Posted by: csdailyblog | May 24, 2011

Distinguished Forestry Scientist Visits Conserve School

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University of Wisconsin-Madison Forestry Department Senior Scientist John Kotar, who developed a forest classification system — the Kotar system — now in wide use, treated Conserve School students to a two-day visit, during which he hiked with them through Conserve School’s forested campus, taught them about northern Wisconsin forest ecology, chatted with them about his distinguished career, and encouraged them to pursue their interest in the woods and wildlife of northern Wisconsin. You can read detailed descriptions of his visit on Science Teacher Robert Eady’s recent website entry and on Science Teacher Andy Milbauer’s recent website entry.

Professor Kotar’s visit to Conserve School was sparked by a chance meeting with Director of Admissions and Residential Life Phil DeLong, when he and Phil found themselves skiing alongside one another during the American Birkebeiner Ski Marathon in February. Professor Kotar, now in his seventies, is one of the founders of the world-renowned American Birkebeiner and has raced in every single Birkie since its founding in 1973. What a great role model for Conserve School students!

Professor Kotar’s visit coincided with an evening presentation by another forestry expert, our neighbor Bob Simeone, founder of Sylvania Forestry, a forest management consulting firm. Bob’s company specializes in environmentally responsible forestry and has developed a forestry management plan for Conserve School. He described for students how his career in forestry began in South America with the Peace Corps and has taken him all over the world assisting governments and landowners with forestry management planning. Bob also explained to students how he has used Professor Kotar’s forest classification system during his career and what a significant and positive impact Professor Kotar’s work has made on the theory and practice of forestry.

Mary Anna



  1. We are sad that the semester is ending soon. We sincerely hope there is a way to stay connected and visit the schoopl in the years to come. It has been a life-changing experience for our daughter and we cannot thank all of you enough.

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