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University of Maine Names Irving Woodlands Professor

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The University of Maine at Fort Kent this week welcomed Neil Thompson as the Irving Woodlands LLC. professor of forestry. A University of Maine system graduate, Thompson is no stranger to the diverse woodlands of Maine.

"I’m thrilled to be taking on this research for Irving at UMFK," said Thompson. "I can’t think of a more fitting location to conduct the exploration of Maine’s woodlands than Fort Kent."

A Maine native, Thompson grew up in Yarmouth planting and cultivating orchids on his family’s land. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Maine at Orono with a B.S. degree in forestry. Immediately after, Thompson went on to the University of Northern British Columbia for his PhD in natural resources and environmental science, which he will complete this year.

"Thompson comes to UMFK with extensive research and teaching experience that will greatly benefit our students," said UMFK President Dr. John Short. "Our campus is very excited about the contributions we know he will make in the classroom and laboratories."

Thompson states that what excites him about this position is the combination of two jobs that he loves--teaching and research, and that he found that combination in his home state. "I was very impressed by the caliber and engagement of the students when I interviewed for the position, which is what really makes teaching enjoyable."

Jason Limongelli, ViP of Woodlands Division, noted that "all of us at Irving Woodlands are very excited to welcome Neil Thompson to the University of Maine at Fort Kent. We look forward to working with Neil to advance the benefits of outcome-based forestry in Northern Maine and to address important issues like climate change, biodiversity, and the spruce budworm."

Thompson said that "I will be aligning my research with the Cooperative Forestry Research Unit in Orono to build an applied research program in the north. The CFRU has a history of practical research that has been applied by landowners across the state, and I look forward to working with Irving Woodlands and other CFRU members to answer questions related to the long-term health and productivity of forest ecosystems in northern Maine."

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