Valerie Barber, Ph.D., has been a forestry resource specialist for the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Cooperative Extension Service since 2010 and assistant research professor at UAF in the Forestry Department of the School of Natural Resources since 2003. She has run the Forest Products Program for UAF (funded in part by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Wood Utilization Research Program) since 2004, first out of Sitka and for the past five years out of Palmer.
She does research in forestry, forest products, agroforestry, biomass resources, and climate change on issues affecting Alaska. She also facilitates and teaches classes related to non-timber and timber forest products. She facilitates and has participated in the full scribe log construction class using green logs (spruce, aspen, cottonwood, and secondary growth Sitka spruce) many times and is handy with a chainsaw. In the photo above, she has just come from chainsawing fire-killed trees in northern Alaska.
Barber is also interested in business startups and marketing and has worked with small mill owners in southeast Alaska. She has been in Alaska since 1990, coming first to do graduate work and staying on as a postdoctoral researcher and then moving into a research faculty position. She has a B.S. in Biological Oceanography, an M.S. in Chemical Oceanography (she studied trace gases in the Boreal Forest), an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. (dendroclimatology got her interested in forestry and climate change), and will soon have an M.B.A. She has many interests and loves to share her knowledge.