16 December 2010
Appointment procedure for
Professorship in Forest Planning
1. Background and objective of position
At a time of very rapid change in the forest-sector, forest-related entrepreneurial and commercial activity is undergoing a profound transition. Simultaneously, there is a need to analyze the significance of forests for the whole society considering multiple needs and aims. The decision makers in national as well as regional level need realistic future scenarios related to various production possibilities and multiple use of forest including the trade-offs between alternative forest production models, forest protection and carbon balance. In the future, these alternative scenario calculations may also be required covering regions exceeding national borders.
The modern discipline of forest management planning originates from a period when the increase in timber production was the main goal. Although only around 70% the annual growth is harvested for industrial use, the increasing need for forest-based energy and new forest based biomaterials may lead to need for increased sustainable wood production in the future. At the same time, interest in non-wood goods and services (ecosystem services) is a leading trend. In this context, forest management planning refers to planning the sustainable use of all the biomaterial and services that forest areas may provide.
Regional and national forest management planning is assessing future development options for forests, evaluating interrelationships between various production alternatives and theoretical limits of production possibilities as well as ecosystem services. Ultimately, forest development scenarios are based on past development, silvicultural regimes applied, intensity of the silviculture and forest management, changes in the forest ownership and general forest policy over time. It is important to understand these relationships and how they affect the future production possibilities and multiple use needs. Reliable development scenarios are required in planning national forest policy (for example National Forest Program, Regional Forest Programs, The Forest Biodiversity Programme METSO) as well as in strategical planning of the forest sector (including strategical timber procurement planning.) At the same time of creating potential for increasing the timber production possibilities the requirements of multiple use and ecosystem services require also more attention. Decision makers need reliable future scenarios and analyses of the risks in each of the alternatives when the aim of the future forest management planning is to achieve multiple partly conflicting goals at the same time.
As forest management methods diversify, the need is growing to clarify the goals of forest owners and develop management planning methodology in order to incorporate various conflicting goals and uncertainties in each of the management alternatives. As the forest resource information systems are also rapidly developing this may open completely new possibilities for creating market based solutions in forest management planning. This could improve the support for private companies working with forest management planning issues or results.
1.2 Previous activities
The post of Professor of Forest Planning at the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) was established in 2001 and it was located at the Joensuu unit. The research was concentrating on multiobjective-based forest management planning, decision making problemacy in the case of multiple decision makers, incorporation of ecological aspects in forest management and methods of forest data acquisition and processing. The first professor Jyrki Kangas, worked in Kannus. The position became vacant when Professor Kangas was appointed to UPM company in 2003.
In 2006, the post was transformed into a "mission" professorship, which involved managing the forest management planning research program as well as leading the research in corresponding scientific discipline in Metla. The work was defined to include forest management planning models, methods and technology primarily at forest holding level. Also the acquisition of the required forest information, development of the management planning systems and applying relevant information technology was involved.
The research program Forest Reserve Information Systems and forest Planning Research and Development (MSU 2007–2010) was created by Professor Tuula Nuutinen who was nominated to the post after Professor Kangas. The program was launched 2007 and aimed at promoting cooperation between all the interest groups and increasing the cost effectiveness of research and development initiatives. The programme comprised a network of research groups and other stakeholders, supported by the coordination provided by Metla. Professor Nuutinen held the position until 31 July 2009, after which she was succeeded by Mikko Kurttila, Doctor of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences.
Experiences of the mission professorships have varied. Most of the research of forest management planning should be continuous activity because the forest sector is changing constantly and thus creating new aims and limits to management planning. In addition the long circulation time of forest requires long term commitment from the point of management planning. According to the experience of Metla many of the mission type research tasks can be accomplished by research projects and programmes without establishing a specific professorship. Limiting the professorship tightly with research and development programs may also not be optimal when the research programmes are multidisciplinary and prepared with many end user groups.
1.3. Significance of the post to the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla), connection with the strategy and other research fields
Forest planning activities have become a permanent feature of Metla’s research and development efforts. According to Metla’s updated strategy for the years 2011–2015, forest planning research and methods are required in all four strategic thematic areas: 1. Entrepreneurial and business activity based on forestry, 2. Forests and the community, 3. Sustainable silvicultural chains and 4. Forest economy- and forest environment-based knowledge pools. Forest planning research and development activities support entrepreneurship and business activity. They also boost the societal impact of the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) as an information service functioning in a versatile, client-oriented manner, on a broad, networked basis.
At Metla, forest planning features several interfaces with other research areas and fields of expertise. It engages in cooperation with research fields working on, for instance, the inventory of forest reserves, growth and yield research, silviculture and forest economics. Under Metla’s division of tasks, the inventory of forest reserves covers remote surveying and laser-based techniques, including the development of inventory-related methods. Growth and yield models incorporated in forest planning are advanced and developed within their related field of expertise; models describing the initial development of stands have been developed within silviculture. In the future, cooperation between fields of expertise will increase. In this way, the approaches, models and methods required for evaluating the multiple objectives of forest reserve utilisation will be included, on a sufficiently broad basis, in the forecasting of development options and the development of new calculation methods.
Nationally speaking, data gathered in Metla’s national forest inventories represents a major knowledge pool. This will enable the earlier, broader based use of forest reserves in planning, and the examination of alternative scenarios. The main emphasis in forest planning research and development is on the development of calculation methods supporting national, regional and local-level decision-making on the use of forests, based on forest inventory data. Expertise in forest planning also supports the development of wood lot-level planning scenarios, in such a way that new calculation methods and variables can be incorporated in operative lot planning applications that support decision-making among forest owners.
On 7 December 2010, Metla’s specialist group in research and development services deliberated on the duties covered by the post. In addition, the content of the field involved has been discussed with representatives of the departments of forest sciences at the Universities of Helsinki and Eastern Finland.
Clarification of closely related professorial posts and other similar posts at the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla)
The research field of the Professor of Forest Inventory covers forest inventories and research delving into the grounds of the methods applied in forest mensuration and in forest planning.
The following fall within the research field of the Professor of Forest Yield: structure, growth and yield of forests as well as their development.
The research field of the Professor of Silviculture comprises the fundamentals and methods of forest regeneration and silviculture, and forest ecology and physiology of forest trees. The associated targets of research are natural and artificial forest regeneration, seed crops of forest trees, growing of planting stock and tending of young stands, and the early development of tree stands. The practical field of application includes silviculture recognising the different forms of forest use and their environmental effects.
The following is included within the research field of the Professor of Forest Engineering: the interaction between human beings, work, machines and the forest environment in the field of forestry. The targets of research include the productivity, costs, and ergonomics of work, work safety, work trace, the quality of timber and its management, the recovery of wood biomass, environmental impacts, entrepreneurship, supporting of machine manufacturing and device making, and system know-how.
The research field of the Professor of National Economics of Forestry covers national economic and sociological studies in forestry and wood economics. Question of central importance to the professorship are the functioning of timber markets, investments in forestry and timber sales behaviour as well as measures in forestry policy and their efficacy. The field, in addition to the perspective of wood production, also covers other forms of forest use.
2. Post-related continuation plans
2.1 Tasks of the Professor
It is proposed that the post be continued, with the new duties and objectives outlined below.
According to section 5.6 of the rules of procedure (22 December 2009) of the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla), the Professor’s duties involve the following:
- responsibility for the development of know-how in his/her field of research, orientation of such research and the transfer of information and technology in cooperation with research directors,
- participating in the positioning of Metla’s strategic objectives and functions relative to other actors,
- carrying out scientific research,
- promoting research cooperation with Metla’s researchers, clients and partners,
- responsibility for obtaining external resources, and
- promoting Metla’s internationalization within its field.
Specification of Professor’s field of research and duties:
Herein, planning of forest use refers to planning the entire range of forest-related products and services. The research field of the Professor of Forest Planning embraces the planning models, alternative calculations and analyses required in the formulation of development options based on national, regional and local production potential, as well as the resolution of optimization tasks. Also included is the methodological development demanded by new information requirements. The research tasks necessitate the monitoring of national, regional and local planning objectives connected with forests. They include the development of inventory, modelling and decision-making systems and practical calculation systems, all of which are required for the production of planning data.
The forest planning field of research and the related duties comprise:
1) the development of calculation methods supporting national, regional and local decision-making with respect to the use of forests, on the basis of forest inventory data;
2) the assessment of national, regional and local production possibilities with regard to material and immaterial forest products and services, in addition to the analysis of mutual relationships between various production alternatives;
3) methodological development, by which it will be possible to improve planning calculations and analyses of optimisation tasks, introduce new products and services to forest planning calculations, and develop assessment methods linked to uncertainty factors in calculation;
4) the development of methods of ensuring that new calculation modes and variables can be connected to applications concerning the use of forest reserves at the operative wood-lot level.
2.2 Assessment of total number of potential applicants who fulfil the eligibility conditions
Considerable numbers of potential applicants, who fulfil the post’s conditions of eligibility, can be found amongst the staff of Finnish and foreign universities and research facilities. The total number of domestic applicants is assessed at 10–12. The position is being filled via an international search.
2.3 Expertise used in further preparation
In Finnish and foreign universities and research facilities, there are many researchers of merit who may provide help in filling the post as specialists and assessors.
3. Specification of the post
Name and field of post
Post: Professor of Forest Planning
The research field respective to the Professor of Forest Planning embraces the materials, models, calculations and analyses needed in the harmonisation and resolution of development alternatives and optimisation tasks connected with national and regional forest production possibilities as well as, in particular, the methodological development demanded by new information requirements.
The service relationship is valid until further notice.
The Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla)
The salary is determined in accordance with Metla's remuneration system and complies with competence level 13–14. It comprises a task-based component related to the required competencies (competence level 13 €4,190.81/month, 14 €4,635.09/month). In addition, a component based on personal performance is remitted.
Post filling procedure
The post will be filled in accordance with the procedural rules applied at the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla).
4. Information concerning filling the post
According to section 9 of decree 762/2005 issued with regard to the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla), a doctoral degree is required of the Professor, as well as strong familiarity with the duties in question.
Successful performance of the duties requires the ability to monitor forest-related regional and societal objectives and information needs, as well as carrying out research and development work within the field. Due to uncertainty in forecasting the development of society, the economy and technology, planning involves the outlining and analysis of various future production scenarios. This necessitates the ability to communicate successfully with other branches of science, so that the required initial data and methods can be built into functional calculation systems. The successful candidate will require excellent cooperation skills and the ability to work in groups.
The applicant should briefly present his/her vision of an operational plan (maximum 2 pages) covering the post’s key tasks over the forthcoming five-year period.
4.2 Knowledge of languages
The post requires excellent oral and written Finnish language skills, in addition to satisfactory oral and written skills in Swedish. If needed, the candidate can apply for an exemption concerning these requirements.
4.3 Applying for the post
Applications must be submitted in English in writing and addressed to the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla). Information on the application period and the address to which the application should be sent will appear in the advertisement of the post.
Four identical copies of the following should be enclosed with the application:
1) Extract from a personal file or similar clarification (if the applicant does not maintain personal files); the extract from a personal file must be submitted no more than three (3) months prior to submission of the application and the résumé must be officially authenticated
2) A brief curriculum vitae in accordance with the instructions
3) A list of publications grouped as follows:
(1) articles in refereed international journals;
(2) articles in refereed international scientific compilations as well as in international scientific conference publications;
(3) articles in refereed Finnish journals;
(4) articles in refereed Finnish scientific compilations and Finnish scientific conference publications;
(5) scientific monographs;
(6) other scientific publications, such as articles in unrefereed scientific journals and conference publications, in addition to publications in university and department series
4) A brief explanation must be provided of important research merits, from the perspective of the post applied for
5) Operational plan
The Board of Directors of the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) shall appoint the Professor.
4.5 Essential ordinances
- Act Concerning the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) (1114/1999)
- Government regulation no. 1140/1999, amended 22 September 2005 762/2005, 12 February 2009 80/2009 as well as 22 October 2009 798/2009
- Rules of procedure of the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) as of 22 December 2009
- Language Act (423/2003)
- Instruction concerning the filling processes for posts at the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla), TES1347, 6 April 2001.
Professor Kari Mielikäinen
The Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla)
P.O. Box 18
Tel. +358 29 532 2615
C U R R I C U L U M V I T A E
2. Date and place of birth
4. Family status
5. Address, telephone: home and work, email address and fax number
6. Qualifications, degrees and similar
7. Current regular post, since when?
8. Current research activity and key Finnish and international cooperation interests
9. Experience in leading research programmes and in postgraduate education
10. Merits connected with social interdependencies
11. Educational merits
12. Previous employment
13. Scientific awards, honours and significant research grants
14. Other academic and professional merits; for instance, editorial staff membership at journals and in scientific associations; activity as a referee for a scientific journal, as a preliminary reviewer of doctoral theses and as an opponent at a public defence of a doctoral thesis; important committee or similar memberships; confirmed professorial, assistant professorial or similar qualifications.
In sections 12 and 13–14, the period should be reported in years (e.g. 1986–96) or more precisely in years and months (e.g. total 14 months, 1995–97).