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International Biological Program Group Oral History Interview, Part 2, February 10, 1998

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Fred Swanson: -- [picks up mid-sentence] I read some documents concerning the Andrews' history, early parts of what Max has been coming up with and producing from his studies. So, I thought it'd also be good for us to do some "futuring" this year, to capitalize on our historical perspectives. I was wondering if we could spend an hour to talk some about that, about how we might do it. Then we might exercise our brains a little bit and do some of this. One thing intriguing to me, is the folks here who have 20 to 30 plus years and a sense of the past. And I ask, is that at all relevant to thinking about the future?

Jerry Franklin: Nah. (Group chuckles)

Swanson: If we want to think about where we're gonna be in ten years, or where we would like to be in ten years or twenty years, I'd like to balance that a little bit by thinking where we were ten or twenty years ago. What might have been predictable, and what might have not? Is that an okay agenda for people? To go for about an hour with more IBP stuff, and then, about an hour of futuring and then call it closed. Is that okay? So, we'll see how it goes. We may be sort of eviscerating before three.

Max Geier: You guys covered a lot of questions I had prepared in this ad hoc discussion that was going on. It's been, from my perspective, really productive so far. I did want to focus on a little more on things Art was alluding to, that is the transition from IBP to what came after. My understanding of the IBP is that people became part of it, and worked through the IBP with the knowledge this was finite in term, there was an endpoint, although it was sometimes vague where that endpoint was. I was thinking of a two-part, or two-point question. One, how did that foreknowledge the short-term, finite time-frame, influence research goals and priorities. Or did it? The second question; as that endpoint is reached, how do you make decisions about how to downsize or scale back? What is saved and what's thrown out? Maybe take the first part of that first, the impact of working under those constraints, where you can bring in a lot of people and transform the place and the community, knowing that it's not going to be a permanent transformation?

Bill Denison: People were reluctantly transformed. Once they were transformed, the resources were not available to follow up on it.

Geier: Was there pre-planning for that? How do you cope with that is what I'm asking? As a scientist or as just a member of the community trying to design research projects, do you bring on graduate students knowing that funds may run out before they finish their work? How do you deal with that?

Denison: Well, my situation was maybe unique, so I'm not sure that's germane. Simply because of my departmental situation, my recollection is that there were a number of my colleagues who had gotten fired up and were excited about it. Partly about the fact that there was money to be had there, but also, for me at least, and I think for others, there was the lure of interaction across departmental and disciplinary lines. That possibility proved to be very naïve, in both short-term model development and more or less instant sharing of data as an early selling point, if I recall. To have that evaporate was a blow.

Dick Waring: I think we were in a fortunate era in the sense that almost all graduate students and post-docs in that system, had ample opportunity to leave at any time. Some left early, like Chuck Grier, right in the middle of when we needed him, and took jobs. It wasn't a problem that you had to hold them, because there was no place else to go. Another thing that came up was ecosystem analysis began to have its own panel at NSF. People, even before LTER, had an opportunity to go in and focus on a smaller part of what they'd been associated with, but still often in a modeling framework, and at least, have a justification of why that was important. We saw a lot of grants go in, and people had learned to write grant proposals of some merit. And there were people who were used to reviewing them.

Denison: We don't really know when or where --

Waring: No.

Denison: -- Where you draw the line, the end of the IBP era, or end of the post-IBP era.

Waring: Right.

Denison: There was probably a three-year transitional period in there somewhere. It's that period that I recall with some degree of sadness.

Franklin: Well, I saw it from the national level because I was program officer [at NSF] in that transition. There were some pretty scary times. If you remember the year before I went in [to NSF], Tom Callahan and the program officer were running around and telling everybody, "The money's gonna end." [for IBP]

Waring: Yeah.

Franklin: "So you better start telling all your post-docs and everyone to find other jobs." I was running around behind them saying, "No, it's not gonna end!" (Group laughter) What happened, was that IBP line items rolled over and became ecosystems studies [EER, or Experimental Ecological Reserve, name used between IBP and LTER, 1977-79].

Waring: So, a lot of money was still in the pool.

Franklin: Right, that really made the whole thing manageable at the national level. I saw the transition that occurred in the Andrews, and maybe again, I've lost a lot of it in time, but it was an amazingly easy transition. What happened was, in IBP, we developed a whole lot of good ideas, then people were able to develop more traditional kinds of proposals, that is, hypothesis-based proposals as opposed to budget-based proposals.

Waring: Three or four people it was not. We had a hundred people at one time on the payroll. Okay? One hundred people.

Geier: Is that right?

Waring: Yeah, that's right.

Franklin: Then basically, those ideas became the sons and daughters of IBP, the next generation. Some of them were successful, some of them weren't so successful. Individually, I was particularly concerned about the canopy stuff - and that I wasn't nearly as successful as a program officer to keep that up, but overall, it was amazing the volume of successful proposals that the Andrews-based group was able to develop. Then, the only problem was, how are we going to keep the infrastructure going? And this was at the time that we put together the first facility proposal. We sort of took advantage of NSF's ignorance, and captured a lot of money that they wouldn't give to people today.

Art McKee: I remember going to a meeting in 1980, a meeting of directors of biological field stations. We were asked to present funding sources for different field stations, and I had a one-page handout that contained financial support for a national research facility, a couple hundred thousand a year, whatever it was. Man! That was like tossing shit into the fan. It got people really pissed, because they didn't know where the hell we'd gotten the money for that. There was no program for that. Where did that come from? Jerry knew the window was there to move on, so we sent it back to NSF and we did it.

Waring: But then, there were 18 original LTER sites.

Franklin: No, it started with eight.

Waring: That's right.

Swanson: I thought it was six or seven, then it went down to --

Waring: You have a better memory than we do!

Ted Dyrness: All we worried about was that the Andrews was in there. There were no other biases. (Group laughter)

Franklin: Anyway, it didn't seem that way at the time. It cost me a lot of sleep and a lot of worry, and I'm sure for other people, too. But basically, we went from IBP to an intermediate period where we generated a whole bunch of small group grants, the first facilities grant, and then into LTER.

Waring: Right.

Franklin: So, the thing was able to maintain its momentum and its continuity.

Dyrness: What year did IBP finish? What was its last year?

Franklin: 1975. Fiscal year '75.

Denison: Was it really? Did it run so long as that?

Waring: Oh, yeah.

Franklin: I went to NSF in '73, and we would be planning the transition then for the next two years. Basically, the transition had been made by the time I left in '75.

Waring: Yeah.

Denison: So, somewhere in '74

Dyrness: Yeah.

Swanson: Another thing I picture you two guys working together on, was to get most of that post-doc cadre into some more permanent positions.

Waring: Yep. That was part of our responsibilities.

Swanson: That's sad. (Group laughter)

Waring: How else are you going to corrupt the system?

Franklin: We were lucky, but we had a good track record. We had a good group of people, so we were able to maintain continuity. The fact of the matter is the program grew in terms of the total dollars that were coming in to the Andrews. When IBP ended, it didn't drop, it just sort of continued upward in terms of the total budget of research directed to the Andrews.

McKee: We had one phenomenal streak in '76 to '81 or so, when I don't think a single proposal was declined for funding from the group we had.

Franklin: That is amazing!

McKee: It was just --

Dyrness: Not a single one?

McKee: Not a single one of the ones that were going in.

Dyrness: Quite a record!

Swanson: There was also the Forest Service funding that was sort of chunking along and I don't know if it changed, but probably was staying pretty steady.

Franklin: It got pretty corrupted about that time, because when I came back from NSF, I was made project leader. Bob Ruth did a retirement, so I then had all the project resources that I could utilize. (Group laughter)

Waring: And Bob Tarrant was the station director [PNW], also.

Franklin: That's right, it's about that time.

Swanson: While Tarrant was director, I think he gave the okay for hiring a few people through a hiring freeze.

Waring: While he was shedding entomologists, right and left.

Franklin: That's right.

Waring: That's a sensitive issue, or it was. For moving them to, Wenatchee, or -- ?

Several Voices at Once: -- La Grande. [in NE Oregon]

Waring: La Grande, right.

Geier: I gather there was kind of a dual sense here. On the one hand, there's an impression that this phase of research was ending and that some people at least are going to be ushered out. But from a budgetary standpoint, what you're saying is that the money was still there, but it was going to be different people in some cases?

Franklin: Yeah, and it was coming in different kinds of packages. It wasn't coming through a central program, but rather you had a half a dozen significant research proposals, rather than one grand, big one.

Waring: That's right.

Denison: I think Dick's point was, at the height of the early IBP there were a hundred people in the program. The people that I'm thinking of are the ones that didn't make it through this transition, and probably in most cases, that was either wise from the Andrews' perspective, wise from their perspective, or both.

Waring: It was still hard. I didn't mean to gloss over that. I think it is instructive that, at least for a decade after the IBP, almost none of the other forestry colleges in the country were able to get NSF grants, sometimes even when they had a graduate from our system, like Bob Boloet, who went to Michigan. They just didn't have, what do you call it, the --

Dyrness: -- The critical mass.

Waring: The critical mass to do integrated science, even though they were ready and anxious to do it. Henry Gholz, of Florida, it took him until Bob Tesky, and much, much later, like ten years later, before they finally got a big grant to do it down there, but otherwise, there wasn't any. Berkeley [Univ. of Cal.] was really a nice case, because they all fought one another, and they never did get a program going. You know what the resources are at Berkeley. So, you just look and say, "Well, how could this have happened to Oregon? How could Oregon, before they had molecular biology, get these kinds of grants? How could the biology be so strong here?" And, it wasn't just the original faculty. Because a lot of people like Bill Nagel, left, and we lost a lot of faculty.

Franklin: Oh, yeah.

Waring: But it was this experience. I think of being able to write grants, do it together, and do it on deadlines. The deadline was that we were going to cut Watershed 10. Okay?

Dyrness: Speaking about depression! (Laughter)

Waring: Yeah. And partly, not just to check the predictions. Jesus, like more water's gonna run off, and, surprise, surprise! But it was that we wanted to end the data gathering, and that did end it. I mean, on the IBP budget [continued on USFS budget].

Franklin: We also needed to cover all the impacts we'd had on that watershed, and the only way to obscure all of our sins was to cut the damn thing.

Denison: I still remember when I was called up. I can't remember now, whether it was somebody from Forest Service or whether it was the timber company, and that was when was I going to remove the bolts from the eleven trees that we had climbed, and I asked what the pay rate was for us to go down and pull them out. (Group laughter)

Franklin: Ohhhh. (Laughter)

Denison: They're still standing.

Waring: The trees are still standing? No. Not unless you're on Watershed 10.

Don Henshaw: No, Watershed 10. Actually, you had trees.

Denison: One of our trees is still standing, one sugar pine we did, which is still there.

Waring: Okay.

Denison: Way up at the top of the edge of the watershed. The rest of them all went down.

Waring: Okay. I stand corrected.

Swanson: One thing I was wondering about is the transition out of IBP, and the way science leadership within the group transitioned. I don't have a good sense of it. I think it was substantially dispersed during IBP, although money went through one funnel for the most part. Then, with this move towards lots of different grants, then those teams became somewhat more autonomous, didn't they? How do you see that?

Waring: I'm sure that happened by the time the LTER started, because if it was before then, they had to compete independently. I think our big concern was how to keep the data bank together. I mean, we had lots of other concerns, but we'd be in big trouble if the data bank was destroyed in this interim period, and we weren't going to have this legacy for everybody to build on. That was about the time Susan Stafford came on. I think that was '78 or something like that. That was pretty important.

Henshaw: A little after that. Well, she might have come in then, but I don't think it really changed over until she got involved with the FSDB [Forest Science Data Bank].

Waring: I think you're right. She was hired as a faculty member in '78, but she didn't take this other responsibility until a little later. She was teaching.

Henshaw: I think it was after LTER was on board, after 1980, was when it switched.

Waring: It was a problem for how to get money out of these separate grants. How are you going to support this infrastructure when each grant needs support and has a little bit of money? That's when the college had to start talking about databanks and this kind of stuff. At least they talked for about a year. And Al Brown really wasn't cut out for that; those kinds of interactions with all the administrators. That's where Susan helped us, because she was able to do that.

Henshaw: Al Brown, I don't know what happened. He left, I think in about June of '80?, or was it '79? One of those years.

Waring: I think it was '79.

Henshaw: He worked for a long time in Portland.

Waring: And we had Dennis Muscato after Al Brown, I think.

Denison: Al Brown left a different legacy here I'll bet none of you are aware of. After the episode where the Memorial Union refused to give the Black Student Union access to the Memorial Union, Al came to me and said, "We need to do something about this." So, I became faculty advisor to the Association for Conscientious Thoughtful Students, which developed a structure that allowed for use of facilities usually available to student groups. And the first organization to take advantage of it is presently called the First Alternative.

Waring: Oh, the co-op.

Denison: So, that's where the co-op came from. Now, this was a very laid-back group. Any person who wanted to become a member could go over to the student center and simply sign up. But there was a sunset provision, so you had to renew every year. Any three members of the organization could establish a troika, and act on behalf of the group as a whole, and that was how the co-op came into being. The second and only other activity was the sponsorship of a foreign movie festival on this campus, and then it quietly went out of business. But it didn't --

Waring: But it did need a troika. (Laughter) It did need a troika.

Denison: Yes, it did need a troika.

Waring: Al couldn't have done it alone.

Denison: I don't think Al had anything to do with that. I think somebody else found out about the existence of the organization and figured this was the vehicle. I wasn't consulted, that's part of the reason why it went out of business.

Geier: I'm a little bit curious about the transition from IBP funding, this funnel that kind of focuses upward, as Fred was saying, to multiple grants. What are the implications of that for ideas like long-term research? I don't get the impression the study elements of IBP were focused on long-term research, but more on data-gathering and modeling.

Franklin: Well, there were a number of things that were working. First of all, most of the people were working on ideas that were second or third generation ideas at IBP. There'd been quite bit of integration that just continued, but it continued on a voluntary basis. Second, a lot of it was focused on the Andrews, so you still had a geographic focus. So you had history, you had geography, and then you had the fact that most of the people were interested in continuing to work with each other. They didn't care whether or not there was a fiscal relationship. The fact was, it was fun, you know, to go out and splash around in the creek with Fred and Jim and Jerry, just swap ideas, and "create fairy tales," as Sedell [Jim] would say. We really enjoyed each other and were stimulated by each other. I look back on my career, and almost anything worthwhile that I've ever been associated with, was a consequence of interactions. It was an opportunity to put things together. One of the things that I really do well is to put things together, but I have to be exposed to ideas and data to do that. And so, history, geography, and just a desire to continue to be associated with one another, and the notion that sooner or later you probably were going to be collaborating with somebody on a research project. That just provided a natural transition, a bridge to LTER, where once again we could have a central event that would provide a lot of the continuity and structure.

Waring: There are instances, also, of very large databases like our tree database, for example, which we knew we had not begun to mine the information out of it.

Franklin: Yeah, sure.

Waring: So, preservation of that, and it eventually that becomes historical, any of those becomes historical data-banks, as well. So, I think that may have been looked at as an asset, and that came into the picture.

Denison: I would say there are two things that are a legacy, not so much of the detail work. One was having to meet deadlines where it didn't go on like Forest Service projects, for 20-30 years. It didn't go on like a university project where a graduate student graduated, and then maybe another one would pick it up or maybe they wouldn't. It was something more focused than either one of those extremes. To do that you had to have colleagues willing to come to the table with something to make a commitment, because integration only happens if everybody plays their part. If only one person plays their part, the grant didn't get renewed. I think in the IBP, people learned that. That's true, because they could see the rewards for doing it and the penalties for not. The program wasn't always fair in how it ended, but it did end.

The other thing, I see a bunch of other agencies, or maybe at least a couple other agencies, that picked up on this. The oceanographers started this. You have a ship that goes to sea, and you have to be on it and ready to make the most of it. We never had that in the terrestrial kind of people, because we could always go there any time and wouldn't have to be transported in a group. Well, now we're talking about simultaneous measurements of some of these things. Handing the branches down that make these measurements after you've been up there collecting them. It's not a random kind of thing, and in order to be successful, you have to coordinate. I think that kind of coordination and what comes out of it, was an experience that not all of us had had before we came into the IBP. It sure changed the way that research was done, and I think, still is being done.

Swanson: Yeah, there was a neat feedback back there, that we had a competitive advantage by working together. We were getting feedback and success. It would be useful to be using this gathering to try to carry the discussion all the way to the instigation of LTER, which gets us into the beginning of the 80's. Lots of things were happening. There were planning workshops, for example. I expect you guys were probably involved, and Jane Lubchenko and maybe Risser [Paul], at the national level, that helped carry things from the IBP era to the LTER era. Would you comment on that, please?

Franklin: That transition actually began about 1973, and it began with a concern at NSF that originally had to do with field stations. Some of us then transmuted that to a concern for how we were going to keep the centers of excellence developed under IBP going, and what kind of structure would allow us to provide long-term support for these. That's where the LTER grew out of, with its roots back in the early 70's. At least in some minds at NSF, we were thinking, "We're getting some real centers here. When IBP ends, how are we going to assure with our current funding structure that we're going to be able to maintain these centers of excellence?" That was how LTER fundamentally came about.

Waring: It wasn't so much for the field stations, because we'd seen field stations come and go.

Franklin: No, the field stations --

Waring: That wasn't it. It was the critical mass of people and the kind of research that we were building on, and how to see that through. That was the real concern. There were lots of great places you could have done research, but they weren't potential LTER sites. And not all the potential LTER sites still had a critical mass of people that were willing to build on what they previously had.

Geier: How much correlation is there between IBP sites and current LTER sites?

Franklin: Well, there weren't that many IBP sites, but 50% of the IBP sites are represented today in LTER, maybe. What do we got?

Waring: We've got Wisconsin.

Franklin: We've got Coweeta, we've got Wisconsin [Northern Temperate Lakes].

Waring: We've got Short Grass Steppe [Kansas].

Franklin: And we've got Hubbard Brook [New Hampshire].

Waring: Hubbard Brook, that wasn't, or maybe it was?

Franklin: That wasn't an IBP site?

Waring: No.

McKee: It was a satellite site along the lines of the Jornada [New Mexico] satellite site, and the grassland biome, and --

Franklin: -- the Andrews, Central Plains, the Pawnee, Jornada.

Waring: Was there a tundra?

Franklin: Where was the tundra?

Dyrness: Yeah, there was a tundra, wasn't there? Jerry Brown [PI]. That was it.

Waring: That was Jerry Brown.

Dyrness: Jerry Brown's outfit was out of Eagle Research at Barrow [Alaska].

McKee: Yeah. Some at Barrow and other places within the Tundra Biome.

Franklin: Well, I think what you do see in the LTER sites is a surge of excellence, some of which had been IBP sites, and some of which developed in a different venue like Hubbard Brook and Luquillo. They are well represented in the LTER sites. So, in that sense, the vision that some of us at NSF had in 1973 has sort of come to pass.

Denison: In connection with LTER, which I've had no connection with, have people gone and taken a look at Rothamsted? [United Kingdom]

Franklin: Yeah. In fact, the Cedar Creek guy, David Tilman, took his sabbatical at Rothamsted.

Denison: I had an indirect family connection within the IBP itself, in that my sister was involved in developing the first translation of that. So, I came to it with some experience of what modelers could and couldn't do, which was part of why I was interested. My oldest son was at Davis [Univ. of Cal. at Davis], working with profs and students on modeling projects. My impression from Rothamsted was, that despite the physiological research there, the most valuable information that's come out of it has been the archival tradition, that changes taking place in systems has greatly reinforced the importance of keeping good records. An interesting perspective, which I don't think has been resolved, is that before starting out on hydrological and traditional soil studies, getting documentation for the initial conditions, was relatively easy. But the issue of documenting what was there in terms of invertebrates and microbes, there's no real precedent for, and I don't there's a good one yet. What, if anything, is being done as far as the Andrews is concerned, to document changes in the really small critters? Some of these reference stands have got macro-fungi, and we've got information for some of the small stuff out of the canopies, but there's an awful lot of other stuff in the soil.

Franklin: Well, we've never done any kind of archival job on the Andrews. That's a challenge we've never picked up. [Program records were curated, 2013-2019]

Waring: We started with litter collections to archive some of those. I don't want to say that we did it right, but on some of the reference stands, there were litter-fall collected, and some of that was archived.

McKee: We're still maintaining the archives.

Waring: Reference Stand 2 was one.

McKee: We have half-a-dozen sites with collections of one kind or another.

Waring: Right. Our herbarium archives have some of the stuff, but that was only with lichens or mushrooms or some of that sort of stuff.

Franklin: But, fundamentally, we really haven't done archiving. And if you want to look at an organization that's done archiving, you'd look at Hubbard Brook, because that's something that Gene Likens was really committed to. There have also been soil cores done from a cross-section of the Sierras that are archived at Berkeley. They've become very valuable to people who've been looking at the turnover rates of bomb carbon, making those comparisons, because without that, they didn't have initial data.

Al Levno: I think one thing else that's carrying on from IBP into the LTERs, has been [U.S.] Forest Service contributions. There were periods when things look pretty tough for them and the experimental forest idea. Logan Norris was instrumental in diverting a bunch of pesticide money when he was project leader, for watershed programs, to keep them going. Fred has done the same thing, diverted money when it's not popular to do so.

Swanson: There's been a lot of resources now, like with Don [Henshaw] and Hazel [Hammond], as Forest Service employees, who are the ones who are really doing the bulk of the heavy work on the webpage and the databank, which have an LTER labels on them. So, this is an interesting blend of the continuity and some inflexibility maybe on the Forest Service front, because it's the academic front that has more flexibility.

Geier: I was wondering in relation to the earlier discussion about operating paradigms, and also, IBP modeling, filling in the boxes. How had that paradigm of research changed by the time of the transition between the end of IBP and the beginning of LTER? What were the operating paradigms which structured the kinds of research that would be pursued at the Andrews? [Going forward into LTER era]

Franklin: Well, it switched. Basically, the IBP was structured around doing budgets, doing fundamental descriptions. By the next generation, they were almost all hypothesis-based proposals of some kind, or question-based proposals, having to do with pursuing some interesting facet that emerged from the budget work.

Waring: And there was a fair amount of experimentation coming in to complement the observations. You saw Phil Sollins' people moving litter around in an old-growth forest, and then monitoring leaf shade coming out under different things, but nothing else changed. Other experimentation included putting logs into the stream or forest, putting different kinds of sub-strata in the streams, and watching how rapidly they decompose, with or without insects first working on them, and the microbes first providing substrate, and that kind of thing. Maybe some of that came in the IBP. I don't want to rule that out.

Swanson: I get the impression that the long-term aspects snuck up on us a little bit, so in the second half of the 70's, which is sort of the post-IBP era, we made the switch from the budgets, filling in the boxes in the budgets, to more hypothesis-driven research. It wasn't yet long-term, but it was at the individual NSF grant-scale of time dimension.

Waring: Three-year's worth?

Swanson: Yeah, but then, LTER came on, and that was.........we were writing a proposal on that, in '79? Early '79?

McKee: The RFP [request for proposal] came out in '79, and the proposals were going to be submitted by March 1 of 1980 [For what became "LTER I"].

Swanson: I remember being in the FSL [U.S. Forest Service Forest Sciences Lab] large conference room, and I think Dick was there. He said, "Okay, the way this is going to work, you need to design long-term experiments." That was the key.

Waring: So, we had a 200-year old log study. [Mark Harmon's log decomposition work]

Franklin: Yeah, right! (Group laughter)

Swanson: There were several of these experiments that were developed. And it's interesting, you look across LTER today, and some of the sites are firmly rooted long- term in field experiments, others less so. The infrastructure for long-term research has really been a growing part of LTER, it seems to me. So, it seems like the operating premises were switching [between IBP and LTER], and yet we had some threads that weave all the way through them. Some of them were maintained by the Forest Service like the small watersheds or the vegetation plots, and there may be some other things like those logs in streams beginning in '75, which were more of an OSU responsibility.

Waring: Well, the landslides.

Swanson: Yeah, landslides.

Waring: I mean, doing a whole survey after a flood, and then waiting and waiting and waiting for a major storm to finally happen. Or having to dig wheelbarrow loads of sediment out of sediment basins in our watersheds.

Swanson: Yeah. Ted set the stage for that.

Waring: The good news is we had a storm, the bad news is that basin was filled with silt.

Swanson: Is that a fair characterization of the research premises?

Waring: I think we had some other monitoring, too. Maybe we were forced to do it, but we were supposed to be looking at wildlife, and about that time we had, we had the owl [northern spotted owl] listed in 1974 -- [Endangered Species Act]

Swanson: Oh, neat!

Waring: [continuing] -- in these things [indicating IBP "gray literature" publication], so the spotted owl is listed by Nussbaum's article. It's not that it wasn't recognized before.

Henshaw: That's been a great resource in going back and trying to document old data sets; that whole series of reports created in the IBP, that doesn't exist in LTER at all.

Dyrness: What's the title of that?

Swanson: The "Annual Report." [IBP publications, series by subject/site/biome.]

Henshaw: Was it annual reports, or --?

Waring: It was number five, it says here.

Swanson: It was "Integrated Research in the Coniferous Forest."

Dyrness: Oh, okay.

Henshaw: That's one thing that was not ever carried through in LTER. That's a really valuable collection of information, contained in those internal reports.

Waring: That was great literature we'd get out in a hurry in lieu of referenced journal articles.

Henshaw: Right, and I'll assume that you may not have gotten the credit.

Waring: Hey, we got funded. Did a magnificent job of getting us funded. (Laughter)

Dyrness: You get things out faster that way, you know?

Henshaw: Yeah, but a lot of stuff that got printed, that's normally like documentation of things that you would never see in a referenced article. There was a lot of documentation that was actually important.

Dyrness: There's limitations on length and all that.

McKee: Colorado's Niwot Ridge site had a series of this kind of grey literature report. I don't think they did them very long, but for the first several years of LTER, they'd give one to each of the other sites.

Franklin: This has probably been replaced now by on-line data sets.

Henshaw: Yes, I think so.

Franklin: And we document our data-sets with metadata.

Dyrness: On the web site.

Franklin: You know better than I that you're gonna see a lot of that.

Henshaw: Now there is a proliferation of the grey literature again. But there was a long period when there really wasn't much.

Franklin: No.

Henshaw: Those study plans we talked about? Like how the Forest Service always had done that, and those didn't exist. And other types of reports that we have.

Franklin: Establishment reports. [U.S. Forest Service manila-color repts., 1920s-80s.]

Henshaw: Establishment reports, and things like that. I think there's a period in there where that wasn't happening, I'd say, throughout the '80's.

Franklin: I'd just kind of like to underline again what Al said about the continuity provided by Forest Service, because I think that was very important. We tended to focus on the NSF grants. And it's the base that's been there. The willingness of people like Fred and I to use that base to keep the whole program going, that's really made a difference. The majority of the LTER sites are collaborations of academic with agency scientists. So, it's not a pattern unique to the Andrews. The other thing I just wanted to mention is to go back to the issue, "What's kept us together?" I think another thing has been our shared commitment, belief in the value of our science to policy, and to consistently focus on getting this stuff into practice. I think it's made a difference.

Geier: You're talking about links with management in that area?

Franklin: Yeah, in point-of-fact, we really believed the science we're generating is important, and it really ought to be incorporated into EISs and policies.

Waring: President Clinton's Plan.

Franklin: President Clinton's. In the late '70's and early '80's, we were very frustrated because we weren't being involved, and a lot of it [science] was not being incorporated.

Pause: [Jim Hall leaves, Ted Dyrness thanks him for coming.]

Franklin: And of course, what happened in the late '80's and '90's, was that we did get incorporated along with a lot of this stuff. The commitment to application has been something that's kept the group together, whether it's us here or Jim Sedell or Ken Cummins or Stan Gregory. I mean, we all shared that.

Swanson: Yeah, I think that's true. And I think having these very positive interactions with land managers really rings true.

Waring: The only way to test these things is to have them actually applied in science, and to see what happens. Make these predictions and you think this is the way the system works. So, we really needed those people, as much as we hope they eventually needed us.

McKee: But at any rate, we sit around the table and nod our heads in agreement, there's unanimity on this issue, and yet at other sites, not so. I can remember in the early '80's talking to graduate students at the University of Colorado, and many of the graduate students really felt good about the possibility that their work would be incorporated in management. And there was this awkward silence.

Waring: Many?

McKee: Like, "Then you must be doing applied research." I had a conversation in the early '80's with Tilman, who's now getting a lot of press about his research seeing the importance of biological diversity and stability with climatic shifts, talking with him about how much of our work is spinning off into management. And the sneers, you know, it was like that in the '80s. Other sites don't sense this value and this group [HJA] always has. It really has. There's a big difference between this group and any other site. It's funny how often we'll get requests to provide information with examples to NSF.

Waring: Application.

McKee: Applications of the basic research. How is this germane or relevant to the nation's interests? Boy, there was a time when if a proposal even hinted that it was headed in that direction, it was the kiss of death. (Laughter)

Waring: There's an interesting outgrowth of that. One of the people we had working as a teenager, and also as a master's student graduate is Steve Running, during IBP. After he got his Ph.D. at Colorado and went to Montana, he eventually became the most richly- rewarded faculty member in the state, doing a one million dollar a year NASA grant for ten years. And NASA, in order to support those kinds of [satellite] systems that had to go up and gather these data, more and more relied on Steve to explain the applications. It wasn't just that there were hydrologic models and they predicted photosynthesis, but he could show for the entire state of Montana, that he'd been able to predict the forest capabilities in all landscapes. It turned out it was a grant from the Montana Tax Bureau. So, people were able to assess land from these maps. If you were or were not producing, they could tell. Steve was basically once or twice a month going before Congress. The history of where he got those ideas of modeling stem from here, because we were modeling here. The application part - the scaling up applications - came from his experience here. He had a botany degree originally, and then he came in with a masters and Ph.D. in forestry, but I don't think he ever took forestry courses.

Geier: How much of the unique stuff from this group here originated with the management of the Andrews, or was it by the Forest Service with Oregon State University? Was that unique in terms of other IBP sites, or LTER sites?

McKee: You mean the interest of having interaction with management? I don't think it was solely with respect to management of the Andrews. It's always been important, because, at least my perception, was that there were people within the agencies who had these interests. I would include, in my experience, the EPA, in those days, and AES, the Agriculture Experiment Station-USDA. There was a fairly high degree of academic-management cooperation.

Waring: Yeah, Integrated Pest Management was on this campus. Entomologists.

Dyrness: That was the early, early stuff, but there was, by the time I arrived, which was in the '60s, I thought there was a fairly-high degree of cooperation between applied people and scientists, having experienced something quite different at other institutions

Denison: We had a very strong chapter of the Ecological Society of America here, and it had two key things that it was involved in during the '70's. One was evaluating the quality of the air before the pulp mills went in down at Harrisburg, right? Or, Halsey?

Swanson: Halsey.

Waring: The other one was to take on those dams built by the Army Corps of Engineers, and illustrate where new ones potentially were going to go in at Cascadia and elsewhere, and basically, build a cost-benefit ratio that looked ridiculous. Okay? We had meetings and meetings on that. Along with the population bomb, this kind of stuff. Monthly, if not more frequently. I remember this as really bringing people together across campus.

Franklin: That was way beyond the boundaries of IBP.

Denison: That's right, but -

Waring: But IBP, I think may have been more essential to it.

Denison: That's what I'm asking you.

Waring: I also remember when that was getting organized, somebody asking about local chapters.

Dyrness: Right.

Denison: And we were told there would be no local chapters, only regional chapters.

Waring: That's right.

Denison: How many people do you need to have?

Waring: We had a hundred.

Denison: We had something like four times as many as you needed for a regional chapter, just in Corvallis. And it did draw from the agencies.

Waring: A lot of the membership on those committees were also on the IBP. We had a lot of people who came because we already knew each other. It was pretty much a lot of ferment. I mean, a lot of activity at this time. So, application or concerns about how science could look at these bigger pictures that were already being discussed.

Denison: Looking back at it, I think people were not looking at it as, "Well, if I take on this applied thing, is it gonna allow me to do what I want to do and get paid for it?" I really think it was the other way around.

Waring: Yeah, in that case nobody got any money, if we just didn't want any dams on Cascadia, or we wanted at least everybody to know about it.

Denison: Well, they cleaned it up quite bit compared to what they were gonna do. And, you had Hewlett Packard.

Waring: Yeah. There's always a lot of concern in the community.

Geier: So, what you're saying is that with this applied science tradition at OSU, (laughter) you're --

Denison: -- Too conspicuous.

Waring: OSU and the Forest Service and the EPA. They were all here in Corvallis. They were all neighbors.

Geier: So the general climate in Corvallis was somewhat more unique?

Waring: I think there was good science and lots of applications happening in the same campus. I'm trying to think of Cornell and Berkeley, as land-grant colleges, but I don't think the same thing goes on at either.

Denison: I don't think so either.

Waring: I think application.

Denison: I don't know Berkeley that well, but I know Cornell pretty well.

Waring: Well, I know Berkeley pretty well.

Swanson: The convergence was one of having this decade of the '70's, when a lot of the effort went into just understanding how the system worked.

Franklin: Right.

Swanson: Good science, credible science was funded by --

Waring: -- NSF.

Swanson: -- through NSF. And then, the issues --

Waring: -- Came. ["Forest Wars"- 1980s/1990s; northern spotted owl, old-growth, etc.]

Swanson: Started heating up. So, the scientists were trained, they were used to working together, they were used to understanding the system, and the issues bubbled up. Then there was this progressive schooling of ourselves about participation in the process [management and policy considerations], and that you could make a difference. We got some lessons about how to perform and maybe how not to perform, from watching the herbicide battles with Logan's [Norris] and Mike Newton's different performance styles. Then, bingo, when the shit really hit the fan, it took quite a bit of skill and credibility. It's really quite remarkable. I was at the Forestry for the 21st Century Conference, talking to some Australians, and they were just marveling at what was going on. There were more people in the Northwest, or even just in Corvallis, senior scientists, who could stand up and talk science and talk management-policy implications with passion and ability, than in all of Australia, they felt.

Waring: Well, they can only talk out of one side of their mouth, because the flies keep gettin' in the other side. (Group laughter) We learn to talk out of both sides. Australia's tops on environmental issues, really. I think the other thing that most of the other groups didn't have is individual trees worth five thousand dollars.

Swanson: A lot at stake.

Waring: A lot at stake, a lot at stake. They're smaller trees now, and they're still worth five thousand dollars. That kind of resource, and if you look at it across the United States, you see there really aren't any other forest regions quite like this in terms of the capacity, and we documented that in the IBP times, maybe at the very end. I know we had one article that came out in '79 in Science.

Geier: So, you're saying that means the management part of it is more important?

Waring: It made it more important. It didn't mean that deserts weren't being beat down and lots of problems were there that people were concerned about. This was such a valuable resource per acre, and had such a potential for good and bad, that people were very concerned about it for a whole variety of reasons. But it was extremely valuable.

Denison: But it also was of regional interest, these sorts of issues, perhaps more so than some other regions. This was that era in an environmentally-sensitive region; 1973 was the year for passage of Oregon Senate Bill 100 that mandated across the state, land-use planning, essentially. [Consistent across the state within certain guidelines]

Waring: Yeah, in Oregon.

Denison: The consequences of this, for individual landowners, for farmers, for industrial forest lands, and for counties mandated to implement, were right there in the newspapers.

Waring: That was followed up with the Oregon Forest Practices Act [passed in 1971], and that has been continually modified, and was statewide. Eventually, both Washington and California enacted some kind of forest practice act, too. So, they don't want to ignore that at one time Oregon provided 25% of the timber for the entire U.S., and it was during this time that the IBP was developing. The market was there and they were really "gettin' out the cut," so it was a tremendously valuable resource. The lake states couldn't do that, the Northeast couldn't do it, even the southeast, like in Coweeta, where they picked it, they couldn't have the big cuts. And then you had the deserts and the shortgrass prairies.

[Tape Break]

Swanson: What we want to be doing here is some "futuring." It sounded like it was somewhat infrastructure-oriented, rather than thematically-oriented. I was wondering about getting people's ideas about what might be fun and useful to do. I don't see us spending much time at it. We've been investing a lot of energy in 50th [anniversary] activities, and using them to get us updating a whole bunch of our general infrastructure, such as the brochures, and working with Max and another writer, on two books, and a publication list update, and a whole series of things like that. The festivities of August 21st, we'll be advertising for them, and the webpage presence around the 50th. We've generated a lot of action. So, it'll be good to think about the future and not just wallow in the past. I'd like to have some of that direction invade our August 21st celebration. We'll have that, but we'd also like to have some ideas to tuck in our mental pockets for use in various occasions when some of us talk with the media or others, about the Andrews program in the context of the 50th and looking forward, or in other contexts. Also, we are at a pretty important juncture it seems, and I think we may be facing a number of effects. Our facility development has been really dramatic, so do we need to change how we view changes in our approach to facility development? Our science needs to evolve quite a bit. I'm not sure if there're any step functions we undertake. I'll just toss that out. I'll be interested in hearing your thoughts on a process and on futuring.

Dyrness: Did I understand we have an "endowment"?

Swanson: Endowment, yes.

Denison: That's a great way to get yourself into conflict with your academic institutions. If you're interested in long-term, and you've got funding which has potential for fluctuating with political fortunes, one of the things that would be handy would be to have a couple million-dollar endowment set up for steady income. Seriously, I suspect that there are people and foundations who might look at something like that.

Swanson: That's an interesting idea. We've gone as far as the initiative of Jack Lattin to start an Andrews Forest Fund. It's not advertised, but it has accumulated about $8,000 already, without going out and looking for a penny. But that could be a new initiative.

Denison: And, you've got a facility to maintain.

Swanson: Yeah.

Denison: Just an endowment fund. Having that for an emergency.

Waring: Well, a maintenance fee, because almost all these grants will build. I know there's this brand new center that was put in when the senator retired, well, now they have to put in $10-15 million worth. And that's not coming from the federal government. So, I think there's another potential, and I had to think about this when I wrote the book with Steve [Running], which is coming out the end of this month, but there's two things that've come out of the Andrews that you may not fully appreciate. If you focus on the Andrews, you don't quite see it. One is when Henry Gholz was a masters' student working here on the Andrews, that we subsidized establishment of what is called the Oregon Transect [OTTER - NASA funding], where we had Cascade Head and McDonald Forest, and all the way over east, including the Metolius [Research Natural Area], and all of that. We had the Andrews as one of the original parts of it, but it was not on the same road as the Santiam Pass, so it sort of got left aside. Well, there have probably been something like 70, 80 articles published on that transect. What the Andrews group has also done, now you have to realize what you've done, is you've taken the satellite imagery, not just over the Andrews (HJA has in great detail), but you've also done it for the whole Northwest over the last 20 years with a bunch of Andrews-related people, including Warren Cohen. So, that's now a mosaic that's changing.

And in a way, we monitor things on the Andrews that change, the things that turned up. This is monitoring the entire state, at least the west side. Every year, or twice a year, you fill in the blanks, and this is an opportunity for researchers that follow those changes, to explain the changes. When you don't understand them, I don't want to call it a philosophy, as I don't like that word, but an ecological philosophy, and you say, "Why is this thing changing when we don't have an explanation for it?" It's not climate change, it's not management change; this forest is dying. Is this a pathogen that's been introduced? Then you send a team out where the symptoms are not easily explained. You can help the state evaluate changes in the capacity of the landscape, changes in the actual production of the landscape, changes in urbanization or flooding. Or these things, could be perceived as principles, including landslides, that occasionally occur on the Andrews. In order to test your models, you need this huge landscape, to say, "Aha, I told you so, and look what we learned here that we predicted it would." I think there's no competition, almost everybody else has the images and no understanding of the details, historically. You have some of these things locked up in these wooden data banks, the isotope signals where you pick out over the years. When you had a major drought across Oregon, we looked in the isotope signatures. But, you also had these twenty years of satellite data, and you also had people beginning to model with that. I think it's a tremendous opportunity to test the reliability of the principles, and like I say, you know the accuracy, the principles that have developed from the cadre of scientists working close to, along with or across the Atlantic. I think, there's no competition.

Swanson: Yeah, exactly. I think we're moving beautifully along that path and Warren has been really an outstanding leader in moving that along.

(Group interview continued, but was not transcribed from this point on in the tape)