- UAM’s College of Forestry, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Continues to Grow
- New Silviculture professor Interested in Climate Research
- Yáñez and Boston join UAM Forestry Instruction and Research Teams
Monticello, Arkansas– Embarking on a swift international journey, Dr. Marco Yáñez, hailing from Chile, joined the University of Arkansas at Monticello on Aug. 9 as the new assistant professor of Silviculture and Forest Ecology. Armed with a Forest Engineering degree from Chile’s University of Talca (2001) and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech University (2014), Yáñez has enjoyed a successful career in silviculture. After receiving his Ph.D., Yáñez was required to put his forestry education to work and return to his home country. It was part of an agreement with the Chilean Government to pay off his degree by working for several years. There, Yáñez served as a faculty member at the University of Concepcion and the University of Chile.
Yáñez said he considers himself as versatile as a utility player in sports. The 46-year-old has taught various courses in forestry, including genetics, measurements, silviculture, and forest ecophysiology. His research involves forest health, genetic selection, plantation silviculture, and ecological restoration. Yáñez will begin teaching at UAM in January. His appointment is 30% instruction and 70% research. In the meantime, he is acclimating himself to Arkansas’s ecology. Yáñez said he would like to develop forestry research responsive to climate extremes.
Yáñez said he used to do lots of hunting and fishing in his homeland, Chile. He received his first hunting rifle at the age of 13 for Christmas. Yáñez said, “Due to a 20-year drought, the fish, wild game birds, and deer have all but disappeared due to the lack of rainwater. Yáñez said about
Chile, “We talk about a “megadrought,” Yáñez said, “Since 2010, we have had several environmental issues related to this climate in Chile.” Yáñez said, “We used to vacation at beautiful lakes, but they have all dried up.”
Yáñez said he has a variety of interests, including traveling, outdoor activities, reading, and tennis. Soccer is a passion for Yáñez, and he has transitioned from an active player to a dedicated spectator. In the past, he engaged in fishing and hunting, although these activities are now restricted mainly by Chilean law.
Dr. Yáñez is excited to join the College of Forestry Agriculture and Natural Resources. “I came to Arkansas, the Natural State, for opportunity. A little more than half of the state is covered with forest. Forestry is an essential part of the state’s economy. UAM is the only school of forestry in the entire state.,” said Yáñez.
Meet Kevin Boston: Enriching Monticello’s Forest Community with Expertise
Dr. Kevin Boston joined the Arkansas Center for Forest Business of the UAM College of Forestry, Agriculture, and Natural Resources. Dr. Boston brings expertise and experience in forestry operations to the Center. He has a bachelor’s degree in forestry from Humboldt State University, an M.S. in Logging Engineering from Oregon State University, and a Ph.D. in Forest Harvesting from Oregon State University. In 2016, he added a JD from Lewis and Clark College.
Boston is a well-traveled forester. He has held positions with New Zealand, China, Japan, and Chile forestry. In January 2020, Boston worked as a Senior Scientist at the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy, developing experiments to support Norway’s forest policy. Boston says eight weeks after arriving, coronavirus stuck the world. Boston also worked with and studied Scenario Planning at Oxford University’s Saïd School of Business. Boston has also traveled extensively through the United States as a forest certification auditor.
Boston will apply his breadth of experience in teaching Forest Operations and Supply Chain Management within the Graduate Certificate of Forest Business program. “My goal is to make students’ thinking foresters’, to use their mind,” said Boston. He said his undergraduate work at Humbolt State University was a great education, but it was sometimes brutal. Here, UA Monticello would like to use Humbolt State as a model and be known as “nurturing.” “One of the goals is to give the education that I got to this current generation of students. It’s finding the best way to do that. So that’s kind of my teaching philosophy,” said Boston. Boston said one of his satisfactions is when students say thank you. “It will especially occur in the fall when students come back on campus for football games, and they come back, stop in, see me, and say thank you.”
Boston will also conduct a research program in diverse aspects of forestry operations. His diverse academic and industry background allows him to approach problems from various angles, fostering creative and practical solutions that can make a tangible difference in Monticello’s forest community. A veteran of at least 50 research projects, Boston wants to see more jobs created in milling and logging in Southeast Arkansas and throughout the state. He is currently working with Arkansas Center for Forest Business Director Dr. Matthew Pelkki on workforce development grants. “I think about developing an environment where jobs can be created,” he said. “It’s about giving the workforce the training and the skill sets so they can apply.”
About the Arkansas Center for Forest Business
Established in 2021, the Arkansas Center for Forest Business is part of the University of Arkansas, College of Forestry, Agriculture and Natural Resources. The Center provides technical assistance for market-based solutions to forest resource challenges, degree and post-baccalaureate education programs, and information on timber supply, forest products markets and operational efficiency.
The Center for Forest Business will provide market-based economic solutions to forest resource issues, improving business practices for forest enterprises and enhancing economic competitiveness.
About the College of Forestry, Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Arkansas Forest Resources Center
The College of Forestry, Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the Arkansas Forest Resources Center, a University of Arkansas System Center of Excellence, brings together interdisciplinary expertise through a partnership between the University of Arkansas at Monticello and the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. The College and Center are headquartered at the University of Arkansas at Monticello campus, but their programs range statewide with the mission of developing and delivering teaching, research, and extension programs that enhance and ensure the sustainability and productivity of forest-based natural resources and agricultural systems. Academic programs are delivered by the College of Forestry, Agriculture, and Natural Resources through the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Through the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, research is administered by the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, and extension and outreach activities are coordinated by the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.
The University of Arkansas at Monticello and the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offer all of their programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual
orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and are Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employers.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of twenty entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all seventy-five counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status. It is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.