SFWS honors faculty, staff and students during recent awards celebration


Forestry Club Outstanding Faculty Awardee, Dr. Tom Gallagher (center), shown with current Forestry Club members during recent SFWS Awards Celebration and Dinner held in Auburn.

The School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences recently honored its faculty, staff and students at its annual Spring Student Awards Celebration and Dinner. Over 150 students, their families, friends and donors joined the faculty and staff to congratulate the awardees.

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

  • Annual Academic Improvement Award presented by Dr. Jim Shepard to Logan Bailey
  • Weyerhaeuser Forest Economics Award presented by Weyerhaeuser Harvest and Transportation Manager for the Piedmont Region, Brad Murfee ’04, to Kyle Malone
  • Association of Consulting Foresters Senior Leadership Award presented by Alexander McCall ’93, executive vice president of Larson and McGowin LLC, to Andrew Burns
  • Alabama Division, Southeastern Society of American Foresters Leadership Travel Award presented by Chair Elect, Clint Mancil, to Zachary Slay
  • Alabama Forest Owners Association Award presented by AFOA President, Ben Black, to Zachary Slay and Andrew Metzeler
  • Alabama Division, Society of American Foresters Junior Leadership Award presented by Dr. Edward Loewenstein to Christopher Hays
  • William Allen Carey Memorial Award in Forest Pathology presented by Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Dr. Scott Enebak, to Christopher Turner
  • Armistead and Woody Family Military Service Award presented by Gordon Armistead ’74 and LTC Leonard “Chip” Woody ’74 to Alisia Diamond
  • F & W Forestry Services Incorporated Rising Senior Award presented by TR Clark to Kiel Sweatt and John Cooper
  • James R. Taylor Endowed Scholarship Award presented by Dr. Tom Gallagher to Reece Ousley
  • Summer Practicum Endowed Scholarship also presented by Dr. Tom Gallagher to Daniel Bowman
  • The Alabama Wildlife Federation Robert G. Wehle Non-Game Management Annual Award presented by Past President of the Alabama Wildlife Federation, Frank Boyd, to Kirsten Rice
  • The Alabama Wildlife Federation David K. Nelson Game Management Award also presented by Frank Boyd to Seth Rankins
  • Alabama Chapter of the Wildlife Society Student Leadership Award presented by Assistant Chief of Wildlife Research, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Amy Silvano, to Shannon Lambert
  • Westervelt Rising Senior Award in Wildlife presented by Westervelt Associate Biologist, Rachel Conley ’15, to Alisia Diamond
  • Research Open House Poster Awards presented by Association Dean of Research, Dr. Graeme Lockaby, to the following: 4th place winners, Anna Tucker, Ellary Tucker Williams, and Michael Ramirez; 3rd place winner, John Lancaster; 2nd place winner, Shelby Zikeli; 1st place winners, Jennifer Price Tack and John Draper
  • Student Government Association Outstanding Student Award also presented by Dr. Scott Enebak to Marisa Pierluisi
  • President’s Award presented by Dean Janaki Alavalapati to Chara Wood
  • Forestry Club Outstanding Member awarded to Zachary Slay
  • Forestry Club Outstanding Forestry Faculty awarded to Dr. Tom Gallagher
  • Wildlife Society Outstanding Student Member awarded to Seth Rankins
  • Wildlife Society Outstanding Wildlife Faculty awarded to Dr. Sarah Zohdy

A number of SFWS faculty and staff were recognized for their outstanding efforts in the classroom, laboratory, advising and outreach last year.

  • SGA Honors Ceremony Outstanding Faculty Award presented to Dr. Becky Barlow
  • Harry Murphy Faculty Award for Undergraduate Advising presented to Dr. Mark Smith
  • Harold E. Christen Award for Service to Teaching presented to Dr. Chris Lepczyk
  • Harry Murphy Faculty Research Award presented to Dr. Lisa Samuelson
  • Harry Murphy Faculty Outreach Award presented to Dr. Mark Smith
  • Harry Murphy Outstanding Staff Award presented to Paula Davis

SFWS Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Dr. Scott Enebak, echoed the sentiments of the faculty and staff, “We are extremely proud of our students’ 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, including Gordon Armistead ’74 and LTC Leonard “Chip” Woody ’74, who presented the Armistead and Woody Family Military Service Award. Also in attendance was Larson and McGowin LLC, Executive Vice President, Alexander McCall ‘93, who attended the banquet for the first time this year to present the Association of Consulting Foresters Senior Leadership Award.

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 sfwsdev@auburn.edu or via phone at 334-844-1983.

Photos of awardees can be found on Flikr website.



Young alumni giving society, the Compass Circle, meets for first Dean’s round-table and barbecue

Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences recently hosted its new young alumni giving society, the Compass Circle, for an update and round table discussion with SFWS Dean, Janaki Alavalapati. Later that day, alumni gathered with upcoming graduates, faculty and staff for a barbecue at the Mary Olive Thomas Demonstration Forest.

The Compass Circle is a new giving society launched in 2016 that provides an opportunity for alumni to re-connect and support the school during the first 15 years after graduation. The society offers alumni convenient giving levels and options where donations can be made in monthly increments or annually.

“My wife Carolyn and I joined the CC because we want to support the scholarships and unparalleled education within the school. As a forester, I feel it is vital to support the future generations of our natural resource professionals. With three levels of giving and monthly payment options, there are opportunities for all young alumni to give back,” noted Russell C. Miller ‘11.

To become a member, contact Sharon Tatum, SFWS development coordinator, at sfwsdev@auburn.edu or visit the SFWS website to learn more.

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.”

Weaver Lecture Series to feature international scientists Orlando Rojas and David Fowler


Established in 1996 through an endowment provided by Earl H. and Sandra H. Weaver, the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences’ Weaver Lecture Series will feature two internationally renowned scientists this spring, March 30 and April 11.

The first lecture of the two-part series offered this year, will be given by Orlando Rojas, Professor of Biobased Colloids and Materials at Aalto University, Finland.

Professor Rojas’ lecture, titled “Nanocelluloses and Multi-phase Systems,” will discuss the Finnish vision of the future bio-economy and the importance of forests as a resource for lignocellulose, the biomass of woody plants, as the ideal precursor for material design.

Professor Orlando J. Rojas

Previous to Rojas current faculty position at Aalto University, Finland, he was Professor in the departments of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Forest Biomaterials of North Carolina State University.

Earlier in his career he was a senior scientist appointed by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in the Royal Institute of Technology, a postdoctoral fellow in the Institute for Surface Chemistry, Sweden and research assistant at Auburn University.

Rojas’ work is centered on the utilization of lignocellulosic materials in novel, high performance applications and the interfacial and the adsorption behaviors of surfactants and biopolymers at solid/liquid interfaces.

Among his many honors and awards, Rojas was appointed as Finland Distinguish Professor (2009-2014) and was elected with the distinction of Fellow of the American Chemical Society (2013) for his scientific and professional contributions.

Most recently, Rojas was the recipient of the 2015 Nanotechnology Division Technical Award and IMERYS Prize for outstanding contributions that have advanced the industry’s technology. He received the Fibrenamics Award (University of Minho, Portugal, 2016) in recognition for his scientific work and impact in the field of advanced materials from lignocellulose.

The second lecture of the two-part series offered this year will feature David Fowler, Professor at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

Fowler’s talk, “Impacts of Human Activities on the Global Nitrogen Cycle Through the 21st Century,” will discuss the efficacy of the Earth’s ecosystems, atmosphere and oceans to globally cycle increased fixed nitrogen from human activity.

Professor David Fowler

Professor Fowler is an environmental physicist with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology based in Edinburgh. He trained in Environmental Physics at the University of Nottingham, obtaining a PhD in 1976 from research on the dry deposition of sulfur dioxide by micrometeorological methods.

His research focuses on the surface – atmosphere exchange processes of trace gases and particulate matter and has been applied to ozone, acid deposition, the global biogeochemical cycle of nitrogen, emissions of greenhouse gases, atmospheric aerosols and effects of pollutants on vegetation.

Fowler’s work has been widely applied in the development of effects-based pollution control strategies in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Europe.

He was awarded an Honorary Professorship at the University of Nottingham in 1991, became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1999, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 2002. In 2005, he was awarded a CBE or Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his research of atmospheric pollution.

The objective of the Weaver Lecture Series is to bring experts in various research areas relevant to forestry and wildlife sciences to the Auburn University campus to enhance the School’s academic programs through public lectures and interaction with faculty and students.

Lectures are open to the public and will take place at the Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Building at Auburn University. A reception will be held prior to each lecture. For details about the Weaver Lecture Series and to review research abstracts, visit the website: http://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/weaver/.



Regions Bank establishes Auburn University endowed professorships in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences

Two professors in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University are the first to receive new endowed professorships established by Regions Financial Corporation. Associate Professor Brian Via is the Regions Professor in Forest Products, and Professor Tom Gallagher is the Regions Professor in Forest Operations, Utilization, Management and Economics. Pictured from left to right are School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Dean Janaki Alavalapati, Professor Tom Gallagher and Associate Professor Brian Via.

Two professors in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University are the first to receive new endowed professorships established by Regions Financial Corporation.

Associate Professor Brian Via is the Regions Professor in Forest Products, and Professor Tom Gallagher is the Regions Professor in Forest Operations, Utilization, Management and Economics.

The recently designated professorships will be awarded every five years to associate or full professors who demonstrate a strong commitment to students and the provision of high quality instruction, research and service.

Both accomplished researchers, Via’s research focuses on forest product development from either bioenergy and/or biobased processes while Gallagher specializes in industrial forestry, timber harvesting and transportation of forest biomass.

As a major owner and manager of forest land in Alabama, Regions has a vested interest in maintaining a robust forest products industry, which contributes more than $15 billion annually to the state’s economy. With the creation of the professorships, Regions has partnered with the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences to ensure that the forest industry continues to be developed through strong research and education programs at Auburn University.

“Staying on the leading edge is important to the thousands of private forest landowners in Alabama,” said Don Heath, Regions senior vice president of natural resources and real estate. “Having an exemplary academic program at Auburn University can help us achieve and maintain that leading edge in forest products development.”

The Regions professorships are designed to strengthen and enhance the university’s programs through the quality of the faculty members’ work and their ability to serve as positive role models for their colleagues and students. They must have a record of distinguished academic or professional work in their field of study in comparison to their colleagues at peer institutions.

“Our faculty are cutting-edge in terms of forestry enterprise and product innovation,” said School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Dean Janaki Alavalapati. “In addition to this important research, our efforts to develop leaders to serve these industries will assure the sustainability and growth of Alabama’s economy, both in timber sales and employment.”



Help the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences purchase a portable sawmill on Tiger Giving Day, Feb 21



Portable Sawmill Provides New Opportunities

Auburn University will once again host Tiger Giving Day, a 24-hour online giving campaign, on Tuesday, February 21.   On this day, 20 schools and units will advertise a project via their networks in hopes it will be funded in 24 hours via social media.  The School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences has chosen to ask for donor support for a portable sawmill that will serve as a hands-on learning laboratory for forestry students. This equipment will cost $12,000 and will satisfy all three of the school’s land-grant missions:


Use of the portable sawmill will teach students about sustainability and environmental factors. Additionally, the students will observe how a professional forester takes down a dead or damaged tree.  By incorporating this machinery into multiple classes, students will also learn and apply the knowledge they have gained regarding wood measurements, growth products, wood quality and how a log can most efficiently be sawed. The portable sawmill will complement the forest harvesting class so that students can better understand textbook principals by gaining hands-on knowledge.



The School’s research program will benefit from the portable sawmill with improvements to production systems and wood utilization, and assessment of properties and processing characteristics which provide scientific data and information required for design and production of high quality wood products made from the timber.


Outreach and Extension

Portable sawmills can be economically beneficial to private landowners who have small volumes of timber which need to be salvaged or harvested.   It provides a less expensive option of forest management relating to thinning timber stands, creating wildlife openings, developing recreation areas and harvesting small areas to improve forest health (eliminating pine beetle).   The end-product from a portable sawmill is quality lumber which can be sold at a profit or used to meet other needs that could supplement or provide an income.



Help us meet our goal! Give to the project and share the campaign online!

To learn more about this year’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Tiger Giving Day project visit https://rise.auburn.edu/project/4697 . Please feel free to share this link with others that you think might be interested in supporting this worthwhile effort. If you have questions, please contact Heather Crozier at 334-844-2791 or vannhea@auburn.edu.




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.



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 sfwsdevelopment@auburn.edu.









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 http://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/students/scholarships-and-financial-aid/sfws-scholarships/.










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