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1 January 2017 Paul C. Van Deusen 1953–2015
Paul R. Sheppard
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Paul C. Van Deusen, 62, died on August 21, 2015. Paul was born June 25, 1953, in Allford, Massachusetts. Growing up, Paul enjoyed school, especially math, which became a part of his life's work. Paul earned a BS degree in forest management from the University of Massachusetts in 1975, a Master's degree in forest biometrics from Mississippi State University in 1979, and a PhD in forest biometrics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1984. He also served two years in the Peace Corps in Jamaica, assisting in forestry work with land surveying, inventorying natural forests, and preparing management plans.

Paul was a principal research scientist with the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI), working with the Statistics and Model Development Group on forest inventory and analysis methods. He also developed and maintained a suite of online tools to facilitate spatially explicit forest-harvest scheduling, visualizing and analyzing forest inventory and analysis (FIA) data, estimating forest carbon, and analyzing wildlife habitat selection. Paul authored many publications on such topics as the design of field methods for forest inventory, methods for analyzing forest inventory data, economic effects of constraints on forest management, and wildlife habitat selection. He also worked in forest biometrics for Mississippi State University and with the US Forest Service as a mathematical statistician and project leader for the Southern Research Station's Institute for Quantitative Studies.

Paul's contribution in dendrochronology was principally in quantitative methods, capitalizing on his life-long love of, and aptitude with, math. Of some 20+ scientific articles of his in tree-ring science published in the 1980s and 1990s, titles include “Model-based approach to tree ring analysis,” “Evaluating time-dependent tree ring and climate relationships,” “Trend monitoring with varying coefficient models,” “Frequency domain tree-ring standardization,” “Applications of the Kalman Filter to tree-ring analysis,” and “Bayesian procedures for reconstructing past climate.” Additionally, Paul's research focused on forest decline, especially of red spruce stands of North America, with such titles as “Synchronic large-scale disturbances and red spruce growth decline,” “Spatial and temporal variation in … growth decline in red spruce,” “Stand dynamics and red spruce decline,” and “Possible red spruce decline: Contributions of tree-ring analysis.”

—Contributed by Paul R. Sheppard

Copyright © 2017 by The Tree-Ring Society
Paul R. Sheppard "Paul C. Van Deusen 1953–2015," Tree-Ring Research 73(1), 57-58, (1 January 2017).
Published: 1 January 2017

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