Tara L. Bal
- Assistant Professor, Forest Health
- Master of Forestry Degree Program Director
- Wood Protection Group, Microbiology/Pathology Lab Leader
- Certified Forester, Society of American Foresters
- PhD, Forest Science, Michigan Technological University
- M.S. Forest Ecology and Management, Michigan Technological University
- B.S. in Forestry, Purdue University
Healthy Forests are vital for our future
My research, which focuses on forest health, and its biotic and abiotic influencing factors, helps provide scientific foundation for management policies and the ecological response to changes in forest health conditions. Influencing factors include forest entomology, pathology, invasive species ecology, climate, nutrients, and anthropogenic impacts. Forest Health is a key driver of management in many forested systems and is becoming the main focus for managers more often as new diseases, pests and plants are introduced in our global economy. Innovative and applied research is vitally important to the diversity and sustainability of our forests. I explore problem-solving strategies for mitigation of issues that affect our forests and forest products, and convey the latest science to students, industry, and the general public.
I also seek to facilitate change and make positive strides in the forestry and natural resources fields by valuing diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition to mentorship and working with research graduate students, I advise the Master of Forestry students. My goal is to prepare students to be professionals across a range of forestry fields, emphasizing networking, communication, and other professional skills.
- Forest Health
- Insect Ecology
- Maple Syrup Culture & Management
- Natural Resources Communication
- Vegetation and Pathology
Areas of Expertise
- Forest Health Management and Monitoring
- Forest Education, Diversity and Inclusion in Forestry and Natural Resources
- Invasion Ecology
- Wood Decay Testing and Pathology
- Insect, Fungi, and Environmental Education, Pedagogy
- Bal. 2023. Draw a bee: a simple drawing activity can highlight our misperceptions and diveristy of bees. The American Biology Teacher. Read More.
- Camp & Bal. 2022. The Turkey Tail Mushroom and its Many Look-alikes. Digital Commons Open Access Books.
- Myers, Dickinson, Storer, Bal. 2022. A pilot study of transplanting methods for wildling American Beech (Fagus grandifolia). Horticulturae. Read More.
- Bal, Dickinson, Storer. 2022. Exotic earthworms impact forests: increase awareness and integrate impacts into forest management decisions. In: Proceedings of the Northern Hardwood Conference. General Technical Report (forthcoming).
- Schneider, Bal, Brzeski. Novel applications of iDNA tool for measuring small mammal community biodiversity via Silphid beetles. 2022. In: Proceedings of the Northern Hardwood Conference. General Technical Report (forthcoming).
- Burmann, Kelly, Schelly, and Bal. 2022. Formative interests and pathways to natural resources careers among historically underrepresented people. Society & Natural Resources. Read More.
- Ela, Chipkar, Bal, Xie, and Ong. 2021. Lignin-Propiconazole nanocapsules are an effective bio-based wood preservative. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, https://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acssuschemeng.0c07742
- Owuor, Giessen, Prior, Cilio, Bal, et al., 2021. Trends in forest-related employment and tertiary education: Insights from selected key countries around the globe. European Forest Institute.
- Bal, Schneider, and Richter. 2020. Decay of birdseye sugar maple (Acer saccharum) and curly red maple (Acer rubrum) figured woods. Wood and Fiber Science, 52(3): 292-297 https://doi.org/10.22382/wfs-2020-027
- Bal, T, Sharik T. 2019. Web content analysis of University forestry and related natural resources landing webpages in the United States in relation to student and faculty diversity. Journal of Forestry doi:10.1093/jofore/fvz024. Read More
- Bal, T, Sharik T. 2019. Image content analysis of US natural resources-related professional society websites with respect to gender and racial/ethnic diversity. Journal of Forestry doi:10.1093/jofore.fvs023. Read More
- Bal, T, Raj, J, Richter, D. 2019. Influence of Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) treatment of wood in decay tests. Current Research in Environmental & Applied Mycology 9(1): 85-91. Read More
- Cladas, K, Bal, T, Storer, A. 2018. Is success in detection of Agrilus planipennis related to forest edges? Journal of Applied Entomology 143: 214-224 Read More
- Bal, TL, Storer, AJ, Jurgensen, MF. 2018. Evidence of damage from exotic invasive earthworm activity was highly correlated to sugar maple dieback in the Upper Great Lakes region. Biological Invasions 20 (1): 151-164. Read More
- Bal, TL, Storer, AJ, Jurgensen, MF, Doskey, PV, Amacher, MC, 2015. Nutrient stress predisposes and contributes to sugar maple dieback across its northern range: a review. Forestry 88 (1): 64-83. Read More
- Bal, T.L., 2014. Forest Health Detectives. The American Biology Teacher. 76 (8): 532-537 Read More
- Bal, T.L., Richter, D.L,. Storer, A.J., and Jurgensen, M.F. 2013. The relationship of the Sapstreak Fungus, Ceratocystis virescens, to Sugar Maple Dieback and Decay in North Michigan. American Journal of Plant Science 4(2A): 436-443. Read More
- Evaluation of Sugar Maple Dieback in the Upper Great Lakes Region and Development of a Forest Health Youth Education Program. PhD Dissertation. Michigan Technological University. 2013. Read More
- FW 3840 Forest Health
- FW 3800 Insect Ecology
- FW 3765 Maple Syrup Mgmt & Culture
- FW 1050 Natural Resources Professional
- FW 5081 Professionalism in Forestry
- FW 4500 Wild Foods: People and Plants in the Northern Forest
- FW 4800 Communication for Natural Resource Professionals (co-taught)