Appointed as Professor of Forest Planning at the University of Eastern Finland this November, Jari Vauhkonen says that collaboration between forest owners should be incentivised.
“Public interest in the use of forests seems to have skyrocketed lately,” Professor Jari Vauhkonen says.
Sustainable forestry, carbon sequestration and biodiversity are among the buzzwords heard.
“Many forest owners are probably thinking about their opportunities to influence these things at the level of their forest stand or estate, i.e., where they make their forest management decisions. We are also headed towards a future that is more uncertain than before.”
Forest planning can consider all kinds of aspects, as long as it is understood that these vary depending on area and time span, and that the consideration of one aspect does not solve the issues of another. In other words, integrative planning is needed.
“Forest owners should be encouraged to collaborate in order to achieve landscape-level benefits, and I believe organising this will probably be an important theme in the future.”
Forest planning is the crown jewel of forestry
Vauhkonen began studying forestry at the Faculty of Forestry of the University of Joensuu almost twenty years ago.
“When I was a student, I was very interested in forest information systems, and my academic theses have focused on the remote sensing of individual trees. After finishing my PhD, I began to think about how to best put this knowledge to practice, and this led me to forest planning.”
In recent years, Vauhkonen has focused, above all, on developing his teaching, as the coronavirus pandemic brought about a digital leap.
“I have created a set of simulators, which allow us to study things in a more interactive manner and to gain a better understanding of what lies behind systems that operate as black boxes.”
In research, Vauhkonen is particularly interested in AI methods that allow for the consideration, consolidation and numerical justification of different scales and objectives of forest use. The goal is to improve the acceptability of forest management from the viewpoint of different objectives.
“In a way, forest planning is the crown jewel of forestry. It must take into account and understand the impact of forest management on the forest’s growth, structure and species, as well as its current state and computational models describing its future development. Forest owners’ objectives, advisory services and learning opportunities should also be taken into account.”
Future policy recommendations will emphasise comparative calculations that take different perspectives into account, thus leading to better forest advisory services in forest management.
On his leisure time, Vauhkonen likes to spend time with his family.
“Our firstborn daughter was born in February and running the family has taken up all my time since. It’s been a good balance to work, and all I really need,” he says.
For further information, please contact:
Professor Jari Vauhkonen, tel. +358 50 470 7627, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Professor of Forest Planning, 1 November 2022–
- Doctor of Agriculture and Forestry, 2010, University of Eastern Finland
- Title of Docent in Remote Sensing of Trees, 2012, University of Eastern Finland
- Professor, 2019–2022, University of Helsinki
- Senior Scientist, 2017 –2019, Natural Resources Institute of Finland
- University Researcher, 2014 –2016, University of Eastern Finland