Support the KPNC on Tiger Giving Day, Dec 1st

JenSpideronHeadBio-BMark your calendars for the first-ever Auburn University Tiger Giving Day on Tuesday, December 1st! This 24-hour fundraising event will highlight the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center’s Spider Web as well as other projects across campus. Donations to this project will support the purchase and installation of a spider web playground apparatus to enhance the nature playground for children visiting the preserve!

Stay tuned to! In the meantime, you can learn more about the KPNC Spider Web project with this short video or contact Sharon Tatum, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Development Coordinator, at 334-844-1983 or email to make your donation today!

Please help us to spread the word about this crowd funding project! Share the video with your friends on your social media networks and ask them to make a donation on Dec. 1st! All contributions will help to make this great playground feature a reality for the kids!Spider web photo

WSFA News: Auburn University is again leading the way on what could be some ground breaking research.


SFWS Research Associate, Emily Merritt, demonstrates a collection method used for tick research.

“Auburn University is again leading the way on what could be some ground breaking research. This particular study focuses on the prevalence of tick-borne illnesses in Alabama.

Over the past several years there has been an increase in Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever cases in Alabama. Researchers at Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences are working to hopefully shed light on this problem.” View the full article and video via:






Dean and Mrs. Alavalapati Host Annual Dean’s Tailgate

Dean and Mrs. Alavalapati welcoming guests with Development Director, Heather Crozier, and Development Coordinator, Sharon Sharon Slappey Tatum .

Dean and Mrs. Alavalapati welcoming guests with Development Director, Heather Crozier, and Development Coordinator, Sharon Sharon Slappey Tatum .

Dr. and Mrs. Janaki Alavalapati hosted the Dean’s Tailgate on Saturday, October 31, before the Ole Miss game. This annual event has become a popular tradition and was well attended by alumni, friends, faculty and staff. Guests enjoyed this morning tailgate with a light breakfast and refreshments on the Campus Green. Thank you to all who attended. War Eagle!











SFWS Hosts Tour and Reception for AU Board of Trustee member, Elizabeth Huntley

Dean Alavalapati greets AU Board of Trustee member, Ms. Elizabeth Huntley at the SFWS atrium last Friday.

Dean Alavalapati greets AU Board of Trustee member, Ms. Elizabeth Huntley at the SFWS atrium last Friday.

SFWS was pleased to have the opportunity to host Auburn University Board of Trustee member, Elizabeth Huntley and her husband, Tony, on Friday for a tour and reception with faculty and staff. During the visit Dean Alavalapati provided an overview of the school’s academic, research and extension/outreach programs, as well as an update on its fundraising initiatives.

Student club presidents, Truett Lawrence of the Forestry Club, Matt George of the Wildlife Society, and Jonathan Muller of the Society for Natural Resources, were also invited to share details of their clubs’ activities. SFWS wildlife student, Carolyn Moore of the Graduate Student Council, also spoke about the graduate program.

Ms. Huntley was enthusiastic about the school’s direction and pleased to learn about the impact it is making on the economic, environmental, and social well-being of Alabama and beyond.




Permanent endowment for the SFWS Kreher Preserve and Nature Center created in honor of the late Nicholas Holler

Shown with Holler (center) during a recent program held at the KPNC are its Outreach Administrator Jennifer Lolley (left) and School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Development Coordinator Sharon Tatum (right).

Shown with Holler (center) during a recent program held at the KPNC are its Outreach Administrator Jennifer Lolley (left) and School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Development Coordinator Sharon Tatum (right).

A recently established permanent endowment by Margaret Holler of Auburn will benefit the operations and community programs of the Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve, also known as the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center, or KPNC. Equally important, it honors the devotion to conservation and environmental education demonstrated by her late husband, Nicholas “Nick” Holler.

Since 1993, the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center has provided the community with an outdoor preserve – complete with five miles of hiking trails, an amphitheater, a pavilion and a nature playground – open from sunrise to sunset with no admission fees. Louise Kreher Turner and Frank Allen Turner gifted the 120-acre property to Auburn as a place where School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences students and faculty could engage the community through educational programs and also conduct field studies and academic research. Now one of the area’s most popular nature destinations, the preserve attracts more than 25,000 visitors annually and provides educational programs for nearly 5,000 K-12 students and 3,000 residents each year. Read more

Former SFWS Student, Jeff Chieppa, Receives Masters Thesis Award

chieppajeffAuburn University Graduate School has chosen SFWS graduate, Jeff Chieppa’s thesis, “Interaction of future climate change scenarios of elevated tropospheric ozone and altered rainfall on loblolly pine seedlings inoculated with ophiostomatoid fungi” as one of six award winners for the Auburn University Graduate School’s 2015 Master’s Thesis Awards. The thesis awards recognize student’s achievement and excellence in scholarship and research.

The Auburn University Graduate School’s special Awards Committee, made up of faculty members with established records in each disciplinary area, select thesis projects on the basis of their significant contributions to the discipline area, methodology, and substantive quality.

States Dr. Arthur Chappelka, SFWS Alumni Professor of Forest Biology, “Jeff was a joy to have as a student. He is very bright and a very hard worker. In fact is one of the hardest working graduate students I have been involved with.”






Auburn University Hires First Arborist

HedgepathArboristJoin us in congratulating Alex Hedgepath on his new position as Auburn University‘s first arborist. Alex earned his bachelor’s degree in forestry in 2012. As the AU arborist, Alex will oversee the care of the campus trees, maintain an inventory, and provide risk assessments.

States Steven Johnston, Facilities Management Landscape Services superintendent, “We are fortunate to have Alex at Auburn,” Johnston said. “We know his past experience has prepared him for this role where he will be responsible for the overall health and safety of our campus trees.”









SFWS researchers studying prevalence of tick-borne illnesses in Alabama

TickArticlePhoto3As most people who spend time in the outdoors know, exposure to ticks is all too common in the South. The problem is not only the itching and redness from bites, but is much more serious due to the possibility of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.

Lyme disease is endemic in seven Alabama counties: Calhoun, Chambers, Jefferson, Mobile, Russell, Shelby and Tuscaloosa, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. In order for a county to be considered endemic, there must have been at least two confirmed cases within the county.

Auburn University researchers in its School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences are conducting studies to hopefully shed light on this growing problem in Alabama, one that is more often associated with the northeastern United States.

Read more…

New Student Organization Launched for Natural Resources Management Majors!

Fall IceBreaker - Group Shot2The Natural Resources Management major finally has its own student organization!

The Society for Natural Resources would like to welcome anyone who is interested in joining this new organization to come to room 2217 next Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at 4:00 pm for our first meeting. There will be pizza provided! If you are a Natural Resources major, this student organization is a great opportunity to meet some other students in the major, learn from professionals and professors in our field, work on local service projects, and just enjoy nature. ALL majors are welcome so bring your friends! Since we are just starting out, we will also be looking to hear people’s ideas on what they want to get out of the club.

We look forward to seeing you all next Wednesday, October 21st at 4pm!

SFWS Professor Receives Governor’s Conservation Award

GCAA Banquet

Shown from left to right with Dr. Jim Armstrong (second from left), are award presenters, Horace Horn, AWF President and also with PowerSouth Energy, Commissioner Gunter Guy, and Matt Bowden with Alabama Power Company. Photo courtesy of AWF.


School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Professor and Extension Wildlife Specialist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Dr. Jim Armstrong, recently received the prestigious Conservation Communicator of the Year award at the 2015 Alabama Wildlife Federation Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards banquet held on Friday, August 7, in Prattville, Alabama.

The Alabama Wildlife Federation, established by sportsmen in 1935, is the state’s oldest and largest citizens’ conservation organization. Awarded for over 40 years, the Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards are one of the most respected conservation honors granted in the state which recognizes individuals and organizations who promote and exemplify leadership of wildlife and natural resources conservation.

According to the federation, the program is designed to bring about a greater knowledge and awareness of conservation practices and projects, and to give proper recognition to those persons and organizations that make outstanding contributions to the natural resource welfare of the community and the state. Of this award, Armstrong stated, “It was nice to receive the award and be recognized by others who are involved in managing our natural resources.”

Dr. Armstrong was chosen as Conservation Communicator of the Year for his career-long contributions toward wildlife management. As chairman of the Wildlife Society’s Wildlife Damage Management Working Group, Armstrong’s efforts contributed to the pioneer of the emerging discipline of wildlife damage management associated with urban spillover into wildlife habitats.

He is also recognized for his contributions towards the Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program (WHEP), a state and nationally implemented training program designed to help youth to develop decision-making skills through the practice of wildlife management.

Armstrong’s service with the Planning Committee for the Berryman Wildlife Institute, whose mission is to “promote and fund research and education activities associated with wildlife damage management” was also noted by the AWF. As a professor, Dr. Armstrong’s leadership of graduate level research has focused on the development of wildlife management strategies to address the detrimental effects of coyote population expansion.

In addition to Armstrong’s service and research interests, his role within the Alabama Cooperative Extension System has enabled him to extend immeasurable benefits to Alabamians and effectively communicate the Alabama Wildlife Federation’s conservation message to the general public. [Read more…]

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