431 East College Street
Granville, OH 43023
Toll free: 800-233-8787
Dr. Michael A. Rechlin518-414-0199 (c)
Michael Rechlin was born in Buffalo, NY. He received his Ph.D. in Natural Resource Policy at SUNY/ESF after studying Forest Management and Resource Ecology (with a B.S. and M.S., respectively, from the University of Michigan) and Forestry (with an AAA from Paul Smith's College) in 1966. While at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources, as a graduate student in 1973, he designed and taught a course titled "Stalking the Syrupy Sap."
Since then, he has been a life-long educator. He encourages others to explore projects with a hands-on project-centered approach to education. As the head of the Forestry Division at Paul Smith's College, he oversaw a 1,200-tap student run sugarbush for over ten years, along with teaching a course in sap collection and syrup making. At Principia College, he was a faculty member of the Biology Department where he organized and taught a course in Sugarbush Management. Most recently he was the Dean of the Future Generations Graduate School at Principia College, leaving in 2014. Nowadays, he resides in West Virginia, where he helped to establish the Dry Fork Maple Works, a 20,000-tap "state of the art" commercial sugaring operation, the largest in West Virginia.
Dr. Rechlin was lead author in a December 2005 issue of "Maple Syrup Digest" titled: Making Maple Syrup in a Land of Funnel Cakes and Pulled Pork, where he recounts the rials of syrup making on the southern edge of the Sugar Maple range. He also published a piece on the expanding interest in sugaring in West Virginia in the December 2014 issue of "Maple News."
He also works with the West Virginia Maple Syrup Producers Association to promote the growth of the sugaring industry within the state, and serves on the Board of Directors. He is also a member of the Society of American Foresters. In addition to making maple syrup, Michael has extensive experience working in community forestry in Nepal. When not tapping trees or trekking in the Himalayas, he can usually be found on cross-country skis or training for a canoe race.
Dr. Rechlin is available to give lectures for college classes in sugaring and for other organizations interested in all aspects of the Maple Sugar industry.
1. Backyard Maple Tapping Workshop: This is a “hands-on” field workshop where participants learn what they need to be able to tap trees and make maple syrup. With a focus on tapping, participants will learn to identify trees to tap, proper tapping procedures, and how the tree responds to injury. The workshop includes a field session in tree identification and practice tapping. The field session is followed by a class period to discuss the basics of going from sap to syrup. After taking this workshop, participants will be ready and able to tap the maples in their backyard, and enjoy the sweet fruits of their labors.
2. Scaling Up – What happens when your sugaring habit gets out of control: Everyone I know started by tapping the few maple trees in their backyard, collecting sap in milk jugs, they fell in love with sugaring, and went looking for more trees. This is a classroom presentation on what happens when you have more trees than you have milk jugs. Using the 20,000-tree Dry Fork Maple Works of West Virginia as a case study, we will learn how to grow from milk jugs, to buckets, to tubing to collect sap, and how the maple industry is evolving to increase efficiency and reduce costs. After this session, participants will be paging through equipment manufacturers' catalogs and running to get their checkbooks as they scale up to make more maple syrup.
3. Making Maple Syrup – From the Tree’s Perspective: “I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues.”― Dr. Seuss. The trees may have no tongues, but through a study of their anatomy and physiology they can tell us a lot about making maple syrup. In this presentation we are going to look at sugaring from the trees' perspective, we’ll get our “heads into trees” and learn what makes them tick. Especially what makes maple trees tick when the days are getting longer and the sap is starting to run. After this session, participants will be starting on their journey to understanding the science behind the sweetness of maple syrup making.
1. For speaking engagements, the author requests reimbursement for travel expenses.
2. Invitations to speak should be extended to the visiting author.
3. The author's book published by McDonald & Woodward will be available on site, either through the visiting author or the sponsoring organization; contact us at 1-800-233-8787 for further information about buying our books.