UW School of Forest Resources E-news
September 2010  |  Return to issue home

Letter from FRAA President Tom Hanson

FRAA President Tom Hanson
Tom Hanson

This is my last newsletter message as president of the Forest Resources Alumni Association.  Beginning autumn 2010, Ara Erickson, ’04, will take over the position, and I’d like to extend a warm welcome to her on behalf of all SFR alumni.

The past two years have seen the College of Forest Resources’ transition into the College of the Environment as the School of Forest Resources. A further name change for SFR is pending.  Regardless of name, the stature of Forest Resources at the UW continues, as its graduates become leaders in a wide range of careers.

My own career began right after graduation in 1971 as the “new hire” at International Forestry Consultants, Inc. (INFO), a company formed a few years earlier by a couple of Husky foresters and, along the way, other Husky stockholders. They all had backgrounds in international forestry gained by capitalizing on their UW forestry educations to enter careers around the world.  

Subsequently, I took on greater ownership at INFO and developed its emphasis on forestry in the western U.S. The international connection remains, however, and we still serve several European clients with timberland investments under our management here in the U.S. Over time, INFO has varied in size, first from three to five professional foresters, then from my years as an individual consultant, to today when we have a staff of 10, including five UW Forest Resources graduates.

Professional diversification has always been at the heart of INFO’s success and longevity; that adaptability has its foundation in the education we’ve received primarily at the UW. Our staff conducts on-the-ground forestry for development of forest products, but we also work with conservation organizations, prepare forest stewardship plans, write urban tree protection plans, conduct urban tree assessments and prepare large- and small-scale forestry economic analyses.

Our education is ongoing, as all of us adapt the company to meet traditional and modern challenges of forest management. That’s why continued support for the School of Forest Resources and the UW Forest Resources Alumni Association is critical for maintaining the strength of SFR’s graduates, whether their careers are in traditional forestry or in the myriad of associated natural resources and ecosystem science professions. For the school to sustain its leadership role in the new College of the Environment, your support is needed to ensure that the next generations of graduates adapt to the jobs and challenges at hand. Upcoming opportunities for you to connect with SFR and UW include our new LinkedIn initiatives, through which you will be able to establish a network of colleagues in the alumni community. (Join our UW Forest Resources Alumni Group or our Pulp & Paper Science and Engineering Alumni Group on LInkedIn now.) And, on Nov. 6, the FRAA will host its annual meeting and celebration on the UW campus. Stay tuned and check for updates on SFR's alumni page for information about both!

I look forward to seeing you there!

Tom Hanson, president
Forest Resources Alumni Association

September 2010  |  Return to issue home