Barb Lachenbruch straddles life between town and her cabin in the woods. Her writing includes fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry.
Barb grew up in a quiet corner of Los Altos Hills, California, a town on the border between road-less chaparral and Silicon Valley. She cut apricots in the orchards as her first paying job. California was in her veins, and after earning biology degrees at Swarthmore (B.A.) and the University of Alaska Fairbanks (M.S.) she did her Ph.D. at Stanford on poison oak. Afterward, she did a post-doc at U.C. Berkeley. Before moving to Oregon, her path meandered through Texas, New Hampshire, and an indigenous village in Guatemala for the Peace Corps.
She moved to Corvallis for a faculty position at Oregon State University. There, she raised two children and was an Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor in Wood Science & Engineering and Forest Ecosystems & Society. Her research focused on wood quality and the relationships in plants of their structure and function, especially related to mechanical support and water transport. Her teaching included wood anatomy, tree physiology, forest biology, issues in renewable resources, and forests and civilization. She and her family spent sabbatical years in France (1998-99) and Chile (2005-06); her Spanish is still passable. She retired to spend more time on writing and doing natural history and stewardship on their acreage in the Oregon Coast Range. Nowadays, when she is not at writing or at the cabin, she is often substitute teaching at the K–12 levels in Corvallis schools.
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