USDA Forest Service

Rocky Mountain Research Station - Moscow Forestry Sciences Laboratory

Moscow FSL Home Page

Moscow Forestry Sciences Laboratory
1221 South Main Street
Moscow, ID 83843
(208) 882-3557
7:30-4:30 M-F

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

USDA Link Forest Service Link


photo of Geral McDonald from Director's Notes Geral I. McDonald
Principal Plant Pathologist
USDA Forest Service
Rocky Mountain Research Station
1221 South Main Street
Moscow, Idaho 83843
(208) 883-2343

email Geral

Principal Plant Pathologist Geral McDonald has announced his retirement following a long career at the Moscow laboratory. He began work for the Forest Service during summers while a Forestry major at Washington State University. From 1958 to 1961, he was employed by the Walla Walla Ranger District, Umatilla National Forest, Oregon/Washington. In 1962, he was offered a part-time position, while still a student, with the Intermountain Station's Moscow lab, working on ecological genetics of western white pine. Geral continued part-time employment at the lab after graduation in 1963, while pursuing a graduate program in the genetics of host-pest interaction at Washington State. In 1966, he began full-time work as a Research Geneticist with the Blister Rust Resistance Program. He received his PhD in Plant Pathology in 1969 and became a Research Plant Pathologist in 1970. Geral's early work focused on white pine blister rust genetics; in 1983, his work was switched to ecological genetics of root rots, particularly Armillaria. In 1986, he transferred from the Genetics RWU to the Soil Biology and Root Rot RWU. In 1996, his work was refocused on white pine blister rust. Throughout the years, in addition to his regular duties, Geral maintained a close watch on early blister rust resistant western white pine experimental plantations that were initiated in 1970. "These were, and continue to be, an invaluable source of data and plant materials needed to develop both stable blister rust resistance in 5-needle pines and strategies for its deployment," says Geral. "Maintaining continuity over time is a critical factor in forestry research. The blister rust breeding program is a prime example of this principal of forest ecology research," he said. Even though he is officially retiring, Geral won't be walking away from his research. He plans to continue work on experimental plantations, reanalyze decades-old data from fresh perspectives, and keep up-to-date on the ecological genetics of host-pest interaction through his adjunct associations with the University of Idaho and Washington State University.

From USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station Director's Notes January 6, 2003.


USDA Forest Service - RMRS - Moscow Forestry Sciences Laboratory
Last Modified: 

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.