2nd Annual Spring Fling to be Held April 18


AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences will host its 2nd Annual Spring Fling on Friday, April 18, 2014 at legendary coach Pat Dye’s Crooked Oaks Farm and Quail Hollow Gardens in Notasulga, Ala. Net proceeds from this fundraising gala will fund scholarships, program support and educational initiatives in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences.

Events, beginning at 5 p.m., include an archery exhibition; live and silent auctions; demonstrations from the Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve, Birds of a Feather and the Southeastern Raptor Center; special appearances; and dinner and dancing, with live music provided by Kidd Blue. Dinner will be provided by Conecuh Sausage and the Organized Seafood Association of Alabama. Individual tickets for Friday night’s events are $100 each and can be purchased at www.auburn.edu/springfling, at the door or by calling (334) 844-2791. Sponsorship packages are also available.

For more information regarding tickets, sponsorship levels, how to become a vendor or to donate to the auctions, please contact Heather Crozier, Director of Development for Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, at (334) 844-2791 or at vannhea@auburn.edu. Also, you can contact the school on Facebook for photos, news and updates about sponsors and vendors at http://www.facebook.com/SpringFlingOutdoorExpo .


Contact Information: Heather Crozier, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Director of Development, (334) 844-2791, vannhea@auburn.edu

Chen to give Weaver Lecture

Jiquan Chen, Distinguished University Professor at the University of Toledo, will give the Weaver Lecture, titled “Harmonizing Humans and Nature for the Changing Globe,” on Thursday, March 27, 204, at 3:00 pm. The lecture will be held in room 1101 of the Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Building, preceded by a reception at 2:30 pm.


Chen’s lecture will focus on the complex interactions between natural and human systems, and how they affect ecosystem services. Using examples and lessons from the Mongolian plateau, life cycle analysis of solar energy, and the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, he will discuss the challenges to world ecosystems presented by things like escalating global climate change, war or urban and agricultural expansion, and potential solutions in the context of the Coupled Human and Nature (CHN) context.


The School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences’ Weaver Lecture Series was established in May of 1996 through an endowment provided by Earl H. and Sandra H. Weaver. The objective of the Series is to bring individuals with expertise in various aspects of 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.


For more information about Chen and an abstract of his lecture, visit the website: http://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/weaver/


Auburn Holds Forestry Judging Clinics

Students from all over the state were on campus recently for the FFA judging clinics. A portion of those joined SFWS faculty for training in basic forestry skills. John Kush explains more in this video, produced by radio/tv/film student Jelani Moore.


Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve to Hold Ribbon Cutting for new Fire Circle

Fire ring at Kreher Nature Preserve


On Wednesday, March 19th at 3:00 p.m., a ribbon cutting will be held for the new fire circle at the Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve. Representatives from Auburn University’s School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences, the City of Auburn and the Auburn Chamber of Commerce will join staff for the “ribbon cutting” and inaugural lighting.


The fire circle includes an attractive seating area comprised of large scale boulders and a professionally designed and constructed stone-built fire ring with improved ground cover for safety. Located near the amphitheater, the fire circle was built as an amenity to improve the visitor experience during outdoor programs in the colder months.


The fire circle was completed with the help of in-kind donations from several local businesses and individuals, including Creative Habitats, The Backyard, M&M Trucking, and Mr. Charles Cary Pick.


“Creative Habitats is always excited to have an opportunity to support what we are passionate about – education and the preservation of nature. We are thankful for the opportunity to help the preserve,” said Corey O’Steen, owner of Creative Habitats, which provided coordination and design services for the fire circle.


Sharon Tatum, development coordinator at the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, coordinated the in-kind donations. “We are so grateful these local businesses were able to work together to improve this wonderful resource for the enjoyment of our community.”


The fire circle will be a central part of the upcoming “S’more Fun with Mom” on May 9, which is co-sponsored with the City of Auburn and is Auburn’s first mother/son special event. Registration for this event will open on March 31.


The Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve, a community outreach program of Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, was established in 1993 by a gift of land from Louise Kreher Turner and Frank Allen Turner. The 120-acre property features five miles of hiking trails, amphitheater, pavilion and nature playground. The preserve offers ample parking, restrooms and drinking fountains and is open to the public daily at no charge from sunrise to sunset.


In addition to charitable monetary contributions, the Auburn University Foundation receives gifts-in-kind such as these on the university’s behalf. For more information about making donations of this nature to benefit Auburn University or one of its specific programs, contact Auburn’s Office Development at (334) 844-7375, or visit www.develop.auburn.edu/how to learn more about the various ways of supporting Auburn University with a charitable, tax-deductible donation.


For more information about the Forest Ecology Preserve, go to www.auburn.edu/preserve.

Summer Practicum 2014 Application Now Open

KIA Motors Manufacturing Georgia to sponsor 5k trail run at Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve

KMMG Grant

KMMG Grant


Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. presented a check for $5,000 to Jennifer Lolley, administrator of the Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve in December to sponsor their 5k Trail Run, Sunday Stroll and Tot Trot to be held at the Preserve this March.


Corinne Hodges, Manager of Public Relations at Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc., says that this partnership is an investment in one of the company’s key focus areas for corporate responsibility – the environment. She says KMMG seeks to have an impact in communities where team members live or where key dealerships in the region are located, and was seeking an opportunity in the Auburn area. She herself lives in Auburn and is familiar with the Preserve, so she contacted Lolley to see whether there would be an opportunity for KMMG to support the Preserve. Together, they selected the trail run as a good fit for an initial collaboration. This sponsorship represents the first corporate partnership for the Preserve, says Lolley. The gift from KMMG will be further leveraged in the form of the 5-to-1 matching grant previously pledged by the City of Auburn.


The trail run, slated to occur on March 9th at 1:30 p.m., will feature a Tot Trot and Sunday Stroll in addition to the main race. “We’re trying something different,” says Lolley. “This race is special – there aren’t a lot of runs or walks through a beautiful forest. We are hoping to attract a lot of first time participants, so we will be trying to raise awareness and visibility for the event. Our goal is to show off this beautiful property and promote fitness at the same time.”


Randy Jackson, Sr. Vice President of Human Resources and Administration, was on hand to present the check, and said, “We’re glad we can help. Hopefully we can grow with you.”

Second Annual Spring Fling to be held April 18

The School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences will host the second annual Spring Fling and Outdoor Expo on April 18, 2014 at Crooked Oaks Farm in Notasulga, Alabama.  This nationally renowned farm, owned by legendary coach Pat Dye, is the site of Quail Hollow Gardens, a beautiful Japanese maple farm, and the Crooked Oaks hunting lodge. All proceeds raised from the event will go toward scholarships in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences.

The evening’s entertainment will include fabulous silent and live auctions conducted by Coach Dye, demonstrations by Auburn University’s EcoDogs and Raptor Center, live music and dancing, tours of Coach Dye’s home and Quail Hollow Gardens, and the Outdoor Expo. The Expo will feature exhibitors offering a wide variety of products and services relating to work and leisure in the outdoors.  Vendors include businesses specializing in hunting, conservation, research and education, horticulture, outdoor recreation, and more.


Like the Spring Fling and Outdoor Expo Facebook Page to see photos from the 2013 event and to get more details about 2014 as they come available.


Learn about sponsorship levels and tickets.

Tu receives grant from USDA-NIFA to to develop smart materials from renewable biomass



Maobing Tu, associate professor in Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, has been awarded a $150,000 grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture to explore the use of nanocrystalline cellulose from forest biomass to create piezoelectric materials. The project, titled “Nanocrystalline Cellulose Based Piezoelectric Materials For Energy Sustainability,” is expected to provide a new class of piezoelectric materials, which are critical to high tech devices. Tu is collaborating with Zhongyang Cheng, a professor in the Materials Engineering program, on the project.   


Piezoelectric materials generate electric current when mechanically stressed, and widely used in sensors, actuators, and transducers.  According to Tu, who recently received a CAREER grant from the NSF for his work with bioenergy, they are also crucial for the development of green energy. The materials currently used are either lead-based ceramics, which pose environmental concerns, or polymers. Tu says that nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC), processed through hydrolysis from woody biomass, has the potential to be modified into a new category of piezoelectric materials.


The project uses the NCCs to develop two types of piezoelectric materials: NCC-based composites, and NCC nano-brushes, in which NCCs will be assembled in a brush-like array configuration. The composites will be mainly used in the development of sensors, actuators, and transducers, while the NCC nano-brushes are intended for the development of energy harvest devices.


“It is our vision that agriculture and forestry are not only sources for food and fiber, but also sources for engineering materials,” said Tu. “This project has the potential to revive forest industry by transforming a significant portion of the pulp and paper industry to the development of engineering materials and add high value to forest biomass.”


City of Auburn Renews Support for Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve


For the second year, the City of Auburn has pledged a five-to-one match for individual and corporate contributions of up to $50,000 for the Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve, a community outreach program for Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences.

According to the agreement, the city is providing the grant in the form of matching funds in order to encourage community engagement and support for this resource for outdoor recreation and education.

“We are happy to have this support once again from the city of Auburn leadership.” said Jennifer Lolley, outreach administrator at the preserve. ”Community and regional use of the preserve is growing as people discover this “hidden jewel” right here in our own backyard. However, the existing facilities are not sufficient to meet the demand. With this city grant, donor contributions will be multiplied by five in support of much needed improvements to support its 20,000 plus annual visitors.” Lolley said that priorities include building and grounds improvements, additional restroom facilities, as well as part-time staff to expand educational programs.

The Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve was established in 1993 by a gift of land from Louise Kreher Turner and Frank Allen Turner. It covers 120 acres and has five miles of hiking trails, an amphitheater and a pavilion. The preserve, including the nature playground, is open daily to the public at no charge.

Individuals, companies and organizations wishing to make financial contributions to benefit the Forest Ecology Preserve as part of this matching-funds program can visit the FEP online giving page or mail your donation to the Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve at School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences, 602 Duncan Drive, Auburn, AL 36849-5418. Charitable donations such as this, because the Auburn University Foundation receives them on the university’s behalf, are tax deductible.

For more information about the Forest Ecology Preserve, go to auburn.edu/preserve.

Lu receives Early Career Ecologist Award

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