Forestry and Natural Resources Adds Four New Faculty

MONTICELLO, AR — The School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Arkansas at Monticello has added four new faculty members for the 2015-16 academic year, according to Dr. Phil Tappe, dean of the school.

            The new faculty are:

            • Dr. Benjamin Babst, an assistant professor who comes to UAM from the biosciences department at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y. Babst holds a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, a master’s degree in horticulture from the University of Maryland-College Park, and a Ph.D., in biology from Tufts University.

            His previous work experience includes serving as a research assistant professor at Stony Brook University, a Goldhaber Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Brookhaven National Laboratory, a postdoctoral research scientist at both the University of Georgia and Michigan Tech University, and as a graduate research and teaching assistant at the University of Maryland.

            • Dr. Laurie Gharis, an assistant professor who joins the UAM faculty from North Carolina State University, where she worked in extension forestry in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources. She also served as an academic representative to America’s Longleaf Restoration Initiative’s Partnership Council.

           Gharis holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Texas A&M University, a master’s degree in public administration from North Carolina State, and a Ph.D., in forestry and environmental resources, also from North Carolina State.

            • Dr. William Headlee, assistant professor who comes to UAM from Iowa State University, where he served as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station Institute for Applied Ecosystem Studies and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

            He has also worked as a program specialist for the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, as an inspector for the Arizona Department of Agriculture, a tree nursery manager for Colorado River Indian Tribes on the Ahakhav Tribal Preserve in Parker, Ariz., and as a summer research technician for Iowa State, the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, and the U.S. Forest Service.

            Headlee holds a bachelor’s degree in forestry and environmental studies with a minor in animal ecology from Iowa State, completed general coursework in sustainable systems at Slippery Rock University, and holds a Ph.D., in forestry with a minor in bio-renewable resources and technology from Iowa State.

            • Dr. Lu Liang, assistant professor who comes to UAM from the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to entering the doctoral program at Cal-Berkeley, Liang was a research and teaching assistant at the Center for Earth System Science at Tsinghua University in China.

            She holds a bachelor’s degree in geographic information systems from Beijing Normal University, a master’s degree in cartography and geographic information science from the Institute of Remote Sensing Applications at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and a Ph.D., from the Division of Ecosystem Sciences at Cal-Berkeley.

            For more information, contact the School of Forestry and Natural Resources at (870) 460-1052.



Pictured (from left) are Dr. Laurie Gharis, Dr. Benjamin Babst, Dr. Lu Liang, and Dr. William Headlee.


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