College of Forestry


RAFWE-WFGRS 2024: Trees to Seas sticker

Following the success of last year, this year's symposium will be cohosted with RAFWE (Research Advances in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Ecology Symposium). Registration to attend is FREE! Register here. (Registration is also available in person the day of the event)

WHEN: Friday, April 12th, 2024
WHERE: Peavy Hall on Oregon State University's Corvallis Campus.

Click here for the full program and a detailed schedule!

Want to present your research? Submit your abstract here! Abstracts for research at all stages are welcome. You have three presentation options:

  • Oral presentation (12 minutes + 3 minutes Q&A)
  • Poster presentation
  • Virtual oral presentation

Virtual oral presentation slots are limited and are intended for those who cannot be in Corvallis to present. The format of virtual presentations (live or pre-recorded with Q&A) will be determined after abstract submissions have closed. 
Oral presentations will be scheduled for morning or afternoon blocks and poster presentations will take place during a lunch block. Students who choose this option will have the opportunity to give a formal 12-minute presentation of research results with 3 minutes of Q&A at the end. 
Students who choose to present a poster will do so in a 60-minute casual Q&A session allowing interaction with attendees.



Plenary speaker - author Abby Phillip Metzger

Abby Metzger kayaking

About Abby Phillips:

Abby Phillips Metzger is a science communicator, author, paddler, and mother. Prior to her current appointment as the Communications Director for Global Forest Generation, she worked for nearly a decade as a science writer and communicator in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at OSU. She has also worked in journalism, book publishing, and environmental education. Abby is the author of Meander Scars, a series of essays about river restoration; and a co-editor of Wild in the Willamette, a collection of outdoor adventures within the mid-Willamette Valley watersheds. Her writing was recently recognized as a top pick for the Best Shortform Science Writing and the Best of the Northwest Science Writing Awards. She lives near the Willamette River with her husband and two children. 


Talk title

Finding your science story: Conversation, community, and compassion 


We often hear that graduate students and researchers need to share their science with society, but few formal training programs exist at universities. Complicating matters, some studies have questioned the effectiveness of science communication trainings, and still prevailing is the dreaded deficit model—the idea that non-scientific audiences have a knowledge gap that only scientific information can fill. With the urgency of our warming world upon us, how do we make our science matter and help inspire transformative solutions? Rather than complicated frameworks, the answer may be more basic: Storytelling, the ancient art that has connected communities and inspired interest, action, and hope for centuries. In this talk, science writer and communicator Abby Phillips Metzger will share philosophical and practical insights to discovering your science story, using conversation and understanding to engage diverse communities.

What is WFGRS?

The annual Western Forestry Graduate Research Symposium (WFGRS), hosted by Oregon State University’s College of Forestry graduate students, showcases current student research. Since 2023, WFGRS has grown into a joint symposium with the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences in the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences

The symposium promotes academic achievement by challenging students to present their research and receive peer feedback from a diverse student and faculty audience while also providing the opportunity to attend workshops and listen to keynote speakers. The event facilitates engagement, enthusiasm, and collaboration between participants. Topics span ecology, forest management, forest products, human connections and the relationships between these subjects. WFGRS communicates research projects spanning all three departments of OSU’s College of Forestry: Forest Ecosystems & Society, Forest Engineering, Resources & Management, and Wood Science & Engineering.

Want to Attend?

Participation and attendance is open to everyone. The one-day symposium is usually held at Richardson/Peavy Hall, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331. Students who submit a feedback form for a poster or oral presentation by 5 PM on the day of the symposium will be entered into a prize drawing! To attend, register here. Digital registration closes on March 22, 2024. After this date, you may register in person on the day of the event.

Submit an Abstract

In order to present at the symposium, abstract submissions must be completed online by the end of the day on Friday March 22th 2024.

If you have any questions, please reach out to

Attend a Workshop

Please use this form to sign up for the RAFWE/WFGRS workshops. They are all super cool and useful, as you’ll see below. Please let me know if you have any questions or issues with the form.

Proposal Writing Workshop with Selina Heppell

April 10, 10am – 1pm, Nash 032

Whether you are writing for your Research Review or an external funder, proposal writing can be daunting! In this interactive workshop, we’ll cover thesis proposal basics, writing a convincing proposal based on your audience, getting through writing blocks, and budget development. Bring your current draft, preferably electronically, as well as something to write on/with.

Preparing for an Academic Job with Selina Heppell

April 11, 9am – 11am, Nash 033

Getting a job in academia takes preparation, support from your colleagues and mentors, and a bit of luck. We’ll go over how to apply for a teaching or research position at a small or large institution, what natural resource departments are looking for, what to emphasize in your CV, diversity statements, and interview preparation. Bring your current CV and examples of position ads that you have read recently.

Media Training with Sean Nealon and Steven Lundeberg

April 11, 1pm – 2:30pm, Richardson 313

Sean Nealon and Steve Lundeberg of Oregon State’s News and Research Communications office will talk about communicating about research through the media. Topics to be covered include the type of stories that interest reporters, tips when being interviewed and resources here at OSU that will help you tell your story.

Getting Started on Github with Christopher Cousins

April 11, 3pm – 5pm, via Zoom

Getting started on Github can be intimidating, but this workshop is designed to give you all you need to hit the ground running! No prior knowledge of Github is necessary, and we'll be covering setting up your own repository, cloning it on your PC, and working with others. The activities in this workshop will give you a great starting point, and the future you will thank you for your improved organization and ease of working from multiple workstations. Learn more about the use of Github in science & research.


Closing Speaker

Julia K. Parrish: "Citizen Science, Community Science, and Science Identity in a Warming World"

About Julia K. Parrish:

Julia K. Parrish is the Lowell A. and Frankie L. Wakefield Professor of Ocean Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington, where she also serves as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of the Environment.  As Associate Dean, she helped bring two exciting efforts to increase inclusion in science into the College: Seattle MESA – a pipeline program providing hands-on science, math, and engineering opportunities for middle and high school students; and the Doris Duke Conservation Scholar’s Program at UW, a national summer program for undergraduates fusing the concerns of ecosystem conservation, equity and inclusion. Julia is a marine biologist, a conservation biologist, and a specialist in citizen science.  For more than 30 years, Julia has conducted field research on seabirds, focused on the natural and human-caused factors causing population declines. Julia is also the Executive Director of the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST), a 23-year-old citizen science program responsible for training more than 5,000 participants to collect monthly data on the identity and abundance of beach-cast birds from northern California north to the Arctic Circle and west to the Commander Islands in Russia. She is an Elected Fellow of the American Ornithological Union, the Ecological Society of America, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science; an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow; and has been honored with the UW Distinguished Teaching Award for her excellence in the classroom. She received her undergraduate degree from Carnegie-Mellon University, her PhD from Duke University, where she studied the schooling behavior of fish, and was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA.

Julia J Parrish

The Organizers

The event is co-organized by graduate students in the College of Forestry and the College of Agricultural Sciences. 

Event Location

Peavy Forest Science Center
3100 SW Jefferson Way
Corvallis, OR 97333
United States

RAFWE-WFGRS 2024: Trees to Seas sticker