Bringing Together Foresters from Around the World
The WFI Fellowship Program brings forestry and forest products professionals from around the world to work at the World Forest Institute for 6 to 12 months. Over 100 Fellows from 30 countries have participated in the program.
The Fellowship Program offers participants many opportunities, such as:
- Conducting studies in the Pacific Northwest related to forestry
- Meeting with many different forestry organizations and corporations
- Building a network of forestry contacts, and
- Promoting the dissemination and exchange of information regarding global forest resources and their utilization
Fellows leave the program with a solid understanding of how the US forestry sector operates and who the key players are. Additionally, Fellows gain invaluable cultural experience and English language skills.
The Fellowship is a Blend of Research, Networking, and Cultural Exchange
There are currently three main components to the program:
1. Conducting a Project
Fellows arrive with a major research proposal developed in conjunction with his/her sponsor. We favor proposals that are policy or market-oriented, employ good use of being situated in the Pacific Northwest, and cover a topic of interest to the international forestry community. Research projects may involve information gathering, interviewing, visiting other organizations, or planning a conference. Fellows typically summarize their projects in a report published by the World Forest Institute.
Past projects have included:
- studies on sustainable forestry initiatives
- analysis of international timber markets
- opportunities in plantation investments
- certification of wood products
- the development of carbon credit systems
- a comparative analysis of regional forest management plans across several nations
- market studies on US wood demand
- use of recycled construction materials
- green building techniques
- interagency fire management
2. Networking with public and private forestry organizations in the US, especially in the Pacific Northwest
Networking is largely accomplished by site visits to forestry agencies, research labs, universities, public and private timberlands, trade associations, mills, and corporations. A combination of about four site visits or meetings per month are scheduled for Fellows. Fellows participating less than 12 months should note that most field excursions are conducted during summer months between June and October in order to avoid the rainy season. Fellows are also encouraged to arrange their own meetings to suit personal interests.
Typical site visits will include (but are not limited to):
- Nursery, forestland, and harvesting operations
- Various public agencies, including the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Department of Forestry, US Fish and Wildlife, and Oregon State University
- Meetings with key non-profit organizations and local groups
- Discussions with key persons involved in forest certification, forest products marketing, consulting, international trade, public planning, and legislation
- Manufacturing and processing facilities for lumber, pulp, paper, engineered wood products, and secondary wood products
3. Educational Outreach
Fellows will be considered the staff expert for their region of the world. They respond to public requests for formal presentations to forestry professionals, general audiences, and school children.
Educational outreach opportunities may include:
- Fielding public inquiries regarding the Fellow's region of the world
- Attendance at multiple conferences and workshops
- Participation in the International Educators Institute, a seven-day tour with award winning educators and natural resources professionals
- Promoting WFI through published articles
- Lecturing at area colleges
- Speaking to elementary schools