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Exploration of Connecticut’s forest history at WCSU

By Western Connecticut State University

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Forestry and horticulture expert Dr. Jeffrey S. Ward will visit Western Connecticut State University to discuss the history of the Connecticut forest and explain its evolution. “A Short History of the Connecticut Forest” will be at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 28, in Room 125 of the Science Building on the WCSU Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. The talk will be free and the public is invited. A reception will follow at 5 p.m.

While many are so accustomed to the sight of the forests that they believe them to be a permanent presence, an entirely different story emerges upon walking through the trails and discovering overgrown stone walls, a charcoal mound or a sunken cellar. The talk will cover the dramatic changes Connecticut’s resilient forests have endured during the past 400 years with an exploration of their existence during the Ice Age and what the future may hold for them.

Ward is chief scientist, Department of Forestry and Horticulture, at the Connecticut Agriculture Experiment Station. With more than 90 papers written, he has extensive expertise in identification and life histories of native trees and shrubs, forest management, forest nursery operation, plantation establishment and invasive shrub control. His knowledge encompasses the natural history of Connecticut, landscape maintenance and methods of reducing deer browse damage.

During his Ph.D. program, Ward examined the community structure of an old growth upland oak forest. His current research projects include the impact of invasive species on forest structure, long-term dynamics of forest development with and without management and alternative methods of forest management. He has also done a great deal of forest dynamics research through his studies of long-term tree mortality and growth.

Since 1998, Ward has been secretary of the Connecticut Tree Examination Board and is adviser to the Audubon Connecticut and Endangered Species Committee. He served as past president of the Connecticut Tree Protective Association and forest science coordinator for the New England Society of American Foresters.

For more information, call Dr. Pat Boily at (203) 837-8569 or email boilyp@wcsu.edu.

Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.

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