John Helms Resumť

 Feb. 2008


Professor Emeritus of Silviculture, University of California, Berkeley 


     B.Sc.: 1953, University of Sydney, Australia
     Diploma of Forestry: 1953, Australian Forestry School, Canberra, Aust.
     M.F.: 1960, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
    Ph.D.: 1963: University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Silviculture and Tree              Physiology 

Professional Employment:

     1953-1958: Forestry Officer, Tasmanian Forestry Commission
     1963-1964: Research Associate, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
    1964-1994: Lecturer through Professor, School of Forestry (later, Dept. Forestry and  Resource Management), University of California, Berkeley)

 For 30 years served as Professor of Silviculture. After early retirement in 1994, remained active in teaching, research, and in professional service, partly through appointment as Professor in the Graduate School 1994-1995, which was designed to capture the expertise of retiring faculty. Teaching responsibilities included undergraduate and graduate courses in silviculture, supervising numerous masters and doctoral students, participating annually in professional and extension workshops and courses, and contributing annually over a period of 15 years to USDA Forest Service advanced programs for silvicultural certification run by the Universities of California and Utah State, and a 3-year program at the University of Minnesota. In total, was instructor to about 3,500 students. Silvicultural research program focused on issues of regeneration, control of stand structure, and silvicultural systems. Research in tree physiology was aimed at evaluating carbohydrate and water relations of tree growth with regard to stresses due to competition, drought, and air pollution. Published 107 articles on forestry, silviculture and tree physiology in scientific and technical journals; contributed chapters in Tree Physiology and Yield Improvement (1976), and the Regional Silviculture of the United States (1980 and 1994); co-authored the McGraw-Hill college text Principles of Silviculture (1979); and Editor of The Dictionary of Forestry (SAF, 1998). 

Administrative service to the University of California included appointments as Associate Dean, School of Forestry and Conservation (1972-1974), Vice Chair of the Department of Forestry and Resource Management (1974-1975, 1977-1978), and Chair of the Department from 1989 to 1993.  

International experience includes participation in the development of the Organization of Tropical Studies educational program in tropical forestry in Honduras and Costa Rica (1970) and visiting scholar in Australia and New Zealand (1975-76, 2001), Scotland (1975), Yugoslavia (1990), Canada (1994), Austria (1995), Germany (1991, 1995, 1999), Sweden (1989 and 1991), Switzerland (1998), and Malaysia (2000). Invited by the Chinese Academy of Sciences to guide forestry academic and research programs in 1992, 1994, and 2000. Invited by the Russian Forest Service to advise on professional training programs, Khabarovsk, 2002.


Professional service in the Society of American Foresters (SAF) includes being an officer or member of numerous local, state, and national committees, Associate Editor of the Western Journal of Applied Forestry (1985-1992), and Chair of its Science and Technology Board 1995-1998. In 1997 was elected Fellow of the Society of American Foresters. In 1999 received SAFís John Beale Memorial Award for outstanding service to the Society. Was elected to a three-year term (2001-2003) representing District III (Northern California, Southern California, and Hawaii) on SAFís Board of Directors. Elected Vice President, Society of American Foresters 2004 and President 2005. 

In 1998 chaired a 7-member Independent Peer Review Team charged with reviewing the adequacy of the science and methodology of a major project designed to analyse the effects of potential land exchange on ecosystem health and timber supply in Oregon, USA. 

Provided testimony in 2002 to the California State Legislature on the topics of Old Growth and Clearcutting. 

Provided Congressional testimony to the House of Representatives, United States Government, June, 1997, at its Hearings on Forest Ecosystem Health in the U.S., Forest Health Initiative in 2003; U.S. Forest Service in 2005; Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act 2006; and Forests and Climate Change  April 2007. 

Appointed the C. Eugene Farnsworth Distinguished Lecturer, SUNY-ESF, Syracuse NY, April, 2004. 

Appointed the S.J. Hall Distinguished Lecturer, Univ. California, Berkeley, October, 2005. 


Author or coauthor of 114 scientific and technical articles, books, and reports. List available on request. 

Current Activities:

Actively engaged in research, professional service, and consulting with universities, agencies, and private organizations. 

Deputy Coordinator, International Union of Forest Research Organizationís Working Party on Forest Terminology, 2001- present 

Member, Board of Directors, California Forest Products Commission 2003-2009. 

Member, Sustainable Forestry Initiative External Review Panel, 2008-2011.

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