Variable Probability Short Course Scheduled
The next VP Short Course is scheduled for March
25 - 29, 2024. A flyer with detailed information is HERE. Participants are invited to submit problems
they have encountered in either field application or
office computation in variable-plot sampling for a
special session during the last part of the program. All
such questions may be submitted in advance to the short
course director, Dr. James Kiser (Jim.firstname.lastname@example.org), before March 1, 2024.
Norman Marsh age 93, who worked with the OSU Variable
Probability Short Course for 55 years passed away July 15,
2023 - with his wife Donna by his side, after nearly 75
years of marriage.
Norm was a fixture at the course. Well into his 80’s, he was
putting in 60 plots a day as a timber cruiser, and doing
serious cruising and appraisal work for a great number of
clients. He was a working advertisement for the methods OSU
taught at the course, and an endless source of practical
advice. He also did several expert witness jobs with some of
us, and he was just awesome on the witness stand.
Norm was born Aug. 20, 1929 in Noti, Oregon and married
Donna in 1948. His lifelong passion of forestry led him to a
long and successful career that included working for The
State of Oregon, Willamette Industries and ultimately his
own consulting firm.
We will miss him greatly.
Kim Iles has provided us with an updated
copy of his EXCEL Variable Plot spreadsheet Star_Bar.
This computes a great many useful things about
Variable Plot Sampling, and in particular the
count/measure ratios. This revision just cleaned
up a few typos and minor layout changes to the
spreadsheet. No computational errors from the
older copy are known. This is referenced in the
short article “Rounding
your plot radius factor” in the newsletter.
Microsoft 365 gets paranoid about
downloading EXCEL files sometimes (and sometimes
objected to using the old version), so let us know if
you have any trouble downloading or running this
The Man Who Knew
Jim Girard was known as “the check cruiser of the
universe”, and probably the most famous of all
timber cruisers in the 20th century. His
biography was dictated by him during a bout of
pneumonia, and eventually edited and published as a
short pamphlet by the Forest History Society (as
they are now known). It is a great read.
The Society website has a great many other readable
articles on forest history, many having to do with
Forest Inventory at:
We would like to thank Eben Lehman (of the Forest
History Society, Durham, NC), who kindly made an
effort to dig this out of their files for us when it
could not be found on the Internet – and agreed to
make it available to our readers.
We thought you might be interested. It is only
35 pages long, (7,300KB in size as a pdf, if you want
it). You will recognize many of the same types
of people that you meet today. His final
personal comments in the last paragraph are
Forestry Field Reference
Jim Kiser (Instructor of Forest
Engineering, Resources, and Management at Oregon
State University) has just published a handy
forestry reference book. The book is distributed by
John Bell and Associates. From the preface:
"the text is meant to serve as a
reference for practicing foresters and other natural
resource professionals who work with field
measurements as a part of their job requirements.
Although primarily focused on timber and timber
stand, the book also serves for typical engineering
of forest forad layout with an added section on
curve layout formulas and tables. The intent of this
book was not to provide an inclusive set of
forester's tables, but to pull together the more
common tables necessary to the day to day
Contact Jessica at:
email@example.com to acquire a copy of
Items of Interest: