Thompson joins UMFK forestry faculty

FORT KENT, Maine — Neil Thompson was recently named as the Irving Woodlands, LLC. Professor of Forestry at the University of Maine at Fort Kent.  

“I’m thrilled to be taking on this research for Irving at UMFK,” Thompson said in a campus press release Aug. 23. “I can’t think of a more fitting location to conduct the exploration of Maine’s woodlands than Fort Kent.”

Thompson is filling the spot of retiring instructor Dave Hobbins, who is on “half retirement” while Thompson transitions into the position. Hobbins will fully retire this spring.

A Maine native, Thompson grew up in Yarmouth and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Maine with a bachelor of science in forestry. Immediately after, he went on to the University of Northern British Columbia for his Ph. D. in natural resources and environmental science, which he will complete this year.

“Mr. Thompson comes to UMFK with extensive research and teaching experience that will greatly benefit our students,” said UMFK President John Short. “Our campus is very excited about the contributions we know he will make in the classroom and laboratories.”

“I was very impressed by the caliber and engagement of the students when I interviewed for the position, which is what really makes teaching enjoyable,” he said.

Thompson said he is excited about the prospect of combining his love of teaching and research.

“I will be aligning my research with the Cooperative Forestry Research Unit in Orono to build an applied research program in the north,” said Thompson. “The CFRU has a history of practical research that has been applied by landowners across the state”

The Irving Woodlands Professorship is an endowed position created last year and funded by a donation from Canadian-based Irving Woodlands, a wood products company with extensive land-holdings and mills in Maine and Canada.

“Irving worked with us to create this position and it fills a need for us and them,” said UMFK spokesperson Kerri Watson-Blaisdell.

“All of us at Irving Woodlands are very excited to welcome Neil Thompson to the University of Maine at Fort Kent,” said Jason Limongelli, vice president of woodlands division. “We look forward to working with Neil to advance the benefits of outcome-based forestry in northern Maine and to address important issues like climate change, biodiversity and the spruce budworm.”

For more information about the forestry program at UMFK, visit or call (207) 834-7500.

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