Meet the 2017 WFI Fellows
Meet This Year’s Fellows!
WFI’s team of International Fellows is selectively chosen from the forestry profession around the globe. In a program unique to the industry, these Fellows serve six month Fellowships at WFI, using a wide range of skills, expertise and language abilities to complete a primary project. Fellows participate in the program through the U. S Department of State’s Visa Exchange Visitor Program. The purpose of the Exchange Visitor Program is to promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through educational and cultural exchanges. The WFI Fellows learn about sustainable forestry in Oregon and carry that knowledge forward globally, promoting best practices when they return home.
The 2017 WFI Fellows finished their six-month programs in October. We’ll keep their information up here until we have identified our incoming 2018 Fellows. Stay tuned!
Jan Jenco is a lawyer, author, and forester from the town of Tekovske Luzany in the Slovak Republic. After obtaining a master´s degree in law, Jan´s professional career started at the Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic, where he occupied a position of lawyer at the Directorate for Nature, Biodiversity and Landscape Protection. He later widened his education by gaining a bachelor´s degree in forestry and thus specialized in cross-sectoral relationships of forestry and nature protection and its mutual effects in policy making processes, which is also the subject of Jan´s research during his stay at the WFI. Contact:
Sawako Tanaka comes from Ushiku, Japan. She has most recently worked as an UN Environmental Programme Officer in the island country of Mauritius. Sawako is an environmental scientist that has focused on coordinating research networks for AsiaFlux monitoring data and other greenhouse gas data. A data-mining expert, Sawako plans to investigate environmental monitoring systems in the PNW and find linkages to business practices and how to build in practical opportunities for the use of public data. Contact:
Sue Sem “Michelle” Yap from Sandakan, Malaysia has eight years of experience in the forest conservation of the Sabah region. She is currently a Planning Officer at the Sabah Forestry Department and is working on a three-country conservation vision project which is called The Heart of Borneo Initiative. This initiative focuses on the management of protected areas and one of her directives is to determine alternative revenue streams in these forest reserves. As a focus of policy consideration, Michelle is looking at sport fishing as an option for the freshwater regions of these forests. As a WFI Fellow, she will explore the potential and the mechanisms of regulated sport fishing within the forest reserves in Sabah through the lens of the Pacific Northwest’s experience. Contact:
Chiao-Ping Wang is an Associate Researcher at the Taiwan Forest Research Institute (TFRI) in Taipei, Taiwan. After earning her PhD in Germany in the late 90’s, she returned to Taiwan and has studied the forest soils around the country working to understand the processes and functions of different forest ecosystems, including a warm temperate cloud forest, a subtropical rain forest and a lowland plantation. For last five years, Dr. Wang has focused on the study of the environmental benefits of urban forests, which is a new topic of research for TFRI. She became aware that the public, which is generally supportive of environmental programs, needs to move beyond its appreciation for the aesthetics of trees to a more specific understanding of the many functions they serve, not only individually but collectively. She comes to WFI to understand systems of urban forest management in the US and gain a deeper understanding of the ecological and educational applications of urban forestry. Contact:
Binod Heyojoo is a faculty member in the Department of Forest Products and Engineering at the Institute of Forestry at Tribhuvan University, Nepal. He has a keen interest in integrating geospatial tools and technology in forest and natural resources management. At WFI, he aims to learn 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. Binod also intends to integrate these lessons into his university teachings. Contact:
Oscar Hernandez is 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 served as technical advisor of GoG Ministers. He expects to broaden his professional and personal horizon and “rethink” the business as usual model. The aim of Oscar’s work at WFI is to 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 subsectors. The research scope includes policies, practices, economic and social analysis of forest management, at urban and rural scales. Contact:
Hebe Carus is a wildlife conservation biologist from Kingussie, Scotland. Most recently working as the Scottish Wildcat Land Management Officer for the Scottish Natural Heritage. Hebe joins WFI to gain new non-UK insights into how forestry can contribute to conversation aims and vice-versa. Her goal is to learn from Oregon forest managers, including those in collaborative works, how to achieve optimal management of public and private forestland at a landscape scale. Hebe is interested in how to transition from a simple stand structure to more complex structural diversity that in the long term can deliver a continuous flow of timber incomes as well as age class and species diversity. Contact:
Shreejita Basu is an environmental engineer from New Delhi, India. She received her PhD from the Indian Institute of Technology (Delhi) and has been working on understanding the role that forestry can play in carbon markets in her country. Shreejita will be WFI’s first NGO Fellow who will be immersed in the WFI program to learn how an American forestry non-profit operates. The fellowship will provide an in-depth perspective on the challenges and opportunities in the private non-profit world, especially in natural resources-rich Oregon. This fellowship will include exposure to non-profit educational programming, communications, social media marketing and event planning. Contact: