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Harriman Expedition Retraced

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Paul Alaback

Forester and Ecologist


Paul Alaback

Paul Alaback, working in a temperate rain forest setting in Alaska.
Paul Alaback first became interested in natural history and ecology while growing up in suburban Chicago. He worked with a volunteer organization to restore prairies along old railroad right-of-ways. "I was at first interested in the vast array of bird species and their habitats," he says. "This quickly turned to an interest in plants, in forests, and in the forest-wildlife interaction."

As a college student and graduate student, Alaback studied both botany and forestry, and grew interested in the lush and remote forests of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. He has spent the last two decades studying the ecology of temperate rainforests throughout the Americas. One particular interest is the way in which climate affects the function and diversity of these forests, and the way in which the forest responds to both natural and human-induced disturbances. For eight years, he worked as an ecologist with the Pacific Northwest Research Station of the U.S. Forest Service, publishing information on such topics as the response of seedlings to forest windthrow. He now teaches forestry at the University of Montana, and carries out research on forests and grasslands in field sites from Alaska to Argentina.

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For information on the Harriman Retraced Expedition e-mail: harriman2001@science.smith.edu

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