School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences names James Earl Kennamer 2017 Outstanding Alumnus

Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences recognized James Earl Kennamer as its 2017 Outstanding Alumni recipient at its Advisory Council Banquet on March 1 in Auburn. Shown from left to right, are, Gretchen VanValkenburg, Auburn’s vice president for Alumni Affairs; James Earl Kennamer, Outstanding Alumni Award recipient; Michelle Isenberg, advisory council chairperson for the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences; and Janaki Alavalapati, dean of the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences.

The Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences recognized James Earl Kennamer, a 1964 game management graduate and former faculty member, as the 2017 Outstanding Alumni Award recipient during a presentation at its advisory council meeting March 1 in Auburn.

Kennamer, who later earned a master’s and a doctoral degree from Mississippi State University, is part of a multigenerational family of Auburn wildlife alumni and faculty. He is the son of Earl Kennamer, Auburn’s first wildlife Extension specialist. His own son, Lee, is also a wildlife graduate of Auburn.

It has been said that Kennemar is the embodiment of the Auburn Creed. “He grew up there, went to Auburn schools, attended Auburn, served on its city council, and was lucky enough to return to teach after he earned his doctorate,” said Lee Kennamer. “He’s received many awards for his professional contributions over the years, but Auburn is where he always called home.”

Kennamer served as a member of Auburn’s faculty before accepting a position with the National Wildlife Turkey Federation in 1980. While in this role, Kennemar was instrumental in building the conservation department and formed a technical committee which became the driving force in the nationwide trap and transfer of wild turkeys, a method that helped to restore wild turkey populations across the continent.

Kennamer later served as the federation’s chief conservation officer for conservation and outreach programs and eventually headed the department for 32 years where he was responsible for coordinating its programs with state and federal agencies, private organizations and companies throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Kennamer now serves as the development advisor to the federation’s CEO, where he continues to dedicate his time toward conservation through his fundraising efforts.

He has written many feature articles in Turkey Country magazine and had one of the longest running magazine columns in the outdoor industry. He has also authored over 50 scientific papers, including chapters in four books.

Kennamer has been involved with the federation’s television shows “Turkey Call” and “Get in the Game.” He is a professional member of the Boone and Crockett Club and at one time co-chaired the North American’s Hunting Heritage Steering Committee representing the United States.

The School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences recognizes outstanding alumni annually. Award recipients must be graduates of the school, have careers that demonstrate a history of outstanding contributions to forestry or wildlife sciences within the state, nationally or internationally and must exhibit exemplary character and integrity.

Among the many honors and awards bestowed in recognition of his lifetime contributions to wildlife conservation, Kennamer has been recognized by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, The Wildlife Management Institute and various sections and divisions of The Wildlife Society.

In 2010, Kennamer was appointed to the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program Advisory Panel by Tom Vilsack, the 30th secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In 2011, he was recognized by the USDA Forest Service for his exemplary leadership at the National Wild Turkey Federation with the Forest Restoration Award.

At the National Wildlife Turkey Federation 2016 National Convention in Nashville, the federation’s board of directors awarded Kennamer its first Lifetime Achievement Award and will now bestow its annual national scholarship in his honor.

During the March award presentation in Auburn, Kennamar said, “I was able to fulfill my lifelong dream of working with turkeys, and I have been able to do that with the rank and file in this country, with astronauts, with politicians, and see and do things that I never would have imagined, if I hadn’t made that decision,” said Kennamar. “Leaving [Auburn] was a hard thing to do, but coming back is special…I have come full circle.”

SFWS faculty, students and alumni receive honors at the 2017 Southeast Society of American Foresters annual meeting

Richard Ahlquist ‘07 is shown presenting the Young Forester of the Year award to Daniel Crawford, fellow SFWS alumnus.

The Southeastern Society of American Foresters recently held its annual meeting and awards banquet at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Miramar Beach, Florida. The event is held annually as an opportunity for professional foresters from Alabama, Florida and Georgia to gather for networking and information sharing with their peers.

This year’s topic, “Sustaining Southeastern Forestry – Healthy Forests, Markets and Policy,” was the theme industry and academic speakers were invited to address regarding the significant economic, environmental, and policy issues affecting the long term viability of forests and forestry in the Southeast.

During the awards banquet, several School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences faculty and students were honored. Professors Mathew Smidt and Daowei Zhang were recognized as SESAF Fellows for their outstanding contributions and service to the society and profession. SFWS Research Associate and Instructor, Dr. John Kush, was inducted to the Alabama Foresters Hall of Fame for his significant research and teaching accomplishments, as well as his lifetime work advancing the silvics of longleaf pine.

The meeting also featured an oral and poster session for graduate students to share and present their work among peers. During the session, three SFWS students received awards, including, Master’s student Andrea Cole Wahl (Maj. Professor, Lori Eckhardt), who won as Best Oral Presenter for her presentation, “The effect of Sirex spp. woodwasps on forest health in Alabama.”

Forestry doctoral student, Gifty Acquah (Maj. Professor, Brian Via), was awarded 1st Place Poster Presentation for her presentation, “Rapid assessment of forest biomass for biofuel applications: A comparative study of three analytical tools.” Master’s student, Rafael Santiago (Maj. Professor, Tom Gallagher), was awarded 2nd Place Poster Presentation, for his research presentation titled, “Coppicing evaluation of short rotation woody crops in the Southeast U.S. to determine appropriate harvesting methods.”

SFWS Alumnus, Daniel Crawford ‘07, was awarded as the Alabama Outstanding Young Forester of the Year. Fellow alum, Ben Whitaker ’07, nominated Crawford for the award. Crawford has been an active member of the SAF since 2005 and currently works as International Portfolio Manager for Resource Management Services (RMS) located in Birmingham. Both Crawford and Whitaker are charter members of the SFWS Compass Circle Young Alumni Society, a new giving program established in 2016 as a means to reconnect alumni with the School and its current students.



Glenn and Flavin Glover establish Fund for Excellence to support faculty development



Glenn and Flavin Glover, both 1973 graduates, recently created The Faculty Enhancement Endowed Fund for Excellence in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. The fund will be used to advance and enrich individual faculty member’s careers, particularly junior faculty, by supporting  activities such as travel to professional or scientific meetings; summer research; grant support; research, teaching or extension publications and software, as well as equipment; or other needs and activities that will advance the faculty member’s profession.

Glenn Glover has experienced the school from every perspective, as an undergraduate student; graduate student; research associate; and assistant, associate and full professor. In addition to his research and extension appointments, Glover taught forest measurement and wood procurement courses. He also served as biometrician and director of the AU Silvicultural Herbicide Cooperative, retiring in 2006 as professor emeritus.

Flavin Glover worked as an arts and crafts therapist, program director of adult day treatment and director of clinic operations for East Alabama Mental Health Center from 1972 until her retirement in 1998.

“Over my 31-year career, I grew as the school grew and changed,” he said. “In 1994 I volunteered as chairman of the chool’s building committee to, in part, give back to the school for all that it had provided me over many years – two degrees, financial support while in school, and a rewarding career.”

Understanding the struggle that faculty, particularly early in their careers, often has in developing programs, the Glovers were inspired to develop an endowment that would support faculty enhancement.

“Our hope is that our contribution to the school will help faculty members establish and enhance their careers and become better faculty members as they serve the students, the university, and the people of Alabama, ” said Glenn Glover.



Auburn President, Jay Gogue, announces retirement

9981072-largeAuburn University President, Jay Gogue, announced his retirement at the September Board of Trustees meeting.

“Susie and I have had a blast at Auburn the past 10 years,” said Gogue. “We’re not going anywhere, but we decided it’s time to step down as president next year and begin the next phase of our lives.”

Gogue, who has been Auburn’s leader since 2007, is expected to remain as president until his successor is named, sometime in 2017.

Charles McCrary, president pro tem of the board, appointed Trustee Raymond Harbert to chair the search committee. Harbert asked Trustees Michael DeMaioribus and Sarah Newton to serve with him. The committee will utilize the services of R. William Funk & Associates, a higher education search firm out of Dallas, Texas.

In addition to Harbert, the Auburn presidential search advisory committee is composed of the following:

  • Beau Byrd II; president-elect, Auburn Alumni Association
  • Mike DeMaioribus, member, Auburn Board of Trustees
  • Deacue Fields; chair and professor, Department of Agricultural Economics
  • Thom Gossom; chair, Auburn University Foundation
  • Sharon Haynes; county coordinator, Alabama Cooperative Extension System
  • Rhea Ingram; dean, College of Business at Auburn University at Montgomery
  • Timothy Jones; chair, Auburn Administrative & Professional Assembly
  • Sarah B. Newton; member, Auburn Board of Trustees
  • Laura Plexico; associate professor, Department of Communication Disorders
  • Chris Roberts; dean, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering
  • Althea Tate; chair, Auburn Staff Council
  • Larry Teeter; professor, School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences
  • Jesse Westerhouse; president, Student Government Association

Future updates regarding the search will be featured at




International Paper hosts gathering of Auburn alumni during recent meeting

ipforestrygradsInternational Paper (IP), a leading manufacturing company of renewable and recyclable packaging materials, recently hosted an employee meeting at their corporate office in Memphis, TN, where Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences graduates posed for a photo.

Shown in the photo provided by IP Regional Manager and AU graduate, David Helm are from left to right: Matt Meyerpeter, David Hand, Michael Walker, David Helm, Sarah Sibley, Jake Smith, Joe Twardy, Ted Crane. Other SFWS graduates missing from the photo include Ricky Everett, Grace Gregson, Wesley Peters, and Jenny Lightfoot, among others.

International Paper employs approximately 53,000 people worldwide and operates in more than 24 countries. Careers with IP include finance, manufacturing, supply chain, and information technology.

IP routinely hires Auburn graduates as fiber supply managers to facilitate the movement of lumber to its manufacturing facilities; many of whom are based in Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas and Alabama.

Students interested in internships and careers with IP can visit and interview with company representatives during the SFWS Career Fair scheduled on Nov. 30.

For more information about Auburn’s forestry degrees, visit



SFWS connects with alumni during Alabama Forestry Association annual meeting


SFWS Development Director and Dean hosted nearly 40 alumni & friends for the alumni coffee during the Alabama Forestry Association’s annual meeting held in Gulf Shores, Ala. On Sept. 12. This was a great opportunity for the SFWS to provide updates about undergraduate and graduate enrollments, new faculty and staff hires, approval of Geospatial and Environmental Informatics degree, the status of Sustainable Bioproducts and Packaging degree proposal, and the new budget model implications to the school.











SFWS hosted Auburn Oaks at Samford Park Dedication on Sept. 9


Shown with Dean Alavalapati and Aubie are the generous donors who honored their families through their philanthropic gifts in support of the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences.

Shown with Dean Alavalapati and Aubie are the generous donors who honored their families with the naming of the Auburn Oaks at Samford Park.

Representatives from the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences gathered with Auburn administration and donors for a dedication ceremony of the Auburn Oaks at Samford Park on Friday, Sept. 9.

The ceremony culminated with the unveiling of the trees named in honor of loved ones by Auburn friends and alumni who named a tree for themselves or someone of their choosing in recognition of a $50,000 philanthropic gift to the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences.

Following the dedication, special guests and donors, including Auburn University Provost, Tim Boosinger and his wife Marcia, enjoyed a dinner and reception at the SFWS EBSCO atrium following the dedication.

The Samford Park redevelopment project began in 2013 after it was determined the original Auburn Oaks, poisoned in 2011, would not survive. Phase I of the project included removing contaminated soil, building a new seating area and planting two new oaks at Toomer’s Corner. Phase II began in the summer of 2015 with installation of a 14-foot-wide walkway winding from Samford Hall to Toomer’s Corner.

“Over the past three years Toomer’s Corner and Samford Park have changed tremendously,” said Ben Burmester, design project manager for Samford Park at Toomer’s Corner Phases I and II, “so to see the vision of the park come together today is pretty great.”

The descendent oaks are approximately 15 years old and 15 feet tall. In 2001, Scott Enebak, SFWS faculty member, initiated a program to ensure the Auburn Oaks’ legacy continues. Under his leadership, Forestry Club and Wildlife Society members cultivated acorns from the original trees and raised the descendants.

“I am pleased to see the descendants are returning to Samford Park where their parents stood for over 80 years,” Enebak said. “As they grow, their branches will drape over the walkway creating a beautiful canopy for future generations of the Auburn Family to enjoy.”

The remaining trees are available for naming in recognition of a philanthropic pledge of $50,000, which can be pledged over multiple years. These gifts will be invested as part of a larger endowed fund for excellence, with earnings providing support for emerging opportunities and urgent needs in the school. Following approval of each requested naming by Auburn’s Board of Trustees, an engraved brass plaque on a granite plinth at the base of the tree will display the name or names of those for which the tree is named.

For additional information about this naming opportunity, contact the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Development Office at (334) 844-2791 or









Students and donors honored during Scholarship & Fellowship Ceremony held Aug. 31


2016 scholarship and fellowship recipients gather in the Kent Van Cleave pavilion following the ceremony.

2016 scholarship and fellowship recipients gather in the Kent Van Cleave pavilion following the ceremony.

The School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences (SFWS) recently hosted its 2016 Student Scholarship & Fellowship Ceremony and Reception on Saturday, August 27. One hundred and seventy donors, alumni, students, parents, faculty, and staff were present for the annual ceremony to honor the benefactors and students receiving awards totaling $273,000 for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Scholarships awarded for the first time included:

  • Howard B. Harmon Endowed Scholarship presented by Sarah and Grant Rockett on behalf of Jerry & Lynne Schwarzauer.
  • RMS Annual Scholarship presented by Ed and Vicki Sweeten.  Ed Sweeten is the Executive Vice President, Acquisitions and Land Sales at Resource Management Service, LLC.   He is also a 1979 graduate in Forest Management from the SFWS.
  • The Natural Resources Annual Scholarship established by Richard W. Hall.  Richard is a 1995 forestry graduate from the SFWS and is a Portfolio Manager with Forest Investment Associates in Atlanta, Ga.
  • Harry V. Dunn Jr. and Erin Dunn Scholarship created in honor of Mr. Dunn, a 1952 forestry graduate, who had a successful career with Gulf States Paper, now known as Westervelt.
  • Ducks Unlimited/Chuck Sharp Annual Fund for Excellence presented by Josh Rudder, the DU State Chair, in the company of 14 representatives of Ducks Unlimited who also attended the ceremony.

Heather Crozier, Development Director for the School, stated, “We are fortunate to have so many generous donors who are willing to support the educational pursuits of our students. Today we gratefully recognize the impact that legacy is having in our School and the lives of these young people.”

For more information about scholarship and fellowship opportunities, visit










Woodlands and Wildlife Society member dinner held at Red Clay Brewing Company


From left to right, Robert Burgin, Jerry Schwarzauer, Lynne Schwarzauer, Joe Roberson, Flavin Glover, and Glenn Glover.

The annual Woodlands and Wildlife Society dinner was held on Friday, June 17 at the Red Clay Brewing Co. Even with the downpour that happened right as the event was to begin, the turnout was great. Everyone enjoyed the casual venue as they caught up with friends and heard an update from the dean on news from the SFWS.








SFWS Awards Over $20,000 to Students During Spring Awards Banquet


The School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences hosted its annual awards banquet on March 30. Shown from left to right are Gordon Armistead and Chip Woody, who presented the Armistead and Woody Family Military Service Award to Kyle Malone (center).


The School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences recently hosted its spring annual awards banquet where nearly 125 guests gathered for the ceremony and dinner to recognize the outstanding achievements of students, faculty and alumni.

Faculty members honored included, Associate Professor Todd Steury, nominated for the Wildlife Society Teacher of the Year; and Associate Professor Becky Barlow, who was nominated to receive the Forestry Club Teacher of the Year and Student Government Association Outstanding Faculty Award.

Through the generosity of SFWS alumni and friends, 20 awards were given to students totaling over $20,000. Student award recipients included:


  • President’s Award, Scott McClure
  • The Associate Dean of Research – Forest Science Award, Jordan Heath
  • The Associate Dean of Research – Wildlife Science Award, Shannon Lambert
  • Auburn Forestry and Wildlife Alumni Association Outstanding Senior Award in Forestry, Hannah “Grace” Gregson
  • Auburn Forestry and Wildlife Alumni Association Outstanding Senior Award in Wildlife, Laura Garland
  • Association of Consulting Foresters Senior Leadership Award, Harold Cooley
  • Alabama Division, Southeast Society of American Foresters Leadership Travel Award, Truett Lawrence
  • Alabama Division, Society of American Foresters Junior Leadership Award, Cody Hartzog
  • Alabama Forest Owners Association Award, John Lancaster and Wilson Lowe
  • William Allen Carey Memorial Award in Forest Pathology, Michael Cody Cumbie
  • Annual Academic Improvement Award, Mallan Sheffield
  • Armistead and Woody Family Military Service Award, Kyle Malone
  • F & W Forestry Services Incorporated Rising Senior Award, Nathan McLendon
  • Weyerhaeuser Forest Economics Award, Hannah “Grace” Gregson
  • The Alabama Wildlife Federation Robert G. Wehle Non-Game Management Annual Award, Duston Duffie
  • The Alabama Wildlife Federation David K. Nelson Game Management Award, Tyler Shirley
  • Alabama Chapter of the Wildlife Society Student Leadership Award, Matthew George
  • Westervelt Rising Senior Award in Wildlife, Shannon Lambert
  • Student Government Association Outstanding Student Award, Laura Garland
  • Forestry Club Outstanding Member, Cody Hartzog
  • Wildlife Society Outstanding Member Award, Matthew George
  • Summer Practicum Endowed Scholarships were presented to: Zachary Slay, Sawyer Mason, Logan Bailey, Andrew Burns, and James Milstead.

Director of Student Services, Dr. Jodie Kenney, echoed the sentiments of SFWS faculty and staff, “Our students are highly deserving of these awards. We are extremely proud of their hard work and commitment to their studies, as well as their leadership preparation for future careers in natural resources, wildlife and forestry.”

Many SFWS donors, alumni and friends attended the awards banquet to personally meet and present their awards to recipients. William R. “Billy” Hooten ’88, who had established the Annual Academic Improvement Award several years ago, attended the banquet for the first time this year.

Members of the Woody and Armistead families observed the presentation of the Armistead & Woody Military Service Annual Award to Kyle Malone. The award, which had recently been increased, was amended to include the Woody family.

Representatives from several donor companies including F & W Forestry Services Inc, Weyehauser and The Westervelt Company, also participated in the program. Organization leaders on hand to distribute awards included, Tim Gothard, executive director of the Alabama Wildlife Federation, and Susan P. Dooley, president of the Alabama Forest Owners’ Association.

Donor participation in events such as the SFWS’ scholarship and awards programs is known to be a barometer of confidence in a school’s academic program and the foundation of its continued growth. Heather Crozier, the school’s director of development, stated, “We are grateful for the loyal support that our generous donors have provided to recognize these outstanding students; it speaks volumes about their commitment to student success and the livelihood of forestry and wildlife sciences.”

Presented for the first time during the annual awards banquet, the SFWS 2015 Outstanding Alumni Award was given to Mr. Ronnie Williams ’74 who was nominated by faculty members, Glenn Glover and James Shepard. Family and friends were present to support Williams, including wife, Pat Williams; son, Chris Williams; several grandchildren; and business associates, Jay and Tamara Moore, and Jim and Sharon Respess.

Student awards are distributed annually and selected based on criteria outlined within the established funding agreements. Nominations for outstanding alumni are requested from the SFWS alumni and faculty throughout the year with final selection by the Alumni Awards Committee.

For more information about SFWS awards or to create a new award in the School, contact SFWS Office of Development at or via phone at 334-844-1983. Awardee portraits and photos from the event are available to download from the SFWS photo album.



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