Charles Lathrop Pack
Charles Lathrop Pack

In 1923, Charles Lathrop Pack had the foresight to establish an essay competition so that students in the College of Forest Resources would “express themselves to the public and write about forestry in a way that affects or interests the public.” His original mandate continues today at SEFS—as does the unwavering value of good written communication—and we are pleased to announce the 2013 edition of the Charles Lathrop Pack Essay Competition!

Think you have the winning words? The prize for top essays is $500, and the field of potential topics is almost endless. That said, there are some important rules to follow, so here’s the rundown:

Essay criteria: All submitted essays should address this year’s prompt: Is variable density thinning a better silvicultural approach for sustainable forestry in Western Washington than clearcut harvest practices? You must justify your answer from a political, ecological and economic point of view. You are expected to provide a technical perspective, addressing a diverse and educated audience that needs further knowledge of natural resource issues. All essays must be original to the competition, though course papers substantially restructured to meet these guidelines are acceptable; however, no group entries are permitted. References and quotes are acceptable only when sources are clearly indicated; direct quotes should be used sparingly. Entries should be typed, double-spaced (one side of paper only), and may not exceed 2,000 words. Students should include a cover page with student name and title of the essay.

Eligibility: The competition is open to juniors, seniors and graduate students enrolled in SEFS during Spring Quarter 2013 who have not yet received a graduate-level degree from any institution. Undergraduate and graduate essays will be judged in separate categories.

Judging: A Judging Committee will be selected to assess originality, organization, mastery of subject, objectivity, clarity, forcefulness of writing, literary merit and conciseness. The Committee will reserve the right to withhold the prize if no entry meets acceptable standards. The Committee may also award more than one prize for outstanding entries if funds permit. Winning papers will be posted on the Center for Sustainable Forestry at Pack Forest website, and might also be featured on the SEFS blog, “Offshoots,” and in the School’s e-newsletter, The Straight Grain. (Check out a sampling of previous winning papers to get a sense of the style and content).

Entries are due by April 29, 2013, and should be printed and delivered to Student and Academic Services in AND 116/130.

If you have any questions about the competition, or if you’d like to see if your essay idea sounds promising and appropriate, email Professor Greg Ettl. Otherwise, get typing!

Charles Lathrop Pack © SEFS.