Thompson Named Harmon Professor of Forestry at Iowa State

September 13th, 2010

AMES, Iowa — Jan Thompson has been named the Harmon Family Professor in Forestry in the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Iowa State University.

The professorship is named for nationally recognized forestry expert Wendell Harmon. Established by a gift from his sister, Eleanor Harmon Cowen, the professorship was created to support "an instructional innovator who is capable of developing and demonstrating innovative teaching techniques."

Harmon graduated with a degree in forestry from Iowa State in 1932 and led a distinguished career with the U.S. Forest Service. He died in 1999.

Thompson is the second holder of the professorship. Steve Jungst, professor of natural resource ecology and management and member of the Society of American Foresters, previously held the honor.

Thompson joined the faculty in 1998. She has taught courses ranging from introductory forest biology to urban forestry. She also has played a key role in development of the department's curriculum, which is based on student-centered learning. In 2008, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences recognized her efforts with the Outstanding Achievement in Teaching Award. Thompson has been a Society of American Foresters member since 1999.


Jan Thompson, Natural Resource Ecology and Management, (515) 294-0024,

Melea Reicks Licht, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communication Service, (515) 294-8892,