NAWLA Wood Basics Course



David Jones currently serves as Managing Director, Project Services at Benchmark International. He is a distinguished academic in forestry and wood science who contributed immensely to his field during his tenure as an associate professor and extension specialist at Mississippi State University. Some of his most notable contributions to-date include a formal forest products outreach program for the state of Mississippi, co-authoring the only published introductory book to wood science and forest products, and the co-creation of a national program on wood efficiency education to help manufacturers improve productivity.

His time in academia included expert research in forest practices, manufacturing, research and development, and creation of educational material for the industry and public clients. Additionally, David has presented informational courses on wood anatomy, identifying wood species, wood and water relationships, and basic wood courses for universities and various organizations. He earned his undergraduate degree in forest resource management from Clemson University and his Masters in forestry from Stephen F. Austin University. He then attained his doctorate in forest resources and wood science from the University of Georgia.

For Benchmark, David updates clients on projects, examines compliance with the Lacey Act, and stays on top of emerging issues related to compliance and forest resources including sustainability and manufacturing.

Chris Knowles

Chris Knowles is an assistant professor, forest products marketing with the College of Forestry, Department of Wood Science & Engineering at Oregon State University (OSU). With degrees from Stephen F. Austin University and Oregon State, he works with the Oregon Wood Innovation Center (OWIC) at Oregon State University where his role is to help improve the competitiveness of the Oregon forest products industry. The function of WOIC is to be the key link to innovation related resources for people in the forest products industry. Chris’ main focus is on providing professionals in the forest products industry with technical assistance, especially in the area of marketing. Chris’ current research is in the area of green building with a focus on material selection, purchasing, and specification.


Scott Olsen brings a combination of accomplishment and understanding of business matched with success in training individuals and groups.

After completing his undergraduate work in Economics at the University of Washington, Scott has developed innovative training methods throughout his career that produce dramatic increases in productivity and customer satisfaction in a variety of organizations, including Apple, Yahoo!, and WebMD.

With a combination of skills and knowledge, Scott successfully advances management, leadership, sales, negotiation and interpersonal skills. He tailors each session to the particular needs of the group in which he is involved.

In addition to training, Scott provides personal career counseling for individuals and corporation.