Olympic Natural Resource Center hires permanent research scientist with state funding

The University of Washington’s Olympic Natural Resource Center (ONRC) was established by the Washington State Legislature in 1989. Situated in Forks, ONRC serves as a catalyst for simultaneously improving environment and community wellbeing in rural Washington through interdisciplinary research and development (forestry, fishery, marine and social sciences) and collaborative engagement with communities and individuals of varied backgrounds. A recent increase in funding, thanks to leadership from state legislators on the Peninsula, has paved the way for ONRC to create a permanent full-time research scientist position to support ONRC’s many long-term projects. ONRC is excited to report that they have hired Courtney Bobsin to take on this role.

Courtney will help lead several projects for ONRC:

• The type 3 (T3) watershed experiment, which is a 20,000-acre, adaptive-management study examining potential new and innovative approaches to managing forests and riparian buffers in the Olympic Experimental State Forest managed by Washington Department of Natural Resources. This study brings together scientists, stakeholders, tribes, and natural resource managers using a learning-based collaboration framework to ensure there is co-creation of treatments and research questions that benefit both people and forests.

• The long-term ecosystem productivity (LTEP) study at Sappho, which is a long-running forestry experiment (initiated in the 1990s across 4 PNW sites) that compares the soil and other ecosystem effects resulting from 10 different approaches to managing tree species and woody debris.

• The ethnoforestry field trials, a small-scale study created by Courtney in 2020, which is located between Forks and La Push and addresses new approaches to managing early-seral forests that benefit local communities and wildlife, while producing timber.

As a PhD Candidate who has been working with ONRC since 2016, Courtney is well suited in this new role. She received her Master of Science degree in 2017 at the University of Washington in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences working on the LTEP study under ONRC Director, Bernard Bormann. Her current work blends ecological and social sciences using interdisciplinary approaches to meet ecosystem wellbeing goals. She is excited to bring her knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm for plants and people to this new position.

To learn more about Courtney and her research position, you can contact her at (360) 328-1174 or cbobsin@uw.edu. To learn more about the Type 3 Watershed Experiment or other ongoing marine and forestry research at ONRC, visit http://www.onrc.washington.edu/.