Will Tropical Forests Survive the 21st Century?

Thursday, February 3, 2011
3:30 pm to 5:00 pm
107 Richardson Hall, College of Forestry, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Dr. Hartshorn is President and Chief Executive Officer of the World Forestry Center (WFC) based in Portland, Oregon. He holds a courtesy professorship in Oregon State University’s College of Forestry. Prior to joining the WFC in October 2003, Dr. Hartshorn was for seven years the President and CEO of the Organization for Tropical Studies—a consortium of 65 universities based at Duke University. He continues to be an adjunct professor of the practice of tropical ecology in Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. Hartshorn also served as Chief Scientist and a Vice President of the World Wildlife Fund US in Washington DC. He and his family lived in Costa Rica for 20 years (most of the 1970s and 80s).

Hartshorn has worked throughout the tropics in the fields of forest ecology, forest management, biodiversity conservation, and environmental assessment. He maintains long-term research interests in tropical forest dynamics, tree dominance-diversity patterns, biodiversity conservation, and sustainable forest management. Hartshorn is an author of 250 scientific publications and technical reports. He published important papers on tropical tree demography and the role of tree-fall gaps in tropical forest dynamics. Using his research findings on gap dynamics and the regeneration of tropical trees, Hartshorn developed the innovative use of strip-cuts as a management model in species-rich tropical forests. He is especially interested in promoting the conservation and sustainable use of forests.


Hartshorn’s degrees include a B.S. from Moravian College, an M.S. from North Carolina State University, and the Ph.D. from the University of Washington. He received the 1993 Comenius Award as the outstanding alumnus of Moravian College. In 2009, Hartshorn received the Honored Alumnus award from the University of Washington Forestry Alumni Association.

Hartshorn has served as an elected professional officer and on several boards of directors, such as the American Institute of Biological Sciences (president 2003); Association for Tropical Biology (president 1989); Tropical Forest Foundation (former chairman and honorary director); General Service Foundation (trustee); Institute of Current World Affairs (chairman, trustee and former fellow); and the World Forestry Center. Hartshorn served on the Society of American Foresters’ World Forestry Committee. In 2009, he chaired the Washington Park Alliance. He was the U.S. Scientific Liaison Officer (1997-2003) to the Center for International Forestry Research, based in Bogor, Indonesia. He was a three-time White House appointee (1991-2000) on the Joint Commission for the Environment (JCE) and elected chairman for two terms. From 1981 to 1985 he served as president of the Tropical Science Center in San José, Costa Rica.