Archive | December, 2011

“Practical Forestry in the Pacific Northwest”: Questions

27 Dec
Lodgepole Pines

Lodgepole pine image by gharness via Flickr

I thought I might post a few brief questions since this blog has  lots to do with sharing my learning process. [Update: I’ve discovered some answers since publication, and they’re at the end of this post.] And since I sometimes have so many feelings on a book that I end up writing a novel in place of a review.

While I hope to impress you all with what good questions I have, I am a student, and therefore sure to expose my pitiful lack of knowledge on many subjects! Feel free to chime in down in the comments if you want to share your insights or sources for information. I have not even attempted to research these questions yet, so I may post updates as I discover my own answers; we’ll see how it goes.

So here are the things touched off by reviewing Edward T. Allen’s book:

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It’s OK if you’re not good at everything: A critical analysis

27 Dec

library image via Wikipedia

One of the things I want to do often on this blog is write about what I’ve learned from various forestry books that I’ve read. To kick this endeavor off, I wanted to start at the beginning. So, I found the oldest book on the subject that I could: Edward T. Allen’s Practical Forestry in the Pacific Northwest, apparently published for the first time in 1911.

Reading it was a disjointed experience, not only due to the writing style but also in terms of the massive gap between still-relevant information and material that seems much less worthwhile. Specifically, this book is fabulous for technical information and less-than-fully relevant for social/political argumentation. It’s part of the point, as the dual aims of Allen’s text are to to explain how to manage timber for eventual public profit, and also to drum up popular and government support for sustained-use forestry; however the only “failing” is that I am reading it more than a hundred years after its intended audience.

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Fun with petitions!

21 Dec
World Forestry Center Main building entrance

World Forestry Center image via Wikipedia

Well, one post and here I am feeling like we’re old friends already. In lieu of a gossipy life update, I wanted to tell you all about something I’ve been working on with friends. We’re founding a student chapter of the Society of American Foresters on our campus.

I had hoped this would be a more interesting topic, but every time I try to write about it, it ends up being about as gripping as listing the agenda items for a city council meeting. In case you don’t know, that is so boring you will weep and gnash your teeth, which I know because I used to cover them.

So far, this process has involved a lot of paperwork, plenty of e-mails, some storming of offices, and general confusion. And maybe I will come clean about how awkward I can be sometimes. Maybe that sounds more fun than it did on first description?

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Just exactly what do I think I am doing?

6 Dec

When I was seven, I wanted to know everything.

Like, literally.

Read all the books, that type of thing.

What’s more, I thought it was actually possible to achieve this.

It may shock you to discover that I have not figured everything out. But I have not entirely abandoned my childhood goal, either. I did discover that it’s possible to learn a lot about a subject, despite realizing that you can pick as narrow a subject as you like and you’ll never reach the bottom.

So, while we may have a long way to go toward a full understanding of our world, I think there’s great value in following such a quest. When enough of us participate in lifelong journeys after ideas, we can make real contributions to the pool of human knowledge.

Maybe that is cliche, and maybe no one will read this blog; fortunately for you residents of Readertown who’ve come here, I don’t care.

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