September-October 1995 NEWSLETTER

I suppose that you've heard the old Chinese proverb, "may you live in interesting times." Now, I don't know just how you might take that, but one's interpretation is no doubt linked to circumstances: It is either a blessing or a curse! These times of downsizing, rightsizing, reinvention and reorganization, certainly provide ample opportunity to view the "interesting" side of things. There are perhaps more than a few of us in the wood science and technology profession who are wondering about the future. In a sense, that is unsettling. But, there may be new opportunities awaiting as well. What does this have to do with the SWST Newsletter, you ask? Well, I imagine that you will be reading this a bit later than you should, due to the fact that your editor has been dealing with some uncertainty lately. If the truth be known, however, the real reason this edition is late is because some Halloween goblins were playing ranks with the word processing program!

Levity aside, you might want to pay particular attention to some announcements on page 2 in this newsletter: 1) Call for nominations for the SWST Distinguished Service Award; 2) A "heads up" on the 1996 Annual Meeting; 3) Students!! (And Advisors) - Note the Call for entries in the 1996 Student Research Poster Competition which will be held at the Annual Meeting (Cash awards offered to winners!). I know the year isn't over yet, but it is not too soon to be thinking about the annual meeting.

I would also like to call your attention to "Correspondent's Corner" in this issue. I had a most interesting conversation with SWST member Bill Oviatt a while back. You may find his story inspiring...I know that I do! If you are doing things that you think others in the society may be interested in knowing about (entrepreneurial, research, teaching, designing, building, get the idea), please don't hesitate to let me know.

Finally, some congratulations are in order. Melissa Casteel, my trusty Newsletter Assistant, was recently married to Tom Brookins. May you be blessed with a happy and loving marriage!! Congratulations and best wishes. -D.D.S.


Connections In the last newsletter, Greg Foliente provided a primer on the world wide web (www). With that bit of introduction to all the marvelous stuff that is out there, I'd like to introduce a short new feature I'll be adding to the newsletter, "Hot Web Sites." The purpose will be simply to list, and occasionally comment briefly, on some of the things found on the www that may be of interest to wood scientists and technologists. Most of the time, these will be web sites with specific relevance to WS&T. Occasionally, however, you may see something that is perhaps a little more whimsical or just plain off-beat. Whatever the case, I hope you find something of interest and use. By all means, if you come across something you think would be of interest, let me know and we'll see if we can list it for others to enjoy. You'll find this issue's Hot Web Sites on page 7, but since I didn't have much space left when I finished "Correspondent's Corner", here are a few bonus site for your net-surfing pleasure. A good place to start is the "World-Wide Web Virtual Library: Forestry". This one is based in Finland and is really packed with information and links to other sites:

You'll find WoodWeb, the "information resource for the woodworking industry" at:

Get yer 3-D (red/green) glasses ready!! Take a look at some cool scanning electron micrographs of bugs and stuff at:

If you don't have your own 3-D glasses, they have a place you can click to get a pair sent to you! Have fun! - D.D.S.
Correspondent Corner What does wood science and technology, training in naval nuclear propulsion, efficiency in wood combustion, and catching mice have in common? One man: William T. Oviatt, a 1977 graduate of Colorado State University's wood science program. I recently had the opportunity to chat with Bill regarding some of his entrepreneurial efforts. Though I've never met him face-to-face, I found his story rather fascinating and I might add, inspiring, and hope that you do to.

It seems that Bill, who recently moved his family from Springdale, Arkansas to Lander, Wyoming, is an inventor. While he was running his fireplace distribution business (which he still owns) in Arkansas, he became dissatisfied with the health and safety features of a particular line of stoves which he was selling. When met by indifference from the manufacturer, Bill, also a graduate of the U.S. Naval Nuclear Power School, set out to use his unique set of skills to solve the problem. Persistence paid off in the form of a patented wood burning heating unit, known as the "Pyrohelix." Patent Number 5,413,088, dated May 9, 1995, was awarded to Mr. Oviatt for this system which recirculates combustion gases to achieve more complete combustion and a nearly smoke-free fireplace. Bill is currently negotiating with a New Zealand manufacturer to produce his Pyrohelix system.

Which brings us to the bit about catching mice. Through all this process of designing the Pyrohelix and continuing to run his fireplace distribution business, Bill was having to deal with furry little rodents who apparently liked the warmth of his store. Not to be outdone, he set about to design a new type of live trap, and the Teeter Pong!TM was born (see figure at right). It really is quite the ingenious little gadget. The mouse (M) is enticed into the entrance (E) of the tubular trap by the scent of the bait -Bill recommends peanut butter- at the far end of the trap(10). Once inside, the rodent's own weight causes the trap to tip, resulting in the ping pong ball (9) rolling forward to lodge against a "neck" inside the main tube just above the entrance. If the rodent tries to go back the way he came in, the ball rolls back down the entrance tube, blocking its escape. Bill has found a plastics manufacturer to produce his "better mousetrap" and will officially announce it at the "Creativity in America Conference", October 26-29 in Los Angeles.

Not one to rest on his laurels, Bill is currently working on two more inventions, but he's not yet saying what those are. During the course of our conversation, Bill wondered what some of his CSU wood tech classmates may be doing these days. If you'd like to catch up with him, you can contact him at his new company: The Teeter Pong!TM Company, 177 N. 3rd Street, Lander, WY 82520, phone 307-332-5200, fax 307-332-5600. - D.D.S.


Here it is, the new "feature" on hot world wide web (www) site. Here's a good place to start, as it has links to many other forest products-related sites:
At Texas A&M, there are a couple of sites which serve as a clearinghouse for Ag-related info, including forestry and forest products (in development): & (look under "organizations" and "business")
For some neat electron micrographs of pitting in wood, take a look at:


- January 16-19, 1996, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. R. Bruce Hoadley, Professor of Wood Science, Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management.
COST: $385 (includes four-day workshop, registration fee, instructional materials, coffee breaks and gala class dinner).

This is an introductory workshop (no prior training in wood technology necessary).

Topics covered include:

Approaches and methods appropriate to the identification of wood in historic objects are also covered. Class size is limited to 20 persons. Registrations are accepted in the order in which they are received.

To receive more information or registration materials, contact:

    Alice Szlosek or Trudie Goodchild
    Division of Continuing Education
    608 Goodell Building
    University of Massachusetts
    Box 33260
    Amherst, MA 01003-3260
    Telephone: (413) 545-2484


Hosted by the Southeastern Regional Biomass Energy Program . Conducted jointly with the ASAE Third Liquid Fuel Conference. September 15-19, 1996 at the Opryland Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee.

The focus of Bioenergy 96 will be on success stories and commercial applications of biomass energy, therefore anyone who is currently using energy in any form or anyone interested in the production, processing, marketing, or use of biomass energy should attend. Those who would be interested are: generators of wood wastes and other biomass waste materials, farmers, equipment manufactures and vendors, plant managers, and operators, consultants, design engineers, investors, agricultural extension specialists, sold waste handling companies, economic development specialist, state energy officials, researchers, and others.

Call For Papers: The deadline for abstracts is March 1, 1996. Papers will be accepted in a number of areas realted to biomass energy; however, papers dealing with industry applications will be given priority over research papers.

For more information contact: Southeastern Regional Biomass Energy Program; Tennessee Valley Authority; CEB 3A, P.O. Box 1010; Muscle Shoals, AL 35662-1010. For technical information: Phillip Badger -- Telephone: (205) 386-3086. For conference logistics: Bonnie Watkins -- Telephone: (205) 386-2925 or SERBEP FAX: (205) 386-2963.

ICWSF '96: 2nd International Conference on the Development of Wood Science, Technology and Forestry

, Sopron, Hungary on 10-12 April 1996. Hosted by the University of Sopron, Hungary in partnership with Buckinghamshire College, a College of Brunel University, UK.

Conference topics (lecture and/or poster presentations):

For more info please contact the Conference Coordinator:

    Dr. Sandor Dominich
    University of Sopron
    P.O. Box 132
    9400 Sopron
    tel: +36 99 311100
    fax: +36 99 311103

Question Mark


Edited by Barbara L. Gartner. July 1995, c. 472, $89.00 (tentative), ISBN 0-12-276460-9.

In this book, the editor has assembled an international team of leading researchers whose contributions attest to the many roles stems and trunk play in plant architecture, ecology, anatomy, physiology, and reproduction. The chapters vividly illustrate that stems are more than pipes or simple connecting and supporting structures; they have critical and anatomical distinctions of enormous variability.

To order contact your local bookseller or receive directly from Academic Press, Inc.; Order Fulfillment Dept. DM27103; 6277 Sear Harbor Drive; Orlando, FL 32887; Telephone: (800) 321-5068 or FAX: (800) 336-7377 or Email.


edited by David N.-S. Hon, Clemson University, SC. September, 1995 / 384 pages, illustrated / $175.00. ISBN 0-8247-9472-9.

Emphasizing the growing need for wood products with enhanced engineering properties, this reference details the fundamental principles of wood and cellulose technology and presents current techniques for modifying the basic chemistry of lignocellulosic materials.

Examining the cost-efficient use of wood and cellulose derivatives in a wide variety of commodities, this book:

For more information contact: Marcel Dekker, Inc.; 270 Madison Avenue; New York, NY 10016; Telephone: (212) 696-9000 or Hutgasse 4; Postfach 812; CH-4001; Basel, Switzerland; Telephone: (061) 261-8482.

American Wood Preservers' Institute (AWPI) - Recent Publications

The consumer book, Answers to Often-asked Questions about Treated Wood, dispels many of the myths and misinformation surrounding treated wood. The volume includes a reference section summarizing the latest scientific research on treated wood.

TRI Reporting (Form R) Guidance Manual for Wood Preserving Facilities is the long title of an important document that includes procedures for calculating emissions from treating processes, storage tanks and fugitive equipment losses. The manual also provides computer spreadsheet programs to calculate emissions.

The second manual, Clean Air Act Title V Guidance Manual for Wood Preserving Facilities, and the accompanying computer spreadsheet programs, focus on companies treating with creosote and pentachlorophenol. The manual provides a powerful analytical tool to quantify emissions of hazardous air pollutants from process areas and storage yards.

AWPI members can order single copies of Answers to Often-asked Questions for $9.95, non-members $19.95. Mail or fax orders to AWPI; OAQ; 1945 Old Gallows Rd.; Suite 150; Vienna, VA 22182-3139; Telephone: (703) 893-4005 or Fax: (703) 893-8492.


- A study from the Board of Agriculture, National Research Council-National Academy of Sciences.

The NRC is in the final stage of a 3-year study to evaluate the mission of colleges of agriculture and deliveryof services in the U.S. The first report of the study is tentatively scheduled for release in September 1995. The final report with policy recommendations will be completed in mid-1996.

The U.S. land grant college and university system was created in 1862 by Congress. Continuing developments in technology, changes national and global markets, public interest in health and nutrition, and growing concern for natural resources and the environment have created new demands on the colleges of agriculture from a nontraditional clientele. Despite state and federal budget constraints, the land grant system is uniquely positioned to address future needs in agriculture and contribute to public participation in decision making.

The Board believes that this study, conducted by a 21-member committee of experts, can assess and recommend innovation that can enhance the system's colleges of agriculture, their leadership, and their continued contribution to society. The study analyzes the current state of the colleges of agriculture and provides a neutral forum for debate about the future directions and mission of the colleges.

For more information, contact Carla Carlson, director of communications, Board on Agriculture, at (202) 334-3062, or by email. Comments can be forwarded to the committee by email.


1995. Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N., Rome. 186 pages.

This document consists of three case studies describing the relationship between the private and public sectors and forestry research in Europe, North America, and Australia and New Zealand. An appendix provides a theoretical framework for research funding.

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