Alavalapati Named AU’s Dean of School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences

AlavalapatiAUBURN UNIVERSITY — Following a national search, Janaki Alavalapati, head of the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech, has been named dean of Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, effective May 27.

“Dr. Alavalapati has an outstanding record of accomplishments in a range of disciplines, including forest resources, the environment and new energy solutions, as well as a wealth of experience with national and international governmental agencies,” said Auburn University Provost Timothy Boosinger. “We look forward to working with him as we continue to build the academic, research and outreach programs of our School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences.”

Alavalapati has served as a professor and department head in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment since 2008. Previously, he was a faculty member in the University of Florida’s School of Forest Resources and Conservation from 1998 to 2008.

“I am delighted and honored to have been chosen as the dean of the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences,” Alavalapati said. “With world class faculty, staff and students, and the significance of forests, wildlife and natural resources to the economic and employment fabric of Alabama, and unwavering support of stakeholders and alumni, the school has a great potential to grow. I look forward to dedicating my efforts to building upon the strong programs that already exist in the school.”

Alavalapati succeeds interim Dean Graeme Lockaby, who will resume his position of associate dean of research in the school.

Alavalapati has a doctorate in forest resource economics and a master’s degree in rural sociology, both from the University of Alberta, Canada, and he earned master’s degrees in botany and forestry from universities in India. He has published more than 200 publications and made more than 145 professional presentations relating to forests and natural resources.

His awards include University of Florida Research Foundation Professorship, Superior Honor Award from the U.S. Department of State in 2008 and International Union of Forest Research Organization’s Scientific Achievement Award in 2010.

Alavalapati serves as an editorial board member of “Forest Policy and Economics” and “Outdoor Recreation and Tourism” journals and as the policy chair for the National Association of University Forest Resource Programs. As the chair or co-chair, Alavalapati has advised 28 graduate students.

Since 2011, as a senior fellow of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas at the U.S. Department of State, Alavalapati has helped Belize, Guyana and Brazil with issues relating to sustainable forestry and natural resources management. In 2007-2008, as a Jefferson Science Fellow, he served as a senior advisor for International Energy Affairs in the U.S. Department of State, Washington D.C.

KPNC Gratefully Acknowledges Current Support

The Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve was endowed to the Auburn University as an outreach program of the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. Though this relationship has allowed the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center (KPNC) to continue its evolution as an important resource withiFFbutterflyprogramn East Central Alabama region for outdoor recreation and environmental education, the preserve remains heavily dependent on grants and private donations for its operations.

In this spirit, we recognize those who provide this vital support to the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center in pursuit of its mission to foster a sense of appreciation and understanding of our natural environment, particularly in our youth. Together we pledge to “Leave No Child Inside.”

Please join us in our appreciation of the KPNC’s current volunteers, members, donors, sponsors and partners who have supported the important work of the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center with their annual contributions.

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Members
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Volunteers

To inquire about volunteering or becoming a member of the Kreher Preserve & Nature Center, visit the website to join or contact KPNC staff at (334) 844-8091, or email (preserve@auburn.edu). For private or corporate giving, please contact Sharon Tatum, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences development coordinator, at (334) 844-1983, or via email at (sharon.tatum@auburn.edu).

 

Science on Saturdays, Honey Bees, July 25th

2015SOS-HoneyBees

Join nature center staff and local beekeepers on Saturday, July 25th, at 10:00 a.m. for the 3rd program of the 2015 Science on Saturdays series, Honey Bees! We all love that sweet golden honey that this amazing insect produces, but did you know that the honey bee is largely responsible for much of our crop pollination? After this interesting program we will hike out to the preserve hives and watch beekeepers at work.

Admission is $4 for members and $5 for non-members. Pre-registration is not required.  Members may present a program pass for free admission for up to 2 adults and 3 children. New members who join July 25th may choose to redeem a pass for this event. Membership contributions support operations, maintenance and programs.

The Kreher Preserve & Nature Center is located at 2222 N. College Street, Auburn, just north of the AU Fisheries complex. Email preserve@auburn.edu or call 334-844-8091 for more information. Canceled in the event of rain.

Fall Forest Friends Registration Begins 8/3

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This award-winning program is a unique educational experience for pre-school children and their parents that incorporates hands-on activities with nature and environmental awareness. This six-week session begins Tuesday, 9/15 and Friday, 9/18 from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. Session fee is $45 per child. Membership with the Kreher Preserve & Nature Center at the Magnolia level ($35) or above is required. Playdate and registration will be held on August 3 at the nature playground from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.. Registration forms can be downloaded at auburn.edu/preserve (beginning August 3) or you may request forms at preserve@auburn.edu.

The Kreher Preserve & Nature Center is located at 2222 N. College Street, Auburn, just north of the AU Fisheries complex. Email preserve@auburn.edu or call 334-844-8091 for more information.

Auburn Plainsman Showcases KPNC’s Ecology Camp

The Auburn Plainsman’s Multimedia Editor, Kris Sims, showcased the Kreher Preserve & Nature Center’s Summer Ecology Camp on its website June 12th. The video caption states, ” Junior Rangers at the Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve & Nature Center. Here, campers learn about the responsibilities of park/wilderness rangers, including outdoor rescue/survival skills. This year, they get to practice archery, build arts and craft, and learn about flight.”

We are very appreciative of the support of our local media and hope that you enjoy this fun clip all about flight!

2nd Annual S’more Fun with Mom, A Hit With Area Families

 

2015 Smore Fun - 3Co-hosted with the City of Auburn, the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center held its 2nd annual S’more Fun with Mom event in honor of Mother’s Day on May 7 and 8. With crickets chirping and lightning bugs twinkling, mothers and sons shared a festive evening that included a nature hike, craft, cookout dinner, roasting marshmallows for s’mores, and storytelling.

“I heard about the event last year and knew that I wanted to take my son this year,” said attendee Karen Burton. “I found out about it again this year and think it’s a really unique event and decided that it would be something fun for my son Joey and me, because he loves science and is very nature oriented,” she added.

Over 50 mother and son pairs attended the program each night; enjoying the outdoors while learning interesting facts about the local flora and fauna during a naturalist-led nature hike through the KPNC that included a hands-on learning experience with some of the “critters” that call the preserve home. After a cookout dinner, the mother and sons visited the covered pavilion to build a picture frame and sit for a keepsake portrait.2015 Smore Fun - 4

Much of the evening was spent around the campfire enjoying the fresh evening air while roasting marshmallows and making s’mores. “I never thought I would use a fire pit until tonight,” said Karen Burton. “Joey has loved it and we have had so much fun making s’mores together!” she said.

To conclude the evening’s activities, storyteller Lee Piskorz captivated the audience gathered at the outdoor amphitheater with her animated tales of fun characters learning positive life lessons of courage and loyalty. “This is my first year getting to tell stories at this event and I have really enjoyed it!” said Ms. Piskorz.

According to KPNC outreach administrator, Jennifer Lolley, “It is wonderful to see these mothers and sons having this time together in the outdoors. It really does create a bonding memory for them to share long after the night is over.” Lolley went on to state, “We really have to credit our sponsors: Auburn Opelika Tourism Bureau, Publix at Cary Creek, Sam’s Club, Home Depot, and JRogers Photography, for making this fun event possible for our community. The fact that tickets sold out for both nights tells us that these types of experiences are important for families, and the support from our sponsors confirms they absolutely agree!”

2015 Smore Fun - 2The Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve, a community outreach program of Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, was established in 1993 by a gift of land from Louise Kreher Turner and Frank Allen Turner. The 120-acre property features five miles of hiking trails, amphitheater, pavilion and nature playground. The preserve offers ample parking, restrooms and drinking fountains and is open to the public daily at no charge from sunrise to sunset.

Candid event photos available for download via Facebook.

Contacts: Jennifer Lolley, (334) 707-6512, (preserve@auburn.edu) or Jamie Anderson, (334) 703-2953, (jla0015@auburn.edu).

Science on Saturdays, Turtles! Scheduled for June 6th

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Join us Saturday, June 6th, at 10:00 a.m. for the 2nd program in the 2015 Science on Saturdays series, Turtles! Alabama has the most turtles of any state due to our warm climate and abundant water. Mr. Stan Arington, of Auburn High School, will introduce you to many of our local species of turtles, tortoises and terrapins. Learn also about the fascinating sea turtles that visit the Alabama coast.

Admission is $4 for members and $5 for non-members. Pre-registration is not required.  Members may present a program pass for free admission for up to 2 adults and 3 children. New members who join may choose to redeem a pass for this event. Membership contributions support operations, maintenance and programs.

The Kreher Preserve & Nature Center is located at 2222 N. College Street, Auburn, just north of the AU Fisheries complex. Email preserve@auburn.edu or call 334-844-8091 for more information. Canceled in the event of rain.

Summer Forest Friends Registration Begins June 1st

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This award-winning program is a unique educational experience for pre-school children and their parents that incorporates hands-on activities with nature and environmental awareness. This three-week session begins Tuesday, 7/14,  from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. Session fee is $25 per child. Membership with the Kreher Preserve & Nature Center at the Magnolia level ($35) or above is required. Registration begins June 1. Registration forms can be downloaded at auburn.edu/preserve (beginning June 1) or you may request forms at preserve@auburn.edu.

The Kreher Preserve & Nature Center is located at 2222 N. College Street, Auburn, just north of the AU Fisheries complex. Email preserve@auburn.edu or call 334-844-8091 for more information.

 

Landscape Watercolor Class To Be Offered 5/20

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Join local artist, Cindy Mask, where she will lead this introductory art class through the process of creating their own watercolor painting. Class will meet at the pavilion on Wednesday, May 20 at 9:30 a.m. Supplies provided. Canceled in the event of rain. Email preserve@auburn.edu to register.

The Kreher Preserve & Nature Center is located at 2222 N. College Street, Auburn, just north of the AU Fisheries complex. Email preserve@auburn.edu or call 334-844-8091 for more information.

 

KIA Motors Manufacturing Renews Support

ForestEcologyCheckPresWe are pleased to announce that Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. (KMMG) has renewed its support for the Kreher Preserve & Nature Center 5K Trail Run, Tot Trot and Sunday Stroll. This partnership represents Kia’s commitment to promote environmental education, while positively impacting the quality of life of its employees that live in the East Alabama/West Georgia region.

The trail run slated to occur on May 17 at 2:30 p.m., will feature a Tot Trot and Sunday Stroll in addition to the main race. “This is a great way for everyone to get involved, regardless of age or fitness level,” says Lolley. “This is a unique race; trail runs have gained in popularity in recent years, and ours offers an exciting experience even for the most seasoned of runners.”

Proceeds from the race support educational programs, operations and maintenance of trails at the Kreher Preserve. Says Lolley, “We are grateful that Kia has once again committed to help raise awareness and funds for the KPNC. Our shared goal is to show off this beautiful property and promote fitness at the same time.”

“We are excited to partner with Auburn University’s Kreher Preserve and Nature Center,” said Randy Jackson, KMMG’s senior vice president of human resources and administration, who was on hand for the presentation. “One of the pillars of KMMG’s corporate social responsibility is giving back to our environment. Through this contribution and the participation from several KMMG team members, we are helping to provide free and open green space and environmental programs for students that will have a positive impact in this region.”

Race date is Sunday, May 17, 2015. Event day registration will begin at 1:00 p.m. with the race starting at 2:30 p.m., the Sunday Stroll at 3:00 p.m. and the Tot Trot at 3:30 p.m. Participants may register online via the KPNC marketplace. Visit the auburn.edu/preserve for race details and registration.

The Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve, a community outreach program of Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, was established in 1993 by a gift of land from Louise Kreher Turner and Frank Allen Turner. The 120-acre property features five miles of hiking trails, amphitheater, pavilion and nature playground. The Kreher Preserve and Nature Center offers ample parking, restrooms and drinking fountains and is open daily to the public at no charge from sunrise to sunset. The preserve is located on 2222 North College Street, just north of the Auburn University Fisheries Complex.

Photo caption:

Pictured, presenting the check to Jennifer Lolley and Sharon Tatum of the Auburn University Kreher Preserve & Nature Center, are Randy Jackson, KMMG’s senior vice president of human resources and administration, with KMMG team members Ken Noh, assistant manager – general assembly; Jacob Marrero, specialist – procurement; Kendra Gunn, specialist – general affairs; and James Corless, specialist – maintenance.