missoula Chapter, Montana SAF

The Outstanding Local Unit Achievement Award recognizes the outstanding achievement of a local unit for sustained leadership or a special project benefiting SAF, the forestry profession, and the practice of forestry. 

With 100 members, Missoula Chapter members represent a majority of sectors of the forestry profession, which benefits each member with the opportunity to learn about different objectives and practices of academia, research, private industry, consultants, local, state, and federal government foresters, and natural resources professionals and technicians. Many members lead or sit on a variety of local, state, and national committees.

In the early 1980s, the Missoula Chapter started the Forestry Interpretive Area at the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula. The goal was to capture, interpret, and display the forestry and logging history in Montana. There are now over 100 exhibits and pieces of equipment, some over 120 years old. 
One major annual chapter event held at the Forestry Interpretive Area is Forestry Day at Fort Missoula, which draws 1,000 to 1,200 people. The event features antique logging equipment, hands-on demonstrations, and numerous displays showing the history of forestry and logging in Montana. Forestry Day is an opportunity not just to show and operate the steam-powered sawmill and other antique equipment, but also to host the only professional and amateur logging competition in the country. 
“There is a great deal of respect and understanding in our community of the importance and history of forestry. Much of the credit for this is due to the excellent contributions of the Missoula SAF and their Forestry Interpretive Area at the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula.” – Matt Lautzenheiser, Executive Director, The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula 
A few words from the Missoula Chapter Leadership:

The Missoula Chapter is honored to receive the 2022 “Outstanding Local Unit Achievement Award.” The Missoula Chapter has been an active chapter for over 50 years.  Its diversity of forestry backgrounds, disciplines, and employers make the chapter what it is today.  Though we may have differences during the day, everyone leaves their hat at the door at chapter meetings and is there because they love this profession we call “Forestry.” Whether it’s sponsoring three Forest for Humanity Blitz Builds where all the lumber was supplied by Montana Mills, Forest Discovery Days, Montana Walk in the Woods, Chamber Timber Tours, and Forestry Day at Fort Missoula, the Chapter has been out there promoting our profession for years. The crown jewel that the Chapter started in 1983 is the Montana Historic Equipment Area (MHEA, formally known as the Forestry Interpretive Area). 

In 1983, the Missoula Chapter began its partnership with the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula. The MHEA is designed to exhibit the important role forestry and timber harvesting have had in Western Montana. The MHEA has completed dozens of exhibits. A retired 1933 US Forest Service lookout and guard cabin was relocated to the site. 1923 Willamette locomotive that was used from 1931 to 1948 to haul logs in the Blackfoot Valley. This “Engine No.7" was also the locomotive in the 1954 movie “Timberjack.” An operational steam-powered sawmill we run during special functions, and a set of restored High Wheels. Forestry Day is MHEA’s largest sponsored event and is held the last Saturday in April. We run the sawmill and have hands-on and live equipment demonstrations throughout the day. In 1995, the University of Montana Woodsman Team built its new arena at the MHEA. In conjunction with our Forestry Day, the UM Woodsman Team hosts an annual Pro-Am logging competition each spring with over 100 collegiate and professional competitors. This competition brings amateur and professional lumberjacks together from throughout the Northwest.
Photos: The Missoula Chapter during "Forest Discovery Days."

Student Leadership Award

Ashley Carter

The Student Leadership Award recognizes individual student achievement and leadership at the local, regional, or national level.

Ashley Carter is pursuing a BS in Forest Resources Management at State University of New York (SUNY) Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) and serves as president of the forestry club and ESF Student SAF Chapter. 

Service projects Carter has been involved with include planting trees with a Syracuse urban forester; discussing, measuring, and planning best management practices at the college demonstration forest; and serving as an educational aid for Maple Weekend co-hosted by the Youth Climate Summit. The clubs at ESF are student-driven, and Carter willingly and capably leads the SAF Student Chapter. Carter graduated magna cum laude from the ESF Ranger School in 2021 and will graduate from SUNY ESF in May 2023. She is currently on both the Dean’s and President’s Lists and is a member of Alpha Xi Sigma-ESF Honor Society. 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, it has been difficult for students to engage. As a gifted leader, Carter does an excellent job of attracting and retaining members of the student forestry club. She organized several educational events and service activities during the past nine months. The club hosted many guest speakers, including foresters from Weyerhaeuser, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the USDA Forest Service. Carter is currently organizing a Quiz Bowl team for the National SAF Convention in Baltimore and is encouraging students to attend the event even if they are not members of the quiz team.
“Ashley is a bright, thoughtful and hardworking student who has shown great leadership skills in resurrecting the Forestry Club after two years of COVID dormancy. Her quiet brand of leadership revived the club like a phoenix from the ashes.” – René H. Germain, Professor, SUNY-ESF 
A few words from Ashley Carter:

To be the recipient of the Student Leadership Award is a great honor and I would like to thank those who took the time to prepare the nomination. As I enter my senior year and reflect back on the past three years, the amount of academic, professional, and personal growth has been extremely gratifying. With the support of family, friends, professors, mentors, and peers, my academic career has been highly rewarding and has opened many doors in the forestry and natural resources profession. 

As a student leader and voice for student chapters across Region 6, I want to thank my peers who have provided guidance and constructive criticism over the past few years. With this feedback I have come to recognize my strengths and weaknesses, allowing me to have a more positive impact as a leader of student involvement in forestry and natural resources. This award is extremely meaningful to me as it is a recognition not just for my role as a student leader, but of the positive impact that our student chapter has had on students and the local community. Being a student leader for SAF has been an extremely rewarding experience and I accept this award with the utmost gratitude.
Top Photo: Carter hiking in the Adirondack Park.
Bottom Photo: Carter participating in a white pine planting at the James F. Dubuar Memorial Forest.

Technology Transfer Award

Laurence Swan

The Technology Transfer Award recognizes outstanding performance in the areas of technology transfer, implementation, and extension.

Larry Swan manages the Forest Service Regional Wood Innovations grant program for Region 5, which includes identifying and developing projects that stimulate or expand wood products and wood energy markets and support long-term management of the National Forest System and other forest lands. He has managed over 95 wood innovation projects totaling over $40 million in federal grants. He is appointed by the California Board of Forestry to the Advisory Committee for the newly established Joint Institute for Wood Products Innovation and consults with multiple state and local agencies and private businesses on both new and conventional wood utilization businesses and policies. 

His role in technology transfer focuses on commercial and field implementation of wood and biomass utilization that improves markets and economics while meeting agency goals to improve forest health. His unique skill set brings together knowledge of forestry and wood supply, harvest and transportation systems, manufacturing capacity and capabilities, current and future markets, and an understanding of the implications of state and federal policy decisions.
Swan synthesizes research and development innovations by USDA Forest Service scientists and works closely with resource managers to solve problems, create new tools, and disseminate knowledge to stakeholders. He uses many technology transfer tools such as workshops, conference presentations, field trips, reports, and websites to help federal, state, and local professionals, non-profit organizations, manufacturers, policymakers, researchers, and communities to connect and improve their understanding of potential utilization options. 
”Larry Swan has had, and continues to have, an outsize influence on the development of the wood products industry in California due to his knowledge and experience, and his active transfer of that information to others." – Timothy Robards, Ph.D., CF, RPF
A few words from Larry Swan:

I am honored to receive the SAF 2022 Technology Transfer Award and the recognition it symbolizes from my peers. I know my career and professional contributions represent just a small slice of the rich variety of career paths where forestry training can play an important role. About 30 years ago, I took what I thought would be a minor career detour. The job entailed working with local industry and economic development organizations to explore alternative sources of sawlogs and fiber, including western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis). Pretty soon I was having the time of my life setting up partnerships between private businesses, economic development organizations, universities, and government agencies with the goal of facilitating public and private investments in wood products and forestry activities—and I never looked back.

Most of the knowledge needed had to be acquired “on the job,” but forestry education and experience were fundamental, along with a healthy dose of optimism since millions of dollars were being invested. This work eventually led to other assignments involving forestry, manufacturing, and market assessments not only in the Western U.S. but also in 10 foreign countries and 2 U.S. Territories. I feel very fortunate at this stage in my career that I am still eager to get up and go to work every day—there is always something new to learn and understand, and I have the opportunity to meet and work with so many creative and highly motivated forestry professionals. 

Top Photo: Swan “curling” a round of balsa at a small sawmill in Pucallpa, Peru.
Bottom Photo: Swan talking with Pedro Zuñiga, a forester with an organization called “FUNDECOR” (based in Costa Rica), in the Amazonas region of Peru. 

W. D. Hagenstein Communicator Award

David Coyle, Ph.D.

The Hagenstein Communicator Award recognizes an SAF member who leads innovative and exemplary communications initiatives and programs that increase the general public’s understanding of forestry and natural resources.

Watch this video to hear a few words from Dr. Coyle. 

Dr. David Coyle makes a significant positive influence across the state, region, and nation promoting the importance of forest health. By utilizing social media, his outreach impacts a larger audience within the forestry profession and the general public than traditional communication methods alone. In addition to excelling in his professional responsibilities as assistant professor in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation at Clemson University, Coyle maintains his prolific Southern Regional Extension Forestry Forest Health and Invasive Species Program. This regional program serves as an aggregate for current forest and tree health-related educational content for natural resources professionals in the southeastern United States. 

Coyle uses broadcast media for outreach at the local and regional levels. His television and radio appearances have increased significantly following his launch of the Bradford Pear Bounty and the discovery of the Asian long-horned beetle in South Carolina. With almost 20 television interviews and over 15 radio broadcasts, he increases public awareness of these two threats. 

Coyle gained national exposure when an article in The New York Times in November 2021 focused on the Bradford pear Bounty. This program helps homeowners remove Bradford ears, an invasive medium-sized tree with rounded form, from their properties and exchange the tree for a free, healthy native tree of their choosing. As a member of the South Carolina Invasive Species Advisory Committee, the committee successfully got a ban in place for the sale of this ornamental tree in the state beginning in 2024.
“Dr. Coyle is uniquely deserving of this award due to his "revolutionizing" of our traditional forestry communications to landowners and fellow professionals in the use of social media.” – Adam Downing, Senior Extension Agent, Forestry, Virginia Cooperative Extension
A few words from Dave Coyle:

To me, this is a big one and it means a LOT – National SAF awards are prestigious, and I feel humbled to be nominated, let alone win. It means my peers recognize what I do, the effort I put into it, and the impact it has on our profession as well as the general public.

I believe forestry suffers from a lack of visibility. There are many hardworking people practicing forestry all over the country and world, most of whom would rather just do their work and not draw attention to themselves – and that’s fine. But if forestry is to truly flourish, people need to know what we do…and I’m just trying to shed some light on what we do and why we do it. 

There’s no “right way” or “wrong way” to do any of this because when you boil it down, all I’m doing is sharing information. Sure, it took some time (and practice!) to get used to using social media, to get comfortable talking to reporters, or to learn how to write a good fact sheet, but at the end of the day, all I’m doing is telling a story – the story of forestry. Sometimes it’s my story, sometimes it’s someone else’s story. Either way, I’m just trying to illuminate what we do and increase the number of people that know what forestry is and why it's an amazing, valuable profession. So, thank you SAF, for recognizing these efforts. I am truly honored and humbled.
Photos: Coyle filming segments for a beginning forester course in the Francis Marion National Forest (South Carolina).

Young Forester Leadership Award

Kelly Norris, CF

The Young Forester Leadership Award recognizes outstanding leadership by a young forestry professional in the development and promotion of an individual program or project, or for a sustained leadership role benefiting the practice of forestry and SAF.

Kelly Norris, CF, demonstrates outstanding leadership, contagious passion, and innovative thinking to the state of Wyoming, the Colorado-Wyoming SAF State Society, SAF District 4, and National SAF. She currently serves as the Assistant State Forester – Operations, for the Wyoming State Forestry Division where she is responsible for developing and prioritizing work across 263,000 acres of trust lands and 3.6 million acres of fire suppression responsibility on state trust lands.

Norris actively participates in the Colorado-Wyoming Mentorship program, where she provides guidance to students and early career female foresters. She has been very active at all SAF levels and her path has smoothed the way for several young women to find their voices within SAF. 

In her current role as the District 4 director on the board, Norris inspires early career professionals to become leaders. She has been involved in the development of the first-ever District 4 Virtual Leadership Academy. As a leader in the forestry profession, Norris is always learning. She recently became an SAF Certified Forester, bringing that knowledge to her career and to her perspective on the board. She is passionate, engaged, good-humored, and willing to step in to provide guidance, creativity, and constructive feedback with anything pertaining to forestry and SAF. She is a role model of positivity and is fearless in tackling the complex challenges facing the forestry profession. 
“In the 12 years that she has been with Wyoming State Forestry she has been an agent of change, moving our organization and the forests of Wyoming forward.” – Bill Crapser, Stale Forester, Wyoming State Forestry Division 
A few words from Kelly Norris:

I am humbled and honored to have been selected for SAF's Young Leadership Award. Growing up my family would spend our summers in Wisconsin's forests camping, and backpacking. Once my brother and I were old enough to handle long drives in a truck together, we started to explore our National Forests and Parks out west. These trips had such an impact on me, that I decided to pursue a career in which I could manage the forests I so enjoyed spending my time in. From my first forestry position with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to the time I've spent on the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, and over the last twelve years working for Wyoming State Forestry Division, I have a deep desire to help improve the health of our forests while also creating a positive impact to the communities I get to work in. 

I would like to share this award with my husband Nick, and my two children Ben and Henry, along with our parents, and family who have all made it possible for me to follow my career goals by actively supporting the work I do for our forests. Being a mom and wife has only made me a better forester. 

I would like to thank Colorado-Wyoming SAF leadership for nominating and believing in me, as well as my amazing colleagues at Wyoming State Forestry, private forest landowners, cooperating agency and fire professionals, timber contractors, and numerous SAF mentors who have all been so instrumental in my growth as a professional forester. Being recognized at the highest level in our profession is a once-in-a-lifetime honor I am very grateful to receive. I truly believe the more you give, the more you get back and I can't thank SAF enough for all the organization, its members, and staff have given to me over the years, it's an organization I am so proud to be a part of. 

Honorary Membership Award 

Chuck Leavell

The Honorary Membership Award recognizes individuals whose contributions to forestry are viewed as outstanding by their peers. 

Watch this video to hear a few words from Leavell. 

Chuck Leavell is a world-renowned musician who has been heard on works with Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, John Mayer, The Black Crowes, George Harrison, The Allman Brothers Band, The Indigo Girls, Blues Traveler, Train, Montgomery-Gentry, Lee Ann Womack and many, many more. He thoughtfully uses his platform to highlight his love of forests and his time as a tree farmer in Georgia. Leavell promotes the importance of forests and forest management across the country and the world.

In 2020, he starred in the cinematic documentary, "Chuck Leavell: The Tree Man," a film about his passion for music, forests, and family. 

In 2001, Leavell penned “Forever Green: The History and Hope of the American Forest.” This book is now in its second printing in the US and has been translated and released in Germany and Austria. Today, Leavell plays a strong role in environmental issues in the US and beyond. His name is well known on Capitol Hill for his advocacy work where he has played a solid role in forming the forest component of the past three US Farm Bills.

Leavell has hosted ten episodes of the TV series, “America's Forests with Chuck Leavell” for PBS. The series covers a wide range of forestry issues and engages conservation, government agencies, and timber industry representatives. The show has become widely known for showcasing a wide spectrum of the forest sector on various PBS stations. 

Leavell has long shown a commitment to understanding forest management practices, engaging policymakers to support our nation’s forests, and using his platform to communicate the critical benefits and pressing challenges of our forests. The Honorary Membership now makes Leavell a lifetime member of SAF.
“Chuck Leavell has had and continues to have tremendous national and international impact for the advancement of healthy working forests. He is an incredible asset to our profession. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of being honorary SAF member.” – Vicki Christiansen, Retired Chief, United States Forest Service
A few words from Chuck Leavell:

I have always felt a personal connection to trees and forests. To begin with, where does that thing that has given me such a great career in music and such joy all my life come from? The piano that I play, and most all musical instruments that we love, contain some element of wood in them. That gives me somewhat of a spiritual connection to the resource of wood. But more than that, I’ve always loved the Ralph Waldo Emmerson quote that “In the woods, we return to reason and faith"—another spiritual connection.

I have such high regard and respect for those that work in the woods, keeping our trees and forests healthy, and therefore giving us all the wonderful, incredible things that wood provides us with—materials to make books, magazines, newspapers, and packaging products; materials to build our homes, schools, churches, and offices; clean air and clean water; home and shelter to all manner of wildlife; and, yes, my piano and all those wonderful musical instruments.

To receive an Honorary Membership in the SAF is flattering and humbling and gives me the inspiration to continue my passion and advocacy for the health and care of our forests in our country and all over the world.

Presidential Field Forester Awards

The Presidential Field Forester Award recognizes foresters that have dedicated their professional careers to the application of forestry on the ground using sound, scientific methods and adaptive management strategies. To hear more from the Presidential Field Foresters, click on the hyperlinked names below to watch a short video.

District 1 – Dan Rees, CF 
District 2 – Jeffrey Grogan, CF
District 3 – Glenn Barley
District 4 – Joshua Newman
District 5 – Lawrence Czelusta, CF
District 6 – Bernie Braun
District 7 – Joshua Flad, CF
District 8 – Henry Randolph
District 9 – Greg Hay, CF
District 10 – Jeffery Vowell
District 11 – Timothy Holland, CF

Class of 2022 Fellows

The rank of Fellow is bestowed on a member by their peers for outstanding contributions and service to SAF and the profession. Fellows are listed in alphabetical order, followed by SAF state society affiliation. To hear more from each Fellow, click on the hyperlinked names below to watch a short video. 
John Britt, Southeastern
Neil Clark, Appalachian
Donald Dukleth, California
Gary Ellingson, Montana
Christopher Farley, Colorado/Wyoming
Robert Ficklin, Ouachita
Thomas Gallagher, CF, Southeastern
Daniel Goerlich, Appalachian
Walter D. (Dale) Greene, Southeastern
David Gwaze, National Capital
Michael Huneke, CF, Allegheny
G. Gary Kaster, CF, Ohio
Jeanne Kavinski, CF, National Capital
Laura Kenefic, New England
David Maass, New England
David McGill, CF, Allegheny
Janice Mulherin, New England
David Newman, New York
Diane Savin-Dukleth, California
W. Bruce Schlaebitz, CF, Montana
Callie Jo Schweitzer, Southeastern
David Thom, CF, Dakotas
Kristen Waring, Southwestern
Rodney Will, Ouachita
Catharine Wiswall, Southeastern

Class of 2022 SAF Student Diversity Scholars

Scholars attend the SAF national convention and are paired with mentors to have the opportunity to learn from one another and engage with leaders across SAF and the profession. The scholars are listed along with their respective universities. To hear more from each Diversity Scholar, click on the hyperlinked names below to watch a short video.

Segun Adeyemo, Mississippi State University
Antigone Burke, Oklahoma State University
Caroline Fitzgerald, Virginia Tech
Arthur Hsin-Wu Hsu, University of Washington
Deron Isom, Southern University and A&M College
Zoe Kaminsky, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point
Cathy Keeler, Tuskegee University
Erin Maines, University of Kentucky
Maya McGaha, Tuskegee University
Kaleb Merwin, Green River College
Manisha Parajuli, College of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University
Arun Regmi, Pennsylvania State University
Arjun Rijal, 
College of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University
Damilola M Taiwo, Mississippi State University
Casey Wofford, North Carolina State University

Gregory Award Winner

Sakiratou KARIMOU M, Benin

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

Watch this video to hear a few words from Sakiratou KARIMOU M. 

Sakiratou KARIMOU M is the coordinator of the non-governmental organization Vert-Monde in Benin. Vert-Monde aims to promote environmental protection, sustainable agriculture, and renewable energy. Sakiratou's work consists of designing and implementing projects that respond to the needs of local communities while protecting the environment.

She is working with international partners such as the GIZ to provide bioenergy to rural communities. With those partners, she is helping women to transform their agricultural residues into biogas, which will be used as cooking energy instead of firewood. Aside from her bioenergy projects, Sakiratou is very embedded in civic engagement endeavors. She obtained a grant from the US Department of State through the US Embassy in Cotonou to implement a project which consists of developing the culture of volunteerism among youths in Northern Benin. During the training, she taught more than 300 youths to volunteer for environmental protection.

With a support from the African Union, she is now working to scale up her civic engagement project. Sakiratou has been selected among the 50 youths engaged for climate in francophone countries by IFDD. She holds a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics (Nigeria) and a postgraduate certificate in Food Chains in Agriculture from the University of Weihenstephan-Triesdorf (Germany). She is also a 2021 Mandela Washington Fellow (USA).

We are honored to have her join us in Baltimore at the 2022 SAF National Convention.

Outstanding SAF Student Chapter Award

UC Berkeley

The Outstanding SAF Student Chapter Award recognizes the outstanding SAF student chapter in the nation and its faculty representative during an academic year. 

This year's first place chapter is UC Berkley

Mississippi State University
University of Tennessee

The three student chapters were recognized during the SAF National Convention. The first-place student chapter will receive a $500 honorarium. All three student chapters will be printed in The Forestry Source, the SAF monthly newspaper.