SFWS graduate student Megan Bartholomew receives top presentation award at the Alabama Water Resources Conference


Bartholomew (center) pictured with Eve Brantley, Auburn associate professor, Extension specialist and AUWRC treasurer, on left, and fellow Forestry and Wildlife Sciences graduate student, Rasika Ramesh, to the right at the Alabama Water Resources Conference in Gulf Shores, Ala.

School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences natural resources Master’s student, Megan Bartholomew (Maj. Prof, Christopher Anderson), was recently selected as 1st place student presentation winner for her oral presentation, Long term vegetation response to hydrologic recovery in isolated wetlands, at the 2016 Alabama Water Resources Conference, held in Gulf Shores, Ala., Sept. 8-9.

Established in 1986, the Auburn University Water Resources Center conference provides a forum for showcasing emerging research, education and outreach in all aspects of water resources.

For student presenters, conferences are a great way to share their work and receive unique feedback and ideas from scholars, industry, and stakeholders.

“Conferences are always exciting to participate in and the Alabama Water Resources Conference was no exception,” stated Bartholomew. “I always return invigorated with new ideas and energy from the work presented.’

Bartholomew expects the results from the study will help natural resource managers develop reliable and science based wetland restoration milestones, establish more appropriate restoration timelines, and accurately determine when a restoration project has reached completion.

Student oral presentations were judged on several criteria, including presenter’s knowledge, logic, and understandability of the subject presented, significance and originality of material presented, effective use of audio-visual materials, presentation style and effectiveness as communicator, and quality of responses to questions.

For more information about the Auburn University Water Resources Center conference, visit http://aaes.auburn.edu/wrc/extension-outreach/awrc-conference/.





SFWS Professor, Lisa Samuelson, to be honored by the USDA- National Institute of Food and Agriculture with Partnership Award

20150922, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Faculty & Staff Headshots

Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Alumni Professor & Dwain G. Luce Professor of Forestry, Lisa Samuelson, has been selected as part of a multi-university and agency research consortium, the Pine Integrated Network: Education, Mitigation and Adaptation Project (PINEMAP), to receive the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Partnership Award.

The NIFA Partnership Award recognizes outstanding contributions of land-grant universities and other cooperating institutions and organizations. The PINEMAP Team has been selected to receive the NIFA Partnership Award for mission integration of research, education, or extension.

PINEMAP integrates research, extension, and education to enable southern pine landowners to manage forests to increase carbon sequestration; increase efficiency of nitrogen and other fertilizer inputs; and adapt forest management approaches to increase forest resilience and sustainability under variable climates.

PINEMAP collaborators include 10 universities (Alcorn State, Auburn, Georgia, Mississippi State, North Carolina A&T, North Carolina State, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Virginia State and Virginia Tech), eight forest-science research cooperatives (or “co-ops”), and the U.S. Forest Service.

The University of Florida-based consortium, established in 2011, includes 59 principal investigators, 27 research and technical staff, 10 postdoctoral associates and 64 graduate students.  Samuelson serves on the team’s executive committee.

PINEMAP is recognized for its work to assess the impacts of climate change to the planted pine industry, one of the most economically and environmentally important crops in the Southeastern U.S., with 20 million acres under cultivation.

The team will be recognized at the annual NIFA Day of Appreciation scheduled for Thursday, October 6, 2016, at the NIFA awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

For more information about PINEMAP, visit http://pinemap.org/

Research Associate, Tom Stokes, selected to receive Auburn University’s Spirit of Excellence Award for September

stokesSchool of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences (SFWS) Research Associate IV, Tom Stokes, has been selected to receive Auburn University’s Spirit of Excellence Award for September.

The Spirit of Excellence Award was established to recognize a special group of employees for their service to Auburn University.

Eligible recipients must be a regular Auburn University employee, with the exception of research associates, have at least one year continuous employment, and have a performance evaluation rating that meets or exceeds expectations at the time of their nomination.

Stokes was nominated by his supervisor, SFWS Alumni Professor & Dwain G. Luce Professor of Forestry, Lisa Samuelson, in recognition of his outstanding work on a 5-year research project that involved intensive field data collection in remote forested areas.

A paper titled, “Ecosystem carbon density and allocation across a chronosequence of longleaf pine forests in the southeastern USA,” based on results from the project, was just accepted for publication in the journal, Ecological Applications.

“His leadership on this project was critical to meeting difficult deadlines and achieving success,” stated Samuelson. “His performance enhanced the image of SFWS with the U.S. Department of Defense who funded the $2 million project.”

As a recipient, Stokes will be eligible to receive the Employee of the Year, Spirit of Excellence Award. Winners will be announced and recognized at the annual Employee Recognition Award ceremony, held in the spring of each year.



SFWS Faculty to Participate in the Auburn University This is Research Faculty Symposium


Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences faculty will participate in the Auburn University This is Research Faculty Symposium, A Showcase of Research and Creative Scholarship, held today, September 16, at the Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center.

SFWS Associate Professor of Wildlife Biology and Conservation, Chris Lepczyk, will be giving a talk entitled, Conserving Wildlife in a Human Dominated World, during the Auburn Talks Presentations scheduled from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Other faculty presenting research during the poster sessions include:

• Sarah Zohdy, Malaria in Madagascar: Intergrative Ecohealth Approaches to Disease Surveillance
• Christopher Anderson, Changing Wetland Functions Across Human Dominated Landscapes
• Robert Gitzen, Dig Me Out, Dig Me In: Ecology and Conservation of a Southeast Endemic Mammal
• Lori Eckhardt and Brian Via, Acoustic Stiffness Characterization of Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda L.) Families used for Improved Forest Health
• Brian Via and Lori Eckhardt, Response of Different Mature Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda L.), Families to Leptographium terebrantis and Grosmannia huntii

To review the full program, visit https://cws.auburn.edu/OVPR/pm/thisisresearch/faculty.




International Paper host gathering of Auburn alumni employees during recent meeting

ipforestrygradsInternational Paper (IP), a leading manufacturing company of renewable and recyclable packaging materials, recently hosted an employee meeting at their corporate office in Memphis, TN, where Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences graduates posed for a photo.

Shown in the photo provided by IP Regional Manager and AU graduate, David Helm are from left to right: Matt Meyerpeter, David Hand, Michael Walker, David Helm, Sarah Sibley, Jake Smith, Joe Twardy, Ted Crane. Other SFWS graduates missing from the photo include Ricky Everett, Grace Gregson, Wesley Peters, and Jenny Lightfoot, among others.

International Paper employs approximately 53,000 people worldwide and operates in more than 24 countries. Careers with IP include finance, manufacturing, supply chain, and information technology.

IP routinely hires Auburn graduates as fiber supply managers to facilitate the movement of lumber to its manufacturing facilities; many of whom are based in Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas and Alabama.

Students interested in internships and careers with IP can visit and interview with company representatives during the SFWS Career Fair scheduled on Nov. 30.

For more information about Auburn’s forestry degrees, visit http://wp.auburn.edu/sfws/students/prospective-students/majors/.



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







SFWS and ACES Partner to Produce Ticks & Tick-borne Illness Educational Pamphlet

tickpamphletAuburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Research Associate, Emily Merritt, and Beau Brodbeck, Alabama Cooperative Extension System Regional Extension Agent in Forestry, Wildlife and Natural Resource Management, recently partnered to produce a valuable educational tool regarding ticks and tick-borne illness in Alabama.

The pamphlet is designed to be a helpful resource for people to learn more about the species of ticks found in Alabama, symptoms of tick-borne illness, and appropriate measures to take if bitten.

A copy can be downloaded from the below link:









SFWS to Launch New Undergraduate Degree in Geospatial and Environmental Informatics

GISDesktopImagePowerful new technologies such as geographic information systems (GIS), the global positioning system (GPS), satellite based remote sensing (RS), and computer simulation have penetrated every aspect of our lives, from digital maps in vehicles to the management and maintenance of city infrastructure, regional forest and agriculture lands. Geospatial technology refers to all of the software applications that are used to acquire, manipulate, and store geographic information.

It is expected that the GIS industry will experience continuous growth in the United States requiring the number of geospatial workers to increase from its current 850,000 nationwide to around 1.2 million by 2018 (GeoTech). As a result, the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences (SFWS) has developed the Geospatial and Environmental Informatics (GSEI) degree program with other units on campus including Geology and Computer Science, to meet this increasing demand of professionals. According to SFWS Dean, Janaki Alavalapati, “GSEI graduates can anticipate a wide variety of career opportunities as planners, analysts, consultants, resource managers or developers within public agencies and government, as well as private corporations, consulting firms, NGO and other international organizations.”

SFWS research and curriculum intensely utilize geospatial informatics because sustainable management of forests, wildlife, natural resources and the environment requires a spatially-explicit approach. States Dr. Scott Enebak, SFWS Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, “The new program complements the existing SFWS degree programs of Forestry, Wildlife and Natural Resource Management, along with other courses on campus, to enhance the skills and knowledge of undergraduate students in remote sensing, GIS, photogrammetry, cartography and computer simulations and builds upon existing strengths in spatial analysis and modeling.”

The GSEI degree program is designed to provide students rigorous training in fundamental theories, concepts, quantitative tools, analytical technologies and research skills that are used to acquire spatially referenced information and analyze spatial processes. Dr. B. Graeme Lockaby, McClure Professor and SFWS Associate Dean of Research noted, “This interdisciplinary approach of this new degree brings together information technology, spatial science, data analysis, natural resources and ecological modeling that enable us to explore and apply these new technologies and science to the sustainable management of the natural world.”

Purposefully, the GSEI program has been aligned with the interdisciplinary program of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM) designed to enhance knowledge across multiple fields including ecology, agriculture, geosciences, climate change and civil engineering. This STEM approach supports Auburn University’s goals and priorities in terms of enhancing student success and preparing them for the job market.

The new undergraduate degree was approved by the AU Board of Trustees in June. Pending approval by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE), students currently enrolled in required courses may apply their credit toward the degree beginning Fall 2017. For more information about the degree, contact SFWS Director of GIS and Remote Sensing Laboratory, Dr. Susan Pan, at panshuf@auburn.edu or SFWS Office of Student Services at workingwithnature@auburn.edu.

Loewenstein Receives Educator of the Year Award



Congratulations to Dr. Nancy Loewenstein, SFWS Research Fellow and Extension Specialist, for her recent award as the 2016 Alabama Project Learning Tree Educator of the Year by the Alabama Forestry Association! Loewenstein is recognized for her instruction, volunteer service and leadership role within Alabama as an advocate for the program. Project Learning Tree provides award-winning environmental education programs for teachers and other educators, parents, and community leaders working with youth from preschool through grade 12.

To learn more about Alabama Project Learning Tree, visit http://www.alaforestry.org/?page=plt






Barlow, Dupree and Freeman Win National Communications Award

2016 ACE Awards2CRPD

ACE Director, Dr. Gary Lemme, is shown left to right with Barlow’s team members, Bruce Dupree and Glenda Freeman.


SFWS Associate Professor and Alabama Extension Specialist, Becky Barlow, was recognized with Alabama Extension communications and marketing team members, Bruce Dupree and Glenda Freeman, as a recipient of the prestigious Association of Communication Excellence (ACE) Outstanding Professional Skill Award for Graphic Design for their work producing the Alabama Extension Longleaf Pine Habitat Poster.

ACE serves as the professional development organization for communications professionals based at land grant institutions like Auburn University.  The Association of Communication Excellence gave 55 awards in eleven major areas at its recent national conference.  Alabama Extension brought home almost 20 percent of those awards.

One of Alabama Extension’s iBook titles brought home the top award for publishing from ACE–marking the first time the traditionally print oriented award has been given to a digital publication. Alabama Extension also received gold awards in graphic design for the Longleaf Pine Habitat poster and the National Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program logo. In addition, the group took home three bronze awards in graphic design.

Alabama Extension Director Gary Lemme says that a collective shift in mindset was a key to this year’s success. “This dramatic showing is the result of an innovative restructuring and reinvention of how we work,” he said.  “We have moved away from traditional publications to creative teams of scientists and communicators who build cutting-edge communications products.”

It is this team effort that Barlow credits for the success of the project. “Bruce took an idea and turned it into a beautiful graphic.  Glenda coordinated everything and made sure all the text was correct,” noted Barlow.  Faculty and staff of the SFWS and Biology were also instrumental in reviewing the design to ensure the landscape and wildlife were represented in a reasonable way.

For more information about the ACE awards program visit https://www.aceweb.org/awards.


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