Dr. Eric Vance retires from NCASI service

On April 17, 2018, NCASI recognized Eric D. Vance’s 28 years of service to NCASI during a meeting of the NCASI Eastern Sustainable Forestry Task Group. Dr. Ben Wigley, NCASI’s Vice President, Forestry Programs, recognized highlights of Eric’s career and accomplishments, and Task Group members and NCASI staff joined in the tribute. Dr. Vance will retire from NCASI service on May 9.

Dr. Vance completed a B.S. in Forestry at Michigan Tech University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Forest Soils at the University of Missouri, and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to conduct his Ph.D. research on soil microbial biomass at Rothamsted Experimental Station in the U.K. He then accepted research appointments at the University of California – Santa Barbara, working in a tropical cloud forest in Costa Rica, and the Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska, where he worked on nutrient cycling in taiga and tundra ecosystems.

In 1990, Eric joined the ranks of NCASI and went to work on myriad issues of interest to NCASI member companies. As a Project Leader, he developed reviews and initiated field projects on forest and agricultural land application of mill by-products and organized a NCASI symposium on land application of wood-fired and combination boiler ashes that was published as a special issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality.

Dr. Vance also organized field studies and led technical reviews addressing effects of forest management practices on long-term site productivity, the fate of nutrients from forest fertilization, managed forest carbon budgets, and the ecological effects of removing harvest residues for use as a bioenergy feedstock. He also helped organize workshops and symposia, notably a symposium on environmental issues related to Eucalyptus culture in the southern United States. Dr. Vance is widely published in the scientific literature and has served as an editor and reviewer for peer-reviewed journals. More recently, Dr. Vance also served as manager of NCASI’s Eastern Sustainable Forestry Program.

Because of his expertise, Dr. Vance was invited to serve on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Research Advisory Council, which provides advice to the Secretary of Agriculture on accomplishing the purposes of the McIntire-Stennis Act of 1962. He also helped represent NCASI in the early phases of the Agenda 2020 Technology Alliance, which was developed by industry, academia, and several federal agencies to promote advanced technologies related to the use of forest-based biomass.

Eric’s record as an accomplished scientist and research manager has set a powerful example for his colleagues with NCASI, who also highly value his thoughtfulness, kindness, humor, and friendship.

During retirement, Dr. Vance plans to remain in the Chapel Hill, North Carolina area and enjoy more time on the tennis court, traveling, and volunteering.