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One Hundred Rings and Counting

One Hundred Rings and Counting: Forestry Education and Forestry in Toronto and Canada, 1907-2007

Mark Kuhlberg
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 352
  • Book Info
    One Hundred Rings and Counting
    Book Description:

    Examining Canada?s first Faculty of Forestry at the University of Toronto from its founding in 1907 to it hundredth year anniversary,One Hundred Rings and Countingis a detailed account one of the country?s most successful and influential institutions.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-9765-2
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. Introduction: ‘The Most Spirited Faculty’
    (pp. 3-10)

    This is not a simple story to tell. Centennial histories are almost always celebratory tomes that, although they chronicle ups and downs, ultimately describe the gradual ascent of a subject whose survival speaks to its overall success. This is, however, hardly the case for the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Forestry. Established in 1907 as Canada’s first school of its kind, with an enrolment that could be counted almost on one hand, it grew surely and steadily. Although over time the faculty developed strong graduate and research programs, its core was its undergraduate program, whose alumni had earned the degree...

  5. Chapter 1 ‘There Is Nothing in It Practically for the Government,’ 1894–1907
    (pp. 11-32)

    Canada was a fledgling nation in the late nineteenth century, on the cusp of a series of new beginnings. Although still under Great Britain’s wing, the country was about to undergo a period of dramatic development. Over the course of the ‘Laurier Era’ (1896–1911), Canada would experience the arrival of hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Europe, the construction of two new transcontinental railways, and an unprecedented economic boom. These events made Laurier’s prediction of the twentieth century being Canada’s seem possible. With Ontario’s storehouse of untapped natural resources in its hinterland, the province was well placed to share...

  6. Chapter 2 ‘The Child of My Creation’: Bernhard E. Fernow, 1907–1919
    (pp. 33-63)

    A few months before the Faculty of Forestry was set to open at the University of Toronto, Thomas Southworth, a long-time civil servant in Ontario’s Department of Crown Lands and outspoken champion of forestry, delivered a speech to the Canadian Institute that summed up the daunting challenges that the new school faced. The title of his address asked rhetorically, ‘Do We Need a Forestry College?’ While he responded that many would be quick to answer ‘we do,’ there was good reason to believe otherwise. Having canvassed Ontario’s leading lumbermen to learn if they would employ graduates of the new school,...

  7. Chapter 3 ‘We Cannot Progress in Forestry Very Much Ahead of Public Opinion,’ 1919–1929
    (pp. 64-87)

    Canada and its forest industry had an uneven experience in the decade after the First World War. The country enjoyed general economic growth during the second half of the decade but only after suffering through a recession that lingered for most of the first half. Moreover, all did not share equally in the good times. Some industries sputtered, while others roared. Pulp and paper, specifically newsprint, fell into the latter category. Its productive capacity tripled between 1920 and 1929 (this represented a six-fold increase from 1914), and Ontario participated fully in this phenomenon. At the same time, however, the industry...

  8. Chapter 4 ‘Forestry’s Darkest Hour,’ 1930–1941
    (pp. 88-113)

    For the Faculty of Forestry in Toronto, ironically, one of its greatest problems when the Great Depression hit was a function of the success it had enjoyed during the 1920s. The steady growth in demand for foresters in Canada, especially from Ontario’s Department of Lands and Forests (DLF) with which the faculty now enjoyed a cozy relationship, had attracted a healthy number of students to the school each year. So, too, had the Faculty of Forestry’s reputation; most considered it the country’s best. So when the economy slumped dramatically over the course of 1929–30, the timing could not have...

  9. Chapter 5 ‘The Present Pressure for Registration in Forestry Is Temporary,’ 1941–1947
    (pp. 114-139)

    The period during which Gordon G. Cosens (2T3) served as dean of the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Toronto, from 1941 to 1947, was propitious for forestry in Canada. The Second World War drove home the importance of natural resources, and governments at both the provincial and federal levels exerted unprecedented control over managing the country’s affairs, including woodlands. Industry also seemed ready to embrace this new spirit. The war and the boom that came in its wake heralded a highly profitable period for nearly all the players in this field; they could now easily afford to invest...

  10. Chapter 6 ‘Today It Is Not always Ranked Professionally as First,’ 1947–1957
    (pp. 140-166)

    When in 1947 John William Bernard ‘Bernie’ Sisam was ushered in as the dean of the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Toronto, he came as an accomplished researcher but a novice in many other domains that were critical to succeeding in his new position. A native of Nova Scotia and graduate of the University of New Brunswick and Yale, Sisam had begun working as a silvicultural researcher for the Dominion Forest Service in the early 1930s. His outstanding work had earned him a job in the spring of 1939 as deputy director of the Imperial Forestry Bureau at...

  11. Illustrations
    (pp. None)
  12. Chapter 7 ‘Forestry Has Suffered Its Share of Frustrations,’ 1957–1971
    (pp. 167-198)

    The hullabaloo that marked the Faculty of Forestry’s Golden Jubilee in the fall of 1957 could not mask the challenges it faced at the time and over the rest of Bernie Sisam’s tenure as dean (1957–71). At the University of Toronto the problem was manifold. Although the mid- to late 1950s saw Simcoe Hall plan a major expansion to accommodate the baby boomers who would soon begin arriving, forestry did not figure prominently, if at all, in it. In some respects, this was understandable. The faculty’s enrolment had peaked at just over three hundred in 1948–9 and then...

  13. Chapter 8 ‘Rebuilding a Neglected and Deplorably Weak Faculty,’ 1971–1985
    (pp. 199-230)

    In the middle of 1971 Vidar John Nordin was selected to succeed ‘Bernie’ Sisam as dean of the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Toronto. A native of Sweden, Nordin had earned undergraduate degrees from the University of British Columbia and his doctorate in forestry from the University of Toronto in 1951. Over the next two decades he had worked his way up the ranks of the Canadian Forest Service’s research branch, specializing in forest protection, management, and education. By the time he was hired to be the Faculty of Forestry’s dean, Nordin was research manager in the CFS’s...

  14. Chapter 9 ‘Forestry at U. of T. Is Not Dead Yet,’ 1985–2005
    (pp. 231-265)

    Several major forces shaped the Faculty of Forestry’s development during the 1985–2005 period, and most were unfavourable. These were years of unprecedented social awareness of the environment and the ever more urgent need to care for it wisely. The United Nations convened landmark conferences and produced a number of reports on the issue, and these helped prod governments in Canada to buttress their environmental policies. In 1992, for example, a national forest strategy (i.e.,Sustainable Forests: A Canadian Commitment) was published and a few provincial governments followed up with their own practical initiatives; Ontario enacted its Crown Forest Sustainability...

  15. Conclusion: All That Is Old Is New Again
    (pp. 266-272)

    If James H. White (0T9), the Faculty of Forestry’s first graduate and forty-year staff member, were to have attended its ‘Holiday Season’ potluck dinner in December 2006, he would have felt out of place, at least initially. Back in the early 1900s his professors, and later his professorial colleagues had all been white men of European background who had taught subjects specifically related to preparing their charges to manage Canada’s forests on a sustained yield basis. In contrast, the professors who were enjoying the feast in 2006 were both men and women. They hailed from places as diverse as India...

  16. Notes
    (pp. 273-310)
  17. References
    (pp. 311-318)
  18. Index
    (pp. 319-334)