Zohdy Leads Research Team in Madagascar

Shown in photo left to right are, Gabe, Victoria, Dr. Sarah Zohdy, Njara, and Jordan.

Shown in photo left to right are, Gabe, Victoria, Dr. Sarah Zohdy, Njara, and Jordan.

SFWS Assistant Professor of Disease Ecology, Sarah Zohdy, recently led a student team to investigate research sites in the rain forests of Madagascar for the team’s research project, “Can Conservation Improve Human Health? Vector Ecology and Transmission Dynamics in Humans and Wildlife in Andasibe, Madagascar, using Association Mitsinjo as a model.” Association Mitsinjo is a community driven conservation effort in the rain forests of Madagascar with missions dedicated to wildlife conservation, education, and reforestation (https://associationmitsinjo.wordpress.com/).

Through a One Health approach (the concept that human health, environmental health, and animal health are intrinsically linked), the team aims to evaluate strategies to improve ecosystem health in poverty stricken Madagascar, where endemic wildlife, such as Madagascar’s lemurs, are threatened due to habitat loss, and human health and economic stability is simultaneously compromised due to the vector-borne disease impacts of deforestation – a reality for those living in poverty and relying on subsistence agriculture for survival.

In addition to their field work, SFWS Wildlife undergraduate student, Jordan Broadhead, AU Veterinary student and Merial Scholar, Victoria Crabtree, and Emory University undergraduate volunteer, Gabe Andrle, participated in several education, conservation, and health outreach programs within local communities over the course of the summer. The team also included, Malagasy graduate student Njaratiana Raharinoro, and several other Malagasy field technicians and conservation biologists.

We invite you to share this amazing experience with them through their own words, photography and videos. Visit:

Victoria’s travel blog at https://lemursweb.wordpress.com/2016/05/

Gabe’s YouTube videos at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcveYq1gJgWF19o4Ty1yvJg

Learn more about Dr. Zohdy’s research at https://wp.auburn.edu/zohdylab/

Wildlife Graduate Student, Rebecca John, Receives Graduate Student Research Grant

RebeccaJohn SFWS wildlife graduate student, Rebecca John, has received the Graduate Student Thesis/Dissertation Research Grant award from the Graduate School Fellowship Committee.

Rebecca’s faculty advisor is SFWS Assistant Professor of Wildlife Biology and Conservation, Robert Gitzen. Her master’s work focuses on locating green salamanders (Aneides aeneus) in northern Alabama by building an occupancy model and tracking their movements; a type of research method that has never been done before for the species.

Rebecca plans to use the grant funding to purchase field equipment for the project. She will spend the summer in northern Alabama surveying and collecting environmental data that will enable scientists to predict where this species of high conservation concern may be found. States John, “Most exciting to me is that this grant will allow me the opportunity to validate my model across multiple locations, which will make my research inferences stronger.”

John was also the recipient of the Student Travel Award from the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. She will be attending the JMIH (Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists) national conference in New Orleans from July 6-11 to present some of her master’s work. Her presentation is titled: Occupancy and Detection of Green Salamander (Aneides aeneus) on Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.



SFWS Honors 52 Graduates During Spring Graduation Ceremony

DSC_0078The School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences hosted its Spring Graduation Ceremony and Reception on May 8. The ceremony, hosted by Dean Janaki Alavalapati, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Scott Enebak, and Director of Student Services, Jodie Kenney, honored 38 undergraduate and 14 graduate students and was attended by 150 faculty, students, and family members. Recipient of the SFWS President’s Award, natural resources management student, Scott McClure, acted as Graduation Marshal.

Graduating students included:

MS, Natural ResourcesForestryWildlife Ecology and Management
Michael Douglas HeneghanBenjamin Riggs BaileyHunter Anderson
Jason BeasleyDustin Duffie
MS, Wildlife SciencesWilliam BrownErin Dye
Lenora Marilyn DombroDalton BurnsLaura Garland
Kylee DunhamJaren CarterGehrig Hall
Thomas Jared CookFaith Lyles
MS, ForestryHarold CooleyMelanie OToole
Ali KucumenDavid CorlissFoster Pugh
Michael Cody CumbieTori Stackhouse
PHD, ForestryHunter Ginn
Arnold M. Brodbeck, IVHannah GregsonNatural Resources Management
Tyler LukerTaylor Craft
MNR, MS Natural Resources Wayde MatthewsJonathan Muller
(Non-thesis)Dustin MorganElizabeth Reidenbach
Taylor Patrice GrahamLee PentecostAmberly Ware
Mary Lacy Lee KamberPhillip PughAmanda White
Brandon James LoomisMallan Sheffield
Mary Susan PruittMatthew SorrellsWildlife Sciences, Pre-Veterinarian
David Cole WestScott McClure
PHD, Applied Economics John YoungVictoria Vazin
(Forestry)Ryan YoungSteve Williamson
Hakan Uslu

Volunteers Catalog Nearly Two Hundred Species During BioBlitz


Hundreds help Auburn scientists catalog local biodiversity during the day-long event.



Auburn University Department of Biological Sciences Assistant Professor and Invertebrates Collections Manager, Brian Helms, shows children one of the crayfish species found at the Mary Olive Thomas Demonstration Forest during the BioBlitz held on April 23.

The Alabama Extension System and Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences in cooperation with the College of Science and Mathematics’ Department of Biological Sciences recently hosted a “BioBlitz,” on Saturday, April 23, at the Mary Olive Thomas Demonstration Forest located in Auburn.

A bioblitz is a hands-on event where participants have the opportunity to learn about local biodiversity while working alongside scientists to survey plants, birds, fish, insects, and other wildlife in an attempt to record all the living species found within an area during a specified period.

Becky Barlow, an Alabama Extension forestry specialist and coordinator of the bioblitz, said that the event, which was attended by nearly 300 members of the community, was a great opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to interact with the public.

“One cool thing about the event is the public was able to work right beside scientists collecting real data,” said Barlow. “Graduate and undergraduate students took part in the event and even took the lead on some of the topics. This was a great opportunity for them to take things they have learned in the classroom and apply them when interacting with the public.”

Barlow and forestry graduate student, Seth Hunt, had long considered the possibility of a bioblitz at the Mary Olive Thomas Demonstration Forest, both for its academic value and as an educational tool for the general public.

Hunt’s impending graduation and the substantial interest from other Auburn scientists across campus indicated the timing was right for the event. Stated Hunt, “It was great to get the level of involvement from professors, graduate, and undergraduate students from multiple schools within the University to help with the BioBlitz.”

“I had great fun helping lead the tree and understory events and I think that the public, students and even myself benefited from the experience. I was genuinely humbled by the turn out and hope to make the bioblitz something that continues to take place,” said Hunt.

During the daylong event, preliminary results indicated the group was able to catalog nearly 200 species, including at least 24 types of trees, 39 plants, 40 birds, 26 insects, 18 types of reptiles and amphibians, 10 fish, 12 aquatic invertebrate, 12 mammals, 10 fungi, two crayfish, and two varieties of butterflies.

School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences wildlife graduate student, Mary Bennett, appreciated the opportunity to interact with other research professionals from Auburn. “We collected a lot of great data for MOT and it was exciting to share in everyone’s enthusiasm for the event.”

Throughout the day hands-on activities were offered for children to learn about Alabama’s rich biodiversity. The Auburn University Museum of Natural History provided “fossil bags” for children to identify prehistoric insects. Other “BioBlitz Junior” activities included creating casts of animal tracks and building bird houses provided by the Home Depot.

The Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve was also on hand to provide live animal encounters of native species of reptiles and amphibians. The “Critter Caravan,” designed to be a traveling educational program offered for schools and private groups, featured such animals as the corn snake, box turtle, and the lesser known, legless lizard.

Jennifer Lolley, outreach administrator of the Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve, commented, “Anytime you get 300 people out for a first time science event, it is a big success!” Lolley expressed how valuable it is to have a species inventory, particularly for an educational facility; noting that they hoped to have a bioblitz event at the preserve in the spring of 2017.

A final tally of the species found on the property will be available in the coming months. The 2016 BioBlitz was sponsored in part by Home Depot, Publix, Kroger and Sam’s Club.

For more information about BioBlitz, contact Becky Barlow via phone (334) 844-1019 or email at rjb0003@aces.edu. To view more photos, visit the SFWS photo album at Flickr.

About the Mary Olive Thomas Demonstration Forest:

Located along Moore’s Mill Road just east of Auburn, Alabama, the Mary Olive Thomas (MOT) Demonstration Forest is a 400 acre forest that is used to show landowners’ forest and wildlife management practices that could be used to enhance the value of their land. Thanks to the generosity of Mary Olive Thomas, this forest has been used by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, and the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences (SFWS) since 1977 and was designated as an Alabama Treasure Forest in 1979. In keeping with Ms. Thomas’ wishes, this demonstration forest continues to be managed with the private landowner in mind, demonstrating many different land management techniques.


SFWS Awards Over $20,000 to Students During Spring Awards Banquet


The School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences hosted its annual awards banquet on March 30. Shown from left to right are Gordon Armistead and Chip Woody, who presented the Armistead and Woody Family Military Service Award to Kyle Malone (center).


The School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences recently hosted its spring annual awards banquet where nearly 125 guests gathered for the ceremony and dinner to recognize the outstanding achievements of students, faculty and alumni.

Faculty members honored included, Associate Professor Todd Steury, nominated for the Wildlife Society Teacher of the Year; and Associate Professor Becky Barlow, who was nominated to receive the Forestry Club Teacher of the Year and Student Government Association Outstanding Faculty Award.

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


  • President’s Award, Scott McClure
  • The Associate Dean of Research – Forest Science Award, Jordan Heath
  • The Associate Dean of Research – Wildlife Science Award, Shannon Lambert
  • Auburn Forestry and Wildlife Alumni Association Outstanding Senior Award in Forestry, Hannah “Grace” Gregson
  • Auburn Forestry and Wildlife Alumni Association Outstanding Senior Award in Wildlife, Laura Garland
  • Association of Consulting Foresters Senior Leadership Award, Harold Cooley
  • Alabama Division, Southeast Society of American Foresters Leadership Travel Award, Truett Lawrence
  • Alabama Division, Society of American Foresters Junior Leadership Award, Cody Hartzog
  • Alabama Forest Owners Association Award, John Lancaster and Wilson Lowe
  • William Allen Carey Memorial Award in Forest Pathology, Michael Cody Cumbie
  • Annual Academic Improvement Award, Mallan Sheffield
  • Armistead and Woody Family Military Service Award, Kyle Malone
  • F & W Forestry Services Incorporated Rising Senior Award, Nathan McLendon
  • Weyerhaeuser Forest Economics Award, Hannah “Grace” Gregson
  • The Alabama Wildlife Federation Robert G. Wehle Non-Game Management Annual Award, Duston Duffie
  • The Alabama Wildlife Federation David K. Nelson Game Management Award, Tyler Shirley
  • Alabama Chapter of the Wildlife Society Student Leadership Award, Matthew George
  • Westervelt Rising Senior Award in Wildlife, Shannon Lambert
  • Student Government Association Outstanding Student Award, Laura Garland
  • Forestry Club Outstanding Member, Cody Hartzog
  • Wildlife Society Outstanding Member Award, Matthew George
  • Summer Practicum Endowed Scholarships were presented to: Zachary Slay, Sawyer Mason, Logan Bailey, Andrew Burns, and James Milstead.

Director of Student Services, Dr. Jodie Kenney, echoed the sentiments of SFWS faculty and staff, “Our students are highly deserving of these awards. We are extremely proud of their 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. William R. “Billy” Hooten ’88, who had established the Annual Academic Improvement Award several years ago, attended the banquet for the first time this year.

Members of the Woody and Armistead families observed the presentation of the Armistead & Woody Military Service Annual Award to Kyle Malone. The award, which had recently been increased, was amended to include the Woody family.

Representatives from several donor companies including F & W Forestry Services Inc, Weyehauser and The Westervelt Company, also participated in the program. Organization leaders on hand to distribute awards included, Tim Gothard, executive director of the Alabama Wildlife Federation, and Susan P. Dooley, president of the Alabama Forest Owners’ Association.

Donor participation in events such as the SFWS’ scholarship and awards programs is known to be a barometer of confidence in a school’s academic program and the foundation of its continued growth. Heather Crozier, the school’s director of development, stated, “We are grateful for the loyal support that our generous donors have provided to recognize these outstanding students; it speaks volumes about their commitment to student success and the livelihood of forestry and wildlife sciences.”

Presented for the first time during the annual awards banquet, the SFWS 2015 Outstanding Alumni Award was given to Mr. Ronnie Williams ’74 who was nominated by faculty members, Glenn Glover and James Shepard. Family and friends were present to support Williams, including wife, Pat Williams; son, Chris Williams; several grandchildren; and business associates, Jay and Tamara Moore, and Jim and Sharon Respess.

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. Awardee portraits and photos from the event are available to download from the SFWS photo album.



SFWS Students Participate in Auburn University’s “This is Research: Student Symposium 2016”


Auburn University hosted its “This is Research: Student Symposium 2016” at the Student Center on April 13. The symposium, which showcased students’ individual research endeavors, drew 350 undergraduate and graduate students from Auburn University and Auburn University at Montgomery.

Many SFWS students gave 12-minute oral presentations on their research, for which they were judged by more than 200 faculty, post-doctoral and doctoral students, including undergraduates:

  • Duston Duffie: The search for meadow jumping mice in east-central Alabama;
  • Matt George: Effects of door width on wild pig entrance into traps;
  • Steven Williamson: A statewide assessment of wildlife intake at Alabama’s wildlife rehabilitation centers; and
  • Seth Rankins: Effects of seasonal variation between sexes visiting baited camera sites on population estimates of deer.

Graduate students who participated included,

  • Mary Bennett: Above the tunnels: Habitat use of the southeastern pocket gopher, Dr. Robert Gitzen;
  • Susan Pruitt: Population dynamics of the endangered prairies massasauga rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus) at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, Dr. Chris Lepczyk;
  • Andrea Cole: Effect of growth rate on Amylostereum spp. fungus by terpenes, Dr. Lori Eckhardt;
  • Yusuf Celikbag: The role of ethanol and temperature on hydroxyl and carbonyl groups in bio-oil produced by hydrothermal liquefaction of Loblolly Pine (Pinus Taeda L.), Dr. Brian Via;
  • Pratima Devkota: Varying tolerance of mature Loblolly Pine (Pinus Taeda L.) families to root infecting fungi, Dr. Lori Eckhardt;
  • Jagdish Poudel: Trends in species conservation banking in the United States, Dr. Daowei Zhang;
  • Rafael Santiago: Coppicing evaluation in the southeast of the U.S. to determine harvesting methods, Dr. Tom Gallagher;
  • Hamed Majidzadeh: Soil carbon beneath impervious surfaces in urban environments, Dr. B. G. Lockaby;
  • Enis Baltaci: Assessment of rain barrels and permeable pavements as LID practices on urban flooding, Dr. Latif Kalin;
  •  Rebecca John: Tracking nightly movement and fidelity with fluorescent powder for green salamanders, Dr. Robert Gitzen;
  •  Megan Bartholomew: Long term vegetation response to hydrologic recovery in isolated cypress domes of west-central Florida, Dr. Chris Anderson;
  •  Bowen Zhang: Net exchange of CH4 fluxes between terrestrial ecosystem and atmosphere in the Arctic-Boreal Region under future climate change scenarios, Dr. Hanqin Tian; and
  •  Charles Essien: Assessing the sensitivity of acoustic tools to the effect of moisture content in estimating acoustic velocity and modulus of elasticity of Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda L.), Dr. Brian Via.

A first-, second- and third-place plaque and monetary prize will be awarded in each category during a ceremony on Monday.

Congratulations to our SFWS students and thank you to Auburn University for providing such a valuable opportunity for students to present their research!

To read local coverage of the event, visit:




Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences celebrates 40 years of diversity

Special guests shown with Dean Janaki Alavalapati (center right) were Kenneth Day '81, Ernest Boyd '76, Dana Little '79, and Phillip Woods of Resource Management Service (RMS).

Special guests shown with Dean Janaki Alavalapati (center right) were Kenneth Day ’81, Ernest Boyd ’76, Dana Little ’79, and Phillip Woods of Resource Management Service (RMS).

Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences (SFWS) celebrated the anniversary of the school’s 40-year history of diversity at an honorary luncheon to commemorate the graduation of its first African American forestry student, Ernest Boyd ‘76, on April 7.

In celebration of the unique milestone among Southeastern universities, Auburn University administration, faculty and staff gathered with guests to honor Boyd and reflect on the cultural history of the school and the importance of cultivating diversity and equal opportunity within the Auburn community.

Among those Auburn University representatives participating in the program, including School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Dean, Janaki Alavalapati; and the school’s Development Director, Heather Crozier; Auburn University Provost Tim Boosinger discussed the results of the university’s climate study on equity, inclusion and diversity and its resulting efforts to identify opportunities to foster diversity and equal opportunity within the campus.

Guest of honor Ernest Boyd spoke of his appreciation for his family and mentor, sharing stories about his formative experiences as an African American forestry student. Though admittedly, his time at Auburn was not without its share of challenges, Boyd’s words reflected an appreciation for the relationships he formed with his classmates and the opportunities he found at Auburn. For Boyd those years made a lasting impact on his life and those he touched who were able to open their hearts and minds, not to the differences; but the ways in which we are the same.

Among the friends and family of Boyd in attendance, were many SFWS African American alumni, including first female African American graduate, Dana Yvette McReynolds Stone ’94, and guests of honor, Dana Little ‘79 and Kenneth Day ‘81.

Day and Little, both forestry graduates, recently spearheaded the school’s first African American Alumni Scholarship Endowment in the SFWS along with 10 others who contributed to the effort. The scholarship was created to encourage enrollment of deserving African Americans or underrepresented groups in forestry who reside in Alabama’s Black Belt counties.

Day discussed the evolution of the endowed scholarship and his hopes to see it one day grow to fully support instate tuition for future students. With the combined support of alumni and friends as the foundation, Day hopes that success of events like the diversity luncheon will further inspire both citizens and sponsors to support the endowment in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences.

Dana Little echoed Day’s sentiments, stating about the event, “I hope that it serves as a springboard that creates a wave of momentum toward energizing collaboration among many partners whose goal is to expand diversity and make Auburn University a leader in its impact on service to the needs of a global community.”

Other companies and individuals have identified Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences as a partner in cultivating diversity among forestry professionals. Former President of Resource Management Service (RMS), Phillip Woods, was present on behalf of Craig Blair, current president, to announce the establishment of the Resource Management Service Annual Scholarship.

RMS had identified increasing diversity in its profession as a priority and thus created the scholarship to support recruitment of underrepresented students wishing to pursue forestry degrees. Woods noted that the company’s founders had instilled a spirit of “giving back” to both the profession and the community and that they would be very pleased that Auburn will be part of the solution.

During his closing remarks, Dean Alavalapati stated, “As a land grant institution, one of the main principles of Auburn University is to assure that higher education is accessible to all.” He then went on to comment that diversity initiatives of this caliber support this goal by creating a more inclusive campus that allows Auburn to attract the best and brightest students, while assuring those students have equal opportunities to reach their potential.

The event was well attended by the Office of Alumni Affairs and the Office of Diversity & Multicultural Affairs.  Also in attendance were, Chair of the Auburn University Foundation Board, Thom Gossom ’75; Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Executive Director of the Auburn Alumni Association, Gretchen Van Valkenburg ’89;  Associate Vice President for Constituent Development at Auburn University, Angie Stephens. Also attending in support of Kenneth Day was Colonel Jon J. Chytka, Commander, US Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District.

To learn more about contributing to the endowed scholarship, contact Heather Crozier, SFWS director of development, at (334) 844-2791 or via email at sfwsdev@auburn.edu. To download photos from the event, visit the SFWS photo album.


Associate Professor Wayde Morse to receive Spirit of Sustainability Faculty Award


Auburn University’s Office of Sustainability has announced that Associate Professor Wayde Morse of the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences has been selected to receive the Faculty Sustainability Award. The Auburn University Spirit of Sustainability Awards program recognizes individuals or groups that make significant contributions toward sustainability on campus or in a community. Awardees are chosen based upon their motivation and commitment to sustainability; the impact of their work; and the degree to which they engage and involve others in their efforts.

The 2016 award recipients will be honored for their contributions during the Spirit of Sustainability Awards Ceremony to be held on April 20 from 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm. Dean Bill Hardgrave of the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business will provide introductory remarks, and light refreshments will be served immediately following the presentation of the awards. This event is free and open to the public.

2016 Spirit of Sustainability Award Recipients include:

  • Dan Ballard, City of Auburn, Alabama, Alumnus
  • Brian & Elizabeth Simpson, Southern Foothills Farm, Alumni
  • Sweta Byahut, College of Liberal Arts, Faculty
  • Wayde Morse, School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences, Faculty
  • Michael Freeman, Risk Management & Safety, Staff
  • June Henton, College of Human Sciences, Administration
  • The DESIGNhabitat Project, College of Architecture, Design, & Construction, Group
  • Energy Management Group, Facilities Management, Group
  • Samuel Price, University College, Student
  • Rachael Gamlin, College of Liberal Arts, Student

To learn more about Dr. Morse, visit http://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/faculty-members/morse-wayde/

To learn more about the Spirit of Sustainability Awards, visit http://wp.auburn.edu/sustainability/people/ssa/  or http://wp.auburn.edu/sustainability/event/spirit-of-sustainability-awards-ceremony/?instance_id=3735





SEC’s Auburn University Faculty Achievement Award presented to Hanqin Tian

Hanqin Tian, Solon and Martha Dixon Endowed Professor.

Hanqin Tian, Solon and Martha Dixon Endowed Professor.


Please join us in congratulating Hanqin Tian, SFWS Solon and Martha Dixon Endowed Professor and Director of the International Center for Climate and Global Change Research, on his recent selection to receive SEC’s Auburn University Faculty Achievement Award for 2016.

Each recipient of the SEC Faculty Achievement Award must be a full professor at an SEC university, have a performance history of extraordinary teaching, and a record of scholarship that is recognized nationally or internationally.

“We appreciate Dr. Tian’s commitment to scholarly research and academic excellence on issues with broad economic, environmental and health implications,” said Jay Gogue, president of Auburn University and past president of the Southeastern Conference.

Tian will receive a $5,000 honorarium from the SEC, and will become Auburn’s nominee for the SEC Professor of the Year, who will be selected from 14 nominees representing SEC universities.

To read more visit: http://ocm.auburn.edu/newsroom/news_articles/2016/03/secs-auburn-university-faculty-achievement-award-presented-to-hanqin-tian.htm

To learn more about Tian’s research, visit: http://wp.auburn.edu/cgc/




Auburn University celebrates its seventh designation as Alabama’s Tree Campus USA


Toyota Motors Manufacturing of Alabama joined with representatives from Auburn University, agencies and urban forestry professionals to dedicate the first swamp white oak during the tree planting. Seen with shovels from left to right are: Jeneen Horton of Toyota; Michelle Cole of SFWS; Dale Dickens of the Alabama Forestry Commission; Alex Hargreave, AU arborist; Tim Sullivan, University of Alabama; Bonner Lee, AU landscape architect; and Duane Lamb, AU landscape and grounds supervisor.

Auburn University celebrated its seventh designation as Alabama’s Tree Campus USA on April 5 with a ceremony and campus tree planting at the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences.

The Tree Campus USA program is an Arbor Day Foundation program sponsored in partnership with Toyota Motor North America, Inc.

To be considered for the Tree Campus USA designation, a school must demonstrate it supports the Arbor Day Foundation’s five core values by establishing a tree advisory committee, creating a campus tree-care plan, dedicating an annual budget for tree care, establishing an Arbor Day observance and sponsoring student service-learning projects.

The multi-departmental effort included representatives from SFWS, Facilities Management, and Landscape Services in partnership with AU’s Tree Advisory Committee.

“Having been recognized as a Tree Campus USA in 2009 and recertified every year since is a true honor and reflects Auburn University’s commitment to the care and preservation of one of our greatest resources,” said Gary Keever, professor of horticulture and a Facilities Management landscape consultant.

Auburn University President, Jay Gogue, SFWS Associate Dean of Research and Director, Center for Environmental Studies at the Urban-Rural Interface (CESURI), Graeme Lockaby, and CESURI’s Outreach Director, Michelle Cole, welcomed attendees and opened the program with remarks on behalf of Auburn University.

Jeneen Horton of Toyota Motors Manufacturing of Alabama, program sponsor, and Dale Dickens, of the Alabama Forestry Commission, formally presented the award to Auburn University as Alabama’s 2015 State Tree Campus USA.

Alex Hedgepath, Auburn’s first arborist, also addressed the group and led the tree planting with Landscape Services staff and volunteers.

Following the tree planting, attendees and volunteers participated in a networking luncheon to exchange valuable ideas and techniques to protect and promote urban forestry in the state.

For more information about the Tree Campus USA program, please visit https://www.arborday.org/programs/treecampususa/

AU staff, faculty, volunteers and agency volunteers from across the state gather for a photo after planting 50 trees on the campus.

AU staff, faculty, volunteers and agency volunteers from across the state gather for a photo after planting 50 trees on the campus.




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