Andrew Burton Appointed Director of Ford Center, Research Forest
Dean Terry Sharik, of the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, has appointed Professor Andrew Burton as director of the Ford Center and Research Forest in Alberta. The two comprise a field station for the School and incorporate teaching, research and outreach.
Burton heads Tech's Ecosystem Science Center and the Midwestern Regional Center of the US Department of Energy's National Institute for Climatic Change Research. His research focuses on forest ecosystems, including responses to global change factors, underground processes, carbon and nutrient cycling and the ways tree roots respond to their environment.
Burton worked as a research scientist at Michigan Tech from 1994 to 2001, when he became a research assistant professor in the School of Forestry and Wood Products, as SFRES was then called.
"I'm looking forward to working with the staff at the Ford Center and with the faculty and students in the School to help the Ford Center and Research Forest achieve their full potential," Burton said. "The forests and wetlands at Ford encompass the full range of terrestrial ecosystems common to the upper lake states, and I'm excited by the challenge of developing facilities and management plans that take full advantage of the research, education and outreach potential created by these wonderful natural resources."
In the past, the teaching, research and outreach missions of the Ford Center and the Research Forest were managed more or less separately, Dean Sharik explained.
"As director of the Ecosystem Science Center and the Midwestern Center for the DOE Climate Change Research Institute, Dr. Burton understands what it takes to bring people with various backgrounds together to work on common problems," Sharik added. "He has been an active contributor to programs at the Ford Center and forest for a number of years and has directed several of them. He is deeply committed to the notion of integrating the teaching, research and outreach missions of the center and forest in ways that fully capitalize on their cultural heritage and their potential as a model for sustainable land use, underpinned by sound ecological and social science. I am excited about the possibilities for realizing this potential under Andy's leadership."