It is my pleasure to announce that Sarah Bisbing, assistant professor in the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources’ Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Science, has been appointed Director of the Whittell Forest and Wildlife Area, a part-time role that administratively reports to Research & Innovation. She will be responsible for the leadership, programs and administration of the forest, a 2,650 acre area located on the western edge of Washoe Valley. The forest was gifted to the University in 1959 with the intent of maintaining a living lab of forested mountain land in a primitive state for research, instruction and community outreach.
The Whittell Forest Advisory Committee, chaired by Bisbing, will assist in the establishment of procedures and practices to make the forest available as a core academic and research facility. Bisbing will provide expertise toward development of a strategic vision to support the University’s teaching and research missions, as well as an updated Forest management plan.
Bisbing describes the forest as “an incredibly beautiful piece of land with incredible potential for research and teaching opportunities.”
She envisions the land being utilized by a broad range of disciplines across campus and throughout the Nevada System of Higher Education for experiential learning opportunities, research and creative activities.
Bisbing joined the University in 2017 after four years as an assistant professor at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She has a B.S. and M.S. in forestry from the University of Montana and a Ph.D. in ecology from Colorado State University. Bisbing has in-depth knowledge of forest ecology, forest management, fire ecology and related sciences to support forestry activities, field research and a learn-by-doing approach to education. She also has extensive experience with cultural and regulatory requirements relative to field stations and remote sites.
I look forward to working with Bisbing and to the opportunity that this unique mountain system offers the region and the state of Nevada as a vital habitat to study natural resources, contribute to environmentally based education and perpetuate the vision of protecting land.