Gary A. Ritchie earned his Ph.D. in 1971 from the University of Washington, where he majored in forest biology. Following two years active duty in the U.S. Army, he joined the research and development staff of Weyerhaeuser Company, a Tacoma, WA forest products firm, where he served as a research scientist in plant physiology and ecology for 29 years. His research focused on perfecting the practice of conifer reforestation by developing an understanding of the physiology of conifer seeedlings and seed. It spanned the basic sciences of photosynthesis, dormancy and plant-water relations, to the applied practices of seed and seedling production, handling, storage, and planting. He retired in 2001 as Senior Scientist.
During his professional career, Dr. Ritchie published over 150 scientific papers, many in refereed journals. He also published several invited conference papers and book chapters and served as editor or associate editor of two books on plant science. He acted as a referee for six international plant science journals, and was Affiliate Professor of Forest Resources at the University of Washington. From 1976-77, as an AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) Congressional Science Fellow, he served as a legislative assistant for scientific matters on the staff of U.S. Senator, Pete V. Domenici (R-NM). In this role he assisted in coordinating Senate hearings on the topics of global cooling, atmospheric ozone depletion and recombinant DNA research, and authored legislation on new agricultural crop development and water resources in the American Southwest.
Following retirement Dr. Ritchie has continued to contribute to the plant science community with the publication of two books: “Inside Plants: A gardeners’ Guide to Plant Anatomy and Physiology” and “The Rose Doctor: A Key to Diagnosing Problems in the Rose Garden” – both available on Amazon.com. He has also developed and presented many PowerPoint programs on various aspects of long term climate change to local audiences.
He and Marilyn, his wife of 45 years, live on beautiful Puget Sound near Olympia, WA.