SFWS Research Fellow John Kush inducted to Alabama Foresters’ Hall of Fame

Research Fellow John Kush leads a Forest Fire Management class at the Mary Olive Thomas Demonstration Forest in Auburn where he discusses concerns and potential issues with the prescribed burn area with the students. Photo credit: Chase Seals, SFWS Master’s of Natural Resources graduate.

 

School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Research Fellow John Kush was named the 2017 inductee to the Alabama Foresters’ Hall of Fame at the Southeastern Society of American Foresters Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet held in Miramar Beach, Florida.

As an Alabama resident and forestry graduate, Kush was considered for the Hall of Fame due to his outstanding contributions to forestry in Alabama over the course of his forty-year career.

A native of Illinois, Kush graduated with high honors in 1980 with a BS in Forest Science from the University of Illinois/Urban Champaign and then worked briefly as an urban forester in the city of Park Ridge, IL, a suburb of Chicago.  In 1981, Kush came to Auburn University as a graduate research assistant in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, or SFWS, where he first began to work with southern forest ecosystems.

Upon graduating with his MS in forestry he transitioned to a research associate position within the SFWS where he would eventually become the data collection and analysis team lead for the USDA Forest Service’s Regional Longleaf Pine Growth Study, activities he would continue to oversee for more than 30 years.

Later, after earning his Ph.D. in forest ecology from Auburn in 2002, Kush became a research fellow, where he has continued his work with longleaf pine, fire and other aspects of southern forest management.

Among his many achievements, Kush has published four book chapters, produced over 30 referred journal articles, and provided countless abstracts, presentations and posters.

“Dr. Kush has begun to reach beyond his work with longleaf pine to focus on shortleaf pine and oak systems, and restoration ecology,” noted John McGuire, a former colleague and senior project manager with Westervelt Ecological Services.

Kush is a senior ecologist with the Ecological Society of America, a position which speaks to his desire to bridge the gap between the disparate fields of classic ecology and forestry. “This bridge IS the future of Alabama Forestry and Dr. Kush is leading the charge across it,” said McGuire.

Character, integrity and contributions to the community in which the forester resides are also considered by the organization’s awards sub-committee.

Kush’s work has involved outreach education where he has organized and participated in many landowner and youth field days and workshops such as Ag Discovery Day, Science Olympiad (leaf and tree event organizer), and Escambia Experimental Forest Anniversary field days.

Throughout his career, Kush has invested significant time and energy to cultivating the next generation of foresters. Since he began instructing classes with the SFWS in 2002, Kush has taught Silviculture, Forestry Summer Practicum, Forest Measurements I, Forest Stand Dynamics, Forest Ecology, and Longleaf Pine Ecology, Management, and Restoration. Most recently he has co-led the implementation of the SFWS’ first online professional certification course in Restoration Ecology that will begin enrollment this fall.

Known for his infectious passion and intimate knowledge of Alabama forestry resources, qualities that have endeared him to many students over the years; Kush has been awarded Forestry Teacher of the Year multiple times, including 2012, 2014, and 2015.

Kush was also recently awarded the Auburn University 2017 Spirit of Sustainability Award which recognizes the accomplishments of students, faculty, staff and alumni who “exemplify the Auburn spirit by making significant contributions toward sustainability on campus or in the community.”

To be inducted in the Alabama Foresters’ Hall of Fame, a nominee must receive unanimous approval of the Alabama Foresters’ Hall of Fame Award Sub-committee members.

“For many in my field, Dr. Kush’s name is synonymous with longleaf pine ecology and history will equate Dr. Kush with advancing the silvics of longleaf pine,” said McGuire. “His work has increased our understanding of longleaf pine growth and yield, longleaf pine old-growth dynamics, fire ecology and restoration.”

Inductees’ biographical sketch and portrait are enshrined within the Archives of the Ralph Brown Draughon Library at Auburn University, and engraved with the names of all inductees, by year of induction, within the Alabama Foresters’ Hall of Fame plaque that is permanently displayed at the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences.

“Dr. Kush is the embodiment of the servant leader that will make his name plate shine bright with the others on the Hall of Fame for the Society of American Foresters,” said McGuire.

 

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.

 

 

 

1st National Wild Pig Task Force meets in Florida

Management of invasive wild pigs has been a hot topic in recent years and has arguably become one of the greatest wildlife management challenges facing natural resource professionals.  The damage these animals cause to forestry, agriculture, and natural resources throughout North America has been tremendous and is often measured in billions of dollars of damage each year.  Although many universities, states, and federal agencies have taken steps to resolve damage caused by wild pigs, there hasn’t been any national-level leadership to formalize this effort until now.

Spearheaded by Mark Smith, Mosley Environmental Associate Professor/Extension Specialist, the National Wild Pig Task Force (NWPTF) was established in 2016 to be a technical, scientific, and leadership alliance of federal, tribal, provincial, state and private conservation partners working to control, reduce damage caused by, or in some instances eradicate, free-ranging populations of wild pigs in North America.

The goals of the NWPTF are to provide national leadership and a collective voice for science-based control, damage reduction, and/or eradication of wild pigs, while providing a forum for the exchange of information among the natural resource management field and relevant stakeholder groups. The task force will also serve to identify knowledge gaps in the biology, ecology, and management of wild pigs, address specific resource concerns, policy and management issues, research priorities and outreach needs, and promote and facilitate the applied management of wild pigs to reduce damage.

Smith organized the group’s first biennial meeting in Orange Beach, Alabama in early March where nearly 70 natural resource professionals from across the United States attended.  This meeting provided a venue for participants to learn about the latest effort to control wild pigs from across the country and the latest research developments.  The NWPTF will meet during odd numbered years whereas the group’s flagship research and management meeting, the International Wild Pig Conference, will meet during even numbered years. The next conference will be in Oklahoma City, OK in 2018.

 

 

Adam Maggard joins SFWS as assistant professor and Extension specialist

Adam Maggard joined the faculty as Extension Specialist and assistant professor of forest systems management in January. A Florida native, Maggard earned his undergraduate forestry resources and conversation degree and graduate business degree from the University of Florida and later, a Master’s degree and doctorate degree in Natural Resource Ecology and Management (Forest Resources) from Oklahoma State University in 2011 and 2016. Maggard’s teaching will be focused on the education and promotion of the benefits associated with multi-use management and sustainable forestry practices. He will also lead Extension programs that will focus on the financial and economic aspects of forest management and planning, and optimizing the use of forest resources that will aid in improving the economic well-being of Alabamians.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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:

Teaching

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.

 

Research

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.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

W. Kelly Mosley Environmental Awards Committee meets to recognize Alabama’s natural resources “unsung heroes”

Members of the multi-agency committee include from left to right: Janaki Alavalapati, Dean, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University; Mark Smith, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, Executive Secretary of the W. Kelly Mosley Environmental Awards Program Steering and Selection Committee; Chuck Sykes, Director, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; Gary Cole, Interim State Forester, Alabama Forestry Commission; Gary Lemme, Director, Alabama Cooperative Extension System; Lloyd Walker, Dean, College of Agricultural, Life and Natural Sciences, Alabama A&M University; Paul Patterson, Dean, College of Agriculture, Auburn University; Joseph Tomasso, Director, School of Fisheries, Aquaculture & Aquatic Sciences, Auburn University; Ben Malone, Alabama State Conservationist, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service; William Puckett, Executive Director, Alabama Soil & Water Conservation Committee; and Jim Armstrong, Extension Coordinator, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University.

The Steering and Selection Committee of the W. Kelly Mosley Environmental Awards Program met on October 31, 2016 to evaluate nominations.  Mosley Environmental Awards Program recognizes outstanding volunteer efforts in forestry, wildlife, fisheries, soil, water, air, wildflowers, non-game wildlife, environmental education, conservation, and urban forestry resulting in the wiser use of the natural resources of Alabama.  The fundamental mission of the Mosley Environmental Award is to identify and reward “unsung heroes” who have voluntarily contributed significantly to the wise stewardship of Alabama’s natural resources.  To learn more about the Mosley Environmental Awards Program or to submit a nomination, please visit our website at http://www.aces.edu/natural-resources/mosley/.

Two nominees were selected and will be announced at a later date. Each will receive a $500 cash prize, a certificate of recognition and a framed limited edition painting.

Members of the multi-agency committee are pictured from left to right: Janaki Alavalapati, Dean, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University; Mark Smith, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, Executive Secretary of the W. Kelly Mosley Environmental Awards Program Steering and Selection Committee; Chuck Sykes, Director, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; Gary Cole, Interim State Forester, Alabama Forestry Commission; Gary Lemme, Director, Alabama Cooperative Extension System; Lloyd Walker, Dean, College of Agricultural, Life and Natural Sciences, Alabama A&M University; Paul Patterson, Dean, College of Agriculture, Auburn University; Joseph Tomasso, Director, School of Fisheries, Aquaculture & Aquatic Sciences, Auburn University; Ben Malone, Alabama State Conservationist, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service; William Puckett, Executive Director, Alabama Soil & Water Conservation Committee; and Jim Armstrong, Extension Coordinator, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University.

 

School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Research Team Partners with Deer & Deer Hunting Magazine

Deer & Deer Hunting Magazine cover story, Are Bucks Patterning You? Exclusive Research from Auburn UniversityAuburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences’ Wildlife Professor, Stephen Ditchkoff, has launched a partnership with Deer & Deer Hunting magazine to provide deer enthusiasts with cutting-edge insights on white-tailed deer research, behavior and biology.

The arrangement will require the Deer Lab research team to produce print articles and blog/social media posts, as well as featured television segments for the media group’s three cable programs. The magazine’s Facebook page boasts 633,924 followers. Within their media kit they advertise a readership of 200,000 for the magazine, 250,000 monthly visitors to its website, and 280,000 cumulative viewers of its various TV programs.

The goal of the partnership is to promote SFWS deer research, educate media consumers, and garner attention that will translate to research funding for the “Deer Lab.” States Ditchkoff, “We are very excited to have this opportunity to share our research with D&DH readers. Our hope is that we are able to give them a better understanding of white-tailed deer behavior that will ultimately make them more successful in their hunting and management efforts.”

Founded in 1977, Deer & Deer Hunting was America’s first whitetail-only publication. The TV show is entering its 12th season, and airs on Sportsman Channel.

Learn more at http://www.deeranddeerhunting.com/blogs/ddh-joins-forces-auburn-university-deer-research

 

 

 

 

 

 

602 Duncan Drive | Auburn, Alabama 36849 | 334-844-4000 |
| Privacy | Copyright ©