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Raphael Zon and Forestry's First School of Hard Knocks

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When he enrolled in the New York State College of Forestry in 1899, Zon—later editor of the Journal of Forestry—found a struggling program. But the difficulties did not prevent faculty and students alike from learning. In some cases, they provided greater lessons than success might have taught. Fernow, the college dean, espoused the European ideal of forestry and emphasized economic return over silviculture. Unable to get along with the school forest's Adirondack neighbors, to retain both professors and students, and to secure steady funding, the program was dissolved in 1903; aided by Pinchot's money and maneuvering, Yale then assumed preeminence in forestry education for the century's first four decades. Zon's diary provides a student's view of the forestry school in 1900.

Keywords: Education and Communication; History; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: Doctoral Candidate Florida State University, 6064 Wooten Drive, Falls Church, VA, 22044,

Publication date: 2000-11-01

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.476
    Ranking: 22 of 66 in forestry

    Average time from submission to first decision: 39.6 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Forest Science
    Other SAF Publications
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