School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences http://wp.auburn.edu/sfws Official SFWS Website Fri, 11 Jul 2014 16:42:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Lee Co. Campaign regional reception held May 29http://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/lee-co-campaign-regional-reception-held-may-29/ http://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/lee-co-campaign-regional-reception-held-may-29/#respond Fri, 11 Jul 2014 16:42:36 +0000 http://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/?p=2368 The first regional reception to help kick off the Auburn University capital campaign was held May 29, 2014 at Water Oak Manor in Auburn, Ala. SFWS student ambassador Kelsey McVey provided this summary of the evening’s speakers:   The first speaker was Associate Professor and Extension Specialist Mark Smith, who discussed the damage that wild […]

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The first regional reception to help kick off the Auburn University capital campaign was held May 29, 2014 at Water Oak Manor in Auburn, Ala. SFWS student ambassador Kelsey McVey provided this summary of the evening’s speakers:

 

The first speaker was Associate Professor and Extension Specialist Mark Smith, who discussed the damage that wild hogs are causing to the ecosystem and local economy, as well as where they came from, where they’re spreading to, and what studies are being conducted by the university to help contain or eliminate the threat they pose. Recent research has focused on vaccination, chemical castration, and trapping as management techniques.

 

The second speaker was SFWS alumnus  and Campaign Committee Chair Marc Walley, who focused on the timber industry. He discussed how the timber industry has usually fluctuates along with the US economy- if the US or even just the region is in a recession, so will the local timber industry. He used the example of how housing construction, with its demand for timber, gets stronger or weaker in conjunction with the economy.

 

Interim Dean Graeme Lockaby also addressed the audience with an update on the School.

Thank you to Kelsey McVey, for the synopsis.

 

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Researchers receive grant to study black bears in Alabamahttp://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/researchers-receive-grant-to-study-black-bears-in-alabama/ http://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/researchers-receive-grant-to-study-black-bears-in-alabama/#respond Thu, 03 Jul 2014 15:08:38 +0000 http://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/?p=2362   Three faculty members working in Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences have received a $529,000 grant from the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to study black bear populations in Alabama. The four-year project, led by associate professors Todd Steury, Wayde Morse, and Mark […]

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Three faculty members working in Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences have received a $529,000 grant from the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to study black bear populations in Alabama. The four-year project, led by associate professors Todd Steury, Wayde Morse, and Mark Smith, will study the known black bear population in the Mobile River Basin area as well as a recently established, second population in northeast Alabama. The project has three main components: to collect DNA and behavior information from as much of the Alabama bear populations as possible; to assess public perceptions about bears and bear management; and to generate outreach materials to educate the public about living with bears.

 

The project, an extension of a pilot project completed in 2014, will use hair snares to sample for black bears in the study sites during the fall months, when bears are typically more active in their search for food before hibernation. In addition, the team will be working with the Birmingham Zoo to trap up to 20 bears and fit them with radio collars. This will allow the team not only to gather data about the health of individual bears, but to learn more about bear movements and their relative use of different habitat types. During this time, the project will survey the public in both regions about their attitudes towards bears and bear management. The information gain from such surveys is vital to generating wildlife management plans that will work for the surrounding communities. The results of this survey will be extended to outreach materials to help educate the public about living alongside bears.

 

“Biodiversity loss is one of the greatest current threats to the environment,” says Steury, “and also has varied consequences for human well-being.” Large carnivores like black bears are particularly important because of the many biological, political, social, and economic roles they can play. For instance, because they are larger they can often be more sensitive to habitat loss and can serve as a warning sign for habitat threats to other species. Their loss can often mean cascading effects through the ecosystem, and protecting them can also protect smaller species. They are also quick to generate public interest.

 

“Knowing exactly how many individual black bears exist in the core of population is critical to understanding how great the risk of elimination is in that population and how to manage that risk,” Steury says. “In addition, knowing how many individual black bears exist in northeast Alabama, and whether they are settled in the area or transient will help to determine if bears have repatriated that portion of the state. This will be crucial for planning how to manage bears in northeast Alabama.”

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Lockaby named interim dean of Auburn’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Scienceshttp://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/lockaby-named-interim-dean-of-auburns-school-of-forestry-and-wildlife-sciences/ http://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/lockaby-named-interim-dean-of-auburns-school-of-forestry-and-wildlife-sciences/#respond Wed, 11 Jun 2014 14:10:39 +0000 http://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/?p=2342     AUBURN – Graeme Lockaby, associate dean of research in Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, has been named interim dean of the School, announced today by Provost Timothy Boosinger.   “Dr. Lockaby will provide excellent leadership for the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences,” Boosinger said. “He has been at Auburn […]

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AUBURN – Graeme Lockaby, associate dean of research in Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, has been named interim dean of the School, announced today by Provost Timothy Boosinger.

 

“Dr. Lockaby will provide excellent leadership for the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences,” Boosinger said. “He has been at Auburn for 28 years and is a nationally respected authority for his work in forest sustainability.”

 

A national search will begin in July for a permanent dean. Lockaby succeeds Jim Shepard, who is returning to the faculty fulltime as a professor.

 

“We have  outstanding faculty, staff, and  students and I look forward to working with them to enhance their research, education, and outreach experiences,” Lockaby said. “Collaboration with alumni, federal and state colleagues, industry, forestry, wildlife, and natural resource associations, and other stakeholder groups is also very important to the success of our School and completion of our three missions.

 

Lockaby, who has worked at Auburn University since 1986, is director of the school’s Center for Forest Sustainability and serves as the Clinton McClure Professor of Forestry. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in forestry at Clemson University and his doctorate in agronomy at Mississippi State University. His research focuses on wetland biogeochemistry.

 

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Auburn Climate Change Research featured by US Global Change Research Programhttp://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/auburn-climate-change-research-featured-by-us-global-change-research-program/ http://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/auburn-climate-change-research-featured-by-us-global-change-research-program/#respond Thu, 29 May 2014 16:21:01 +0000 http://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/?p=2314   A newly published paper by Dr. Hanqin Tian, director of International Center for Climate and Global Change Research at Auburn University, has been featured on the website of the North American Carbon Program, a core element of the U.S. Global Change Research Program. The paper represents the first estimation of the overall global warming […]

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A newly published paper by Dr. Hanqin Tian, director of International Center for Climate and Global Change Research at Auburn University, has been featured on the website of the North American Carbon Program, a core element of the U.S. Global Change Research Program. The paper represents the first estimation of the overall global warming potential of all three major greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide) in North American terrestrial ecosystems. The Auburn University researchers, Dr. Hanqin Tian, Dr. Chaoqun Lu, Dr. Susan Pan, and Dr. Wei Ren, teamed up with scientists from Harvard University, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Northern Arizona University to implement this pioneer work.

 

The team found that the emissions of methane and nitrous oxide offset about 73% of the land carbon dioxide sink in the North American continent, and the offset rates varied widely among countries (57% in the US, 83% in Canada, and 329% in Mexico). The research further indicates that terrestrial ecosystems in North American might act as a significant contributor to global warming in extreme drought. The highest positive GWP was generally located in wetland areas (due to high methane emissions) and tropical forests of eastern Mexico (due to high carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions). Positive GWPs were found in Alaska, Nevada, Florida, Louisiana, and most states in Mexico, indicating these zones were potential contributors to global warming.

 

Visit the North American Carbon Program website for a detailed synopsis, including a summary of the new science and significance of the research: http://www.nacarbon.org/nacp/documents/WWRMay2014Tian.pdf .

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MeadWestvaco pledges $5000 annual scholarship to SFWShttp://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/meadwestvaco-pledges-5000-annual-scholarship-to-sfws/ http://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/meadwestvaco-pledges-5000-annual-scholarship-to-sfws/#respond Wed, 28 May 2014 20:41:51 +0000 http://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/?p=2308   MeadWestvaco has established an annual scholarship in Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences for one student majoring in forestry or forest engineering. The MeadWestvaco Scholarship will award worth $5,000 per year to a junior or senior each year with a minimum GPA of 3.0, with preference given to students from the following […]

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MeadWestvaco has established an annual scholarship in Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences for one student majoring in forestry or forest engineering. The MeadWestvaco Scholarship will award worth $5,000 per year to a junior or senior each year with a minimum GPA of 3.0, with preference given to students from the following counties in Alabama: Russell, Lee, Chambers, Macon, Bullock, Barbour, Pike, Montgomery, Coffee, Dale, Henry, Houston, and Geneva.

“This partnership with MeadWestvaco is invaluable and will certainly help us attract and retain outstanding students majoring in forest engineering or forestry,” said Heather Crozier, Director of Development at the SFWS.

The scholarship is the first partnership between the School and Meadwestvaco.

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Doctoral student receives Alabama Forests Forever Foundation Granthttp://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/doctoral-student-receives-alabama-forests-forever-foundation-grant/ http://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/doctoral-student-receives-alabama-forests-forever-foundation-grant/#respond Wed, 28 May 2014 15:08:32 +0000 http://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/?p=2304   Emily Stutzman Jones, a doctoral student working with Dr. Becky Barlow, received a grant for $8,043 to help fund her research project on Agroforestry in Alabama. The project aims to promote silvopasture – integrating the production of timber, forage, and livestock on a single site – as a way to improve profit potential for […]

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Emily Stutzman Jones, a doctoral student working with Dr. Becky Barlow, received a grant for $8,043 to help fund her research project on Agroforestry in Alabama. The project aims to promote silvopasture – integrating the production of timber, forage, and livestock on a single site – as a way to improve profit potential for landowners and while providing several environmental benefits.

 

The project has both information gathering and educational components and is designed to work with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System to benefit Alabama landowners. The first phase of the project involves surveying landowners as well as professionals who advise them – extension agents and consultants, for example.  The surveys will aim to gain insight about what works for successful silvopasture sites and what barriers to implementation exist among landowners and natural resource professionals.  

 

The results from these surveys will be used to develop outreach information and publications that will be disseminated to help landowners make informed decisions about silvopasture. In addition, Jones will hold a workshop for natural resource professionals to enhance their capacity to advise landowners about agroforestry and its benefits to landowners and the environment.

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Annual Youth Hunthttp://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/annual-youth-hunt/ http://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/annual-youth-hunt/#respond Tue, 27 May 2014 13:34:39 +0000 http://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/?p=2286 by Catherine Vinson, senior in Wildlife Ecology & Management On February 1st, Wildlife, Forestry, and Natural Resources students came together to volunteer at the Barbour County WMA Annual Youth Hunt that is held the first weekend in February each year. This hunt is one of the largest youth hunts in the nation and has an […]

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by Catherine Vinson, senior in Wildlife Ecology & Management

On February 1st, Wildlife, Forestry, and Natural Resources students came together to volunteer at the Barbour County WMA Annual Youth Hunt that is held the first weekend in February each year. This hunt is one of the largest youth hunts in the nation and has an average of 300 kids involved each year. It has been run for the past 16 years with volunteers from the Eufaula Lions Club, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Barbour County Coon Hunters Association.

 

Children ages 8-15 were able to come out and learn many different things such as archery, slingshot, wilderness survival, and how to shoot skeet. As the day progressed, kids were able to go out and watch dogs hunt for rabbits and coons and were even able to go on a squirrel hunt of their own. The students of SFWS were able to interact with the kids and help run the different stations alongside many different game wardens of Alabama.

 

Personally, as a student who had never been exposed to hunting or shooting until arriving at Auburn, I thought it was amazing to see so many young kids and their parents getting involved with the outdoors and I was honored to be able to be there to witness it. I think it is safe to say that I learned far more from the children at this event than I taught them.

 

For photos of the hunt visit the Wildlife Society’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.658994270825162.1073741835.123315697726358&type=3

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AU climate research team contributes to new National Climate Assessmenthttp://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/au-climate-research-team-contributes-to-new-national-climate-assessment/ http://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/au-climate-research-team-contributes-to-new-national-climate-assessment/#respond Fri, 23 May 2014 17:04:48 +0000 http://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/?p=2282   The AU climate research team in the International Center for Climate and Global Change Research and School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences contributed a research paper to the Third US National Climate Assessment (NCA), which was just released by the Obama administration in this month. The team, consisting of Alumni and Solon Dixon professor […]

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The AU climate research team in the International Center for Climate and Global Change Research and School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences contributed a research paper to the Third US National Climate Assessment (NCA), which was just released by the Obama administration in this month. The team, consisting of Alumni and Solon Dixon professor Dr. Hanqin Tian and researchers Dr. Susan (Shufen) Pan, Dr. Chaoqun Lu, and Dr. Bo Tao, has been recognized individually by the White House’s Executive Office of the President, Office of Science and Technology Policy for their contribution to the NCA. The NCA is a United States government interagency ongoing effort on climate change science conducted under the auspices of the Global Change Research Act of 1990. Dr. Tian and Dr. Pan also contributed to the First National Climate Assessment, which was published in 2000.

 

The Auburn team focused on biogenic methane and nitrous oxide emissions, two naturally occurring greenhouse gases that contribute to climate warming. The team found that these ecosystem greenhouse gas emissions have risen significantly in the past thirty years and currently are high enough to offset half to one and a half times the carbon sequestration in North America. Though the gases are naturally occurring, human actions can alter the emission rates through things like overuse of nitrogen based fertilizers. Furthermore, the gases are released at higher rates from soil as warmer temperatures occur. The paper concludes that biogenic emissions of methane and nitrous oxide from the North American terrestrial ecosystems are likely to continue raising the concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases in the future, which essentially warms the climate and changes precipitation patterns.

 

According to governmental websites, this NCA confirms that climate change is affecting Americans in every region of the United States and key sectors of the national economy. The report, a component of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, is described as the most comprehensive and authoritative scientific report ever generated about both climate changes that are happening now in the United States and further changes that we can expect to see throughout this century. One of its key aims is to help translate scientific insights into practical, usable knowledge that can help decision-makers and citizens anticipate and prepare for specific climate-change impacts.
The full report can be viewed at: http://nca2014.globalchange.gov .

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Forest Health Dynamics Laboratory Designated NSF Centerhttp://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/forest-health-dynamics-laboratory-designated-nsf-center/ http://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/forest-health-dynamics-laboratory-designated-nsf-center/#respond Wed, 14 May 2014 21:24:47 +0000 http://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/?p=2239   The Forest Health Dynamics Laboratory at Auburn’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences has been designated an official research center of the National Science Foundation, as part of the Center for Advanced Forestry Systems (CAFS). This designation, the result of a rigorous two and a half year selection process, comes with a $300,000 grant […]

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The Forest Health Dynamics Laboratory at Auburn’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences has been designated an official research center of the National Science Foundation, as part of the Center for Advanced Forestry Systems (CAFS). This designation, the result of a rigorous two and a half year selection process, comes with a $300,000 grant and five year membership, which can be extended twice in additional five-year increments.

 

The Forest Health Dynamics Laboratory, led by faculty members Scott Enebak and Lori Eckhardt, joins existing centers to become the tenth site for the Center for Advanced Forestry Studies. According to Enebak, the Auburn site is the only site that addresses forest health in the region. The designation brings other advantages, such as increased opportunities for collaboration across research sites, and the chance to propose projects to industry leaders for additional funding.

 

The nature of CAFS, with its close ties to industry leaders to help drive applied research to solve pressing problems, is a natural fit for the Auburn site, which already works closely with industry through the Southern Forest Nursery Management Cooperative and the Forest Health Cooperative.

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Forestry Cooperatives Receive $218,000 Granthttp://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/forestry-cooperatives-receive-218000-grant/ http://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/forestry-cooperatives-receive-218000-grant/#respond Wed, 14 May 2014 21:24:03 +0000 http://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/?p=2237   The Southern Forest Nursery Management Cooperative and Forest Health Cooperative, research cooperatives in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, have received a $218,000 grant from the US Forest Service to improve screening for Fusarium circinatum, a fungus that is threatening conifer forest ecosystems globally. The grant will fund development of a new testing […]

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The Southern Forest Nursery Management Cooperative and Forest Health Cooperative, research cooperatives in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, have received a $218,000 grant from the US Forest Service to improve screening for Fusarium circinatum, a fungus that is threatening conifer forest ecosystems globally. The grant will fund development of a new testing protocol with PCR (polymerase chain reaction), using species-specific genetic markers for the fungus that causes Pitch Canker. The current screening method takes weeks and is unreliable, so the fungus is still being spread globally in infected seed and seedlings. Once in place and approved by the International Seed Testing Association, the new method could make Auburn the central source for testing pine seedlings for pitch canker. The project is in cooperation with the University of Florida at Gainesville, where the genome of the pitch canker was initially sequenced.

 

The grant has funded a postdoctoral fellow, Ryan Nadel, who will be developing the new testing protocol, making it as accurate as possible, and perfecting a system that can be used commercially. One of the big questions he has to settle is the testing threshold, or exactly how much seed or plant material is needed for an accurate test. Scott Enebak, director of the Southern Forest Nursery Management Cooperative, says that they hope to have a testing system ready and changes in place to the International Seed Testing Association’s rules by the end of three years.

 

This project highlights the unique benefits of the two research cooperatives here at the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. Building on a collaborative relationship with the University of Florida, this grant will allow the cooperatives to extend the research and then apply it directly in a commercial setting to benefit their members in industry.

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