July 1, 2002 marked the beginning of a new era in natural resource education, research, and extension at Iowa State University. The formation of the Natural Resource Ecology and Management Department through the merger of the Animal Ecology and Forestry Departments provided the means and facilities to continue the growth of our programs in forestry, fisheries, wildlife, and wood science; while providing the platform on which to build new programs. Historians often like to say that the past is the prologue for the future. If that is true, there is little doubt that our history of achievements as individual departments provides us with a very sound and successful base on which to continue into the future. The forestry program celebrated its Centennial in 2004, can trace it roots to Gifford Pinchot and the very beginning of forestry education in the United States at the start of the 20th Century. But even before that, Dr. Charles Bessey began to introduce elements of forestry into the Botany curriculum and was among the first to explore the potential impact of forestation on the climate of Iowa and other states along the prairie-forest interface.
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