SFWS students participate in Auburn’s This is Research: Student Symposium

School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences undergraduate and graduate students recently participated in the Auburn’s This is Research: Student Symposium held at the Auburn University Student Center. The event provides a venue for graduate and undergraduate students from Auburn University and Auburn University at Montgomery to present research and creative projects to the broader academic community. Students from all disciplines are invited to present their current and recent academic work, showcasing the diversity of topics, approaches, and interests at Auburn University and reflecting its spirit of excellence.

The following ten students gave oral presentations and fifteen participated in the poster session:

Graduate Student Oral Research Presentations

  • Daniel, Marissa Jo (Maj. Prof. Tom Gallagher) – Utilization of phone app technology to record log truck movements
  • Xu, Yecheng (Maj. Prof., Yaoqi Zhang and Mathew Smidt) – New mobility to sustainability: Herder and animal husbandry
  • Devkota, Pratima  (Maj. Prof. Lori Eckhardt) – Induced systemic resistance of Pinus taeda  to Leptographium terebrantis and
    Grosmannia huntii  by plant growth- promoting rhizobacteria
  • Cole, Andrea (Prof. Lori Eckhardt) – Competitiveness of Amylostereum spp. fungi against Leptographium spp. fungi
  • Haines, Angelina (G) – Factors influencing fire ant prevalence and nest predation on grassland birds in a fire-mediated ecosystem
  • Sharma Dangal, Shree Ram (G) – Global impacts of grazing on vegetation and soil organic carbon during 1901-2010: A process-based modelling study
  • Lewis, Alexandra (G) – Beavers are engineers; trees are not: The dam truth

Undergraduate Student Oral Research Presentations

  • Lambert, Shannon (Advisor, Amy Silvano) –  Evaluation of scents for baiting wild pigs
  • Broadhead, Jordan  (Advisor, Sarah Zohdy) – Does community conservation improve human and wildlife health?
  • Rankins, Seth  (Advisor, Steve Ditchkoff) – High prevalence of Anaplasma platys infection in Alabama white -tailed deer

Graduate Student Poster Presentations

  • Iglesias, Maria (G) – Residual lignin and its effect on the rheological properties cellulose nanofibrils suspensions
  • Tormanen, Aaron (G) – A cost-effective method for canine heartworm surveillance
  • Xu, Rongting (G) – Global ammonia emissions from synthetic nitrogen fertilizer applications in agricultural systems: empirical and process-based estimates and uncertainty
  • Daniel, Marissa Jo (G) – Utilization of Phone App Technology to Record Log Truck Movements
  • Zikeli, Shelby (G) – A methods comparison of ectoparasite quantification in white tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
  • Sanchez Diaz, Simon (G) – Morphological study of the electrospinning process parameters overthe structure of silk fibroin nonwoven performed at low concentrated solutions
  • Gonnerman, Matthew (G) – Estimating occupancy, density, and productivity of eastern wild turkeys in Alabama
  • Mensah, John (G) – Effect of Leptographium terrebrantis on tree physiology and growth of loblolly pine
  • Zenas, Stephen  (G) – Factors influencing survival and capture-related morality of Eastern wild turkeys in Alabama
  • Duwadi, Sharijana  (G) – Study of soil microbial biomass and soil moisture in loblolly pine stand

Undergraduate Student Poster Presentations

  • Finney, Micaela (UG) – Feeding preferences of malaria vectors in Madagascar
  • Kallenberg, Marie Christine (UG) – Change in the lipid transport capacity of the liver and blood during reproduction in rats
  • Long, Brandon (UG) – A shell of a good time: quantifying box turtle detection probability in an urban landscape
  • Miller, Madison (UG) – Assessing the economic costs of managing invasive species across the United States
  • Baxter, Tyler (UG) – Evaluating the effectiveness of prescribed fire to restore longleaf-slash pine ecosystems


Please use this link to review the entire program schedule:







Forestry Camp registration has opened for grades 9-12

Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) and Auburn School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences (SFWS) are offering Forestry Field Camp this June! Alabama has a wealth of forest related natural resources. It is the third most forested US state – two out of every three acres in Alabama is forested! This hands-on camp will give students an opportunity to get outdoors and learn about forestry in Alabama and the importance of forestry field measurements in making forest management decisions.

Taught by ACES and SFWS forestry professionals, Forestry Camp is open to high school students ages 15-18. Students will learn how to take forest tree measurements, sample forests for inventory information and use a professional grade GPS for a geocaching adventure around Auburn’s campus. Camp will conclude with a fun forestry conclave activity where students have the opportunity to compete in technical events such as compass and pacing, and tree diameter and height estimation to showcase their newly acquired skills.

Students will experience an amazing campus-life in this one week program full of evening social and recreational activities. Camp participants will have 24/7 counselor supervision.

This camp is intended for rising 9th – 12th grade students.

Camp will be held June 25-30. Registration may be completed via the Auburn Youth Programs website. If at any time during the registration process, you run into a problem or have a question, please call the registration office at (334) 844 – 5100 or e-mail us at auyouth@auburn.edu. The office is open Monday through Friday from 7:45am to 4:45pm CST.




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.




School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences hosting 2017 spring seminar series

Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences is hosting a spring seminar series throughout the semester. Topics range from the use of unmanned aircraft in agriculture to genetics of wildlife populations in Idaho. Seminars are held from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences building. Complimentary coffee and cookies will be served. The seminar series dates, speakers and topics are listed below.

  • Feb. 8 – David Jackhowski from Clemson University’s wildlife ecology in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Convservation will speak on “Animal reintroduction in the Anthropocene: Opportunities, Challenges and Future Decisions” in 1101 School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences building.
  • Feb. 15 – Christian Brodbeck from Auburn University’s biosystems engineering will speak on “Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Applications in Agriculture and Forestry” in 1221 School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences building.
  • Feb. 22 – Laurene Tetard from the University of Central Florida’s NanoScience Technology Center will speak on “Exploring polymers and interactions in lignocellulosic-based Cellulose Nanocrystals” in 1101 School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences building.
  • March 8 – Luciana Lucia from North Carolina State University Department of Biomaterials will speak on “Long-range Topochemical Polymerization Order Observed on Cellulose Nanocrystals” in 1101 School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences building.
  • March 22 – Eric Kuehler from Forest Service, Southern Research Station in Athens, Georgia will speak on “How Trees and Urban Forest Systems Affect Stormwater Runoff” in 1101 School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences building.
  • March 29 – David Steen from Auburn University’s Department of Biological Sciences will speak on “Communicating Wildlife Science Online: My Greatest Hits” in 1101 School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences building.
  • April 5 – Dave Koons from Utah State University’s Department of Wildland Resources and the Ecology Center will speak on “Bayesian Benefits for Wildlife Management” in 1101 School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences building.
  • April 12 – Marty Luckert, from the University of Alberta’s forest and natural resource, economics and policy in the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology will speak on “Brilliance without choices and choices without brilliance; Development and adaptation” in 1101 School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences building.
  • April 14 – Lisette Waits from University of Idaho’s Department of Fish and Wildlife Sciences will speak on “Genetic monitoring of wildlife populations: case studies from endangered carnivores, ungulates and lagomorphs” in 1101 School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences building.

For more information, contact Brian Via at bkv0003@auburn.edu.

CFEs or continuing forestry education credits are available upon request.

Kreher Preserve and Nature Center 5K Trail Run, Tot Trot, and Sunday Stroll

Come explore the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences’ Kreher Preserve & Nature Center’s beautiful forested trails on this carefully measured, well- marked 5K course on Sunday, March 26.

The 5K trail run starts at 2:30 p.m. and the Sunday Stroll begins at 3:00 p.m. Parents and children will start the Tot Trot course at 3:30 p.m. Race day registration begins at 1:00 p.m.

5K Awards: Top 3 male and female; 1st and 2nd in 10 year groups; 1st Master male and female. Tot Trot Awards: All finishers receive a finisher’s ribbon.

Registration fees vary and include t-shirt, snacks and door prizes. Pre-registration is $20 per runner, $15 for strollers, and $10 for tots. Race day registration is $25 per runner. Same fees apply for tots and strollers. Proceeds benefit the nature center’s operations and environmental education programs.

Register online auburn.edu/preserve. Race held at the Kreher Preserve & Nature Center located at 2222 N. College Street, Auburn, Al.



ForestHER workshop scheduled on March 6 and 7 in Coffee County, Alabama

What is ForestHer? This hands-on workshop will help women learn about forests and forest resource management in a relaxed, fun setting. Learn to read maps and measure and market timber and nontimber forest products, including wildlife.

When? 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday, March 6, and 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 7.

Who can attend? Women who love nature and learning about the natural world. You don’t have to own a lot of land. If you have even one acre, this workshop is for you!

Where? Coffee County Extension Office, 1055 E. McKinnon Street, New Brockton, AL 36351

What is the cost? The $70 fee includes a workbook to keep; breaks, lunch, and dinner on day one; and breaks and lunch on day two. Seating is limited, so preregistration is required.

For more information:  To register by phone, contact Becky Barlow at 334-844-1019 or email rjb0003@aces.edu. To register online, go to http://www.aces.edu/go/698. A flyer is available to download and share.



ForestHER – On FIRE! to be held March 13 and 14 in Auburn

What is ForestHer – On FIRE? It is a hands-on workshop that focuses on teaching women landowners about Alabama’s historic fire regime and how it can be used as an effective land management tool. Come dressed and ready to go to the woods! Most of day one you will be indoors learning about fire behavior, safety, and management techniques. The remaining portion of the class will be spent in the woods applying what you have learned in the classroom. Weather permitting, students will see a prescribed fire.

When? 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday, March 13, and 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 14.

Who can attend? Women who love nature and learning about the natural world. You don’t have to own a lot of land. If you have even one acre, this workshop is for you!

Where? Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences

What is the cost? The $80 fee includes a workbook to keep; breaks, lunch, and dinner on day one; and breaks and lunch on day two. Seating is limited, so preregistration is required.

For more information:  To register by phone, contact Becky Barlow at 334-844-1019 or email rjb0003@aces.edu. To register online, go to http://www.aces.edu/go/699. A flyer is available to download and share.



Dixon Legend 5k and 10k trail run and half-marathon scheduled for March 4

Race winners gather to celebrate during the inaugural race held in 2016.

AUBURN, Ala. – The Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences’ will host its second annual 5K, 10K, and half-marathon race on Saturday, March 4, at the Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center located in Andalusia, AL.

The Dixon Legend provides a unique “off-road” opportunity to explore the diverse forests of the Dixon Center’s 5,000+ acres. The race will offer a challenge for all fitness levels as they traverse the property’s network of dirt roads and trails through upland hardwood forests, across stream bottoms, and through the rolling hills of the Center’s Longleaf Pine ecosystems.

Trail runs or off-road races have become increasingly popular in recent years. There are only a handful offered in the state and this race is one of the more scenic. “The Dixon Legend is a unique opportunity, truly one of its kind with the course set entirely on the beautiful trails and unimproved roads of the Dixon Center,” noted Robin Kelley, race organizer. “It’s truly a win-win for these racers and the Center.”

The property, which is adjacent to the Conecuh River and National Forest, was deeded by Solon and Martha Dixon to the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences 35 years ago. Today, the Dixon Center is considered one of the finest educational facilities of its type in the nation. The Center functions as a program venue and outdoor classroom for a variety of user groups, including students, practitioners, and land owners. Other groups visit the Center simply to learn about and enjoy nature.

Historically the Dixon Center has depended on timber sales, agricultural and hunting leases to supplement its operating budget. “To be fully self-sustaining, we are encouraging other groups to use the facility,” stated the Center’s Director, Joel Martin. “This race will introduce the Dixon Center to a different set of outdoor enthusiasts, and hopefully, they’ll return to host their own event.”

The race is open to runners 10 and over. Race details and online registration are available via the Dixon Center website. Registrations received prior to February 17, 2017 will receive a race T-shirt. First place finishers in each race will be awarded for male/female overall winners and specified age classes. Completion medals will be awarded for the half marathon only.

Email Joel Martin at mmarti12@auburn.edu or call 334-222-7779 for more information or to inquire about becoming a sponsor. The race will be held at the Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center located at 12130 Dixon Center Road, Andalusia, Alabama 36420.

A limited number of dorm-style rooms are available for reservation at the Dixon Center. However, alternative accommodations can be found within the nearby communities of Brewton and Andalusia. Visit Explore Brewton or the Andalusia Chamber of Commerce to learn more.

The Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center is operated by the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, the flagship for forestry and wildlife, and natural resources programs in Alabama and beyond. With world-class faculty and state-of-the-art facilities, the school offers a range of academic and research programs within the areas of forestry, wildlife, natural resource management, geospatial and environmental informatics, and sustainable biomaterials and packaging.

2nd annual Career Fair a success for students and employers



The fall 2016 School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Career Fair, held on Nov. 30, hosted nearly 50 employers from 20 U.S.-based businesses and organizations. During the day long career fair, SFWS current and prospective students took the opportunity to network with company reps and participate in interviews with several groups. Also participating in the career fair were middle and high school students from Munford, Alabama, who came to learn about forestry, wildlife and natural resources management careers.







Thank you to all who made the day a success for our students, including:

Alabama Cooperative Extension System
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Alabama Forestry Commission
ArborMetrics Solutions
Bartlett Tree Experts
Choctaw Land & Timber
IndusTREE Timber
International Paper
Larson & McGowin, LLC
Louisiana-Pacific Corporation
Regions Bank
The Westervelt Company
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Bloomington, MN)
U.S. Forest Service
West Fraser



Auburn University celebrates National Forest Products Week, Oct. 16 – 22


ForestryIconWorking Forests, Forest Products Vital to Alabama’s Economy, Rural Jobs, Environment

There’s no better time than National Forest Products Week to recognize our private working forests and forest products industry in Alabama as part of the American success story.  More than 94 percent of the 23.0 million acres of Alabama’s timberland is privately owned. These working forests improve the quality of our lives and are the cultural and economic foundation in rural communities throughout our state, providing wood for thousands of products that make our lives comfortable, secure and beautiful. They contribute to more than 42,000 jobs and a $14.8 billion boost to our state’s economy, plus they help clean our air and drinking water, and provide fish and wildlife habitat, outdoor recreational opportunities, and provide the products that can lessen the environmental burdens associated with the building sector.

But our forests don’t take care of themselves. These forests are planted and replanted to produce the raw materials for products we use every day—and, increasingly, as a source of energy. Because forest owners make long-term commitments to managing their foress sustainably and are careful each year to harvest only a small portion of the trees they grow to maintain an abundance of trees, the volume of growing trees in the U.S. has grown by 50 percent since the 1950s. Today, those trees help to offset 13 percent of total CO2 emissions annually. Specifically, in the state of Alabama, the annual growth typically exceeds harvest by 5% making Alabama competitive on a global scale.

More attention is being paid than ever before to how buildings impact the environment, including the choices of materials used in construction. Wood is the perfect green building material because it is renewable, stores carbon that reduces greenhouse gases, and is energy efficient.

Wood products continue to store the carbon absorbed by the trees during their growth cycle, keeping it out of the atmosphere indefinitely. Using wood in place of fossil fuel-intensive materials also “avoids” greenhouse gases that would have been emitted during manufacturing. Now, it is possible to quantify these benefits for wood buildings through third-party verified Environmental Product Declarations, which provide critical information including product composition, life-cycle environmental impacts, water and energy usage, and more.

Our forests are thriving in Alabama and around the country because the more wood we use, the more trees we grow. But the growth of our forests is contingent on strong markets for forest products—thousands of them from the framing of our homes, paper we use in communications, packaging for our goods, and tissue products for our hygiene, along with many others such as even the screens on our cell phones. With strong markets for wood products, forest owners re-invest the money from harvesting trees to planting more trees and keeping their forests healthy while protecting them from fire, insects and disease.

Alabama makes a valuable contribution to the nation-wide forest product industry. As a whole, these companies account for approximately 4 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, and manufacture over $200 billion in products annually. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $50 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 47 states.

A healthy and vital forestry economy is essential to Alabama and the nation. We should expect federal policy to support an industry that helps our economy and our environment.

More information about Alabama’s working forests and the forestry industry, is available within the Alabama Forestry Commission 2015 Forest Resource Report, found at http://forestry.alabama.gov/PDFs/alabamaForestResourceReport.pdf

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