Welcome to the College of Forestry Graduate Undergraduate Mentorship Program website. This program is organized entirely by students in the CoF Graduate Student Council.

Ben Hart

I grew up in the Redwoods of Northern California for most of my 29 rotations around the sun. As a kid I spent a lot of time in the forest playing on old timber roads and getting lost in my imagination. After high school I attended Humboldt State University with little more than knowing that I wasn't done learning. My advisor, Dr. Terry Henkel, is the campus mycologist and instilled in me a love and appreciation for the world of Fungi and how they dynamically drive and interact with our world, largely unknown or understood by most people. I myself after over two years of course work and various experience in both the field and the lab in the tropics and temperate regions of the Americas would still consider myself an amateur in this fascinating world of Mycology. In my free time, I can be found at home or in the woods. At home I'm a huge fan of cooking and have recently perfected making Pho at home. I also love gardening and providing food for my friends and family. Once I get more time I want to start caring for my own bee colony and collecting honey to use with home pressed apple cider for brewing my own honey-apple champagne (I already got the brewing part down, now I just need to make the ingredients myself). When I'm away from home I can be found either on the trail or on the water. I've done backpacking across California, from coastal forests to 12,500' Sierra Nevada crossings on the John Muir Trail, including solo trips with my dog into the Siskyou Wilderness and elsewhere. I've been a trout/steelhead fisherman for the last 5 years, and once I started flyfishing, actually became a catcherman :) I trained as a rafting guide in 2005, and have led multiple trips on the Trinity River in California, including overnighters. Beginning in 2011, I worked three seasons as a Rare Plant Survey Technician for Green Diamond Resource Co, and have developed a great appreciation for the natural beauty only found by eons of evolution. Overall its been a wild ride, but you sure do get to see some amazing things once your off the beaten path.
Research Interests: 
Forest Mycology and Restoration of Forest Ecosystems
Current Research Description: 
My project is under the advisment of Dr. Jane Smith, Research Botanist for the US Forest Service here at the Forest Science Laboratory in Corvallis. We are assessing what long term impacts prescribed burning and mechanical forest thinning have on ectomycorrhizal fungi in the forested regions of eastern Oregon. Using soil samples, I will be selecting root tips from trees colonized by these symbiotic fungi and conducting molecular analysis to identify what species of fungi are present in the various treatments that were incurred on our study site after a decade of recovery time. Having this information will help forest managers further understand the impacts of the two most common forest fire fuel reduction treatment types on soil fungi which are critical in the healthy recover of these forests in the long term.
Forest Mycology / Forest Engineering, Resources and Management