Get to Know a Forester: Sean Alexander

This month, we are featuring one of our partners, Sean Alexander, the new WSU Extension forestry coordinator for Northeast Washington. Wherever you meet the third-generation Washingtonian, be it the forests or the lanes of the local bowling alley, he’s never too far away from pine. 

Greetings!

My name is Sean Alexander, and I am delighted to introduce myself as the new Northeastern Washington forestry extension coordinator for Washington State University. I will join the team led by Andy Perleberg and work closely with the DNR on education, outreach, and technical assistance.

I am currently completing my master’s degree at Washington State University in forest ecology and will begin working out of Colville in my new position within the next few months. As a third-generation Cougar (Go Cougs!), born and raised in the Tri-Cities, I am excited to serve the Eastern Washington forestry community.

At a young age, my father instilled in me a passion for the outdoors, whether it was fishing, boating on the Columbia River, or learning to shoot the BB gun (careful kid, you’re going to shoot your eye out).

In college, I figured out that I could connect my passion for nature to my future career. I completed two bachelor’s degrees, in wildlife conservation science and forestry. I was afforded many great opportunities, from conducting research in the Sierra Nevada to the slopes of Mount St. Helens. My master’s work is focused on silvicultural prescriptions on the Fremont-Winema National Forest of south-central Oregon. This area is dominated by dry pine and mixed-conifer forest types, very similar to Northeastern Washington.

While living in Pullman, I’ve had the opportunity to reconnect with the outdoors. Hunting has become a passion of mine, as it allows me to observe nature and helps me understand the requirements of providing food for the table. There is nothing better than sitting in a blind on a brisk fall morning, waiting for any movement down the draw, and watching the early activity of everyone else in the morning.

Sean Alexander, the new WSU Extension forester for Northeast Washington, is seen in his other natural habitat: a bowling alley.

I hope to begin exploring Northeastern Washington and continue to develop my hunting skills in this region, and the many other possibilities that this corner of the state has to offer. I’m an avid bowler, competing in the local Palouse Bowling Leagues, and I come from a big family, with 11 siblings and 12 nephews and nieces, so Thanksgiving is always a rowdy one.

I believe forestry is best conducted with an ecosystem approach, with a holistic view of many components to support sustainability and resilience. For example, protecting your home with fuels reduction, promoting habitat value, and maintaining economic sensibility can all be accomplished together. I look forward to working with landowners to accomplish these goals.

Since I was a little kid, I’ve always had a passion for helping others and a skill for educating and communicating. Being able to tie together my passion for forestry with my passion for education, while being able to serve the people of Washington, is truly the most rewarding job someone could ask for.

As I take the next step in my life, I am excited to set my roots and begin building a relationship with those who I get to serve. I am hopeful that I will be a strong resource for local landowners who desire to further develop their own skills in forest management, and together we can help build-up Washington’s forests.

If you’re going to be in Chewelah on June 26 for the forest field day, come by! I’d love to meet you and discuss projects you have going on and ideas you may have for extending education to the region. If not, feel free to reach out and say hello at sean.alexander@wsu.edu!