Growth and Yield Innovations Conference 2023

Co-sponsored by the Western Mensurationists and the Forest Growth Organization of Western Canada.

Canmore, Alberta | June 18–21, 2023 | In Canada’s Rocky Mountains

About the Conference

Please join us for this in-person two-day conference and optional one-day field tour in and around scenic Canmore, Alberta. Showcasing innovative research and novel approaches to growth and yield throughout the country and from the international community, this conference will address concerns around declining growth and yield capacity and highlight the important contributions made by G&Y to sustainable forestry. Presentations and panel discussions will focus on current G&Y issues:

  • Precision forestry and remote sensing
  • Incorporating climate change into models
  • Discussing successes and challenges in different forest regions
  • Learning about new technology that can help address skilled labor shortages
  • Building G&Y capacity and removing barriers to technology transfer

An optional one-day field tour will showcase growth and yield research being conducted in Alberta as well as the applications of new technologies. The field tour will allow participants working in different geographic locations to continue discussions initiated at the conference, to build relationships, and to identify opportunities for future collaboration.

Important Deadlines

photo near canmore. conifers in foreground, mountains in background

March 15: Deadline for presentations, posters and lightning talk submissions (closed)

March 24: End of early-bird registration

May 19: End of hotel special rate availability (or until filled)

June 12: Registration closes

June 18: Conference begins

Special Edition of the Canadian Journal of Forest Research

Conference organizers are working on a proposal to publish a special edition of the CJFR; please reach out to Robert Froese if you are interested in being part of this special edition.

Student Discounts and Travel Grants

A special registration rate is available for students. Students who are selected to present a poster or lightning talk will also receive a $250 CDN travel grant to assist with the cost of accommodation.

Keynote Speakers

Rasmus Astrup

Dr. Rasmus Astrup – Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research

The digital forest: opportunities for innovation and improved forest management

Rasmus Astrup received his PhD from the University of British Columbia in 2006. Astrup currently works as Head of Research at the Norwegian Institute for Bioeconomy Research and is the director for a national Centre for research-based innovation named SmartForest. His main research focus is on utilizing emerging methods and technologies for improving information, information flow, and decisions as the foundation for sustainable forest management.

Dr. Valerie LeMay – University of British Columbia

Tentative Title: Past, present, future forest growth and yield models, with an emphasis on connecting to forest inventory

Dr. LeMay has more than 40 years of experience in forestry practice, education, and research. Following her BSc and MSc studies at the University of Alberta, she worked as a Measurements Analysis Forester for the Alberta Forest Service until pursuing a PhD at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Dr. LeMay was hired as the first female professor in the Faculty of Forestry at UBC in 1989 and became a Registered Professional Forester in British Columbia shortly afterward. As a professor at UBC, Dr. LeMay has taught two generations of forest practitioners about the art and science of forest measurements/biometrics and has won two Killam Teaching Awards. She also won the 2021 Canadian Forestry Achievement Award from the Canadian Institute of Forestry (CIF). Her research spans the breadth of forest measurements/biometrics, including forest inventory, growth and yield, and tree allometry, often collaborating with scientists from across the globe. She also contributes to animal movements and habitat needs research, including African elephants and whales. She is a keen supporter of CIF-IFC and the International Organization of Forest Research (IUFRO), having held a number of offices in each.

Dr. Mathieu Fortin – Canadian Forest Service

Tentative Title: Importance of climate sensitive G&Y models in Canada

Mathieu Fortin is a research scientist in quantitative ecology at the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre. He obtained his PhD degree in forest biometrics from Laval University in 2006. From 2005 to 2010, he worked as a research scientist in forest growth modelling at the Forest Research Directorate of Quebec’s Ministry of Natural Resources. After two years as a research engineer in carbon accounting at the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), he was appointed at AgroParisTech, France, in 2012 as an Associate professor in forest biometrics. In 2019, he joined the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre. His research projects focus mainly on the development of stochastic growth models, upscaling techniques and statistical estimators. He is a member of the CAPSIS community of growth modellers since 2008 and he has a particular interest in the implementation of models into software.

Dr. Dick Dempster – Dick Dempster Consulting Ltd.

Incorporating regeneration dynamics and reforestation treatment effects into G&Y models

Dick Dempster retired last year, after a 50-year career as a professional forester and forestry consultant. He obtained Bachelor of Science and Doctorate degrees in Forestry in the UK at the University of Wales, and worked in forest management in Jamaica and Newfoundland, before moving to Alberta in 1975. There, he was initially a forestry planner for Simpson Timber Company in Whitecourt, and then an Associate Professor at the University of Alberta Department of Forest Science, before establishing his own consulting business. He subsequently worked on and led numerous projects in forest policy, inventory, planning and development, both in Canada and overseas.  In 1999 he became Director of the newly formed Foothills Growth and Yield Association, in which capacity he continued until 2007, when he returned to the UK. Since then, his main engagement in Alberta has been researching post-disturbance stand development with the FGrOW Foothills Pine Project Team.

Conference Registration & Venue Information

Ticket Prices

All prices are in Canadian dollars; includes Sunday reception, continental breakfasts, lunches, refreshments and a banquet dinner.

Professional: $345 (early bird) or $395 after March 24, 2023.

Student: $145 (early bird) or $195 after March 24, 2023. Partial travel grants are available for students by contacting the conference organizer.

Optional field tour: $95 (early bird) or $145 after March 24, 2023. Tour includes lunch and transportation.


Coast Canmore Hotel & Conference Centre, Alberta, Canada


Guests must make their own arrangements and reservations, however accomodations are available on-site at the Coast Canmore Hotel & Conference Centre.

A block of rooms has been reserved at a special rate. The discount is available for bookings prior to May 19 while vacancies last, so don’t delay:


Phone: 1-800-663-1144 and quote code “CCM-GFC5762” or “Growth & Yield Symposium – fRI Research Institute”

If the desired room availability is not showing online, please call the reservation line (availability is adjusted weekly so may not reflect current availability).

deciduous trees in fall

Transportation Options

For conference attendees flying into the Calgary airport, there is an airport shuttle (from Calgary Airport to Canmore and on to Banff) that has a drop off location at the Canmore Coast hotel. This shuttle must be booked in advance to reserve seating.

Carpooling from the Calgary airport may be an option. Stay tuned for more details.

Western Mensurationists Lifetime Achievement Award

This inaugural award honors scientists that contributed significantly to the quantitative aspects of the western North American forestry. The award aims at researchers that are associated with the Western Mensurationists group and have shaped the forest research of/from the western region of the USA and Canada.

The selection process starts by ranking the scientists according to the number of nominations from fellows mensurationists. The person with the largest number of votes is then validated by the Lifetime Achievement award committee. For more information and to cast your vote please click HERE.

Kim Iles Mathematical Challenge

In 2009 two Southern Mensurationist fellows, Lewis Jordan and Ray Souter, started the Mike Strub Challenge contest, to honor Mike Strub’s inquisitory mind, tenacity in pursuing forest related questions, and not the least, its kindness. In 2023, the Western Mensurationists decided to mirror this passion for numerical forestry with the Kim Iles Mathematical Challenge.

Dr. Iles has been a forest biometrician working primarily in the western North America for more than 40 years. He is particularly well-known for his innovations in critical height sampling and sector sampling, as well as by his non-traditional approach on statistics and forest inventory. His books are particularly “reachable” to a broad audience. In addition to his contributions to the profession, he is famous for his strong support of graduate students entering forestry, in particular by promoting their participation in Western Mensurationists meetings and facilitating connections with members at meeting events.

The Western Mens mathematical challenge has two parts, one theoretical and one practical. This year’s question can be accessed HERE. Anybody can supply a solution to the problem irrespective the region. Solutions must be submitted by June 1, 2023. The award winner will receive a certificate and $100. Good luck with the challenge, and remember as always, Kim will take no questions.

Partner Program

Cancelled due to lack of uptake.

We respectfully acknowledge that the conference is situated on Treaty 7 and respect the traditional territory and oral practices of the Iyarhe Nakoda and Tsuut’ina nations and the Blackfoot Confederacy: Siksika, Kainai, and Piikani. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Metis Nation of Alberta, Region 3, within the historical Northwest Metis homeland. We acknowledge all Nations, Indigenous and non, who live, work, and play and help us steward this land and honour and celebrate this territory.