Iris Allen has been appointed forest manager in the Department of Biology and Environmental Science at Davis & Elkins College. In this role, she is developing and coordinating innovative education experiences in the D&E experimental forest through the recently introduced Sustainable Resource Management program.
The new program, initiated in the fall 2022 semester, offers students training in wildlife ecology and management, watershed science, forest ecology and forest ecosystem protection approaches, among other related fields. Students will gain hands-on experience in the 300-acre tract of land gifted to the College by Trustee Chair Emerita June Myles.
“Ms. Allen will play a crucial role in the development of the program, as she will not only help coordinate the use of the experimental forest, but her work will also be essential to the program’s accreditation process,” said D&E Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Rob Phillips.
Allen brings experience from working both in the natural resources field and in the classroom. Most recently, she was employed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources as a Chesapeake Watershed forester. She also has worked as a seasonal forester for the Maryland DNR, and as a program coordinator and graduate teaching and research assistant at West Virginia University.
“D&E is situated in a great place to learn about forestry and sustainable resource management,” Allen said. “It’s right next to an amazing national forest and there are many private and public entities in the area that are focused on protecting, restoring and working with natural resources. I’m so excited to spend time in the experimental forest and develop opportunities for students to learn about our beautiful Appalachian forests.”
Allen holds a Master of Science degree in forestry from WVU and a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science and management from the University of California at Davis.
Students may pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in sustainable resource management with one of three specializations: natural resource management, forest resource management or parks and recreation management. An Associate in Science degree in forest technology is also offered.