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1980s

Stephen D. Bertsch, 1980 – 622 Wallace Dr., Wayne, PA 19807; stevebertsch@verizon.net. “Oct. 2009: I am currently working for Performance Controls in Montgomeryville, PA. I am a mechanic assembler of MRI equipment for Hitachi Medical Corp. in Japan. Even though I am not working in my field of study, I still love the great outdoors and hike and visit national forests and national parks when I can.”

Steve Koehn, 1983 – 20916 Old York Road, Parkton, MD 21120; skoehn@dnr.state.md.su. In September 2009, Maryland Dept. of Resources Forest Service Director Steve Koehn was sworn in as president of the National Association of State Foresters (NASF) at its 87th annual meeting in Albuquerque, NM. Koehn has previously served as NASF’s vice president and treasurer and as president of the Northeastern Area Association of State Foresters.

In May 2010, Koehn received a 2010 Arbor Day Award from the Arbor Day Foundation for his dedication to planting trees and conservation efforts. Koehn played a vital leadership role in the passage of the Maryland Sustainable Forestry Act of 2009.

Peter D. Smith, 1985 – from The Forestry Source, March 2010: “Texas Forest Service employee Pete Smith received a Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence for his extensive work on tree issues in Galveston following Hurricane Ike. Smith, the agency’s urban forestry partnership coordinator, has worked for the Texas Forest Service for more than two decades.”

On the Loss of Rodney Whiteman ’86

RodneyWhitemanWe are saddened by the loss of a fellow alumnus and Tau Phi Delta fraternity brother, Rodney Whiteman, as a result of a June 21 plane crash in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania.  Rodney was killed in the line of duty as a forester for the USDA Forest Service.  He was on assignment to evaluate gypsy moth damage via aerial surveys in the central Pennsylvania region.

Originally from Oil City, PA, Rodney was 46 years old and had worked for the Forest Service for 24 years. He leaves behind his wife Megan and daughter Haley who reside in Morgantown, West Virginia.

After graduating from Penn State in 1986, Rod began work with the U.S. Forest Service as a forestry technician at the Northeast Research Station on oak-dominated forest research projects.  In 1987, he transferred to the Morgantown Field Office, Northeastern Area, State and Private Forestry as a forester in the Forest Health Protection Group. Over the years, he became an expert in all aspects of the gypsy moth suppression in the Mid-Atlantic states.

Rod also worked extensively as a firefighter and was certified as a Firefighter Type-2, Single-resource Helicopter Manager and Faller B. He served as the Morgantown Field Office aviation officer and trainer. He also served as a regional division coordinator, monitoring and controlling various invasive species.

While at Penn State, Rod was an active member of Penn State's student chapter of the Society of American Foresters and a leader in Tau Phi Delta. His fraternity took pride in winning the fraternity blood drives during Fall 1984 and 1985 and initiating a still-standing community program of helping to manage Lederer Park in the State College borough.

Rod exemplified the spirit of Tau Phi Delta and the School in helping allied groups and in pursuing the management of our forest resources. Please join us in remembering this fine person and in recognizing his work toward society's environmental benefits.


Chuck Strauss and Earl Hower, on behalf of the alumni
of the School and brothers of Tau Phi Delta