CURRENT NEWS

POSTED: 9:09 AM, July 2, 2013

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – The Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve (FEP) recently completed a successful membership drive, recruiting 78 new members (nearly 25% of its overall membership) and exceeding the organization’s goal of signing 50 new members during the 6-week campaign.

“We are extremely proud of the results of our 2013 membership drive, and we thank everyone for their participation and hard work to make this drive a success,” said FEP Outreach Administrator, Jennifer Lolley.

The FEP’s multi-faceted marketing and community awareness campaign sought to encourage area residents to explore the Auburn preserve and nature center. With its theme of discovery and learning; the membership drive conveyed its message to, “Join us at the Preserve, it’s yours to discover!”

The Preserve has become an important resource in the area for the study and enjoyment of nature and is dependent on grants and private donations for its operations. Recognizing the value of the Preserve and the need for community-wide support, the membership drive reached out to residents of Lee County and surrounding areas in an effort to increase its membership.

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 features five miles of hiking trails, an outdoor amphitheater and a pavilion. The preserve, including the nature playground, is open daily to the public at no charge. Community and youth environmental education programs are regularly scheduled.

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

 

Contacts: Jennifer Lolley, Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve, (334) 844-8091, (preserve@auburn.edu) or Jessica Nelson, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, (334) 844-9248, (jsn0002@auburn.edu)

Posted by jsn0002 | in Extension, News | Comments Off

POSTED: 2:00 PM, May 28, 2013

Wildlife sciences junior Hilary Rizk has been named an Undergraduate Research Fellow for fall 2013. The Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program (URFP) provides opportunities for qualified students from any major to conduct mentored research with Auburn University faculty. Rizk will work with biological sciences professor Geoffrey Hill to investigate a deadly bacterial pathogen called Mycoplasma gallisepticum in house finches. M.g., as it is called, jumped to the species from chickens, and causes conjunctivitis-like symptoms in the finches and is often fatal.

The project aims to determine the reliability of two methods of testing the disease that are currently in use but without any validated evidence of accuracy. Currently there are three testing methods, one of which is known to be accurate – but it is also fatal. That method tests tracheal tissue removed from dead birds for DNA from the pathogen.

A throat swab has been proven to effectively screen chickens, so Rizk says that people commonly use that test with finches as a non-fatal method. However, its accuracy has never been conclusively determined with finches. Likewise, screening a blood sample for antibodies. Rizk’s task will be to learn to perform all three tests, and compare results of the two non-fatal tests against the tracheal sample in a random sample of finches collected on campus.

Rizk was able to develop the project with Dr. Hill’s guidance in part because she was already working in his lab. She says that as a freshman, she knew she wanted to work with birds and sought him out to ask for the opportunity to learn more. She has been working in Dr. Hill’s lab since then, and she now is learning the testing procedures she will use during her research fellowship from one of his graduate students.

Rizk is one of only two students to receive the semester-long fellowship. As part of the reporting requirements for the award, she will present her research at Research Week 2014 and submit an article to the Auburn University Journal of Undergraduate Scholarship.

Posted by jsn0002 | in News, Research, Students | Comments Off

POSTED: 3:49 PM, May 24, 2013

Amazonas, Brazil

Kathryn Pierfelice, who graduated this May with an MS in forestry, recently received a travel grant from the Office of International Programs. The trip allowed her to visit with a leading researcher in tropical forestry, Dr. Maria Piedade of the Institute of Amazonian Research.

During the visit, she participated in excursions to the Amazonian wetlands, attended seminars, gained exposure to their laboratories, and presented a seminar on her thesis work. She also had the opportunity to meet with multiple researchers and discuss potential research collaborations with a wetland focus.

Pierfelice credits her advisor, Dr. Graeme Lockaby, with helping her find a contact and set up the trip after she developed an interest in tropical forestry during her master’s program. “The trip allowed me to have a true sense of the vast diversity of wetlands in the Amazon,” she says. “Dr. Piedade and her colleagues at the Institute of Amazonian Research have such a wealth of information from their research on Amazonian wetlands, but after seeing the Amazon, you realize even decades of excellent research is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Pierfelice’s future plans include formatting her thesis for publication and pursuing a doctoral degree in tropical wetland forestry.

Posted by jsn0002 | in Grad_Students, News, Students | Comments Off

POSTED: 3:34 PM, May 24, 2013

Two SFWS students and a recent graduate decided not to hit the beach this year during Spring Break. Instead, they worked – hard work! – for the environment in the Alternative Spring Break program sponsored by the Student Conservation Association.

For the 2013 season, the SCA and clothing company American Eagle Outfitters engaged 120 students from across the country in hands-on conservation service at two locations. The trip is a service learning experience, with hands-on conservation work and at least one recreational trip to a local destination.

Daniel Boudousquie and Joe Green both spent the week in the Santa Monica mountains in California. They spent the time doing conservation work such as pulling weeds, doing trail maintenance, and planting native species. Participants come from around the country during their respective spring breaks to volunteer their time.

Daniel said that the students they worked with were not just from different schools, but from a variety of majors, including geology, engineering, and health management. “Everybody brought something to the table that was different than everyone else,” he said. “It was great having so many different people, but everybody was out there doing the same thing, fighting for the same cause.”

Joe agrees that it was a powerful experience. “It was one of the best weeks that I have had in a long time, and we were doing something that mattered,” he said. “The people were great, the work was fun and it mattered, and by the end of the week I didn't want to leave.”

Catherine Justice, who graduated December 2012 in Wildlife Ecology and Management, went to the Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida. Although most of the volunteers are currently students, Catherine said the program made an exception for her. Because the Santa Monica trip was full and she is not taking classes, Catherine was able to attend the previous week’s session in Florida.

Work details included creating a fuel free buffer zone around Red-cockaded woodpecker trees, a wetland restoration project, and transplanting air plants from one Cypress tree to another.

“It was a good experience,” she said. “Even though I am from Florida I learned a lot of history and skills that I did not know before going on the Alternate Spring Break trip. I would recommend the program to other students, but I must say they should be prepared to work, learn and have fun.”

Posted by jsn0002 | in News, Students | Comments Off

POSTED: 3:29 PM, May 24, 2013

The Auburn University Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society sent 18 members to the 2013 Southeastern Wildlife Student Conclave in Burnt Pines, North Carolina. Hosted this year by the North Carolina State University Student Chapter, the event brought together more than 360 students from 22 wildlife programs from throughout the Southeast region for three days of competitions, valuable hands-on training in wildlife conservation and management, and networking with wildlife professionals.

Team Auburn scored 3rd, 5th, and 8th place in the Physical, Art, and Team Competitions, respectively, with Timothy Butler winning first place in archery and game calling (turkey). Domenique Price and Rebecca Young each placed 3rd in altered (artistically enhanced) and game camera photography categories, respectively, while Matthew Wales took 3rd place in the shotgun shooting event.

In addition to the competitions, students participated in afternoon field trips lead by local experts to learn about topics ranging from waterfowl management and bird banding to endangered species management as well as the natural history of North Carolina’s Sandhills and Pine Barrens regions. Without a doubt, the 2013 conclave was a very professionally rewarding trip for our students.

View photos from the Wildlife Conclave at http://on.fb.me/10PEore

Posted by jsn0002 | in News, Students | Comments Off

POSTED: 11:56 AM, May 23, 2013

The WWS, our Dean’s society, is comprised of over 70 loyal supporters who have chosen to invest in the growth and development of the SFWS at a level of $1,000 or more annually. The WWS was created to help fund some of our most pressing needs and maintain properties such as the Forest Ecology Preserve, Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center, and Mary Olive Thomas Demonstration Forest.

New members of the Woodlands and Wildlife Society are:

Ms. Starr Boykin
Mr. and Mrs. Tommy McDonald
Mr. Greg Luce
Dr. Vikki Miller and Todd Miller
Mr. and Mrs. David Carroll
Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Culp
Dr. and Mrs. Michael Anderson

We invite you to foster the Auburn spirit by considering membership in the WWS. You can make your gift online at www.auburn.edu/sfws/giving or mail your check to:

Auburn University
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Office of Development
Attn: Sharon Tatum
602 Duncan Drive
Auburn, AL 36849

For more information contact:
Sharon Tatum
334-844-1983
sharon.tatum@auburn.edu

Posted by jsn0002 | in Development, News | Comments Off

POSTED: 4:21 PM, May 21, 2013

The Center for Forest Susatinability welcomed 170 6th grade students to campus Monday, May 20, for an outreach day centered around the theme of water, which the students had been studying.

After a welcome by the Center's director, Dr. Graeme Lockaby, and Outreach Director Michelle Cole, students rotated throough a series of stations that explored different aspects of water, including urban forestry, stream health, human health, landscape, wildlife, and economics.

To see photos from the event, go to http://on.fb.me/10N5wqN

Posted by jsn0002 | in Events, News, Outreach | Comments Off

POSTED: 4:01 PM, May 21, 2013

SFWS assistant professor Dr. Brian Via was one of the experts who helped determine the age of the Auburn Oaks after their removal this spring. Read the article here.

Posted by jsn0002 | in Faculty, News | Comments Off

POSTED: 4:50 PM, May 8, 2013

Auburn University student Matthew Ricker was one of 6 doctoral students in the United States to receive a grant from the Soil Science Society of America to attend the Soil Carbon Sequestration conference in Reykjavik, Iceland May 26-29, 2013.

Ricker, a PhD student in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, has been studying forest biogeochemistry in Congaree National Park near Columbia, South Carolina. Soil carbon storage is one of the areas of focus for Ricker’s research, which he says is an important topic for scientists interested in climate change and global carbon cycles. This is primarily because soil is one of the largest reservoirs of terrestrial carbon on Earth.

Ricker said, “This travel opportunity will provide me with valuable global research perspectives on soil carbon issues and teach me new techniques that I can utilize in the future as important soil functions, such as climate change mitigation and ecosystem services, become more widely valued in the United States.”

In addition to the grant to travel to Iceland for the conference, he was selected to receive additional funds to attend a hands-on workshop titled "Land-use practice and sustainable use of soil” after the conference.

Posted by jsn0002 | in Grad_Students, News, Students | 1 Comment »

POSTED: 3:22 PM, May 8, 2013
Enebak recevies Christen Teaching Award

Enebak recevies Christen Teaching Award

Congratulations to Dr. Scott Enebak, who was surprised with the Christen Teaching Award on Friday, May 3, at a meeting of faculty, staff, and graduate students.

Dean Jim Shepard said, "Dr. Enebak is an excellent teacher because he cares deeply about the quality of instruction he provides and he integrates his research with teaching. He's very interested in student success and uses his connections in the forest nursery industry to provide summer internship opportunities for students."

Posted by jsn0002 | in Faculty, News | Comments Off

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