Warner College welcomes new Forest and Rangeland Stewardship Department Head

Professor Linda Nagel joins the Warner College of Natural Resources as the Head of the Forest and Rangeland Stewardship Department.

Nagel comes to CSU from the University of Minnesota where she was a professor in the Department of Forest Resources as well as the Director of Operations at the Cloquet Forestry Center and the Hubachek Wilderness Research Center.

Her areas of research include silviculture, vegetation responses to wildfire, habitat restoration, and developing adaptive silvicultural strategies in the context of environmental change. She is very active in the Society of American Foresters, and is currently the Chair of the Silviculture National Working Group.

Building on a rich tradition

“Linda is a great addition to our college and it is tremendous to have her assume leadership of the Forest and Rangeland Stewardship Department,” said Warner College Dean John Hayes. “For over one hundred years the Department has been at the forefront of the field.  Under Linda’s guidance, the Department is poised to build on a rich tradition of forging cutting edge understanding of forestry and range science through research, outstanding education of the next generation of leaders in the field, and addressing the challenges facing managers and landowners.”

Nagel moves into the position on the heels of the retirement of former Department Head, Skip Smith.

‘Incredible opportunities’

“Colorado holds incredible opportunities given the intersection of abundant natural resources and an increasing population,” said Nagel. “The department, which is home to excellent faculty, staff, and students thanks to Skip’s leadership and distinguished career in forestry, is situated to be a leader locally as well as globally in the varied fields that encompass our forests and rangelands. I look forward to building on this long legacy while developing a collaborative vision forward for the department.”

National research project

In addition to her role as Department Head, Nagel will continue a national research project aimed at identifying adaptive management strategies for forests in the face of a changing climate. The project has established sites in Minnesota and a 400-acre site in the San Juan Mountains in Colorado. Future sites are planned for Montana, Georgia, and the Northeastern U.S.

The project is an important partnership between managers and scientists to increase the resilience of forest ecosystems to climate change. “This project is unique because it is not just researchers approaching the problem from their perspectives. Forest managers are right there at the table identifying ways to grapple with climate change, and helping to design the study,” Nagel added.