Category: WFI Alumni

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Oscar Hernandez, Guatemala

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Oscar Hernandez finished his WFI Fellowship Program in 2017. During his 6-months in Portland he analyze best practices for forest management in the PNW that have a clear potential for application in the Guatemalan forest sector, including government, private and community sub-sectors. The research scope included policies, practices, economic and social analysis of forest management, at urban and rural scales. (video)

After his program Oscar became the Technical Advisor of FEDECOCAGUA (Coop of Coffee Coops) to implement the Food, Agriculture, Income and Resilience (FAIR) Project, funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). The FAIR project will support thousands of small coffee farmers for 5 years to increase their economic growth and to reduce malnutrition. The experience at WFI allowed Oscar to better understand the USAID approach and work style.

Oscar considers himself an agent of change, with solid values, creative and innovating, with 18+ years of experience in international cooperation projects based out of Guatemala City, Guatemala. He has successfully facilitated rural development and climate change initiatives with IADB, United Nations, Rainforest Alliance and others. He has also served as technical advisor of GoG Ministers. He expects to broaden his professional and personal horizon and “rethink” the business as usual model.


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Binod Heyojoo, Nepal

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Binod Heyojoo finished his 6-month WFI Fellowship in 2017. At WFI, his  learned about wildfire management challenges, initiatives and success stories from the PNW to take lessons learned back to Nepal for their national forest fire management planning (video). Binod returned to his teaching duties as a professor at the Institute of Forestry (IOF) in Pokhara, Nepal. He will be starting his PhD in Forestry in June of 2018 at Tribhuvan University in Nepal. His PhD research thesis will expand on the project he did at WFI in Forest Fire Management.



Ning Hou, China

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Dr. Ning Hou is a professor of forest economics at Beijing Forestry University in Beijing, China. She completed a one year Fellowship in April 2012. While at WFI, Ning researched carbon sequestration in western forests and explored markets for forest carbon in the United States. Ning resumed her teaching duties upon return to China and continues to teach several classes every semester.

Internatinal Fellow from Taiwan 2016 (Rebecca Hsu)

Rebecca Hsu, Taiwan

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Rebecca is from Taiwan and completed a 6-month Fellowship in 2016. Her research during her fellowship focused on investigating biodiversity in the forest canopy. (video)

After her fellowship, Rebecca went back to work for the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute. In 2017, she coordinated a new project, the Taiwan Tree Project, in partnership with Australian experts to conduct a portrait photo of Taiwania, one of the tallest conifers in East Asia. The project was very successful and raised more than one million New Taiwan Dollars for environmental conservation in Taiwan.



Rainer Hummel, United States

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Rainer Hummel works as a Forest Practices District Manager for the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR). His office is in the hamlet of Husum on the White Salmon River, but his territory covers the southeast region of the state.  Rainer and his wife, Susan, live nearby on property along the aptly named Rattlesnake Creek where they manage farm and forest.  Rainer’s education in forestry has allowed him to work in many settings and with a wide array of subjects in natural as well as social sciences.  After graduating with a M.Sc. in Forest Sciences from the University of Freiburg in Germany, Rainer spent a year at the World Forest Institute in Portland, OR in the international fellowship program.  Subsequent project work for private sector clients led to job offers, permanent residency, and eventual citizenship.  After several years working in both the US and Germany as account manager with domestic and international clients in the forest products industry, Rainer changed pace in 2006. He accepted an offer to return to his Alma Mater in the Black Forest as program manager for a newly created masters course in environmental governance for a three-year term.  The Pacific Northwest had never lost its allure, however, and when we moved back we made our home in the Columbia River Gorge.  Rainer’s work with private forest owners in the area eventually led to the opportunity to work for DNR in forest practices. When not busy with land management, Rainer enjoys running, backcountry skiing, and climbing trees.  On December 6th, he has been known to help St. Nikolaus visit bilingual children in the greater Portland area to celebrate the holiday season.


Claire Huxtable, Canada

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After her WFI Fellowship in 1995-1996, Claire became a portfolio analyst and account manager for Hancock Timber Resource Group, one of the world’s largest timberland investment management organizations.  She is currently an Analyst with Equity Research Associates in Vancouver, BC, Canada.  Prior to joining ERA Forest Products Research, she was a member of RBC’s top-ranked capital markets forest products research team, where she focused on North American paper and forest products companies.  Claire holds a bachelor’s degree in forestry from the University of British Columbia and Laval University, and an MBA from the University of British Columbia. She is a registered professional forester with the Association of British Columbia Forest Professionals, a CFA charterholder, and a member of the Vancouver Society of Financial Analysts.


Eiichi Ishino, Japan

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Eiichi works at Sumitomo Forestry, in the Corporate Social Responsibility Department.


Nobutaka Isoda, Japan

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Nobutaka works as a Researcher for Sumitomo Forestry Co., Ltd. at their Tsukuba Research Institute. An architect by training, he researches ergonomic solutions for special users of wooden homes, such as the elderly and disabled. Nobutaka researched green building design and techniques during his Fellowship in 2002-2003.


Sudiyah Istichomah, Indonesia

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Sudiyah Istichomah completed a six month Fellowship in November 2014. During her WFI Fellowship, Sudiyah looked at models of public involvement and stakeholder engagement in river management, especially focused on the Willamette River. Sudiyah currently works for RECOFTC (Regional Community Forestry Training Center for Asia and the Pacific) Indonesia Country Program at the office in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia.


Mikko Jaaskelainen, Finland

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Mikko is a Manager in Sales and Sourcing at Yara, sourcing pyrite, sulphur and sulfuric acid to Yara Upstream plants in Finland, France, and Netherlands.  He previously worked at Dynea Oy and Indufor Oy. During his Fellowship in 2001-2002 Mikko conducted a study on the forest industry’s reaction to environmental protection laws in the Pacific Northwest in the 1990s.