Nature Night


***This event is free, but registration is required. Please click the yellow "register now" button above to secure your ticket.***


A History of Trees—Fire, Old-Growth, and Forest Restoration in Central Oregon
The magnificent ponderosa pine and mixed conifer forests of Central Oregon provide wildlife habitat, clean water, and outstanding outdoor experiences for many people. But these forests are changing rapidly and may not provide the same benefits in the years to come. Join the Deschutes Land Trust, Dr. James Johnston, and Dr. Andrew Merschel of Oregon State University as they share the results of ongoing tree ring research that describes 500 years of change in forests of Central Oregon. They’ll show how they look at old-growth trees as living time capsules that document fire, insect attacks, and birth and death. Learn about the future of Central Oregon’s old-growth forests as they face the challenges of climate change and fire.


The Land Trust is working to make our events as accessible as possible. This event will feature:

  • A free livestream option. Registration is required; please register for the livestream.
  • An ASL interpreter.
  • Accessible parking, a ramped entrance, wheelchair seating, restrooms, water fountains, and assisted listening devices at the Tower Theatre. Learn more.
  • Please let us know at least one week in advance if there is something we can do or provide to support you in participating in this event to the fullest and we will accommodate as possible.




About Dr. James Johnston
Dr. James Johnston is an Assistant Professor at OSU College of Forestry. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Oregon and a Master’s and Ph.D. in Forest Science from Oregon State University. His research interests include fire ecology, dendroecology, restoration forestry, environmental law and policy, and collaborative governance.









About Dr. Andrew Merschel
Andrew Merschel is a dendroecologist working for the USFS PNW Research Station and Oregon State University. Andrew uses tree rings to develop a shared understanding of how different forest ecosystems function over time. Andrew is particularly interested in how disturbances (mostly fire) and forest management have shaped and will continue to shape the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Andrew lives with his family (Vanessa, Aldo, and Sawyer) in Corvallis and they enjoy a mixture of fishing, hiking, wildlife ecology, and chainsaw repair in their spare time.