Finley named Ibberson Chair in Forest Resources Management

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- James Finley, professor of forest resources, has been named the Joseph E. Ibberson Chair in Forest Resources Management in the School of Forest Resources.

The Ibberson Chair's purpose is to educate students and to continue leadership in the professional management of private forest resources, and Finley is uniquely qualified for the position, according to Michael Messina, director of the School of Forest Resources.

"Dr. Finley has been employed by Penn State since 1975, with a mostly extension appointment for that entire 36-year period," he said. "In addition to having extension responsibilities, he has been active in both teaching and research. He is an obvious choice for the Ibberson Chair."

Finley is leader of the Forest Stewardship Program -- a multifaceted extension program directed toward private forest landowners to help them learn how to improve and maintain the ecological health of their land. In addition, in 2006 he co-founded and still co-directs the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment intercollege graduate degree program.

"Jim's primary professional commitment is towards the management of private forests -- which is particularly important in Pennsylvania, where nearly three-quarters of forested acres are owned by private landowners," Messina added. "His work with private landowners heavily involves 'human dimensions,' an area in which he is especially strong."

Finley, who earned his bachelor's degree in forest science, his master's degree in forest resources and his doctoral degree in extension education, all from Penn State, will fill the Ibberson chair for a three-year term, with subsequent five-year terms possible.

Since 2009, he has served as associate director of the School of Forest Resources, which is in the College of Agricultural Sciences. He was extension coordinator for the school from 1997 to 2009 and has directed and led partnerships for developing and delivering educational programs with the forest industry, Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry, U.S. Forest Service, and various agencies and nonprofit groups.

Finley's research focuses on human dimensions of natural resources, such as hunting, community-based forestry, landowner relations and forest regeneration.
 

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Last Updated October 10, 2011