Dr. Jim Finley, PhD

Dr. Finley is the Joseph E. Ibberson Chair in Forest Resources Management and Director of The Center for Private Forests at Penn State and Professor of Forest Resources at Penn State.

Academic Interests: Ecosystem management on mixed ownerships; forest management; private forest owner issues and education; sustainable forestry; human dimensions of natural resources

Human Dimensions of Resource Management: Increasingly my research considers the interaction of people and resource management. Ultimately this research informs the development of education materials and programs for specific audiences that can, through change, improve and sustain these resources. Several recent projects have focused on riparian forest issues. Specifically they seek to understand streamside landowner motivations, interests, and issues relating to establishing or maintaining buffer systems. Timber harvesting in Pennsylvania, because of the age structure of its forests, is increasing and the decisions that private forest owners, resource professionals, and timber harvesters have the potential of long-term effects on forest systems. Two projects are exploring the relationship between timber harvesters and foresters striving to improve the dialogue between these two segments of the industry. Private forest owners are a long-term interest and focus of my research program.

Forest Stewardship: Penn State, working with the U.S. Forest Service and the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry, focuses on developing the state's Forest Stewardship Program awareness and knowledge efforts. Components include landowner, logger, and resource management professionals designed to encourage audiences and the general public to become more involved in forest management. Programs include video teleconferences, meetings, tours, demonstrations, slide sets, bulletins, newsletters, volunteer training, and courses for loggers and resource professionals. Many of the awareness and knowledge elements contain research components that support further refinement to extension programs.