Forest Innovation Reviews (FIRz)

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, FIRz 2020 has been postponed. Please check back here for the latest information.


A forum for innovation about forests, forest management, forest products, and forest-rich communities

Forest Innovation Reviews (FIRz) is a forum for innovative ideas for solving some of today’s most significant challenges. FIRz creates a space for presenting well-formed ideas about forests, forest management, forest products, and forest-rich communities, conveyed through short, powerful talks.

The first FIRz symposium took place at the University of Georgia, home of the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources on September 18, 2019. Innovative thinkers from around the world gathered for a day of breakthrough thinking and sharing about the biggest challenges — and potential solutions — that face forests and forest health. Those ideas will be shared publicly via video by the end of 2019. Dr. Scott Merkle, Professor at the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia (UGA), and his idea on how to restore threatened and endangered tree species was voted by FIRz attendees as “Most Likely to Make a Lasting Difference” and was awarded a cash prize.

Forest Innovation Reviews (FIRz) 2019 Talks

 2019 FIRz agenda

  1. New Tools for Working Forest Conservation Buck Vaughan, Manager of Forest Financial Planning & Analysis, The Conservation Fund
  2. Using Unmanned Aerial Systems in Teaching, Research & Service Dr. David L. Kulhavy, Professor, Stephen F. Austin State University
  3. Can Trees Help Spell the End of the Gulf of Mexico’s Dead Zone? Jessica Fox, Senior Technical Executive, Electric Power Research Institute
  4. Reinventing Loggers: From Timber Harvesting to Forest Stewards Ewell Smith, Carolina Loggers Association
  5. Building a Community of Competitors to Accelerate Safe Innovation Dr. Kimberly Ong, Vireo Advisors, LLC
  6. A New Wood Product to Replace Plastic: Kim Nelson, GranBio
  7. Blockchain – The Means to Eliminate Illegal Logging Globally Charlie Redden, Director of Supply Chain, Taylor Guitars
  8. How the Utility Industry Can Help Restore the Nation’s Forests Dr. Wayne Lei, Chief Technical Officer, Oregon Torrefaction
  9. A Partnership to Restore Threatened Trees Dr. Scott Merkle, Professor, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources
  10. Designing our Future Forest Zack Parisa, Founder, SilviaTerra

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