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Lee Stover Retires

Lee Stover retired in July 2010 after 32 years of service in the School of Forest Resources and the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

Lee earned a B.S. in Biophysics in 1972 and an M.S. in Solid State Science in 1974, both at Penn State.  From 1974 to 1980 he was a graduate research assistant in Penn State’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.  In 1980 he was hired as a research assistant in the School of Forest Resources.  Through the years, Lee was involved in extension, research, and teaching.   

In his Cooperative Extension role, Lee led numerous workshops and short courses including Wood Structure and Identification;  Chainsaw Safety and Safe Tree Felling;  Kiln Drying;  Hardwood Tree Grading, and Log and Lumber Grading.  He also presented programs on chainsaw safety at the Pennsylvania Governor’s Conference on Health and Safety at the 80th session in 2006 and the 82nd session in 2008.  Lee visited wood products operations throughout the state and provided one-on-one, hands-on consultation and problem-solving.  He also served as an expert witness in court cases.

Lee’s resident education responsibilities included leading and assisting with a wide range of courses including introduction to wood products, macroscopic wood identification, anatomical properties of wood, timber harvesting, chainsaw safety, forest resources mensuration, and wood products manufacturing systems and products.   

He maintained the “sawmill and shop” in the Forest Resources Lab including all the equipment housed therein.  He helped countless undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff with individual research projects that required use of those facilities.

Lee assisted with many research efforts in the fields of physical and mechanical properties of wood, wood anatomical structure, moisture movement in wood, kiln-drying of wood, wood-polymer composites, and wood-cement composites.  He also assisted with the development of research equipment and techniques.  His talents were tapped by forestry and wildlife/fisheries faculty as well; examples include projects related to weed control in Populus plantations and remote-collaring of red squirrels.

In 2000, Lee was honored with the School of Forest Resources Outstanding Faculty Award.  To cap his successful career, Lee was awarded The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers’ Blue Ribbon Award in the 2010 Educational Aids Competition for a safety fact sheet that he co-authored titled “Safely Using Farm Tractors in the Woods.”  This national competition encourages agricultural engineers in industry and public service to strive for excellence in extension activities through the interchange of ideas on successful methods and techniques.  The award requires a rating of 90% or better, and goes to a maximum of 10% of entries. 

According to Stover, “One of the best things about my time at Penn State has been the opportunity to work with a wide variety of individuals both within the School of Forest Resources and the College of Agricultural Sciences. I thoroughly enjoyed the teaching opportunities provided to me by the wood products-related industries in Pennsylvania.”