Lecture Series

The Starker Lectures have been captured in video since 2002. From 1985 to 2001, the lectures were published in print format alone. The video and print versions of the Starker Lectures are available through the links below.

Year Description
2018 What’s next: the future of managing for healthy productive forests

The future is unknown; yet every day we make assumptions, guesses and decisions about forest management, education, policy and our personal lives that impact our lives down the road.  This leads us to ask, what will the forestry world look like in 30-40 years? The 2018 Starker Lecture Series will explore this and ask some of our current leading thinkers to consider what the economic, political, technological and ecological future might look like, and how we ought to prepare for decisions that could shape generations. 

2017 Recreation in the Forest: Finding a Healthy Balance

Through its research, education and outreach programs, the Oregon State University College of Forestry strives to create healthy people and communities, competitive and innovative products, intensively managed forests and resilient ecosystems to produce a healthy forest landscape for all users. This includes managing our forest landscapes to meet the needs of those who utilize these spaces for their desirable recreation opportunities. From hiking, biking, kayaking, rock climbing and beyond, the positive impact recreation has on our forests and communities can be felt far and wide. The challenges are also immense. For instance, conflict between recreationists and land managers arise and are costly, while forest recreation remains an opportunity enjoyed mostly by users of a certain income status and demographic set. To help land managers, recreation users and the community understand and address these issues and challenges, the 2017 Starker Lecture Series will focus on the social and economic impact recreation has on the forests, the conflict it can create between parties, and the collaborative approaches to forest stewardship and sustainability that have resulted in positive outcomes for all users. 

2016 Burning Questions: People, Forests, & Fire

Over the past several years, there has been an increase in the number and severity of wildfires in Oregon State.  This trend is expected to continue as the Pacific Northwest become increasingly vulnerable to the effects of a changing climate including, decreased snowpack, higher temperatures and drought, and declining forest health.  These environmental changes increase the risk of catastrophic wildfire impacting communities living in the wildland-urban interface. Wildfire was once considered to be a risk only for people living in rural areas; however it is quickly becoming a reality for urban neighborhoods.  Recent fires in Corvallis and Portland illustrate the need for rural and urban communities alike to adapt to the changing conditions of their environment in which they live. The 2016 Starker Lecture will address the “new normal” of living with fire, and will offer individuals, neighborhoods, and communities useful information and strategies for living in a changing environment.


Please note that the Starker Lecture Series will be held at La Sells Stewart Center this year. Parking on campus is not free, please see visitor parking information for details on purchasing a visitor parking permit.

2015 Douglas-fir: The Legacy and future of the Pacific Northwest's most iconic tree

Douglas-fir is the Pacific Northwest’s most iconic tree.  Unique among the region’s conifers, it was first classified by botanist David Douglas nearly two centuries ago.  This year (2015) is the 100-year anniversary of the first major plantation of the species.  Its values both culturally and functionally remain exceptional in the region and the wider world.  The 2015 Starker Lecture Series will provide a colorful retrospective as well as forward-looking view of our understanding of Douglas-fir trees, forests and products that help define a historical foundation as well as new opportunities for the Pacific Northwest.

The 2015 Starker Series begins with a screening of “Finding David Douglas,” an internationally acclaimed documentary about the pioneering botanist’s compelling life of adventure and discovery.  A subsequent lecture will provide further insights about the man and his explorations in the Pacific Northwest.  Two additional lectures will shift to contemporary perspectives on the management of Douglas-fir forests and innovative uses of products made from its wood, including multistory buildings.  The Series will conclude with a capstone field trip that features current management strategies for Douglas-fir forests and state-of-the-art milling and construction with Douglas-fir products.

2014 Working Forests Across the Landscapes

Working forests are forest lands that are actively managed, but within a large landscape the owners and managers of these lands have diverse management objectives.  This diversity provides both challenges and opportunities in providing a wide and complementary array of economic and environmental values from these forests, including how the needs of local landowners and communities are considered and integrated.  The 2014 Starker Lecture Series will provide a forum for a wide-ranging discussion of these issues.

Key lecture topics for the 2014 Starker Series include an overview of the landscape-level, diverse ownerships, working forest concept and a discussion of key forest ecology and management considerations.  In addition, the program will provide insights about social considerations within larger forest areas that account for the varying interests of different landowners while also addressing important landscape objectives.   The Series will conclude with a capstone field trip that features a local example of a public-private collaboration that reflects an actual “working forest with a landscape view.”

2013 Forest Biomass Energy and Beyond

Interest in renewable energy sources has soared in recent years, and the Pacific Northwest’s abundant forest lands represent an important source of biomass for heat energy and as feedstock for liquid biofuels and chemicals.  However, the process of forest biomass production, extraction and use for energy and other purposes is diverse and complex, with many small- and large-scale technical, economic, and environmental issues to consider.  The 2013 Starker Lecture Series will provide a forum for a state-of-the-art, wide-ranging discussion of these issues and the unique challenges and opportunities in forest biomass utilization.

Key lecture topics for the 2013 Starker Series include an overview of biorefinery opportunities and challenges, a current technology case study, environmental considerations (panel), and state-level bioenergy policies and initiatives.   The Series will conclude with a capstone field trip that will show local examples of forest biomass and energy production “from the ground up.”


The Starker Lecture Series is sponsored by the Starker Family in Honor of T.J. and Bruce Starker and is supported by the OSU College of Forestry and the Oregon Forest Resources Institute.

2012 Watershed Moments: People, Forests, and Water

Water is an Essential Resource

In the coming year, both ongoing and new concerns about forest and water interactions are expected to generate increased interest among forest owners, managers, and the academic community. Questions and controversies concerning water protection policies and legal issues, coupled with emerging new information from paired watershed studies, provide a rich array of topics for this year's 2012 Starker Lecture Series.

The 2012 Starker Lecture Series will kick-off with a tie-in to the February 28 Oregon Forests and Water Symposium, sponsored by the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI).  This all day symposium will provide updates on current issues, including paired watershed studies, herbicides, and point source vs. non-point source pollution. The three Starker Lectures that follow will explore selected forest and water issues more deeply, focusing on policy, the science of watersheds, and a global connections perspective.  The Capstone Field Trip will offer a tour of the "Alsea Revisited"  Watershed Study area.

2011 Oregon's Place in World Forests and Forestry

Oregon's forests and global forestry issues

The theme of the 2011 Starker Lecture Series acknowledges the important role that Oregon’s forests play in addressing global forestry issues, and the increasingly important context that the world sets for how forestry is practiced in Oregon.  The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2011 as International Year of Forests to raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests. The 2011 Starker Lecture Series responds to parts of the UN resolution that encourage partnerships to facilitate and promote activities at the local and national levels.

The lecture series has been designed to generate discussions about a wide range of topics, from global trends in forest condition, biodiversity, and wood supply; their implications for local forest management; and the benefits, opportunities and challenges associated with urban forests in the world’s cities.

2010 Ecosystems Services from Forests and Farms

The Starker Lecture Series is sponsored by the Starker Family in Honor of T.J. and Bruce Starker and is supported by the OSU College of Forestry and the Oregon Forest Resources Institute.

The OSU College of Forestry’s Starker Lecture series for 2010 will feature "Ecosystems Services from Forests and Farms”. Ecosystems Services will be examined from philosophical as well as practical perspectives. Lecturers will discuss the justification for paying landowners for a range of outputs ranging from carbon to water. Markets for ecosystem services, as well as ecosystem services that might be measured and valued will also be examined. The lecture series will conclude on May 7th with a field tour of field sites where ecosystem services are being measured and marketed.

2009 Sustaining Forests, Homes, and Communities

The Starker Lecture Series is sponsored by the Starker Family in Honor of T.J. and Bruce Starker and is supported by the OSU College of Forestry and the Oregon Forest Resources Institute.

The upcoming Starker Lecture Series will address the issue of sustainability from a broad perspective, ranging from sustainable production and use of forest products to maintaining strong rural communities and the working forests on which they depend. Program speakers will examine key approaches for promoting sustainability, such as forest management certification, green building standards and forest-dependent community initiatives.