In addition to teaching field-based courses, she will develop and lead a summer field ecology program for undergraduate and masters students and oversee a research fellowship program intended to support student research at the School Forests.
She began her new role this month.
“All of us at the School are thrilled to have Marlyse on board both teaching and engaged with the School Forest,” said Mark Ashton
, the Morris K. Jesup Professor of Silviculture and Forest Ecology and Director of School Forests, who chaired the search committee. “We are so lucky to get her.”
Duguid, who will work with faculty and other members of the community to develop courses and the research program, says that much of her teaching will be focused on field training.
“Getting students outside as much as possible is the one thing that everyone agrees is the most important part of this position,” she said. “You always have to balance theoretical and applied aspects when you’re teaching ecology or field studies. But when possible these courses can really complement the more theoretical courses here.”
She says the program will offer valuable skills and opportunities for a range of students — not just those studying forestry and ecology.
“An important legacy of the Forestry School is that it always sent students outside to learn about the natural world,” she added. “The School has grown so much and there are students in all these other fields now, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have courses that complement those fields…For example, it’s also really important for [environmental management] students to have a strong basis in field ecology, especially if they’re going to go out and do policy or conservation work after they graduate.”
“Nothing inspires students quite like getting them out in the field, and this position will really strengthen our ability to offer that opportunity to all
of our students,” said F&ES Dean Indy Burke
. “And in Marlyse, someone who has a track record of successfully engaging students in the field and who also likes to get her hands dirty, we have found the perfect person to fill this important role.”
he endowed position is named in honor of Thomas Siccama
, a revered professor of forest ecology
who spent more than 40 years at F&ES. His field lessons in the forests and landscapes of New England were a defining part of life for generations of F&ES and Yale College students.
Beloved for his sense of humor and straight-forward manner, Siccama was also considered one of the preeminent experts on the forest ecosystems of the northeastern U.S., publishing more than 120 research papers and developing an encyclopedic knowledge of the region’s soils and plants, geography and surface geology.