Ibberson commits $2 million for faculty chair in forestry

June 03, 2003

University Park -- Penn State alumnus Joseph E. Ibberson of Harrisburg has committed $2 million to endow a faculty chair in urban and community forestry in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Ibberson is retired chief of the division of forest advisory services of Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Resources (now the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources). He is a 1947 Penn State graduate in forestry and 2003 recipient of the University's School of Forest Resources' Outstanding Alumnus Award.

The Joseph E. Ibberson chair in urban and community forestry will support a distinguished faculty member in the School of Forest Resources. The holder will provide leadership in the professional management of forest resources, with an emphasis on urban and community forestry and the principles of integrated forest resources management through instruction, research and public service. He or she will be appointed for an initial three-year term, which may be extended for subsequent five-year terms.

This is the second chair that Ibberson has created at Penn State. In 1998, he made a gift to establish the Joseph E. Ibberson Chair in Forest Resources Management, currently held by Harry V. Wiant Jr., professor of forestry.

Working for the Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters' Bureau of Forestry, Ibberson developed the first forest management plans for 2 million acres of Pennsylvania state forest land between 1948 and 1955. He then created the Division of Forests Advisory Services, which further expanded the management plans and targeted the preservation of endangered species and wetlands.

Ibberson started a forest genetics program that reorganized the tree nurseries to produce large quantities of desirable and improved species, and then created a service forester program to aid private citizens in managing their forested land. In 1962, he began buying his own land to create a tree farm on which he practiced various forms of forest management, eventually accumulating more than 2,000 acres. In 1999, Ibberson gave 350 acres of this land, located in Wayne Township, Dauphin County, to the state's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. It became the Joseph E. Ibberson Conservation Area, the first of its kind in the state.

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Last Updated March 20, 2009