COLLEGE STATION – Dr. Robert Baker, professor emeritus in the Texas A&M University department of forest science, has been inducted into the Texas Forestry Hall of Fame. He received the honor during the annual gala held at the Texas Forestry Museum in Lufkin.
“[Receiving this recognition] means a lot to me because notables in the Texas lumber industry have received the award in the past,” Baker said.
Baker has been an active member of the forestry community in Texas for more than 50 years.
He was born in 1927 and earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of California. He earned his doctorate in forest valuation at the State University of New York. Baker taught in the College of Forestry at Steven F. Austin State University before becoming a professor in the department of forestry science at Texas A&M in 1975. Shortly after coming to Texas A&M, Baker developed an alternate method for assessing the value of timberland. Unlike the market value system commonly used at the time, his method appraised timberland based on the value of the trees as well as the land and its location.
Baker is also well known for his work in remote sensing and photo interpretation, and he co-authored the book “Sawdust Empire” in 1983.
Since retiring from teaching in the spring of 2002, Baker has been working on compiling the history of the Texas Forest Service and the Texas Forestry Association. He lives with his wife, Mary Ann, in Bryan.