Rogues Gallery of ENTS Members (M-N-O-P)

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Ernie Ostuno

Ernie Ostuno - NOAA/NWS, Weather Forecast Office. Grand Rapids, Michigan  I have a B.A. in meteorology from Western Connecticut State University, 1993. My work experience includes being an Intern/General Forecaster with the National Weather Service Forecast Office in State College, Pennsylvania, from 1994-1999. Since 1999, I have been a Senior Forecaster with the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Grand Rapids, Michigan . My research projects and professional interests include (a) communication issues, including assessing the effectiveness of wording used in NWS public products, particularly severe weather warnings; (b) creating public weather safety programs, specifically targeted to outdoor enthusiasts such as campers, hikers, and swimmers; and (c) investigating local historical weather events, especially details of how the events changed public awareness, and finding a strategy for overcoming the tendency for complacency towards very rare, extreme events.  I feel that effectively integrating scientific research into the societal impacts of weather is the most effective way to accomplish the primary mission of the National Weather Service.                            

Paths of Destruction, a book about the tornadoes in Michigan on April 3, 1956, was introduced earlier this month in Grand Rapids. For the 50th anniversary of the event in 2006. Ernie Ostuno, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, worked closely with Hudsonville residents and local historians to produce a display and video of personal accounts. Now in book form, the information has been published by the Grand Rapids Historical Society. 

In an effort to increase severe weather verification I have created training on storm damage surveying for spotters. It can be viewed here:


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 James Parton - standing in front of the Angel Oak in this picture!

Location: Ashvile, N.C. 

I have been an outdoor enthusiast for many years, practically all of my life. I have an interest in Natural Science and have studied a little on many topics over the years. Geology ( I was a big rockhound. ) Astronomy, And Biology. Having two microscopes I was the biology class assistant during high school. I also studied insects, primarily Lepidoptera for quite a while. Forests have been a lifelong interest. As a kid when I was not fishing I would be in the woods somewhere. Now I enjoy hiking, and joining ENTS makes it more worthwhile. I have an 13 year old girl from a past marriage and I have remarried a second time to Joy Yvonne Lyman, now Parton.
I am interested in the American Chestnut and have been collecting historic information, measuring trees, and compiling information collected by other ENTS members as part of the ENTS American Chestnut Project.

Occupation: General Electric
Interests: Hiking, Photography 

James Parton and a 29.4" X 119.8 foot pitch pine, Kellogg Conference Center, Hendersonville, NC. 

Dr. Neil Pederson

Dr. Neil Pederson,Assistant Research Professor at Lamont-Dougherty Earth Observatory - Tree Ring Lab, at Columbia University.

Research Interests: My research interests are centered on trees, ecosystems and old-growth forests at the intersection of climate change, ecology, conservation biology, natural history, forest management and charismatic megaflora. I conduct basic and applied research to gain information that can help ecologically-based, long-term management plans. Education: Ph.D. - Columbia University, Dept. of Earth & Environmental Science

Select Projects:
Fire, Climate and Forest Ecology in Mongolia funded by the National Science Foundation

Drought History of Three Ponds and Blanton Forest Preserves: Investigation of an East-West Drought Gradient Across Kentucky funded by the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission

Dr. Pederson created and maintains the Eastern Old-List - a listing of the oldest trees in eastern North America.

Selected Publications:

McEwan, R. W., J.M. Dyer and N. Pederson. 2011. Multiple interacting ecosystem drivers: toward an encompassing hypothesis of oak forest dynamics across eastern North America. Ecography 34: 244-256 doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0587.2010.06390.x :

N. Pederson. 2010. External Characteristics of Old Trees in the Eastern Deciduous Forest. Natural Areas Journal 4: 396-407. pdf

Cook, E.R. and N. Pederson. 2010. Uncertainty, emergence, and statistics in dendrochronology. Dendroclimatology: Progress and Prospects, Developments in Paleoecological Research, Springer-Verlag.Pederson, N., A.W. D'Amato and D.A. Orwig. 2007.

Central hardwood natural history from dendrochronology: maximum ages of rarely studied species. Proceedings of the 15th Central Hardwood Conference. University of Tennessee. Knoxville, TN. February 27–March 1, 2006. USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station. e-General Technical Report SRS-101. pdf

Hopton, H.M. and N. Pederson. 2005. Climate sensitivity of Atlantic white-cedar at its northern range limit. Atlantic White Cedar: Ecology, Restoration and Management, Proceedings of the Arlington Echo Symposium. June 2-4 2003. Millersville, MD. USDA For. Ser. Gen. Tech. Rep. pdf

Tyler Phillips

I first became interested in trees while exploring the woods near my house. After that I started learning about the relationships the plants have with the animals. I have an associate's degree in engineering graphics. My favorite place to go to is Congaree National Park.

Swamp Scene, Congaree NP, Sc

Addison Live Oak, SC

Cherrybark Oak, Congaree NP, SC

Ancient Mountain Laurel, Ellicott Rocks, SC

Ben Prater

Wild South
Conservation Director
16 Eagle St Suite 200
Asheville, NC 28801

Raised in Pacolet, S.C., just south of Spartanburg, he now lives in the Shiloh area of Asheville.  Bachelor's degree in environmental science from Catawba College in Salisbury; master's degree in environmental management from Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences.

"Our program work focuses on public lands, advocacy and protection work through scientific and citizen involvement," he said. "I also head up our wildlife conservation program where I work with agencies, other organizations and the public at large to protect habitat for native species."

Prater also performs educational outreach activities from time to time, and oversees Wild South's intern and volunteers.


Sandy Pappas

My name is Alexandra Pappas (Sandy).  I first researched ENTS as a response to my brother's (Michale A. Pappas) Champion Japanese Maple in Fairfax, VA.  My fascination then turned to the dialogues of ENTS, in particular the discussions of such trees as the chestnuts and yellow buckeye.  I believe I was the  first to question the importance of viewing and reading the Ken Burns series.

Lastly, I'm an MFA graduate from UMASS and enjoy the pictures and discussions from that area; and sometimes am prompted to further look up the trees mentioned and use them in my lithographs and gouache paintings. 

Thank you for asking me to introduce myself and I will participate in the future as seems relevant.
Thank you too for the diligent work of the ENTS.

Jon Parker


I'm a layman when it comes to  forests, and have a hard time finding ways out of the big city, but over the last few years my interests in forests has grown a lot.

I've been to the Brazilian Amazon in the last couple of years, but certainly not in an ENTS way.  I did however, take a couple of pictures of a large Ceiba pentandra tree while in a reserve.  It's the tallest tree in the New World tropics.  While there were many trees that shame most of ours on the east coast, few were as large as this one  (mostly from a long history of selective logging in the region).

Jeroen Philippona


ENTS Organization

ENTS People -Alphabetical