James B. Pickens


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James B. Pickens

Professor, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

  • PhD, Forest Management, University of Georgia
  • MS, Forest Biometrics, University of Georgia
  • BS, Biology, Eastern Montana College
"The most encouraging student evaluation I ever received was: This guy doesn't care what we think. He cares how we think."

Helping improve profitability

My research involves using operations research/management science methods to improve decision making in forest ecosystem management. I have focused on theoretical and applied aspects of the use of quantitative models to facilitate decision making in forest management. The theoretical work focused primarily on the ramifications of using imprecise data in decision making models. The primary focus of my more applied research was converting hardwood stems into logs of the greatest possible value using optimal bucking technologies. This work showed that very large improvements in revenue could be realized if log buckers could learn to better place their cuts. We have developed a training program to help hardwood log buckers improve value recovery that includes defect identification, grading and scaling rules, and rules-of-thumb to produce more valuable logs. Please visit the .Hardwood Bucking web site for more information. Current projects include hardwood log quality, sugar maple defect healing, and supply chain management for a proposed cellulosic ethanol plant.

I feel strongly that our students need to develop their problem solving skills, integrating all the relevant information and data to reach sound and defensible solutions. I try to make development of these skills the focus of my classes.

Recent Publications

  • Webster, C.E., D.D. Reed, B.D. Orr, J.M. Schmierer, and J.B. Pickens. 2009. Expected rates of value growth for individual sugar maple crop trees in the great lakes region. Northern Journal of Applied Forestry 26(4):133-140.
  • Pickens, J.B., D.L. Johnson, B.D. Orr, D.D. Reed, Webster, C.E., and J.M. Schmierer. 2009. Expected rates of value growth for individual sugar maple crop trees in the great lakes region: A reply to John E. Wagner’s comment. Northern Journal of Applied Forestry 26(4):145-147.
  • Bruhn, J.N., J.D. Mihal, and J.B. Pickens. 2009. Forest farming of shiitake mushrooms: An integrated evaluation of management practices. Bioresource Technology 100(23):5973-5978.
  • Robinson, Sara C., Peter E. Laks, Dana L. Richter, and James B. Pickens. 2007. Evaluating loss of machinability in spalted sugar maple. Forest Products Journal 57(4):33-37 (2007).
  • Cohen, Matthew E., James B. Pickens, Jesus Cardenas Castillo, and Blair Orr. 2005. Ecological suitability and tree seedling survival in the Bolivian altiplano. Ecologia Austral, 15:207-215 (2005).
  • Orr, B.D., and J.B. Pickens. 2003. Public access to Lake Superior and attribute values of proximate non-shoreline property. J. Great Lakes Research 29(4)616-629.
  • Bruhn, J.N., J.D. Mihail, J.J Wetteroff Jr., T.A. Clark, and J.B. Pickens. 2003. Evaluating management practices for log-grown shiitake production in midwestern agroforestry. JW Van Sambeek, JO Dawson, F Ponder, Jr., EF Loewenstein, and JS Fralish, Eds., Proceedings, 13th Central Hardwood Forest conference, April 1-3, 2002, Urbana, IL. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-234. P88-100. Peer reviewed paper from oral presentation.