Deer research featured on

Deer research in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences was recently featured in an article on Get the full story at the link below.



Hunters in several areas across Alabama may encounter deer with collars around their necks.

What they decide to do as a result could provide important answers to questions about deer survivability, movement and future management strategies, said Dr. Steve Ditchkoff, William R. and Fay Ireland Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Management at Auburn University.

Working with Alabama’s conservation department, Auburn graduate students Todd Jacobson and Kevyn Wiskirchen last fall began outfitting 60 deer with brown VHF collars and another 30 with orange GPS collars on Barbour Wildlife Management Area in Barbour and Bullock counties and Oakmulgee WMA in Hale, Bibb, Perry and Tuscaloosa counties as well as on two conglomerates of private lands in Pickens and Marengo counties, Ditchkoff said.

Read the full story.


Forestry Field Days Improve Land Management



AUBURN, Ala, September 26, 2014 – The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Alabama Natural Resources Council (ANRC), Alabama State Tree Farm Committee, and other conservation partners are sponsoring three regional field days to promote forest stewardship.


“This is an excellent opportunity for landowners to learn how to manage their land resources in a sustainable way,” said NRCS Acting State Conservationist Ben Malone. “Landowners will have the opportunity to visit one-on-one with local staff and network with other landowners.”


Forest lands cover more than 210 million acres in the southeastern United States, and there are 21 million acres of forest in Alabama alone. Over 95 percent of Alabama’s forest lands are privately owned.


Landowners need quality land and wildlife resource training opportunities so they can manage their properties effectively. Dr. Gary Lemme, Alabama Extension Director and Chair of the ANRC, says Alabama landowners can learn about a variety of management techniques by attending a Regional Forestry Field Day.


“Participants will learn how to manage Alabama’s forests for a variety of uses,” said Lemme. “These events will feature experts in forest and wildlife management resources as well as a tour of a certified TREASURE Forest or Tree Farm.”


The three regional Forestry Field Days will be held in October. Registration for these free events begins at

8 a.m. and lunch will be served. Call the appropriate regional field day contact to confirm your spot and to obtain directions.


North Alabama – Oct. 2 – Burgess Farm in Colbert County



  • Predator Solutions; Trapping
  • Mulching Timber & Creating Wildlife Openings
  • Thinning, Prescribed Burning & Timber Markets
  • Pine Plantation Establishment & Invasive Species Control

Contact: Johnnie Everitt – (256) 383-4376


Central Alabama – Oct. 9 – Charles Holmes Property in Perry County



  • Agri-Tourism
  • Wild Pig Management
  • Longleaf vs Loblolly Pine Management
  • Stream Crossing

Contact: John Ollison – (334) 683-6888


South Alabama – Oct. 16 – Newman Property in Coffee County



  • Dove Field Management
  • Hardwood Management
  • Mid Rotation Release
  • Wetland Management

Contact: Mary McLean – (334) 894-5596


The Alabama Natural Resources Council’s primary mission is to promote the stewardship of Alabama’s forest resources. These regional forestry field days are just one of the Council’s outreach efforts. For more information, visit the ANRC’s website at:



­Contact: Julie Yates, 334-887-4581

Buckelew Receives Annual Alabama Chapter SWCS Scholarship

By Fay Garner, Soil and Water Conservation Society

Auburn, Ala., September 5, 2014 –Brandon Buckelew, an incoming freshman at Auburn University (AU), received a $2,000 scholarship from the Alabama Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society (AL SWCS). A check was presented to him by Perry Oakes, Chair of the Education Committee. Also on hand from the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences was the Interim Dean Dr. Graeme Lockaby and the Director of Student Services Dr. Jodie Kenney.


Majoring in Wildlife Ecology and Management, Brandon worked in his family’s tree farm business and was taught from an early age to manage land and resources. Pursuing a major in this field at Auburn was a natural fit for him. After graduation he indicated he would like to gain experience by working in national or state parks. His ultimate goal is to work in a career that promotes wildlife and land management.


Brandon is the first high school student to apply for the AL-SWCS scholarship. He graduated this spring from Opp High School and was involved in many church and community activities. During high school he worked with Opp’s Fleeta School as a tutor, recreation assistant, and other duties and also with the Opp Recreation Department.


Perry Oakes said, “I am pleased with the quality of the scholarship application submitted by Brandon. He pushed himself for high grades in his high school curriculum and was held in high regard by his teachers due to his hard work, dedication, and his quality of character. I wish him all the best in his educational endeavors.”


Dr. Kenney said, “Brandon is a premier freshman in the school. We have high expectations for him.”


“I plan to remain dedicated, stay focused, and work hard to reach my goals,” said Brandon.  “Receiving this scholarship will help me achieve that.”


For more information about the annual scholarship and application process, please visit the website of the  Alabama Chapter of SWCS at

Samuelson Named Alumni Professor


Dr. Lisa Samuelson, Alumni and Dwain G. Luce Professor


Dr. Lisa Samuelson has been named an Alumni Professor by the Auburn University Alumni Association. Dr. Samuelson is one of five faculty members thus honored this year.

There are always 25 Alumni Professors at Auburn University. They serve a 5-year non-renewable term. Each year 5 new professors are recognized and 5 complete their term. It is a very high honor to have been selected from the approximately 1200 faculty members at Auburn. The awards are presented on the basis of research, publishing, and teaching.

Dr. Samuelson joins Dr. Art Chappelka as the second serving Alumni Professor in the School.

SFWS Annual Photo Contest Now Open

The 4th annual School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Photo/Video Contest is officially open for submissions. The goal of the contest is three-fold: 1. to communicate in images the kinds of things that we do here in the School, including research, teaching, and extension/outreach; 2. to recognize the artistic prowess of our faculty, staff, and students, and 3. to showcase numbers 1 and 2 on walls throughout our building.


Here are the rules:

    • Anyone affiliated with the School can participate, including students, staff, faculty, and alumni
    • Photos (and videos) must have been taken after the deadline for last year’s contest (November 1st, 2013).
    • Photos will be evaluated in one of 9 categories relevant to the School’s goals:
    • Alabama Plants
    • Alabama Wildlife
    • Alabama Landscapes
    • Teaching
    • Research
    • Extension / Outreach
    • Game Camera Photos
    • Travel
    • Alumni – all alumni photos should be submitted in this category, regardless of which of the above categories they might fall in.
    • Note that any wildlife, plants, or landscape photos taken outside Alabama (unless research related) should be submitted under the category of ‘travel’
    • Each individual may only submit one photo per category
    • Note that we also have a category exclusively for photos taken BY (not of) alumni. The topic of such photos may fall in any of the other 8 photo categories.
    • In entering your photo (or video) into the contest, you release the right to use in promotional and marketing materials created by the university.

    All photos will be uploaded to the SFWS Facebook page ( Followers of the page can ‘like’ their favorites photos, and the number of ‘likes’ a photo gets will be considered by the committee in deciding the photo winners.


    This year, we are once again accepting videos as part of the contest. Videos should be no more than 2 minutes in length, and should fit one or more of the photo categories. We are looking for web-suitable videos that represent or showcase some aspect of the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences (student life, research, outreach, teaching, etc) . Creativity and humor are encouraged. You can view some longer videos for inspiration at our YouTube Channel:


    The deadline for photo and video submission is November 1st, 2014

    Winners will be recognized and their photos will be framed and displayed in a prominent location in the School. The winning video will have the opportunity for prominent display on the SFWS website and social media.


    To submit an entry to the contest, click on this link:



    If you have any questions, contact Todd Steury (


    2014 Scholarships Awarded

    SFWS 2014-12


    At a ceremony on August 23, scholarships from the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences were awarded for the 2014-2015 academic year. Congratulations to all of the awardees:


    Alabama Association of Conservation Districts Auxiliary Endowed Scholarship    

    Duston R. Duffie

    Rose Eugene Atchison Endowed Scholarship in Forestry

    Luke E. Carlson

    Samuel C. Colville

    Elizabeth Powers and John Coleman Banks Endowed Scholarship in Forestry

    Taylor B. Craft

    Norman Buce Bearden Endowed Memorial Scholarship in Forestry and Wildlife

    Jonathan D. Pace

    Lynn Dent Boykin Youth Wildlife Endowment for Scholarships   

    Laura A. Garland

    Scott R. McClure

    Richard F. Poston

    Kirsten S. Rice

    Stephen G. Richardson

    Hilary E. Rizk

    Sarah E. Slife

    Emma A. Vaters

    Frank W. Boykin/Tensaw Land & Timber Endowed Scholarship in Forestry and Wildlife

    Jessica L. Blain

    Emma A. Vaters

    Richard W. Brinker Endowed Scholarship   

    Rachel L. Womack

    Burgin Companies’ Endowed Scholarship in Forestry     

    J. Wesley Peters

    Christen, DeBrunner, Posey, Raper Endowed Scholarship in Forestry and Wildlife Sciences  

    Meagan B. Roy

    Charles and Thelma Chapman Dixon Annual Scholarship in Forestry  

    William D. Burns

    Pat Dye and Nancy McDonald Scholarship in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences   

    Laura A. Garland

    Charlotte Gregg

    Hilary E. Rizk

    Garden Clubs of Alabama Endowed Forestry Conservation Scholarship 

    Luke E. Carlson

    Ernest E. Hale Undergraduate Scholarship

    William D. Burns

    Mamie L. Hardy Memorial Endowment for Scholarships  

    William D. Burns

    Samuel C. Colville

    Margaret Atchison Hathaway Endowed Scholarship in Non-Game Wildlife Management  

    Shannon M. Lambert

    Edward A. Hauss Endowed Scholarship in Forestry 

    John-Richard G. Davis

    Duston R. Duffie

    Charlotte  Gregg

    Andrew T. Haight

    Marie-Christ K. Kallenberg

    Sarah K. Mcwhorter

    Madison A. Miller

    Jonathan D. Pace

    Brandon S. Patterson

    Seth T. Rankins

    Jordan C. Rivenbark

    Meagan B. Roy

    Emily C. Sawyer

    Hunter G. Walters

    Amberly M. Ware

    Rachel L. Womack

    Steve Jackson Annual Memorial Scholarship in Forestry and Wildlife    

    Joshua C. Hendon

    “Choppy” Bruce Johnson Annual Scholarship     

    J. Wesley Peters

    Hugh Kaul Annual Scholarship in Forestry   

    Coleman P. Bradley

    Tom Kelly Endowed Scholarship in Forestry and Wildlife Sciences             

    Jessica L. Blain

    M. Barnett Lawley Annual Scholarship in Forestry and

    Taylor M. Cardoza

    Duston R. Duffie

    Hilary E. Rizk

    Melba R. Littrell Endowed Memorial Scholarship in Forestry        

    Samuel C. Colville

    Lowery Pulpwood, Inc/James R. Lowery Endowed Memorial Scholarship in Forestry       

    Samuel G. Tate

    Dwain G. Luce Family Endowed Scholarship in Forestry 

    John P. Courtney

    MeadWestVaco Annual Scholarship       

    J. Wesley Peters

    Nichols Family Endowed Scholarship in Forestry  

    Joshua C. Hendon

    Henry and Elizabeth Posey Endowed Scholarship in Forestry and Wildlife 

    William D. Burns

    James W. Richardson Endowed Scholarship in Forestry 

    Coleman P. Bradley

    Rooke Family Scholarship in Forestry     

    Forrest R. Ousley

    Russell Lands Annual Scholarship in Forestry

    Coleman P. Bradley

    William D. Burns

    Samuel C. Colville

    William F. Sahlie Endowed Memorial Scholarship in Forestry 

    Forrest R. Ousley

    Walker Herring Taylor Endowed Scholarship

    Kirsten S. Rice

    Emmett F. Thompson Endowed Scholarship in Forestry

    William Levendis

    Thompson Family Scholarship

    Samuel C. Colville

    Robert Tufts Endowed Scholarship in Forestry and Wildlife   

    Joshua C. Hendon

    Noll A. Van Cleave Endowed Scholarship in Forestry 

    William D. Burns

    Cayde A. Thomas

    L. M. and Mary Ware Endowed Scholarship in Forestry  

    J. Wesley Peters

    Watters Family Endowed Scholarship in Forestry              

    Joshua C. Hendon

    Forrest R. Ousley

     James M. Wells, Sr. Endowed  Memorial Scholarship in Forestry    

    Coleman P. Bradley

    Joshua C. Hendon

    Acquah receives first place at Forest Products Society International Convention


    GIFTY ACQUAH, a graduate student in the School of Forestry and Wildlife at Auburn University, was recently awarded first place in the poster competition at the Forest Products Society’s 68th International Convention held Aug. 10-13 in Quebec City, Canada. The convention was organized around the theme “Rediscovering wood for Construction, the Economy and Environment and Energy.” Acquah’s poster was one of more than forty student posters showcased at the event.


    Acquah’s research focused on rapidly characterizing the properties of forest biomass, with the goal of making this resource a viable feedstock for the emerging bioeconomy. Using analytical tools, she analyzed the chemical composition and thermal reactivity properties of biomass. Models from this study should be able to rapidly predict the properties of similar biomass types.

    Lyme Disease Awareness Event Sept 11

    “Get Ticked Off About Lyme Disease” and join us on September 11th from 10-2pm on the Ginn Concourse (rain location: Haley Center Lobby). Learn about ticks, the illnesses they carry, why you should care, and what you can do to prevent getting Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. Enjoy FREE refreshments, giveaways, and fun! Anyone who spends time outdoors or has pets and children that do should attend.


    Also join us for a lecture by the “tick doctor”, Dr. Kerry Clark, from the University of North Florida at 3:30 pm in room 1101 of the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Building. He will be talking about tick and Lyme disease myths and truths and his past and present research. He will also answer questions after the lecture and take part in a discussion over dinner at 5:00 pm in room 1101 of the SFWS. Contact SFWS graduate student Emily Merritt ( or Michelle Cole ( for RSVP and event information


    Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the US and it is found worldwide. People and pets have been infected with it in all US states, and every year hundreds of thousands of new cases emerge. Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria that is carried and transmitted by black-legged ticks in the Eastern part of the US. It is transmitted when an infected tick bites a human or pet and remains attached for around 36 hours. Ticks are picked up by humans and pets who spend time in outdoor, tick-infested areas. Ticks’ small size makes them difficult to detect, and their ability to hold on tight makes them very effective at transmitting the disease. Lyme disease symptoms vary from person to person and often imitate the symptoms of other illnesses, causing it to be misdiagnosed or left unrecognized. Untreated, this disease can cause neurologic, cardiac, arthritic, and psychiatric problems in infected individuals. Ticks are very common in the south, and Lyme disease is a threat to all who spend time outdoors. We hope this event will help spread the word about ticks and Lyme disease and educate people on how to recognize the signs of infection and ways to prevent acquiring the debilitating disease.

    Researchers receive grant to study black bears in Alabama


    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.”

    Lockaby named interim dean of Auburn’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences




    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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