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Forestry &Wildlife Sciences

Spring 2014

Chasing the Black Brant Summer research at waterfowl breeding grounds in Alaska.

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School of

Forestry &Wildlife James P. Shepard Dean

Sciences

B. Graeme Lockaby Associate Dean of Research Ed Loewenstein Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Chris Erwin Alumni Association President Heather Crozier Director of Development Jessica Nelson Managing Editor Office of Communications and Marketing Kevin Loden Editor

Index News

Research

 4  Dean’s Message

28 Chasing the Black Brant

 6  Introducing Jodie Kenney, PhD

33 Tu Receives NSF CAREER Award

 6  KMMG to Sponsor 5k Trail Run

33 Lu Receives Early Career Ecologist Award

 7  Dedication for Forestry Learning Center

34 Zhang Travels in Pinchot’s Steps

 8  Mosley Award Presented to Gillum 35 Preparing with PINEMAP and Webber 36 Alabama Black Bear Research 8 Personnel Updates 37 Tian Awarded Grant from NSF 9 SFWS Photo Contest 12 Enebak Receives Christen Teaching Award 12 Chappelka Named Alumni Professor

12 Kalin Invited to Serve on Review Panel for EPA

Lucy LaMar Project Manager Jennie C. Hill Graphic Design

Development

Pam Kirby Print Production Manager Jeff Etheridge Melissa Humble Photography

38 Letter from the Campaign Chair 39 Campaign Committee Students

40 Philanthropy: A Family Business

14 Children Archery Tournament

42 Woodlands and Wildlife Society

Contributing Writers

15 Rizk Receives Undergraduate Research fellowship

Candis Birchfield College of Sciences and Mathematics

15 IGERT Trainee Poster Competition

Mark D. Smith School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences and Alabama Cooperative Extension System

18 Pierfelice Receives Travel Funds

Melissa Schrieder Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Alumni Magazine, published by the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. Issues appear annually and are distributed to alumni and friends of the school. Inquiries concerning the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences and its programs should be directed to the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Building, 602 Duncan Drive, Auburn, AL 36849. Inquiries and suggestions concerning the magazine should be directed to the dean at the above address or by email to jps0028@ auburn.edu.

16 Students Study Wildlife in Swaziland 18 Grant for Iceland Travel 18 Undergraduate Students to Attend Professional Conference 19 2013 Award Recipients 22 2013-14 Scholarship and Fellowship Recipients 26 Student Club Messages

Alumni 44 Dean’s Tailgate 46 Alumni Profile 47 Outstanding Alumni 48 Homcoming BBQ 50 Spring Fling and Outdoor Expo

Questions concerning the school’s development program, including annual and corporate giving, planned gifts and estate planning, should be directed to Heather Crozier, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Building, 602 Duncan Drive, Auburn, AL 36849. Inquiries may also be made by email to vannhea@auburn.edu or by phone at (334) 844-2791. Produced by the Office of Communications and Marketing, March 2014. Auburn University is an equal opportunity educational institution/employer. 2

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Index

28

5

13

38

44

27 5

News in SFWS

13

Students

28

Chasing the Black Brant Summer research at waterfowl breeding grounds in Alaska.

27

Research

44

Alumni

38

Development 3

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Dean’s Message

The School had a Great Year in 2013. Our newest major, Natural Resources Management, saw its first graduate in 2013. We anticipate fast growth for this major, which is now up to 30 students for the 2013-2014 year. We also had four new minors approved that were designed to complement this degree, but which are available to any student on campus: Natural Resources Ecology, Nature-Based Recreation, Urban Environmental Sciences, and Watershed Sciences. This year also saw the dedication and opening of the new Solon and Martha Dixon Foundation Learning Center. This addition of the 100-seat Gjerstad-Johnson Longleaf Auditorium, a 40-seat classroom, and a conference room will enhance the experience at our Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center in Andalusia, Alabama for both students and other visitors. Our fall enrollment was 286 undergraduates and 68 graduate students. We graduated 22 forestry majors and 48 wildlife majors. We also conferred 14 masters degrees, and 2 doctoral degrees. Job placement was very good, reflecting the improving economy and perhaps demographic trends. This spring we welcomed Dr. Jodie Kenney to our faculty as the Director of Student Services. Dr. Kenney comes to us from New Mexico State University, and has an impressive history of teaching, research, and most importantly – helping students. Patti Staudenmeier retired in 2013, and Audrey Grindle joined us as graduate programs coordinator. This issue of our annual magazine showcases faculty achievement, such as the prestigious NSF CAREER grant received by Maobing Tu for his work in bioenergy, and the naming of Art Chappelka as Alumni Professor and Lisa Samuelson as the first Dwain Luce Professor. Daowei Zhang spent a sabbatical conducting research at the institution where Gifford Pinchot, the father of American forestry, studied. Todd Steury is conducting a project to track black bears in Alabama.

It also highlights some student successes, such as the outreach events conducted by student clubs, grants to attend conferences for students like Celeste Hird and Domenique Price, and the research of Maureen McClintock, who spent a summer studying black brant geese in Alaska. We have excellent faculty, staff, and students and I am very proud of their accomplishments.

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NEWS This has been an exciting year at the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. Here we recognize achievement, welcome new additions, and showcase the top photos from 2013.

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NEWS

Introducing Jodie Kenney, Ed D.: Director of Student Services

KMMG Sponsors 5k Trail Run at Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve

It’s not surprising Dr. Jodie Kenney has a love of making a difference in the lives of college students. To be an effective academic counselor and advisor, Dr. Kenney says, “one must have a great sense of believing in the students’ developmental needs and have a passion to educate, guide, and mentor.” Dr. Kenney encourages students to discover their own passion and intellectual development, while guiding them on the path to fulfilling, meaningful academic goals and career aspirations… and of course, completing their degree and obtaining a great job. “My role is to guide students in achieving their hopes and dreams,” says Dr. Kenney. “When our students are successful, the most rewarding dynamic is seeing their smiling faces as they cross the graduation stage to receive their diploma.” Dr. Kenney has been in higher education student affairs administration for more than 20 years. She possesses a master of arts degree in educational counseling and received her doctorate in educational leadership and administration with a specialization in higher education counseling from Northern Arizona University. She has been serving as the director of academic advisement and student retention at New Mexico State University in the College of Arts and Sciences since 2006. Prior to this, Dr. Kenney was the director of student services at the Capstone College of Nursing at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Dr. Kenney has been actively involved in many campus initiatives such as development of the NMSU Pre-Med/Pre-Health Professions program for students pursuing advanced degrees in medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy; an effective retention program for students on academic program, learning communities; and a faculty advising, training program. She is a certified online instructor, a member of NACADA, and most recently served as cochair of the University Academic Advising Council. Her areas of interest and research are in higher education administration and best practices in student affairs and retention. She received the Provost’s Excellence in Academic Advising Award in 2010 and most recently was nominated for the “A” Mountain Award for Outstanding Staff Achievement in 2013. In her spare time, Jodie loves being outdoors, the beach, and spending time with nature.

Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. presented a check for $5,000 to Jennifer Lolley, administrator of the Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve, in December to sponsor a 5k Trail Run which was held at the preserve in March. Corinne Hodges, manager of public relations at KMMG, said that this partnership is an investment in one of the company’s key focus areas for corporate responsibility – the environment. She said KMMG seeks to have an impact in communities where team members live or where key dealerships in the region are located, and was seeking an opportunity in the Auburn area. She herself lives in Auburn and is familiar with the preserve, so she contacted Lolley to see whether there would be an opportunity for KMMG to support the preserve. Together, they selected the trail run as a good fit for an initial collaboration. This sponsorship represents the first corporate partnership for the preserve, said Lolley. The trail run, held March 19, 2014, featured a Tot Trot and Sunday Stroll in addition to the main race. “We wanted to try something different,” said Lolley. “This race is special – there aren’t a lot of runs or walks through a beautiful forest. Our goals were to show off this beautiful property and promote fitness at the same time.” Randy Jackson Sr., vice president of human resources and administration, was on hand to present the check, and said, “We’re glad we can help. Hopefully we can grow with you.”

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Auburn University Holds Dedication for Forestry Learning Center Last April, Auburn University dedicated the Solon and Martha Dixon Foundation Learning Center in Andalusia, Ala. The $1.6 million addition to the Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center features a 40-seat classroom addition and 100-seat auditorium, which was also dedicated as the Gjerstad-Johnson Longleaf Auditorium in honor of two former forestry faculty members. The Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center is used for teaching, research, and outreach by the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. Forestry and wildlife students live and study on the 5,300 acres belonging to the center and gain valuable field experience during a mandatory summer practicum. The original gift of land and funds to create the center came from Solon Dixon, who visualized an immersive, live-in learning experience for forestry students. “We must be able to continue to give our students the best possible preparation for the future,” said Jim Shepard, dean of Auburn’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. “Staying true to Solon Dixon’s vision is the way to do that.” The new facility will also enhance the center’s ability to offer modern training and conference space to natural resources groups throughout the year, which helps support the center’s operations. Visit http://sdfec.auburn.edu to learn more about the Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center.

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NEWS

Mosley Award presented to Gillum and Webber

Personnel Updates New faculty, staff, and scholars (in order of arrival): Chengfeng Zhou - Visiting Scholar Lisa Hollans - Student Services Coordinator Zhiqiang SHI - Visiting Scholar Daisuke Sasatani - Post-Doctoral Fellow John Estrada - Administrative Support Associate Meral Buyukyildiz - Visiting Scholar Daniel Cury Spolidorio - Visiting Scholar Tessa Bauman - Research Associate Senwei Huang - Visiting Scholar Yi Liu - Visiting Scholar Justin Rathel - Research Assistant Jake Blackstock - Research Assistant Audrey Grindle - Admin Support Specialist Zhihua Pan - Visiting Scholar Qingzheng (George) Cheng - Research Associate Aihua Yu - Visiting Scholar Miriam Wyman - Instructor Hao Shi - Visiting Scholar Orin Robinson - Post-Doctoral Fellow Mateus de Oliveira Ismael - Visiting Scholar Ana Beatriz Tukada de Melo - Visiting Scholar Wei Yang - Visiting Scholar Ryan Nadel - Post-Doctoral Fellow Jodie R. Kenney - Director of Student Services

The W. Kelly Mosley Environmental Award for Achievement in Forestry, Wildlife, and Related Resources was presented to two people on Feb. 7, 2014, at the Alabama Natural Resources Council Annual Symposium and Banquet. Howard Gillum was recognized for his efforts in support of both forest stewardship and public hunting. Gillum has been an active supporter of state wildlife management areas and has voluntarily allowed his property to be a part of his local WMA. While doing this, he has mentored other landowners regarding proper forest management techniques, in particular the use of prescribed burning for wildlife habitat. He built an outdoor pavilion on his property at his own expense and made it available without cost to community members in need of a meeting place for various natural resource-associated activities. By allowing his property to be viewed and used for mentoring others, championing the implementation of sound management, and supporting a partnership with the state WMA, Gillum has made a lasting impact on forest and wildlife management. His significant contributions to his community and state are greatly appreciated and duly acknowledged. E. Cliff Webber was also recognized with the W. Kelly Mosley Environmental Award for his unselfish and exemplary efforts in improving, protecting, and preserving the environment for the citizens of Auburn, Lee County, and beyond. For many years, Webber has been an active member of Save Our Saugahatchee, a nonprofit volunteer monitoring and environmental stewardship group, where he has served as a volunteer water quality monitor, board member, and president. He worked tirelessly with City of Auburn officials in drafting Auburn’s original Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance, as well as with state legislators in working toward state water management and policy. He also worked with industry in the development of a Safe Harbor Agreement for the protection of Chewacla Creek and has been very active in local school programs teaching environmental stewardship to area students. For the many contributions to his community and Alabama, his efforts are greatly appreciated and are duly acknowledged.

Retirements Patti Staudenmeier

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SFWS Photo Contest The third annual SFWS Photo Contest was held in 2013. The contest was initiated by Dean Shepard in 2011 with the following goals: 1. to communicate in images the kinds of things that we do in the school, including research, teaching, and extension/outreach; 2. to recognize the artistic prowess of our faculty, staff, and students. Winners in each category are showcased on the walls of the Dean’s Suite throughout the year, and the grand prize winner is hung prominently in the building’s atrium. Second and third place winners are hung throughout the building. All of the photos can still be viewed at www. facebook.com/ausfws.

Grand Prize and Alumni 1st Place: Samuel Hodges, A Good Morning Extension and Outreach 1st Place: Rachel Hudon, Radio Collaring Squirrels

Research 1st Place: Jessica Nelson, Acetone Extraction in the Forest Products Lab

Game Camera 1st Place: Paula Davis, Fighting Deer

Teaching 1st Place: Jessica Nelson, Learning to Use the Knuckle Boom Loader

Landscape 1st Place: Scott Enebak, Sunset in the Woods

Travel 1st Place: Jennifer Price, Yosemite Valley

Plants 1st Place: Scott Enebak, Alabama Epiphytes

Wildlife 1st Place: Tom Starkey, Mothra vs. Pinus taeda

Grand Prize and Alumni 1st Place: Samuel Hodges, A Good Morning

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SFWS Photo Contest

Extension and Outreach 1st Place: Rachel Hudon, Radio Collaring Squirrels

Game Camera 1st Place: Paula Davis, Fighting Deer Research 1st Place: Jessica Nelson, Acetone Extraction in the Forest Products Lab

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Travel 1st Place: Jennifer Price, Yosemite Valley Teaching 1st Place: Jessica Nelson, Learning to Use the Knuckle Boom Loader

Landscape 1st Place: Scott Enebak, Sunset in the Woods Wildlife 1st Place: Tom Starkey, Mothra vs. Pinus taeda

Plants 1st Place: Scott Enebak, Alabama Epiphytes 11

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NEWS

Enebak Receives Christen Teaching Award Scott Enebak was surprised with the Christen Teaching Award on May 3, 2013, 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.” The Christen Teaching Award honors Harold E. Christen, one of the school’s first professors who served from 1946-76.

Art Chappelka Named Alumni Professor Art Chappelka has been recognized as Alumni Professor starting with the new academic year last August. He is one of five faculty members being honored for outstanding service to teaching, research, and service to Auburn University. There are always 25 Alumni Professors at Auburn University. They serve a five-year, non-renewable term. Each year, five new professors are recognized and five complete their term. It is a high honor to have been selected from the approximately 1,200 faculty members at Auburn. The Auburn University Alumni Association provides funding to support this program. Chappelka joins Daowei Zhang as the second serving Alumni Professor in the school. Previous SFWS Alumni Professors include Graeme Lockaby and Hanqin Tian.

Kalin Invited to Serve on Review Panel for EPA Latif Kalin, associate professor in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, was invited to serve as a member of the Science Advisory Board panel for the review of the EPA’s 2013 report, “Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence.” The panel, composed of subject matter experts, will provide advice and recommendations to the EPA on the scientific soundness of its draft report. They met in Washington, D.C., for a public meeting in December 2013.

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STUDENTS Our students are making a difference. See highlights of student achievement and involvement, including award winners, undergraduate research, and outreach through student clubs.

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STUDENTS

Forestry Club’s Log A Load for Children Archery Tournament Sets New Record The Auburn Forestry Club’s annual Log A Load for Children Archery Contest in September 2013, which raises money for the Children’s Miracle Network, set a club record of $4,300 this year. Club President Will Leonard provided the following account of the event. The Auburn Forestry Club is dedicated to developing members within the student body of the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences as natural resource professionals who will excel in their chosen fields and in their communities. A key step in accomplishing this mission involves members practicing service leadership within the Auburn community. As soon-to-be young professionals within the forest industry, we all share a passion for our natural resources and ensuring that they are available to meet the needs of future generations. Perhaps more importantly, we recognize that our future generations, the children of today, are our greatest resource. It was with these values in mind that we began the Auburn Forestry Club Log A Load for Kids Archery Tournament three years ago. Log A Load for Kids is a charitable organization within the forest industry and is the industry’s affiliate with the Children’s Miracle Network. Log A Load’s mission is to raise funds to improve children’s health through treatment, education, and research at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. This event took place Sept. 28, 2013, at Sportsman’s Outpost in Waverly, Ala., just outside of Auburn. We were blessed with gorgeous fall weather and a great turnout. Seventy-five archers from across the tri-states area participated in the tournament. Participants shot 3-D targets at 24 different stations on a course that wound through the woods and hills behind Sportsman’s Outpost. Targets included life size versions of mountain goats, alligators, black bear, wild boar, and whitetail deer. Scores were determined based on shot placement, and winners in each of the five shooting divisions were awarded plaques by the Auburn Forestry Club. In conjunction with the shoot, our club also hosted a raffle drawing that took place that day. Through the generous donations of many sponsors we were able to purchase two 45-quart Yeti coolers, one pair of Costa sunglasses, two HHA bow sights, and one Mathew Creed bow. Tickets were sold prior to and during the event, and the terrific prizes generated great excitement and interest. Overall, we exceeded our fundraising goals and set a new fundraising record for this event with $4,300 raised for the Children’s Miracle Network. None of this would have been possible without the diligent work of members of the Wildlife Society and Forestry Club prior to the event and their generosity in giving up their Saturday to support the children of Alabama. A special thanks to Tyler Claxton, Daniel Boudousquie, Ben Estes, Fern Graves, Cody Kane, Ocllo Parks, Justin Rathel, Catherine Vinson, and Rebecca Young for all their help in making this event a success. The Forestry Club would also like to thank our sponsors for this event: Best Rental Corporation Southeast, Durham Woodlands LLC, Leonard Farms LLC, Log-a-load: Mathews, Inc., the Shimunek Family, Sportsman’s Outpost, and Suggs Farm LLC. This event continues to grow each year, and the Auburn Forestry Club is proud to take a role in helping to secure the promise of a brighter tomorrow for Alabama’s children. William H. Leonard Auburn Forestry Club, Log A Load Chairman 14

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Hilary Rizk Receives Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Forestry Doctoral Student Places 2nd in IGERT Trainee Poster Competition

Wildlife sciences junior Hilary Rizk has been named an Undergraduate Research Fellow for fall 2013. The Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program 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, 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. Two non-fatal methods – swabbing the throat and screening a blood sample for anti-bodies – have been proven accurate with chickens, but Rizk says their accuracy has not been conclusively proven with finches. 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 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 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.

In 2011, Auburn University was awarded a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Integrated Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT). The grant supports approximately 30 doctoral students. Gifty Acquah, a doctoral student in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, placed 2nd out of 30 in a poster competition for IGERT trainees at a Workshop on Energy, Transportation, and Water Infrastructure at Iowa State University. Acquah is a trainee with the Auburn IGERT project “Integrated Biorefining for Sustainable Production of Fuels and Chemicals,” headed by Mario Eden, associate professor and chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering. Acquah’s advisor Brian Via, assistant professor in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences and director of the Forest Products Development Center, is also affiliated with this IGERT project. “I’m very pleased that Gifty’s poster was recognized as one of the best among a field of NSF-funded graduate students. This is another fine recognition of the strength of Auburn’s bioenergy team,” said Jim Shepard, dean of the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. IGERT traineeships are highly competitive, offering funding and mentorship to doctoral students working in research areas within the scope of the university’s grant. Acquah received travel funding from both Auburn’s IGERT program and the Iowa IGERT to attend the workshop. Auburn’s IGERT project focuses on all aspects of biorefining “from stump to pump,” and brings together expertise from all corners of the university. “It is completely interdisciplinary,” says Acquah. “We have people from chemical engineering, biosystems [engineering], forestry, rural sociology, business.” Her own part of the puzzle involves biomass characterization. Biomass is heterogeneous, she says, so a refiner would need to know what they have on their hands before they could process it. The current lab process for determining the chemical properties of a biomass sample is time consuming and laborious. However, using a piece of equipment called a spectrometer, she hopes to develop a quick screening process that would help determine the best use of the biomass based on its properties. “So when biomass comes in, we would like to say ‘this one has a high level of cellulose; maybe it would be better to use it for ethanol production. One has a lot of lignin, so it would be best for adhesives.” The complete wet chemistry process to characterize one sample takes about 12 hours, she says. Her task is to do the lab work on a variety of biomass samples, then take a reading on the sample with near infrared spectroscopy and develop models to correlate the two. A refiner would then have a way to quickly allocate a feedstock to the process that would best suit its composition. Acquah’s prize winning poster is entitled “Rapid prediction of the thermochemical properties of forest fuels using near infrared spectroscopy.” 15

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STUDENTS

Students Study Wildlife in Swaziland By Candis Birchfield

“Warning!” reads the course description, “Mega-mammals, crocodiles, snakes, thorns, baboons, etc., may be abundant at many of the sites. Please be very careful!” The course, Field Biology and Ecology, provides one of the latest study-abroad opportunities offered at Auburn University. Last summer during the inaugural course, 10 Auburn students ventured to Swaziland and South Africa for a once-in-a-lifetime, hands-on, research experience, guided by Biological Sciences professors Troy Best and Michael Wooten. “We go to teach students about field biology and what it’s like. We teach them about animals, and it’s basically an academic exercise to experience animals in their natural settings and see what they are like, as well as learn field-research techniques such as how to collect field data and what you do with the data after it’s collected,” explained Wooten. “The trip also provides a cultural experience, because we had an opportunity to go into a village, and we interacted daily with the local people. It’s life changing. As a faculty member, it’s especially fun because we get to see the students grow, day by day.” The students spent 18 days in Africa, primarily in Swaziland at the Mbuluzi Nature Reserve and the Mlawula Nature Reserve. “One of the things that we do is put out little metal traps that catch rodents and other animals, alive and unharmed. When we go to check the traps and find that one of them is closed, it’s like a little Christmas present,” said Best. “We started out the trip by catching one of the neatest little mammals that you could catch - it’s called a forest shrew. It was the only one any of us had ever seen before. It was an active little shrew and we held it on our gloved hands, took measurements, and turned it loose. We also caught a lot of other small mammals while we were there.” In all, the students set more than 150 live-animal traps, or Sherman traps, in the nature reserves to gauge the abundance and distribution of small mammal populations in the region as part of a multi-institutional research project. They also hung game cameras to capture images of large mammals, and mist nets to capture bats. “We caught some really cool bats. We only caught three, but each was from a different family, and the most exciting was a fruit bat. We do not have those in the U.S.,” explained Hannah Gunter, a senior in wildlife sciences. “That was a big moment for me.” While driving through the reserves, the students had an opportunity to stop and observe upward of 100 different animals species, from large mammals like giraffes, rhinoceroses, elephants, lions, and zebras to bird species such as the ostrich, African penguin, and African fish eagle. Gunter was also impressed with the close proximity of the wild animals: “One of my favorite parts of the trip was being awakened by hippos at night. They make this bellowing sound. It’s a sound that covers your whole body and shakes you to your core. There are not a lot of animals that make that kind of bellow—and they were right outside our research camp, so you get pretty close to nature.” Toward the end of the trip, the students traveled to South Africa and visited Kruger National Park, one of the largest game reserves in Africa. “In Kruger, we heard hyenas laughing and calling through the night, and lions. There is an antelope called a ‘bush buck’ that barks like a dog. It was really cool,” said Gunter. “That’s one of the things I miss most from the trip—the sounds of the animals at night.” Armed guides escorted the students on a walking tour of Kruger National Park, giving them an experience that was even more unique. The study abroad program in Field Biology and Ecology is open to all Auburn University students who have a minimum of 15 hours of science credit. Plans for another trip to Africa in summer 2014 are currently under way, and details will be posted soon to the Study Abroad website (http://www.auburn.edu/academic/international/auab/index.php). “I had never been out of the country before and had never seen the Atlantic coast until I flew over it. I didn’t know what to think. I still don’t know what to think of the trip other than I would be back there right now if I could. I think it was worth every penny,” said John Goode, a senior in wildlife sciences. “Take the trip if you’ve got the chance.”

“Mega-mammals, crocodiles, snakes, thorns, baboons, etc. may be abundant at many of the sites. Please be very careful!”

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STUDENTS

Kathryn Pierfelice Receives Travel Funds for Amazon Research Trip

Undergraduate Students Receive Grant to Attend Professional Conference Celeste Hird and Domenique Price, students in the wildlife ecology and management program, received awards to attend the 2013 Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Conference in Oklahoma City, Okla. Minorities in Natural Resource Conservation (MINRC) provided the grant, and applications were accepted from women and minorities to encourage professional activities in the field by underrepresented groups. The students who received the MINRC grants had special programming at the conference, geared toward professional development and networking. The program also encourages undergraduate research by requiring a poster presentation during the conference from students who wish to attend a second year.

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, 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.

Forestry Graduate Student Receives Grant for Iceland Travel Auburn University student Matthew Ricker was one of six doctoral students in the United States to receive a grant from the Soil Science Society of America and attend the Soil Carbon Sequestration conference in Reykjavik, Iceland, in May 2013. Ricker, a PhD student in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, has been studying forest biogeochemistry in Congaree National Park near Columbia, S.C. 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, “Land-use practice and sustainable use of soil,” after the conference.

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STUDENTS

2013 Awards SFWS Dean Jim Shepard welcomed students and faculty to the annual Awards Ceremony in April 2013 in the Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Building. This casual celebration honors exceptional students with monetary awards to recognize academic excellence, leadership, and effort.

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2013 SFWS Awards

AUBURN FORESTRY AND WILDLIFE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION OUTSTANDING SENIOR AWARD FOR ACADEMICS

Zalin Smith AUBURN FORESTRY AND WILDLIFE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION OUTSTANDING SENIOR AWARD FOR ACADEMICS

ALABAMA DIVISION - SAF JUNIOR LEADERSHIP AWARD

Dalton Hand WESTERVELT RISING SENIOR AWARD IN WILDLIFE

Anna Gates

Elizabeth Messick WILLIAM ALLEN CAREY OUTSTANDING FOREST PATHOLOGY AWARD

ARMISTEAD FAMILY MILITARY SERVICE ANNUAL AWARD

Brian Kincaid

Jonathan Kenney ASSOCIATION OF CONSULTING FORESTERS SENIOR LEADERSHIP AWARD

James Robert Dearman F&W FORESTRY SERVICES INC. RISING SENIOR AWARD

Will Leonard THE ALABAMA WILDLIFE FEDERATION DAVID K. NELSON GAME MANAGEMENT AWARD

Zalin Smith THE ALABAMA WILDLIFE FEDERATION ROBERT G. WEHLE NON-GAME MANAGEMENT AWARD

Lindsey Phillips ALABAMA CHAPTER OF THE WILDLIFE SOCIETY STUDENT LEADERSHIP AWARD

WEYERHAEUSER FOREST ECONOMICS AWARD

Robert Zukley AL SESAF LEADERSHIP TRAVEL AWARD

Dalton Hand ALABAMA FOREST OWNERS ASSOCIATION AWARD

Daniel Heath ANNUAL ACADEMIC IMPROVEMENT AWARD IN FORESTRY

Jacob Cauley LANE MESSER SUMMER PRACTICUM SCHOLARSHIP

Caleb Dobb

Sarah Grove

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2013 SFWS Awards

LANE MESSER SUMMER PRACTICUM SCHOLARSHIP

Elizabeth Messick

GCA SCHOLARSHIP

Dustin Hatfield WILDLIFE OUTSTANDING MEMBER

LANE MESSER SUMMER PRACTICUM SCHOLARSHIP

Rebecca Valentine LANE MESSER SUMMER PRACTICUM SCHOLARSHIP

Mason Childers

Sarah Grove WILDLIFE OUTSTANDING FACULTY

Todd Steury FORESTRY OUTSTANDING MEMBER

Jonathan Kenney

JAMES R. TAYLOR SUMMER PRACTICUM

James Peters, Jr.

FORESTRY TEACHER OF THE YEAR

John Gilbert

PRESIDENT’S AWARD

Mignon Therese Denton 2013 SGA HONORS CEREMONY OUTSTANDING STUDENT

Lindsey Phillips 2013 SGA HONORS CEREMONY OUTSTANDING FACULTY

Dr. Todd Steury PHI KAPPA PHI MOST OUTSTANDING FIRST YEAR AWARD

Charlotte G. Musser

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STUDENTS

2013-14 Scholarships and Fellowships The annual Scholarship and Fellowship Ceremony was held August 24, 2013, in the Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Building, followed by a reception. The annual event recognizes outstanding students who have earned scholarships and fellowships and also brings together students and the benefactors who help create these opportunities.

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2013-14 Scholarship and Fellowship Recipients ALABAMA ASSOCIATION OF CONSERVATION DISTRICTS AUXILIARY ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP

Jason R. Terry Sophomore, Wildlife Ecology and Management

PAT DYE AND NANCY MCDONALD SCHOLARSHIP IN THE SCHOOL OF FORESTRY AND WILDLIFE SCIENCES

Hannah G. Gregson Sophomore, Forestry

ROSE EUGENE ATCHISON ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP IN FORESTRY

J. Wesley Peters

Holly M. Peacock Sophomore, Wildlife Ecology and Management

Hilary E. Rizk

Junior, Forestry

Senior, Wildlife Sciences Pre-Vet

NORMAN BUCE BEARDEN ENDOWED MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP IN FORESTRY AND WILDLIFE

GARDEN CLUBS OF ALABAMA ENDOWED FORESTRY CONSERVATION SCHOLARSHIP

Kurtis C. Jolander

Junior, Wildlife Ecology and Management

Dustin G. Hatfield

Senior, Wildlife Ecology and Management

Jessica P. Tereszkiewicz Junior, Wildlife Ecology and Management

MARGARET ATCHISON HATHAWAY ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP IN NON-GAME WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT

LYNN DENT BOYKIN YOUTH WILDLIFE SCHOLARSHIP

Sophomore, Wildlife Sciences Pre-Vet

Laura A. Garland Sophomore, Wildlife Ecology and Management

Scott R. McClure

EDWARD A. HAUSS ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP

James K. Garrett

Mason B. Childers

Senior, Wildlife Ecology and Management

Senior, Wildlife Ecology and Management

Kurtis C. Jolander

Mignon T. Denton

Senior, Wildlife Ecology and Management

Senior, Natural Resources Management

Meagan B. Roy

Matthew J. George

Junior, Wildlife Ecology and Management

Freshman, Wildlife Ecology and Management

Rebecca J. Valentine

Celeste N. Hird

Senior, Wildlife Ecology and Management

Senior, Wildlife Ecology and Management

FRANK W. BOYKIN/TENSAW LAND AND TIMBER ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP IN FORESTRY AND WILDLIFE

Senior, Wildlife Ecology and Management

Brian M. Kincaid Scott R. McClure Sophomore, Wildlife Sciences Pre-Vet

Madison A. Miller

Kelsey McVey

Freshman, Wildlife Sciences Pre-Vet

Junior, Wildlife Sciences Pre-Vet

Emma A. Vaters

Ashton C. Newman

Freshman, Wildlife Ecology and Management

Freshman, Wildlife Sciences Pre-Vet

RICHARD W. BRINKER ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP

Sophomore, Wildlife Ecology and Management

Holly M. Peacock Jessica P. Tereszkiewicz Junior, Wildlife Ecology and Management

CHRISTEN, DEBRUNNER, POSEY, RAPER ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP IN FORESTRY

Hilary E. Rizk Senior, Wildlife Sciences Pre-Vet

Hilary E. Rizk Senior, Wildlife Sciences Pre-Vet

Samuel N. Sotrop Junior, Wildlife Sciences Pre-Vet

Jessica P. Tereszkiewicz Junior, Wildlife Ecology and Management

Steven T. Williamson Sophomore, Wildlife Sciences Pre-Vet 23

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2012-13 Scholarship and Fellowship Recipients

STEVE JACKSON ANNUAL MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP IN FORESTRY AND WILDLIFE

NICHOLS FAMILY ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP IN FORESTRY

Luke E. Carlson

Fern B. Graves

Sophomore, Forestry

Senior, Forestry

Fern B. Graves Senior, Forestry

J. Wesley Peters Junior, Forestry

HENRY AND ELIZABETH POSEY ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP IN FORESTRY AND WILDLIFE

William H. Leonard Senior, Forestry

“CHOPPY” BRUCE JOHNSON ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIP

Mason B. Childers Senior, Wildlife Ecology and Management

JAMES W. RICHARDSON ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP IN FORESTRY

William H. Leonard Senior, Forestry

HUGH KAUL ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIP IN FORESTRY

Jordan T. Broadhead

ROOKE FAMILY ENDOWMENT FOR SCHOLARSHIPS IN FORESTRY AND WILDLIFE

Greyson S. Matthews TOM KELLY ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP IN FORESTRY AND WILDLIFE SCIENCES

Senior, Forestry

Charlotte G. Musser

RUSSELL LANDS ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIP IN FORESTRY

Junior, Wildlife Sciences Pre-Vet

BARNETT LAWLEY ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIP IN FORESTRY AND WILDLIFE

Fern B. Graves Senior, Forestry

Samuel N. Sotrop

Zalin G. Smith

Junior, Wildlife Sciences Pre-Vet

Senior, Forestry and Wildlife Ecology and Management

MELBA R. LITTRELL ENDOWED MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP IN FORESTRY

WILLIAM F. SAHLIE ENDOWED MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP IN FORESTRY

Forrest S. Thompson

Zalin G. Smith

Senior, Forestry

Senior, Forestry and Wildlife Ecology and Management

LOWERY PULPWOOD, INC./JAMES R. LOWERY ENDOWED MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP IN FORESTRY

EMMETT F. THOMPSON ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP IN FORESTRY

Zalin G. Smith

Senior, Forestry

William H. Leonard

Senior, Forestry and Wildlife Ecology and Management

DWAIN G. LUCE FAMILY ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP IN FORESTRY

Fern B. Graves

ROBERT TUFTS ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP IN FORESTRY AND WILDLIFE

Holly M. Peacock Sophomore, Wildlife Ecology and Management

Senior, Forestry

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2012-13 Scholarship and Fellowship Recipients

L. M. AND MARY WARE ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP IN FORESTRY

JAMES FLOYD GOGGANS ENDOWED FELLOWSHIP IN FOREST BIOLOGY

William H. Leonard

Althea ArchMiller

Senior, Forestry

PhD, Forestry Major Professor: Lisa Samuelson

WATTERS FAMILY ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP IN FORESTRY

KYKENKEE FELLOWSHIP

Zalin G. Smith

Lauren Behnke

Senior, Forestry and Wildlife Ecology and Management

MS, Forestry Major Professor: Graeme Lockaby

GRADUATE FELLOWSHIPS W. WALTER BESHEARS, JR. ENDOWED GRADUATE AWARD IN WILDLIFE SCIENCES

Allison Keever MS, Wildlife Sciences Major Professors: Conor McGowan and Stephen Ditchkoff

DRUMMOND COMPANY ENDOWED FELLOWSHIP IN THE SCHOOL OF FORESTRY AND WILDLIFE SCIENCES

GEORGE CRENSHAW MOORE ENDOWED FUND FOR GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP IN WILDLIFE GAME MANAGEMENT

Allison Keever MS, Wildlife Sciences Major Professors: Conor McGowan and Stephen Ditchkoff

NOLL A. VAN CLEAVE ENDOWED FELLOWSHIP IN FORESTRY

Nicholas A. Barnwell MS, Forestry

Rui Xie PhD, Forestry Major Professor: Maobing Tu

Lauren Behnke MS, Forestry Major Professor: Graeme Lockaby

JAMES HENDERSON DUKES MEMORIAL ENDOWMENT FOR FELLOWSHIPS IN FORESTRY

Allison Keever MS, Wildlife Sciences Major Professors: Conor McGowan and Stephen Ditchkoff

Navideh Noori PhD, Forestry Major Professor: Latif Kalin

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Student Club Messages

Forestry Club This year the Forestry Club is busy with a multitude of events and projects. We had eight members attend a mini-conclave at The Lumberjack Day hosted by The Rock Ranch in The Rock, Ga. The students competed in physical events against four other forestry programs from around the Southeast. Some of the events that students participated in were pole felling, pole climb, log rolling, two man crosscut, archery, and ax throw. We held a demonstration of these events in Lafayette, Ala., at the Chambers County Fair. At the end of October, six seniors attended the Society of American Foresters National Convention in Charleston, S.C., where we attended talks on a range of forestry and natural resource topics. Throughout the winter, members of the club have cut and sold firewood to help raise money for the spring conclave held by Virginia Tech University this year in Blacksburg, Va. The spring conclave consists of physical and technical events that relate to the field of forestry. We had two students attend the Southeastern Society of American Foresters meeting in Panama City, Fla., where they heard lectures on increasing production of pine. Throughout the year, we have had companies come to speak to the members of the forestry club about their job and companies. This year has been a great year for the Forestry Club, with many events attended and hosted. Russell D. Agnew Forestry Club President

Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society The AU Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society is excited about a new approach to our bi-weekly meetings. So much of the wildlife field deals with hands-on experiences. Whether it’s working with radio telemetry to track squirrels, driving a tractor to plant a food plot, or wading through swamps to find herptiles, our field has so many opportunities to get out in nature. We decided that this year we would give our members the opportunity to get their hands dirty. A great example of one of our new meetings is our most recent Wildlife Scavenger Hunt. At this meeting, we had our members run in teams through the woods to test their wildlife knowledge at different stations. These stations include everything from measuring white-tailed deer antlers to identifying plant species by scientific name. This meeting helped prepare our members for the Southeastern Wildlife Conclave, a wildlife competition between SEC-school programs. In addition to these new interactive meetings, we have numerous opportunities for professional development, volunteer work, and networking through our chapter. This includes programs such as: Southeastern Deer Study Group in Athens, Ga.; Shedapalooza at AU Deer Lab, Spring Fling and Outdoor Expo, Archery in the Schools, and Governor’s One-Shot Turkey Hunt. As president, I’m really excited about playing a small role in increasing the participation from new students, as well as incorporating new, re-energized meetings. It’s hard to beat seeing members as passionate about wildlife as I am. James Garrett Wildlife Society President

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R E S E A RC H The School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences promotes fundamental and applied research that achieves significant advances and creates practical knowledge that can improve people’s lives. Faculty and students engage in current, relevant research, as exemplified in the highlights in this publication.

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R E S E A RC H

chasing the

black brant 28

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There was nothing to see but an unbroken sea of snow and ice when Maureen McClintock arrived at the Tutakoke Bird Camp in April 2013. She and three other wildlife biologists took a charter plane to Cheevak, Alaska, snowmobiled about 30 miles to a point located by GPS, and then began digging. They set up a single tent on the first wooden platform they excavated from six feet of snow, and then they waited. McClintock was hired as a seasonal research technician to work on a long-range population study of black brant, a goose that is one of the avian species that has a breeding ground in the Yukon-Kuskokwim (Y-K) Delta in Alaska. She laughs and remembers that it was an unusually cold and delayed season, so for three weeks she waited in a tent with three near-strangers for the snows to melt and the birds to show.

And she wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. “It’s estimated that 40 percent of the bird species in the western flyways nest there [in the Y-K Delta],” McClintock said, “So the breeding season is incredible. It’s just – it’s covered. There are birds everywhere. I was there to study brant but got to see so many other species, including some endangered species.” This population of black brant winters in Mexico and travels up the California coast to the Y-K Delta breeding grounds each summer. There are other groups of brant, says McClintock, but this is the largest. This study, headed by Jim Seddinger at the University of Nevada Reno, has been continuously monitoring this population since 1987.

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The brant is almost exceptional in its unexceptionalness, which makes it perfect for this kind of study that can provide lessons for other species as well. McClintock says numbers of the brant and other water fowl dropped precipitously in the 1980s, and this study was part of an effort to determine what was happening and what sort of management practices might reverse the trend. Although numbers of brant have stabilized, she says, some other birds have not rebounded the same way, and what they learn about the brant can help guide management practices that affect many other species. “And they’ve been doing it continuously,” she explains, “and this allows us to look for long-term trends and changes in the population; by looking this closely and indepth at the same individuals throughout time, managers can do more than say ‘Oh, it looks like there are fewer birds.’ We can try to pinpoint what’s going on and try to address them with proper management strategies.” Many of the challenges faced by the birds are threats to the environment. For example, they feed on aquatic vegetation, so when water quality is degraded there is less highquality nourishment available, and population size just cannot be sustained. In addition to indirect threats through habitat encroachment, hunting is a problem in the wintering grounds and in many of the staging areas where they stop for rest during the long trek north. A population study like this one aims to know every single animal in the group and follow their reproductive costs and successes over generations. To do this, each researcher walked over an assigned section of the brant breeding ground each day, hunting out nests as they appeared and taking notes. They would record laying intervals, note which individuals made up each breeding pair, and tag goslings as they hatched. Each bird has a coded band, unique to the individual, and researchers track everything. They know who comes back each year, who has a new mate, who has a successful breeding year, and sometimes they have information from other sightings along the migratory route. More than that, they can look at an adult and know not just its history since youth, but pinpoint its parents and know their story. She says that this kind of study is not just valuable to ecologists, but allows for a more in-depth look at basic biology questions, such as the costs of reproduction or the effect of environment on individuals. “It’s really cool, because it helps you make good management

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“It made me a better scientist and graduate student because I had the hands-on field experience and the drive to want to follow up and publish my research.”

and ecology decisions, but lets us answer some of those neat biology questions that are really the backbone of management – they’re just a little more elusive.” Working so closely with an animal, a researcher is bound to develop feelings. “They’re a neat species – they’re cute as a button!” says McClintock. She spent each day walking through her section, which would be densely covered with nests just a few feet apart. A black brant nest is simply a shallow depression scraped out and lined with a little grass and breast feathers from the mother. She witnessed mating pairs squabbling over prime nest sites, and domestic disturbances between neighboring males when nests ended up too close for comfort. “They’re just hanging out right there on the tundra, and the males are so protective.” Although the females do most of the nest sitting, she says, the males would ferociously guard the nest, occasionally making her job hazardous. “They’ll run around, they’ll fly in to your head,” McClintock says, unaccountably chuckling. “I have scratches on my arms; they will fly over you and poop on you until you go away – and it’s adorable. It’s horrifying, but adorable, the dedication these males have.” A mating pair and their young stay together for the duration of the breeding season. The brant have an annual complete molt during this time as well and are flightless alongside their young for a time toward the end of the season. She and her colleagues would flush out the flightless birds in a survey of which families had a successful breeding year. In other words, which goslings survived. Although it was a good year in terms of breeding – many pairs got nests and laid eggs – it was a less successful year in terms of who survived, perhaps explained by a heavy rain, while the goslings were less than a week old, and lower-quality food due to the lateness of the breeding season. As for fidelity between mates, she says that it seems to hinge on reproductive success. Most of the time, they keep doing what works. A pair that loses its offspring will usually be paired with different mates the following year. And then, abruptly, the season is over, and as quickly as they arrived the birds have flown away. “You know, I got there and it was just covered in snow,” she says. “I got to watch this really cool transition as the snow melted and revealed brown, dead earth. And then birds came back and plants started growing and then birds nested and successfully had young. Not

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just the brant I studied, but songbirds and shorebirds, ducks and geese – everything running around. And then you see them get big enough and fly away. You say that bird’s headed south – that’s a success. That’s what I loved, being able to see the entire cycle just condensed and happening so quickly.” For her master’s research, McClintock looked at the costs of reproduction in wood ducks in the Southeast. “It’s actually really neat for me – the questions Dr. Hepp and I are asking are similar to the ones they’re asking with brant up in Alaska,” she says. The questions involve subjects such as costs of reproduction, what makes a bird successful vs. non-successful in producing young, and exactly how much food do they need to produce healthy offspring. They measure the cost of reproduction in terms of energy, and that boils down to one thing—food. Duck mothers have to make tradeoffs between gathering food and time spent on the nest. They expend energy passing heat to eggs or neglect themselves to spend more time on the nest. “You can compare it to being an actual human parent,” she says. To understand the choices mother wood ducks make, they manipulated nesting conditions by reducing the down layer and watched to see whether females changed their behavior to compensate for a cooler nest. A properly warm nest is vital not just to the eggs and their development, but it can have repercussions to successive generations. They learned that female ducks do make choices that balance their own needs with their offspring. The summer in Alaska was a slow progression from a choice she made as an undergraduate at the University of Maine. McClintock got her first research job by approaching a professor and just asking for work her freshman year. She was counting birds in digital photos for hours upon end, and it was less than exciting. But it led to another position at a bird refuge in Maine, and from there to Alaska, and from there all over the world. She has studied honeycreepers in Hawaii, puffins and auks in the Aleutian Islands, satin bowerbirds in Australia, and oiled seabirds in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP oil spill. “I’ve traveled the globe doing this,” she says. “It made me a better scientist and graduate student because I had the hands-on field experience and the drive to want to follow up and publish my research.” And now, in a move that she might not have predicted a few years previously, McClintock made the decision to apply for teaching fellowships during her last semester of her master’s program. She says that she feels like everything she’s learned will come back around to serve her in the classroom. “Even though it’s not your traditional path to being a high school teacher,” she says, “I think because of my experiences I am going to have a lot more to say. I’m excited because I’ve been all over the world, and I think it’s going to make me a great teacher.” 32

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R E S E A RC H

Tu Receives NSF CAREER Award

Lu Receives Early Career Ecologist Award

Maobing Tu, associate professor in Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, has received a $401, 155 National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award for his research in biofuels and bioenergy. Butanol has several advantages over ethanol, including a higher energy content, and ease of transport and use.“Butanol is one of the promising advanced biofuels being pursued by industry for the next generation of alternative fuels,” said Tu. “However, cost-effective production of butanol from lignocellulosic biomass is still challenging.” The five-year project promises to improve efficiency in the biorefining process for butanol production from forest and agricultural biomass. According to the National Science Foundation, “The Faculty Early Career Development Program is the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious award to support the early career development of those teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education.” Dr. Tu is the first CAREER awardee in the 68-year history of the School. Dean Shepard noted that, while the $401,000 is a substantial grant, this award is much more significant than the funding. The grant is a high honor, and will likely lead to many other successes in Dr. Tu’s career. This year Tu also received a $150,000 grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture to explore the use of nanocrystalline cellulose from forest biomass to create piezoelectric materials. The project, titled “Nanocrystalline Cellulose Based Piezoelectric Materials for Energy Sustainability,” is expected to provide a new class of piezoelectric materials, which are critical to high tech devices. Tu is collaborating with Zhongyang Cheng, a professor in the Materials Engineering program, on the project. It is our vision that agriculture and forestry are not only sources for food and fiber, but also sources for engineering materials,” said Tu. “This project has the potential to help the forest industry by transforming a portion of the pulp and paper industry to the development of engineering materials and add high value to forest biomass.”ing materials and add high value to forest biomass.”

Chaoqun Lu, research fellow in the International Center for Climate and Global Change in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, is one of the two winners of the Early Career Ecologist Award from the Ecological Society of America (ESA). Lu’s research focuses on understanding and quantification of terrestrial ecosystem responses to multiple global changes by process-based ecosystem model development, application, and data-model assimilation. In 2012, her pioneer work on reactive nitrogen enrichment and its role in carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas emission and food security in China generated a great deal of attention. According to Lu, the significant piece of this was based on a database outlining the magnitude and spatial-temporal patterns of nitrogen deposition and nitrogen fertilizer use across the whole of China. “That’s kind of the foundation,” she says. “We can use it to estimate the consequences and cost of nitrogen enrichment.” These costs include air and water pollution as well as contributions to climate change. Lu used the DLEM model, developed by Hanqin Tian over the last decade, to develop a more complete picture of nitrogen consequences. Tian’s group spent a great deal of time and effort to be sure the model represents the terrestrial nitrogen cycling and its interaction with the carbon and water cycles, which not all climate models take into account. “The follow-up work is to estimate how much carbon sink is induced from atmospheric and anthropogenic nitrogen input and then we shift our focus to greenhouse gas emission. Nitrogen can stimulate plant growth and increase carbon sequestration, but also stimulates emission of nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas. So there’s a dilemma in managing nitrogen,” says Lu. Her group was the first to definitively say that China has reached the tipping point – where nitrogen fertilizer use can no longer increase crop yield, but instead will stimulate warming. “It’s a very sensitive topic, I think,” she says. Recently, her research in nitrogen cycling has expanded to the U.S. and contributed to EPA synthesis on nitrogen-climate interactions and evaluation of land-coastal linkage in the Gulf of Mexico. Lu has published 29 peer-reviewed papers in top journals such as Global Change Biology, Global Biogeochemical Cycle, Ecological Application, Journal of Geophysical Research, and Frontier of Ecology and the Environment. The one published in Journal of Geophysical Research has been cited more than 100 times.

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R E S E A RC H

Zhang Travels in Pinchot’s Steps for Sabbatical Gifford Pinchot holds an important place in the history of American forestry. As the first chief – and a founding force – of the U.S. Forest Service, he exerted a great deal of influence on the development of the profession in this country. Pinchot famously brought forestry to the United States after studying at the AgroParis Tech in Nancy, France – then called the French School of Forestry – which was one of the oldest forestry education institutions in the world. During the six years in the early 2000s that he served as a board member of the Pinchot Institute for Conservation, Alumni, and George W. Peake Jr. Professor, Daowei Zhang was intrigued by Pinchot’s time spent in France. During his tenure at the institute, Zhang developed the desire to see the places Pinchot studied; although the time wasn’t right then, he began to think about seeing how and where Pinchot originally learned forestry. After his textbook, Forest Economics, was published in 2011, the time seemed to be right. He reached out to Anne Stenger, the director of the Forest Economics Laboratory (LEF), which is under the auspices of the French National Institute of Agronomic Research (Institut national de la recherche agronomique, or INRA) and AgroParis Tech, and he says “they, especially Dr. Stenger, Dr. Erwin Dreyer of INRA, and Dr. Bernard ROMANAMAT of AgroParis Tech, warmly welcomed me, and, in fact, helped me get grants that helped with housing and travel expenses.” The first question was what his work would be while there. Foremost in his mind was to challenge himself and to reach into new territory in his own research. “For the forestry profession, there are essentially two services. One is timber and other forest products, and another is environmental services. Water conservation, carbon sequestration, endangered species conservation – that’s all forestry. I have worked most of my career on the timber side, so I purposefully made the decision to pay more attention to the environmental services side.” After his initial inquiries, there followed a series of communications and one exploratory visit to be sure that it would be a productive working relationship. It was indeed productive, with Zhang and Stenger producing three papers submitted for publication during his six-month sabbatical stay in Nancy, France between January and July in 2013. In addition, Zhang gave seminars at AgroParis Tech in Nancy, INRA headquarters in Champenoux, and the Swedish Agricultural University in Umea. He also served as the keynote speaker at a workshop of the Third Annual World Planted Forests Conference in Porto, Portugal. The first paper accepted for publication involved this idea of timber versus ecosystem services in the marketplace. That is, how does value get assigned to the intangible services that forests provide for the public good? Zhang stresses that it is a theoretical paper meant to explore the question of how to assign economic value to forest ecosystem services, which are obviously not traded in the marketplace. He explains that landowners face a tradeoff in getting the most out of their land. “You do not want to take too much timber out, but on the

environmental services side, how do you pay for it? If I am a private landowner and cannot harvest my timber, I’m stuck. How will society compensate landowners for those kinds of things?” “Our conclusion was that you have to be very careful,” he says. This paper was inspired by a recent article that listed the value of ecosystem services as twice the global GDP. He wanted to test this idea, and see if it really was possible to assign value to these intangibles, a conceptual development that also holds policy implications as the political ‘marketplace’ is often the entity allocating resources to produce these services. Next, Zhang and Stenger took up the question of timber insurance. Few countries have an established system of insuring timber, though agricultural crops have a long history of being insured. However, timber grows more valuable over a long period of time. What happens if a catastrophic event such as a tornado or a hurricane damages healthy timber that now represents a 20-year investment? After a thorough comparison of practices in other countries, Zhang offers some practical guidance; for example, insuring only reforestation costs ensures that the landowner receives some protection, and that the public sees green trees shortly after a disaster. The final paper was a review of planted forest development in four countries – the U.S., China, France, and Brazil. They discussed the economics and policy instruments relevant to forest plantations, then compared development in the four named countries. Zhang says they concluded that for conservation and efficient development, countries need certain things in place, such as secure property rights and efficient governance and administration. Finally, Professor Zhang participated in Nicolas Robert’s PhD defense at AgroParis Tech in January. To do so, and to learn more about his host country, he made the effort to learn French. Although not proficient in French, he says he nonetheless did daily things with his broken French. He hopes to continue studying French even now that he has returned to Auburn. Though his sabbatical has been completed, the collaboration with his colleagues in Nancy has not ended. He says that another paper comparing different countries’ approach to biodiversity in forests – endangered species conservation – is in development. Zhang also visited multiple various forests in France and select other European countries to gain insight into forest conditions and industry practices. He delivered his impressions of the French forestry industry, along with a summary of his other activities during his stay, in an address to his LEF colleagues in July 2013. He concluded the presentation with a final word on his stay: “It was Gifford Pinchot who attracted me to Nancy initially. He has left an incredible legacy in American forestry and conservation. My sixmonth stay here has made me understand better where he came up with his ideas and where he wanted to achieve in his policy prescriptions 100plus years ago. I conclude by saying that my visit is valuable, and that it was too short.”

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R E S E A RC H

Preparing for the Future with PINEMAP PINEMAP is a large-scale project, funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, to produce and disseminate knowledge necessary to manage planted southern pine forests in a changing world. Forests of the southern United States provide 16 percent of global wood production and the forest industry supplies 5.5 percent of the jobs and 7.5 percent of industrial economic activity in the region. As we face increasing climate variability in the coming years, landowners need to know what strategies they can use to sustain forest productivity. The PINEMAP project was established to develop this knowledge and disseminate that knowledge to the public. The project is far reaching and collaborative, with partners at a variety of institutions throughout the Southeast. Lisa Samuelson, the Dwain G. Luce Professor at the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, heads up the PINEMAP team at Auburn University. With Joe Clark, an MS student who graduated fall 2013, and PhD candidate Stan Bartkowiak, she published initial results of their PINEMAP research: Early Impacts of Rainfall Manipulation and Fertilization Treatments on the Ecophysiology of Loblolly Pine. Samuelson’s group is seeking to quantify the interactions between nutrient availability and drought on planted loblolly pine by using rainfall exclusion troughs to reduce ambient precipitation by 30 percent combined with an operational fertilizer treatment. This experimental design is meant to mimic the effects of a maximum reduction in precipitation that scientists think is possible in the coming 50 years. They then compared growth and physiology of loblolly pine trees subjected to ambient rainfall, 30 percent rainfall exclusion, fertilization, and fertilization plus rainfall exclusion. The group uses a variety of methods to look for effects of the treatments. Barikowiak uses a device called a thermal dissipation probe to measure the amount of water flowing through a tree, which is used to estimate the rate at which the trees use water. The probe, a small device that resembles a voltmeter, has two rods that are inserted into the tree. One is heated and the other is at the ambient tree temperature. As water moves through the tree, heat dissipates off the heated prong at a rate related to the speed of water

movement past the prong, and the device measures the temperature difference that is used to calculate speed of water movement. From this and the tree size, researchers calculate the flow of water, which is then used to determine the rate of transpiration and how reduced precipitation affects tree water needs, water use efficiency, and hydraulic architecture. Clark looked at Leaf Area Index measured with an optical device that measures the amount of light filtered through the canopy as a function of canopy leaf area. The LAI, he says, has been shown to be the primary driver of growth in loblolly pine, and LAI can be greatly increased by fertilization. The primary question is whether increased LAI from fertilization makes trees more susceptible to drought stress or whether drought stress reduces the positive effects of fertilization on leaf area and growth. Samuelson says that they have observed a 12 percent reduction in photosynthesis, a significant decline in plant water status, a 20 percent reduction in whole tree transpiration, and reduced growth in response to the rain exclusion treatment. Fertilization increased peak LAI and growth, but did not influence leaf-level physiological function. So far, the tree physiology has only been sensitive to changes in water availability and the leaf area only to the fertilization, and the added LAI has not made the trees more susceptible to drought. However, the study is ongoing to see if interactive effects develop over time. Similar experiments are being conducted in Oklahoma, Florida, and Virginia, and results from these studies across the region will be used in complex ecological computer models that will simulate the various ways varying climate in the Southeast could impact loblolly pine growth. Samuelson’s group, and PINEMAP overall, seeks to learn more about how pine plantation owners would need to change their management strategies to adapt to changing climate conditions. Furthermore, the PINEMAP project has educational and outreach components built in, so the PINEMAP team will transfer new knowledge to K-12 educators, landowners, and policy makers.

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R E S E A RC H

Steury Receives Grant for Alabama Black Bear Research

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Todd Steury, associate professor in Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, has received an $85,287 grant from the State of Alabama for his project, “Estimated population size of black bears in Alabama.” The project will use hair snares to survey for black bears in and around Mobile County in the south and the Little River National Preserve in northeast Alabama. According to Steury, black bears in Alabama belong to two subspecies, the eastern black bear and Florida black bear. There is a long-standing but small population of Florida black bears in southern Alabama near Mobile, and reports of new sightings of eastern black bears previously wiped out from northeastern Alabama. This project aims to determine how many bears exist in the Mobile population through DNA analysis. This analysis could also help them learn other things about these southern Alabama bears – whether there is significant inbreeding, for example. They also hope to find out for certain whether bears have re-populated the northeastern corner of the state, or the sightings have been from a transient population. The hair snares snag bits of hair and along with it, DNA, as the bears head toward a bait station. These snares will be laid out at random points within a sampling grid with 8 km square cells, based on the average home range of male black bears. Because bears roam widely in the fall, preparing for winter hibernation, the researchers hope to come close to snagging DNA of the entire male black bear populations in the two survey areas. “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 catch public interest. “Knowing exactly how many individual black bears exist in the core of the 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.”

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Tian Awarded Grant from NSF to Study Wildfire and Climate Variability Hanqin Tian, Solon and Martha Dixon Professor in Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences and director of the International Center for Climate and Global Change Research, has been awarded $455,984 to study wildfire and climate variability as part of a four-year, $2.5 million collaborative research grant from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the USDA Joint Program on Decadal and Regional Climate Prediction using Earth System Models. The project, “Wildfires and Regional Climate Variability – Mechanisms, Modeling, and Prediction,” will seek to improve understanding and modeling capability of the twoway interaction between regional climate variability and wildfire. The other collaborating institutions are the Georgia Institute of Technology, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Department of Energy Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Understanding regional climate variability on a decade-level scale is important for developing adaptation strategies. Wildfire is an important but imperfectly understood factor in regions where it is prevalent. According to Tian, previous studies have only looked at the impact of climate on fire, or of fire on climate – not the cycle of interactions that researchers hypothesize. Tian’s role in the project will be the development of a new opensource model, called Region-specific Fire Model with Ecosystem Feedbacks (RFMEF). This model will work within the Community Earth System Model (CESM1) to broaden the scope of understanding of the dynamics that work to influence regional climate. In turn, the data generated by the RFMEF model will be valuable to policy experts and scientists for both research and policy analysis in these regions.

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DEVELOPMENT

Letter from the Campaign Chair Dear Friends, The Auburn School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences had an outstanding year. As chairman of our Campaign Committee, I want to thank you for your continued support in moving our program forward to the highest level of excellence possible in the forestry, wildlife, natural resource management, and conservation fields. I also want to update you on our recent accomplishments and to highlight our future goals and priorities. Our supporters have been generous, acknowledging the importance of our mission and allowing us to achieve a very successful year, surpassing our annual fundraising goal by 73 percent. Chief among our accomplishments was completion of the new Solon and Martha Dixon Foundation Learning Center in Andalusia, Ala. The new Learning Center will enhance the Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center, ensuring that Auburn continues to be recognized as having one of the finest educational field facilities of its type in the nation. As we enter the leadership phase of the next capital campaign, our team will work hard to lead the effort in raising the school’s portion of the expected university campaign total. While no public announcement has yet been made, we estimate that the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences will be tasked with raising at least $19.8 million, an increase of 56 percent from the previous campaign. As of Feb. 1, 2014, approximately $13.85 million has been raised, bringing us to 70 percent of our “unofficial� $19.8 million capital campaign goal total. Consistent with our strategic plan, our academic priorities have been identified for this next campaign and we are determining how best to achieve these. These priorities will give the SFWS a competitive edge to attract and retain the brightest students and most talented faculty in an increasingly competitive environment. Our most important priority is to finish funding the Solon and Martha Dixon Foundation Learning Center. We are proud of this newly completed facility, which includes an auditorium, classroom and executive conference room. This addition will enhance the summer practicum learning experience with state-of-the-art audiovisual and internet

capabilities that support 21st century-approaches to education and outreach. It also serves to support our outreach mission by adding an additional space to host programs by our many partners. We have currently raised $1.41 million dollars, or 85 percent of the $1.65 million dollar project. There are still three naming opportunities and a wall of honor to recognize loyal supporters of this project. We are also tasked with increasing our graduate scholarship and support. Currently the SFWS has 64 graduate students enrolled in our programs, but our goal is to reach 100 by 2019. In an effort to recruit outstanding graduate students, the SFWS offers fellowships to a select group of candidates that have potential to contribute to graduate study at Auburn. Our faculty and staff are dedicated to producing highly desired graduates and generating knowledge that drives business thought and practice. Increased support in this area will boost opportunities for our students to be a part of a research environment that promotes advancement of society and the global competitiveness of the state, region, and nation. Last year, our school awarded $147,000 in scholarships to deserving students. Scholarships for undergraduate students are key to recruiting and retaining the best students. Tuition costs are rising, and more and more of our students are less likely to depend on their parents to help fund their college education. Due to the increased enrollment in our wildlife sciences program and the creation of the new natural resources major, scholarship opportunities for those students are limited. Without scholarships to offer promising students, our recruiting efforts will be more challenging. The final priority of this campaign is to increase gifts of land with the creation of War Eagle Woods. These gifts can be given outright, through a planned estate gift, or through a retained life estate. Donations of land are among the most precious gifts a donor can provide. Land is at the core of what our faculty teaches and often holds tremendous personal significance. With a gift to the War Eagle Woods, the SFWS has the ability to manage the property under sound principles of sustainability and good stewardship. We will integrate all aspects of teaching, research, and outreach into the management of donated properties to create

Our most important priority is to finish funding the Solon and Martha Dixon Foundation Learning Center. We are proud of this newly completed facility, which includes an auditorium, classroom and executive conference room.

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a hands-on learning opportunity for our students while keeping our faculty and students grounded in the practical aspects of managing land for timber, wildlife, water quality, and other natural resources. Signage would be placed at the entrance of the property to recognize your donation and permanently honor your legacy of support. I hope that you will join me and consider leaving a legacy through a long-term gift of land or planned giving. As you can see, our leadership team has been busy in the past year. I am privileged to lead such an outstanding team that give of their time and talents to benefit the forestry and wildlife family. However, all of our work would not be possible without the continued support of our alumni and donors. Private support is essential to maintain the standard of excellence for which the SFWS is known. These gifts allow us to provide students with a high quality educational experience and continue the growth and progress of our programs. I invite you to consider a gift to the SFWS and join our pursuit of excellence. The school accepts gifts in numerous forms—cash, stocks, bonds, land, timber, other real property, and deferred gifts. Heather Crozier and I would be pleased to visit with you and discuss an approach that would fit your financial circumstances and personal interests. Regardless of how you decide to help, I want to thank you for all that you do to help make Auburn such a special place, great university, and exceptional School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. War Eagle!

Introducing the SFWS Campaign Committee From left: Joe Roberson, Emmett Thompson, Marc Walley, Jeff Bentley, Dick Brinker, James Shepard, Art Dyas, Don Heath and Richard Hall. Not pictured: Ronnie Williams and Jim King.

Marc Walley ’85 Chairman School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Leadership Team

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DEVELOPMENT

Philanthropy: A Family Business A great deal has been written about the Boykin family of Mobile, Ala. The family patriarch, the late Frank W. Boykin, was a larger-thanlife figure; he was a long-serving U.S. Congressman for the Mobile district and a savvy businessman who amassed a fortune that included large swaths of Alabama land. Today, two of his grandchildren–Riley Boykin Smith and Starr Boykin–are at the helm of the Tensaw Land and Timber Company that he created, and have maintained a generous philanthropic relationship with the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. Although the family business began with timber, Smith says that they are as interested – if not more interested – in managing their land for game. In addition to long-term timber leases that sustainably manage the timber on family land, Boykin oversees 58 hunting leases as secretary/treasurer of the company. So it is fitting that there are two scholarships in SFWS, one originally for forestry and one for wildlife, named for Starr’s mother, Lynn Dent Boykin. The Tensaw Land and Timber/Frank W. Boykin Endowed Scholarship was established in 1986 by Starr’s father, Bob Boykin, in his father’s honor. Although Frank W. Boykin had an estimated fourthgrade education, his granddaughter says he loved to see young people getting an education, and Smith adds that even as the family grew, his grandfather would send money to grandchildren as a reward for good grades.

Each year for the past few years, Riley Smith and Starr Boykin invite the students who receive Boykin Scholarships to the hunting lodge in MacIntosh, Ala., that was originally built by their grandfather. Boykin says “The kids would write such nice letters thanking us for the scholarships. You just want to meet that face who wrote you the letter. You know you are going to see those kids somewhere further down the road and they’ll say ‘I had your scholarship, and I met you.’ It’s just – something good.” She recalls the first year that they invited scholarship students to the MacIntosh property, and how amazed she was that some of the wildlife students who were recipients of the Lynn Dent Boykin Scholarship had never hunted or fished. “I’m a southern girl,” she

“The kids would write such nice letters thanking us for the scholarships. You just want to meet that face who wrote you the letter. You know you are going to see those kids somewhere further down the road and they’ll say ‘I had your scholarship, and I met you.’ It’s just – something good.” This scholarship was originally set up to support a Washington County student in forestry at Auburn, but was later amended to allow students from all over the state and majoring in wildlife to be eligible as well. Smith says this is appropriate because although the Tensaw Company was originally a timber company, Frank Boykin’s love of hunting and the outdoors is another kind of legacy that his descendants carefully preserve. Lynn Dent Boykin was the first female chairman of the board and president of the National Wild Turkey Federation. Her work was recognized by then Governor Don Siegelman in 2001, when he set up the Governor’s One-Shot Turkey Hunt; the proceeds from this event went to provide the initial endowment for a scholarship at Auburn for wildlife students in her honor. To date, there have been 87 Lynn Dent Boykin Scholarships in Wildlife Sciences awarded.

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says, “I know everything about it all – hunting and fishing.” As a pro fisher and veteran of countless hunts both domestic and exotic, she is not exaggerating. So she took them fishing, which for many was their first experience casting a line. She found that rewarding and likes to think that it’s another level of wildlife education for many of the students who aren’t from areas with access to this kind of activity. Smith says that the relationship with Auburn was a natural one for the scholarships. “I think that anyone associated with land ought to be interested in what Auburn’s doing,” he says. Smith, in addition to being the current president and CEO of Tensaw Land and Timber, served as the commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources under Governor Siegelman. He adds that hunting is important to his family and to society. “A lot of people don’t know that hunting license revenues were what provided the finances for bringing the bald eagle and bluebird back to Alabama,” he says. “I don’t think you can be a good biologist or game manager without at least a working knowledge of what is important about hunting.” For now, they plan to continue inviting the students to visit each year, enjoying the personal contact with the future of the natural resources profession. Since the Tensaw Land/Frank W. Boykin scholarship was established, more than 100 students in wildlife and forestry have received scholarships with the Boykin name. The family believes it is a tradition worth continuing.

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DEVELOPMENT

s dland oo W

a n d

Wild life

S O C I E T Y

Woodlands and Wildlife Society for friends of SFWS The Woodlands and Wildlife Society is the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences’ (SFWS) elite dean’s club for our most loyal benefactors. Membership is available to individuals who give $1,000 or more annually to the school, $500 or more if a graduate of the last 10 years. The funds garnered through the Woodlands and Wildlife Society are invaluable in supporting scholarships, opportunities for faculty development, lectureships, and special programs such as the Forest Ecology Preserve, the Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center, and the Mary Olive Thomas Demonstration Forest. You may choose the program that your annual support will enhance. Membership in the Woodlands and Wildlife Society carries a number of exclusive benefits. As a member, you will enjoy the preferential football parking option and tailgate spaces in front of the SFWS building, a subscription to our e-newsletter, special acknowledgement in our annual magazine, and invitations to special events such as the annual Woodlands and Wildlife Society dinner. In addition, you will be presented with a certificate of induction into the society and a lapel pin. We invite you to foster the Auburn Spirit and continue SFWS’s standard of excellence by considering membership in the Woodlands and Wildlife Society. You can make your gift online at www.auburn.edu/giving or mail a check to: School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Office of Development Attn: Sharon Tatum 602 Duncan Drive Auburn, AL 36849 If you have questions about the Woodlands and Wildlife Society or other ways you can contribute to the SFWS, please contact: Sharon Tatum (334)844-1983 sharon.tatum@auburn.edu

Woodlands and Wildlife Society Membership Alabama Conservation & Natural Resources Foundation, Inc. Alabama Farmers Federation Alabama Forest Owners Alabama Forestry Association Alabama Power Foundation, Inc. Alabama Wildlife Federation, Inc. Dr. and Mrs. Michael Anderson Auburn Opelika Tourism Bureau Mr. Jeff Bentley ’84 Ms. Starr Boykin ‘’80 Dr. and Mrs. Richard Brinker Mr. and Mrs. F. Dixon Brooke, Jr. ’70 Mr. and Mrs. Bivin Broughton ’60 Dr. John Clifford Brown ’65 Mr. Steve Brown Mr. Alan P. Bruce ’78 Dr. and Mrs. Steve Burak ’01 Mr. Robert F. Burgin III ’81 Mr. and Mrs. David Carroll ’86 Mr. and Mrs. Richard Carroll Mrs. Deborah H. Carter ’72 Mrs. Daisy O’Mary Collins Cooper Marine and Timberlands Corporation Ms. Jenny Crisp ’85 Mr. and Mrs. Neil Crosby ’54 Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Culp ’77 Mr. and Mrs. Wesley W. Diehl ’79 Thelma Dixon Foundation Drummond Company, Inc. Mrs. Erin Dunn Mr. and Mrs. Art Dyas ’73 Mr. and Mrs. Charles Edwards F & W Forestry Dr. and Mrs. Harold Foster, Jr. ’52 Garden Club of Alabama, Inc. Mr. and Mrs. J. Robert Gardner ’66 Dr. and Mrs. Glenn Glover ’73 Dr. and Mrs. John E. Hackman Mr. and Mrs. Richard Hall ’95 Mr. and Mrs. Kent Hanby ’65 Mr. and Mrs. Dwight Harrigan Mr. and Mrs. Don Heath ’73 Mr. and Mrs. Jim Heath ’73 Mr. and Mrs. Bucky Henson ’91 Dr. and Mrs. Harris Hollans ’91 Mrs. Margaret Holler Industree Timber, Inc. Mrs. Fay Ireland Kay and Burke C. Jones ’62

Dr. Crystal Kelley Mr. and Mrs. Michael Kelly ’79 Mr. and Mrs. Tom Kennedy ’50 KIA Motors Manufacturing Kykenkee Mr. H. Cannon Lawley ’95 Amanda Littrell ’78 Thomas Littrell, IV ’06 Mr. Avery Littrell Mr. Mark Littrell ’89 Mr. Greg Luce Mrs. Alice Johnson Mallory ’66 Dr. Dwayne Marcum ’84 Mr. and Mrs. Tommy McDonald ’79 Mr. and Mrs. Joe McNeel III ’84 Dr. Vicki Miller and Mr. Todd Miller ’88 Mr. and Mrs. Richard Moore ’69 Mr. Emory Mosley ’72 Mr. Danny Norman ’74 Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Oser ’81 Mrs. Sue Atchison Pearson and Jack ’49 Regions Financial Corporation Resource Management Service, LLC Mr. Joe Dalton Roberson ’88 Mr. and Mrs. Doug Roberts ’82 Mr. and Mrs. Ben Rooke Jr. ’65 Russell Lands, Inc. Mr. and Mrs. Michael Salisbury Mr. Mark Sasser ’75 Mr. and Mrs. Paul Schrantz ’74 Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Schwarzauer ’78 Mr. Damon Eugene Wilkinson ’97 Mr. and Mrs. Robert P. Sharp ’72 Dr. and Mrs. James P. Shepard Ms. Pennie Lawson Smith Mr. Carl Southern ’76 Mr. Steve W. Stewart ’74 Dr. Steven Holt Stokes ’71 Mr. and Mrs. Charley Tarver ’68 Dr. and Mrs. Emmett Thompson Mr. and Mrs. Mike Thompson F. Allen & Louise K. Turner Charitable Foundation Mr. and Mrs. John Edward Vick ’62 Mr. and Mrs. Marc Walley ’85 Wal-Mart Foundation The Westervelt Company Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Guy Whitley, Jr. ’64 Mr. Matt Whitley ’99 Mr. and Mrs. Ronnie Williams ’74

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THIS IS A LASTING GIFT. Why Give Land? Donations of land are among the most precious gifts a donor can provide to Auburn University. Land is at the core of what we teach at the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, and often holds tremendous personal significance. When you make a gift of land to Auburn University as part of the War Eagle Woods, we have the ability to manage your property under sound principles of sustainability and good stewardship. With the variety of giving options available, this land can provide tax benefits to you, as well as benefit your family and the Auburn Family for years to come: • Outright Gift: Make a current gift and maximize the charitable income tax deduction • Bequest: Defer a gift until after your lifetime • Retained Life Estate: Donate your property now, but retain lifetime use The School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences integrates all aspects of our teaching, research, and outreach mission into management of the War Eagle Woods. In this way, your gift would increase hands-on learning opportunities for our students and keep our faculty and students grounded in the practical aspects of managing land for timber, wildlife, water quality, and other natural resources.

THIS IS A MEANINGFUL LEGACY. Todd and Vicki Miller live on 50 acres of forestland just outside the city of Auburn. Their living room looks out on a wooded yard that slopes down to a playful creek that sings when waters are high. They decided to deed this land to Auburn in their will for two main reasons. Vicki puts it best when she says they are donating their land because “We just want it to be maintained and to be useful.” With no immediate heirs and relatives living far and wide, donating the property to Auburn seemed the best way to ensure that this land which has been so meaningful to them will be useful for generations to come. Vicki, who grew up in the city, likes to imagine students from urban areas finding their passion for the outdoors here. By leaving their property to Auburn University, they are planting roots that will bear fruit far into the future. For more information on making a gift of land to Auburn University or the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, please contact: Heather Crozier, Director of Development 334-844-2791 or Sfwsdevelopment@auburn.edu

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A LU M N I Dean’s Tailgate Dean James Shepard and his wife, Cathy, hosted a tailgate at the Mississippi State game on Sept. 14, 2013.

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A LU M N I

Alumni Profile: Matthew Meyerpeter on Networking Matthew Meyerpeter, a Missouri native, was in the woods with a chainsaw most days doing timber improvement after he received his bachelor’s degree. He says that during this time he realized that no one was going to just call him up and offer him the kind of job he really wanted – he was going to have to make the change happen. Matt had majored in forestry but also enjoyed his business classes, and thought that the best fit for him would be a job that offered a mix of business and forestry, even though he wasn’t really sure what exactly that would look like. He also knew, from visiting his two brothers who lived in Alabama, that the southeastern forestry industry offered more opportunities than Missouri. With these things in mind, Matt decided to make his own opportunities. He did Internet searches for consulting forestry firms in the Southeast and started sending e-mails. “I’m in Missouri and want a more career-oriented job,” he would write, “and I would appreciate help or advice.” He says, “If you show you’re willing to put in the extra work, people will help you.” No one offered him a job for asking, but he got much needed advice.

“If you show you’re willing to put in the extra work, people will help you.” One person, Bucky Henson, of Buchanan Forest Resources, Inc. gave more than advice. “He said, ‘if you come to the Alabama Forestry Association (AFA) conference, I will introduce you to everyone we know and see what we can make of it.’” Meyerpeter made the trip on his own dime, and was not offered a job. People were tightening belts in the midst of the recession, but one person made a suggestion that he had never considered – Dick Brinker, then dean of the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University, told him he should think about graduate school. He went back to Missouri after the conference, but after learning about how an assistantship could fund the additional degree and a few more weeks of chainsaw work, he was ready to think seriously about grad school. Meyerpeter found an assistantship with Lori Eckhardt, but kept going to the AFA conferences. “I would just introduce myself,” he says. “People are curious. They see you trying to do something outside the norm. Everyone appreciated the effort and wanted to help.” During his second year of graduate school, it all paid off. “I met David Helm, an Auburn graduate attending one of the conferences. We were talking, and he told me to stay in touch because IP would be looking for people in the coming years as some people retired.” Helm invited Matthew to interview while he was still completing his second year of a master’s degree, and this eventually led to a job offer after graduation. Matthew works as a fiber supply associate at International Paper’s Eastover, S.C., paper mill. He works with timber suppliers, who in turn work directly with landowners or consultants, to get wood to the mill. He’s the contact for suppliers in his region, and spends time both in the office and outdoors – like he always wanted. Attending two AFA conferences put him on the path to getting the career he envisioned, and he says making the effort to stand out made all the difference. “The biggest thing was networking in those rooms. It was nerve wracking, but I had nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

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A LU M N I

Outstanding Alumni

Each year, one person is recognized as the Outstanding SFWS Alumnus of the Year. Here are the most recent honorees, from 2011-13. S. Wayne Ford, 2011 SFWS Outstanding Alumnus of the Year S. Wayne Ford served as a faculty member of Auburn University for 32 years as a county Extension agent. He retired as the Tuscaloosa County Extension coordinator in 2011. He conducted hundreds of meetings, short courses, farm visits, and field days helping youth and adults learn more about their natural resources. Ford is best known for his passion in training youth in the Alabama 4-H Forestry and Wildlife Judging programs. Widely known as the “Father of the Alabama 4-H Forestry Judging Program,” he has coached eight national championship Alabama 4-H Forestry Judging teams - more than any other coach in the nation. In addition, he also coached five national champion Alabama 4-H Wildlife Judging teams. Four of his natural resource judging teams also won reserve national championships. During his tenure in Extension, he had 395 state-winning youth in various Extension activities. Sixteen of his 4-H youth received the prestigious Alabama Governor’s Youth Conservationist of the Year Award. Since retirement, Ford is very active in his community, serves as a consultant for woodland landowners with their natural resource objectives and is an adjunct professor teaching natural resource classes at the University of Alabama.

Richard Jones, 2012 SFWS Outstanding Alumnus of the Year

Larkin H. Wade, 2013 SFWS Outstanding Alumnus of the Year Larkin H. Wade received his BS degree from Auburn University in 1961. As a distinguished military graduate in ROTC, he entered the U.S. Army-Artillery as a second lieutenant and spent most of his two years in Korea. Upon receiving his MS degree from Auburn in 1965, he was employed by the now Alabama Cooperative Extension System, as the state Extension forester, and served in that position 11 years before becoming the head of a group of natural resource specialists in 1976. A university reorganization in 1988 placed him in what is now the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences as the coordinator of Extension programs and Mosley Environmental Professor until he retired in 1993. So he ended his professional career at the same institution where it began – Auburn University. Through Extension, Larkin made many contributions to the management of Alabama’s forest resources and the people who own them. In 1980, 1986, and 1993, he was recognized by the Alabama Legislature through joint resolutions of the House and Senate for outstanding service to the people of Alabama. On the national level, from 1972 through 1980, Larkin’s efforts, along with the efforts of others, led to the passage of Public Law 95-306, United States Congress, and the Renewable Resources Extension Act (RREA) of 1978. For 20 years after retirement, he served as chair of the Bradley/Murphy Forestry and Natural Resources Extension Trust.

Richard Henry (Rick) Jones is a life-long Alabama resident. He received his BS in forest management from Auburn University in 1977, and his MBA from the University of West Florida, Pensacola in 1988. He is an Alabama registered forester, a private forest landowner, and a 25-year participant in the American Tree Farm System. His 37-year forestry career has been spent at T. R. Miller Mill Co., Inc., Cedar Creek Land & Timber, Inc., and Charles Dixon & Co., LLC. His broad experience includes land management, minerals management, hunting/farm leases, GIS, and forestry financial and accounting matters. Rick was the 54th president of the Alabama Forestry Association, and has also served as secretary and vice chair of the Alabama State Board of Registration for Foresters, board member of the Forest Landowners Association, secretary/treasurer of the Alabama Division Society of American Foresters, vice president and chairman of the Covington County Farmers Federation forestry committee, and on the Alabama Farmers Federation state forestry commodity committee. 47

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A LU M N I Homecoming BBQ The annual Homecoming BBQ on Oct. 12, 2013, was a great success. In addition to the usual great food and prizes for youngest tiger, farthest traveled, and earliest alumni, entertainment was available in the form of animals from the Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve and a photo booth.

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A LU M N I Spring Fling and Outdoor Expo The inaugural Spring Fling and Outdoor Expo, held at Coach Pat Dye’s Crooked Oaks Hunting Lodge and Quail Hollow Gardens, exceeded its first-year fundraising goal of $50,000. The event, which raised funds for student, faculty, and program support, featured a gala dinner, silent auction, and vendors representing a range of nature-based companies and activities.

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School of

Forestry &Wildlife Sciences

Non-Profit U.S. Postage

PAID Permit No. 530 Auburn, AL 36849

Auburn University 602 Duncan Drive 735 Extension Loop Auburn, AL 36849

Natural Resources Management Degree Offers Flexibility for Outdoors Careers The Natural Resources Management major opens doors to a variety of careers working with nature, conservation, or the outdoors in fields such as environmental science, conservation, or outdoor recreation. With a broad foundation in principles of sustainable management, students learn to apply that knowledge toward solving complex issues facing the world today and in the future. Students in the NRM program tailor their degree with a minor chosen to fit their specific interests. Four minors are available in SFWS: Natural Resources Ecology, Nature-Based Recreation, Urban Environmental Sciences, and Watershed Sciences. Or students can choose to pair the degree with any minor on campus such as sustainability, political science, or business.

Who hires NRM majors? Government agencies, consulting firms, international development and resource management agencies, non-profit organizations, and private industry. Right now, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts excellent growth over the next 10 years in job markets relating to both environmental science and recreation. This new degree program is an outstanding option for any student who wants to work with nature and have the most flexibility to choose their own path.

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2014 AU School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences