WINTER 2021 - 22 | VOL. 37
ACCESS FOR ALL
CAREERS THAT MATTER
WINTER 2021 - 22 Volume 37
Digitizing the Forest
Developing Students, Leveraging Partnerships
ON THE COVER: Dean Dennis Becker (‘02) and Alan Curtis (‘54) on the shores of Lake Payette at the 2021 Forestry Summer Camp and MOSS reunion. Read more about the McCall Reunion on page 24.
Welcoming Students and Partners
Letter From the Dean Letter From the Advisory Board Chair 4
CNR in the Headlines
Developing Students, Leveraging Partnerships
Digitizing the Forest
Donor Sponsored Research Making Strides
Environmental Science Confluence of Writers, Artists and Scientists New Course Grows Field Experiences Plastic Pollution and Outdoor Recreation College, Her Way
Fish and Wildlife Sciences Experiential Learning Opportunities Sharing Stories of Connectivity
Donor Sponsored Research Making Strides
Wolves, Droughts and Humans 16
Forest, Rangeland and Fire Sciences Students Leading Fire Mitigation at UIEF From Marines to a USFS job via U of I Global Biodiversity and Scavengers
Natural Resources and Society Conservation Without Borders Endowing Students Making Education Possible with MOSS Measuring Forest Carbon Offsets
Broadening Undergraduate Research Undergraduate Research Experience Program Student Dates Historical Cabin
Stewarding Resources Thank you from our Director of Development Fundraising Accomplishments and Initiatives
Alumni Engagement McCall Field Campus Reunion Coffee Klatch Connections
Students Leading Fire Mitigation at UIEF
Alumni Corner News and Awards In Memory
Department Updates Award Winning Faculty, Students and Staff Welcoming New Employees Tribal Scholar Position COLLEGE OF NATURAL RESOURCES
LETTER FROM THE DEAN
Dear CNR alumni, colleagues and friends, am lucky that I encounter students everyday whose stories remind me why we’re here. Undergraduate Autumn Herrington, for one, is a senior in the Wildlife Resources program at the University of Idaho. She’s developed advanced skillsets in research, GIS and remote sensing so that she can work internationally as a wildlife ecologist who stewards and conserves precious natural resources. During Vandal Fest in October 2021, the U of I kicked off a big, bold promise to our students: to provide access for all our world-class meaningful research, experiential learning opportunities and training for careers that matter. The U of I is ranked second in the nation as a best value public university, but many students still struggle to afford the opportunity to grow their knowledge and fulfill their potential. As a first-generation student from Boise with a love for the outdoors and wildlife, Autumn always dreamed of going to college but thought it was financially out of reach. Autumn chose U of I because of the strong reputation of CNR, the accessibility to her home state and funding from CNR scholarships. She has received a Doris Duke Scholarship, an internship with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and multiple summer research positions. Her training has prepared her to think critically, to work with people of all backgrounds and to be a leader in our increasingly complex world. Many determined individuals, especially Idaho students, choose not to pursue education after high school — whether a four-year degree, associate degree or a technical certificate. Scholarships are the difference between Autumn and these students. Or, more accurately, you are the difference. Every gift, no matter the size, changes lives, makes dreams come true, contributes to Idaho’s growing economy and ensures that our essential work continues. In this issue we share how our alumni and friends are giving back to the college and university. We’re building a culture of philanthropy from a diverse community of supporters. We’re establishing joint research positions with state agencies and leveraging congressional and legislative funding for our classrooms and labs. And of course we’re expanding accessibility for future Vandals like Autumn. My sister and I were the first in our family to graduate from college. It wasn’t easy to leave the farm, but I had the support of an earlier generation of donors. I see myself in the students walking the halls of the CNR building. It’s our turn to give back so that they may realize the possibilities of a college degree.
Dennis Becker, Ph.D. ’02 Dean
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LETTER FROM THE ADVISORY BOARD CHAIR
am in awe of the resiliency of the University of Idaho’s students, faculty and leadership as we have faced unprecedented challenges brought on by an unpredictable pandemic. As students yearning for in-person learning have enthusiastically returned to campus, several classes have reached record attendance levels. CNR has endured and continues to exceed expectations. With support from stakeholders and constituents alike, President Scott Green has brought the U of I back from fiscal trials. Sacrifices from every member of our community have not gone unnoticed. President Green’s student-focused vision and rethinking of revenue streams will benefit long-term financial stability and make the U of I more resilient. Online learning presented challenges that made us re-think education. Creating new opportunities for distance learning allows students with limitations to attend in Moscow. The advisory board of the CNR continue to focus on developing specific career objectives for students as well as removing boundaries to accessibility. With this goal in mind, CNR is developing associate degrees as a gateway. We have created two-plus-two (two years off campus, two years on campus) programs with the College of Southern Idaho and others to expand the reach of natural resource education. These innovative programs will keep CNR at the forefront of providing exceptional learning and job prospects. Creative solutions are essential to the future of higher education. Support from stakeholders and alumni is necessary to allow for innovation and improvement of CNR programs. Join me as we expand student accessibility and thank the University of Idaho for contributing to the training of future generations.
The College of Natural Resources magazine is published annually for alumni and friends of CNR. Subscription is free. The magazine is also available online in its entirety on the college’s website, uidaho.edu/cnr. Magazine Staff Dennis Becker, dean Kelsey Evans, CNR editor and contributing writer Ralph Bartholdt, Leigh Cooper, Jamie Wagner, Katy Wicks, University Communications & Marketing (UCM) contributing writers CNR Alumni News University of Idaho 875 Perimeter Drive MS 1142 Moscow, ID 83844-1142 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Design – Beth Case, U of I Creative Services Photography – U of I Photo Services. Other image credits noted on the pages where they appear.
Gretchen Hyde Advisory Board Chair
COLLEGE OF NATURAL RESOURCES
College of Natural Resources
Our faculty and students regularly make regional and national news for their research. Below are a few recent headlines.
“IVORY AND THE RAPID EVOLUTION OF TUSKLESSNESS IN AFRICAN ELEPHANTS”
Associate Professor of Wildlife Sciences Ryan Long’s research was published in Science and made global headlines including CNN, the NYT, AP News and ABC News. “An increasing proportion of female elephants in Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park have been born without these crucial tools... an evolutionary response to the brutal killing of elephants for their ivory tusks during the country’s 15-year civil war.”
“WILDFIRE SMOKE MAY CAUSE ‘MIND-BENDING’ AMOUNTS OF FUNGI AND BACTERIA”
Leda Kobziar, Associate Professor of Wildland Fire Science, discusses how trillions of microbes living with plants and soils can disperse through smoke, spreading pathogens or toxins that affect biological functions of places they land. Kobziar’s work discovers what’s in wildfire smoke, and will enable timely, accurate forecasts on smoke and its health hazards.
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“ANIMAL ADAPTATION: IS IT CRAYFISH OR CRAWDAD?”
A video featuring Idaho Water Resources Research Institute Director Alan Kolok aired on Idaho Public Television’s “Science Trek.” Alan shared how adaptations help Crawfish, encouraged children to explore biology and explained how his research reveals chemicals in the environment. “If we can take the tail of this animal and look for toxic chemicals, it tells us what the water and sediment look like from the perspective of the water.”
“HARMFUL BLUE ALGAE FOUND IN HAYDEN LAKE”
Frank Wilhelm, Professor of Limnology and Associate Director for the Center for Research on Invasive Species, was featured on MSN, KREN, KREM-TV and in the Coeur d’Alene Press on a pitch about harmful algae blooms that form on area lakes during hot weather and lead to public health advisories.
Keep up with all the latest CNR Headlines and News. Follow us on social media @uidahocnr
“U OF I’S NEW ARENA FEATURES MASS TIMBER FOR INNOVATIVE, SUSTAINABLE DESIGN.”
Idaho Capital Sun
“Building more commercial buildings with mass timber — and educating architects, engineers and builders about the many benefits of building with wood — will mean a healthier, more sustainably built environment,” writes Becker.
“UI DEVELOPING DROUGHTTOLERANT TREES FOR REFORESTATION”
Andrew Nelson, Director of the Franklin H. Pitkin Nursery, explains how U of I researchers are programming drought resistant conifer seedlings.
“IT WAS PRETTY MIRACULOUS’: HOW UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO FORESTRY STUDENTS HELPED SLOW A PARTICULARLY RISKY WILDFIRE”
Heather Heward, Senior Instructor in the Department of Forest, Rangeland and Fire Sciences, details how U of I students helped slow the spread of a fire on Idler’s Rest. Read more about student wildfire leadership on page 16.
COLLEGE OF NATURAL RESOURCES
CNR and stakeholders come together to invest in state-of-the-art infrastructure and equipment n 2022, the College of Natural Resources is turning a new page as we build upon our strong history of partnerships for research and internships. We are intentionally leveraging those partnerships to create joint faculty and research positions, purchase equipment for our outdoor classrooms and to support access for every capable student to attend the University of Idaho. By expanding the umbrella of what it means to give, we are developing student communities, programs and infrastructure, and bolstering the expertise of faculty as they catalyze future leaders of natural resources.
PITKIN FOREST NURSERY BREAKING GROUND ON GREENHOUSES By partnering with the Idaho Legislature, the Nursery is breaking ground on two state-of-the-art greenhouses. The college’s Experimental Forest (UIEF) pre-purchased $250,000 of seedlings — enough to finance five years of seedling production — to incentivize the Idaho Legislature to invest $700,000. Private donors then leveraged an additional $325,000 to upgrade associated equipment.
Every CNR partnership prioritizes the student’s growth as an individual and professional ready to have a positive impact on the world. Our relationships prioritize access, training students for specific skills and employing cutting-edge technology to build the workforce for tomorrow.
The new greenhouses will provide flexible growing space to meet the seedling production needs of the UIEF, as well as create new capacity for research trials including wildfire restoration. Bringing seedling production back to Idaho will benefit the Idaho Department of Lands, our partners in this agreement.
“Whether we’re partnering with local agencies, the governor’s office, donors or industry, joint visions are what drive how and why we invest, and what we seek in return,” said Dean Dennis Becker.
Improved growing environments will bolster our education mission as we train students in the most recent technology and allow for large-scale operational seedling research and production.
We’re one of the only nurseries in the nation that can do large scale operational research trials.
“We’re one of few nurseries in the nation that can do large scale operational research trials.” said Andrew Nelson, Nursery Director, Associate Professor and Tom A. Alberg and Judith Beck Endowed Chair of Native Plant Regeneration. “The new greenhouses will transfigure technology that is directly applicable to private nurseries. Testing and preparing seedlings for drought acclimation, for example,
ANDREW NELSON, NURSERY DIRECTOR, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR AND TOM A. ALBERG AND JUDITH BECK ENDOWED CHAIR OF NATIVE PLANT REGENERATION.
WINTER 2021 - 22
will benefit the whole industry,” said Nelson.
RINKER ROCK CREEK RANCH PARTNERS WITH USFWS, VOLUNTEERS TO BUILD INFRASTRUCTURE Among several sources including government and CNR dollars, “a US Fish and Wildlife Service Grant has leveraged funding with outside volunteer programs to get things done. Through this collaboration, we’ve built wildlife fencing and facilitated infrastructure improvements,” said Director of Operations Cameron Paker. Pending approval of federal education budgets, Congressman Simpson has recommended $1.3 million to expand education facilities at the 10,400 acre Rinker Rock Creek Ranch. Simpson’s partnership will improve classrooms and purchase technology to facilitate training for college-bound and university students. These investments will demonstrate practices representative of the western US. “The research done here aids critical species, producers and future managers in balancing competing needs of our rangelands,” said Tracey
Johnson, Director of Research at Rinker Rock Creek Ranch.
FULL MECHANIZATION TAKES A TEAM:
Modern Equipment Reforms UIEF Logging Operations Partnered giving has enabled the purchase of state-of-theart, fully mechanized logging equipment at the University of Idaho Experimental Forest (UIEF.) The UIEF has reinvested student-generated forest management funds to purchase a modern processor and acquiring the first articulated track grapple skidder in the western United States. Stakeholders are now helping the UIEF acquire a feller-buncher and other equipment to complete the full mechanization process. “It’s not just training for our students. They’re now operating equipment that industry hasn’t even used yet. We are also researching comparisons to conventional equipment,” said Robert Keefe, Professor and Director of the UIEF. “This is what the UIEF is truly for – student development and pushing the boundaries of the latest technology,” said Keefe. By Kelsey Evans, CNR, Fall 2021.
STUDENTS, PARTNERSHIPS COLLEGE OF NATURAL RESOURCES
PIONEERING DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY
ON THE EXPERIMENTAL FOREST Student Managers Map Future Forestry Careers By Ralph Bartholdt, University Communications and Marketing, November 2021.
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niversity of Idaho students are now able to master deciphering airborne forest imagery at the University of Idaho Experimental Forest (UIEF.) As of 2021, the UIEF has used imagery called “lidar” to become the first university forest in the nation to have a fully digitized single-tree inventory. Full digitization gives U of I students unparalleled opportunities to make real-world forestry decisions on timber harvesting and prescribed burning. Lidar, also known as “light detection and ranging,” uses reflected laser energy to measure structures scanned from a drone, helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft to generate 3D information about trees, brush, terrain, streams, roads and rock formations. In her forestry classes, senior Jordan Williams has learned that lidar data are used to digitize forest structure. Forest managers use this information to more precisely inventory forests on a computer screen, significantly reducing time counting and measuring trees using traditional sampling practices. Williams’ supervisors at her summer internship encouraged her to master Lidar’s modern technology before graduating. “A lot of foresters don’t know how to use this technology,” Williams said. “It’s a generational thing. As the next generation, we’re expected to know how it works, so we too can teach others.” For more than a century, the standard approach to measuring forests has
been to sample plots and assess trees to understand conditions including tree heights and volume, species type, structural defect and other variables that estimate value and use. Tomorrow’s foresters, including Williams, will now use lidar-produced measurements and satellite imagery to inventory forests with greater precision. This modern approach will allow foresters to measure every single tree, from a 500-acre stand to a 1 million-acre landscape. “Lidar helps us collect more data faster and more accurately than having boots on the ground,” Williams said. “It lets us see the species of trees in different stands, measure timber volume, the levels of vegetation from the ground to the canopy, and how much heat and humidity is stored on different landscapes.” “It enables more work to be completed more accurately by fewer people,” said Mark Corrao, vice president and owner of Northwest Management Inc, a Moscow based company partnering with CNR to create an endowment for precision forestry. “You can physically see tree height, spacing, tree mortality and total forest conditions on your screen or phone in real time, so it can be used for data collection, day-to-day operations or planning,” said Corrao. With full digitization, the college is in a unique position to train students, emphasized Robert Keefe, director of the school’s forest. “Right now, we’re the first university forest pioneering and evaluating the operational uses of Northwest Management’s technology for applied
silviculture and harvest operations,” Keefe said. “This is where industry is heading. We are working with them to be out front, training our forestry students to begin their job understanding how to use lidar. That means our students will be that much more useful to the company.” The technology also helps recreational managers plan trails, wildlife biologists make habitat decisions, and fire ecologists to predict, map and manage fuel loads and fire risks. Forestry major James Shook, who learned about lidar in the classroom before working three months for Northwest Management, said despite lidar’s razor-sharp imagery, foresters are still necessary to provide in-field measurements and calibration to train and verify lidar outputs. “The technology is still so new that we were going out into the woods to double check the data,” Shook said. “It is really cool to see the educational side of it in the classroom and then go out and get the field experience.” Williams considers her lidar training a necessary tool to finding employment in the quickly changing forest industry. By learning in U of I’s on-campus and outdoor classrooms how to translate lidar data to on-theground decisions, Williams is certain she and fellow U of I forestry students have an edge over their competitors. “I think this gives us a huge advantage when we go out to look for jobs as foresters,” she said. “We already know how to use the technology that others are still learning about.”
COLLEGE OF NATURAL RESOURCES
DONOR SPONSORED RESEARCH Wildfire Research from the Ground Up
Making strides through new endowments, community support By Kelsey Evans, College of Natural Resources, Fall 2021.
Local Communities partner with University Researchers Working alongside the Kittitas County community, Associate Professor Travis Paveglio and PhD student Allison (Rose) Shriner’s research is facilitating individualized fire mitigation strategies that go beyond standardized ‘one-size-fits-all’ plans. In collaboration with local organizations, government and individuals, Paveglio and Shriner are assisting a community on the Eastern Crest of the fire-prone Central Cascades in Central Washington to determine individualized plans. Paveglio describes localized fire adaptation as a “choose your own adventure story” approach. “There’s the assumption that you have to do everything to mitigate risk — when instead, a succinct, step by step approach can be more thorough as it is adapted to the specific community,” explained Shriner. “Everyone has the idea of standardization and replicating the same thing, but we’re breaking it down into bitesized pieces.” We’re asking questions such as “what do you well, what do you wish you could do better, and what information do you need to help you get to where you need to be?” said Paveglio. Paveglio and Shriner have conducted a quantitative, data-based investigation of fuel mitigation treatments and their effectiveness. Local stakeholders have extended their partnership with Paveglio and Shriner to expand the community’s perception of wildfire. This new research focuses on qualitative assessments as Shriner conducts surveys to better understand the community’s ideas regarding stewardship practices, prescribed fire and overall wildfire management. Grass-roots donations have enabled this sustainable localized research. “It is great to set up this kind of fund – which is now open if other communities want to do something similar – because we help people achieve what they want,” said Paveglio.
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Waste to Biofuels Stillinger Trust Grows Sustainable Products Industry Graduate students Farid Sotoudehnia and Maryam Abbasi have advanced the sustainable products industry by converting dairy manure waste into liquid fuels. They are supported by the Stillinger Trust, an endowment established in 1998 to recruit and educate future wood industry leaders, and are guided by Armando McDonald, Professor of Renewable Materials Chemistry, as they turn trash into treasure. While completing his Masters, Sotoudehnia collaborated with Environmental Engineering Professor Erik Coats and Boise State’s Microbial Ecologist Kevin Faris to convert field cultivated microalgae, Chlorella vulgaris, into biochar products and liquid fuels, such as bio-oil and synthesis gas, using a process called pyrolysis. “Pyrolysis is the thermochemical conversion of the biomass into bio-oil, synthetic gas and char. When you rapidly heat the material up to 600°C in an oxygen-free atmosphere, you can break down big molecules into smaller ones, which you can then collect using a condenser.” This is how we get our sustainable fuel products, explained Sotoudehnia. While obtaining his PhD, Sotoudehnia’s research turned to another large waste-source in Idaho: waxed cardboard. The idea came to Sotoudehnia when he was a Teaching Assistant for a Forest and Sustainability Products introductory class. A student came to him and said, “almost all produce comes in these waxed cardboard boxes, and we’re just dumping them. We can’t recycle it.” In response, Sotoudehnia again used pyrolysis and employed a catalyst to upgrade wax obtained from the cardboard to make more gasoline-like products. Beginning in Fall 2021, Maryam Abbasi is continuing the Stillinger Trust’s legacy of solution-based forestry research. While pursuing her Environmental Science PhD, she is discovering environmentally friendly methods for producing bioplastic packaging. “My goal is to use a polymer from the cow manure for farming and medicinal packaging; plastic bags, carrying bags, etcetera,” said Abbasi. “Now I’m going to study the biodegradability of the plastic,” she added, bringing the upcycling process full circle, as her upcycled waste stream products sequester, or “lock in” carbon, as opposed to carbon being released into the atmosphere through degradation or burning. “Our research is solution based.” emphasized Professor McDonald. “We have a problem – which is the waste stream. We have a solution process to convert that waste and give it a second life.”
Investing in Wildlife Disease Research New Endowment enables Graduate Student Research, Wildlife Disease Ecologist Position in the Department of Fish and Wildlife The pandemic highlights the importance of understanding wildlife diseases and their potential for transmission to humans. Nancy Thomas, Veterinary Science alumna and an Endangered Species Pathologist with the USFWS, and spouse Mike Samuel, FWS alum ‘85 and retired USGS Wildlife Disease expert, recently established a Graduate Research Endowment focused on wildlife disease. This new endowment will provide educational and research support for graduate students to collect and analyze data. This support is in conjunction with a new Wildlife Disease Ecologist faculty position jointly funded by Idaho Department of Fish and Game and the College of Natural Resources. “There are many diseases impacting wildlife populations, as well as negatively affecting human and domestic animal health in the United States, said Lisette Waits. These diseases include chronic wasting in deer, elk and moose; white-nose syndrome in hibernating bats; West Nile virus, botulism, avian cholera, and avian malaria in birds; ranaviruses and fungal diseases in amphibians and reptiles, as well as rabies and plague in mesomammals. There is additional threat from foreign animal diseases such as highly pathogenic avian influenza, African swine fever, foot and mouth disease, Rift Valley fever and Ebola hemorrhagic fever. The emergence and impacts of wildlife diseases are driven by factors such as invasive species, wildlife trade, feeding of wildlife, land-use changes, and increased contact between humans, domestic animals and wildlife. The Department is thankful for visionary donors and partners for expanding research that protects the world.
COLLEGE OF NATURAL RESOURCES
WRITERS, ARTISTS AND SCIENTISTS: CONFLUENCE LAB TACKLES ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES In the Confluence Lab, scholars in the humanities, arts, social and biophysical sciences tackle Idaho environmental issues alongside community members. The collaboration began in 2019 and was co-founded by previous CNR faculty Theresa Cohn, alongside English faculty Associate Professor Erin James and Professor Jennifer Ladino. The Lab has since embarked on seven funded projects and has received about $700,000. “We came together to think about ways we can address and explore environmental issues in Idaho and in the region in more interdisciplinary, creative and community-based ways,” Cohn said. The team uses interdisciplinary approaches — especially related to storytelling, emotions and communication — to develop holistic approaches to complex environmental issues, such as public land use, wildfires, water, energy infrastructure and climate change. Visualize Confluences and learn about more projects here: uidaho.edu/class/ news/confluence
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‘Stories of Fire’
unded by the National Science Foundation, “Stories of Fire” is a Confluence Lab project that draws from the narrative voices of fire managers, firefighters, fire scientists and people affected by wildland fire. These stories provide rich learning experiences for rural Idahoans in informal STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — learning environments. Research shows that learning is enhanced through storytelling, which is often lacking in traditional communication between scientists and the public, Cohn said. “When we listen to stories, we learn what it is like to experience fire first-hand,” said Assistant Professor of English Erin James. The team, which includes CNR fire ecologist Leda Kobziar, is building curriculum that incorporates interviews with “frontliners” who have firsthand experience with wildland fire, including the beneficial use of prescribed fire and the suppression and management of wildfire.
“The American West is rife with personal narratives of evacuation, smoke and disaster,” Cohn said. “Yet, alongside these deep, dramatic events, fire scientists carry a quieter but no less important message that fire has always been part of the Western landscape, and many wildland fires play natural and beneficial roles.” The Confluence Lab team will provide workshops to train STEM educators, pilot summer programs and create a podcast based on their findings. Work will be supported by Environmental Science doctoral student Kayla Bordelon, Silverton, Oregon, and English master’s students Michael Decker, Bonners Ferry, and Jack Kredell, Lemont, Pennsylvania. “Enhanced knowledge about fire science and STEM can empower Idaho residents to conquer the challenges of living in a fire-prone region,” Kobziar said. By Leigh Cooper, UCM, January 2021.
New Students Dive into Field Experience and Career Exploration Debuting Fall 2021, “Careers in the Environmental Sciences” is a new course focused on providing field experience for freshmen and transfer students during their first semester. The Fall 2021 version kicked off with a 3-day rafting trip on the Lower Salmon, where faculty and graduate students served as river guides. Along the way, students learned about river ecology, the importance of tourism and recreation in conserving wild places, the ancestral history of native cultures along the river and the multiple dimensions of complex issues such as dam removal proposals and salmon fish conservation. The remainder of the semester, ,students learned about pursuing careers across the spectrum of environmental sciences.
Keep up with the Environmental Science Program. Visit uidaho.edu/cnr/departments/environmental-science-program
Leave No Trace
Engels traces plastic pollution from outdoor recreation We often think of plastic pollution as an ocean problem. But according to U of I Assistant Professor Mary Engels, only about 4% of plastic waste makes it to the ocean. So, Engels raises a bigger question: where is the rest of it going? Engels’ research focuses close to home as she is studying how and where plastic enters the environment in Idaho’s outdoor recreation settings. “What is captured by us if we pay attention, and what waste makes it into the environment and our soil, despite our best efforts?” questions Engels.
With Masters students Mandira Panta and Matthew Cox, Engels is sampling soil, collecting plastic, and collaborating with management and camp hosts of Farragut, Heyburn, Ponderosa and Lake Cascade State Parks, as well as Payette National Forest. “We’re working closely with State Parks and National Forests because this data isn’t just about plastic. It’s about littering, waste management practices and the value of our Park Rangers and Hosts.” Engels also hopes to shed light on how pervasive plastic is with applications to the evolving field of human and animal health. “There is a lot that we just don’t know about where plastic is in the environment. The human and animal health component of plastic in the environment is a field that is taking off, and this work will help inform that larger conversation.” By Kelsey Evans, CNR, Fall 2021.
Arman excelled in school from the beginning, but she didn’t connect with the definition of “success” she heard growing up. “Everybody tells academically advanced students that you become a lawyer, doctor or engineer,” Arman said. “But I wasn’t interested in any of those fields.” A perfect storm of opportunity and asking questions early in high school helped Arman pave a different path. When she told her dad she liked math, science, policy and talking to the public, he suggested she meet an environmental manager. Through his job at Inland Empire Paper Company, Arman’s father helped open his daughter’s eyes to environmental law and communications.
From High School to Postgraduate, U of I Opens Doors for Emma Arman’s Success At Camp Sanders in North Idaho, Emma Arman directs campers from station to station, teaching them stages of the water cycle. Four years ago, Arman was a high school sophomore learning water science from Area Water Educator and CNR alum Jim Ekins (‘51.). Now, as a U of I Extension intern, Arman travels the region with Ekins, bringing water quality lessons to life. “The very first day we drove to Sandpoint where I got to lead experiments and observe different teaching styles,” Arman said. “I realized I’d come full circle. I was passing my knowledge onto another generation.” Freshly done with her bachelor’s degree at 20 years old, Arman sees her internship experience as one more big steppingstone in her quest for lifelong learning and making her own way. Over the past four years, she’s put that mentality into practice by earning an associate degree in high school and by digging deep to connect her passions and talents to her future field of work. Each step of the way, U of I helped make her dream a reality.
Meanwhile, her science class was participating in The Confluence Project, a water-science education program led by U of I — including Ekins — and regional partners. For the science fair portion of the project, Arman researched chemical policy history in the Spokane River. “We’re showing students that science is not just doing things with beakers in a lab,” Ekins said. “Connecting them to field science right here in their hometown? That’s pretty powerful.” The project connected Arman with government organizations and private industry, and she saw first-hand how science and organizational priorities don’t always match up. “The Confluence Project was the selling point,” Arman said. “That’s when I realized I wanted to be involved in environmental science all the time. I wanted to be a communicator, someone who bridges gaps and could be an advocate.” “I have a better understanding of who I am so I’m prepared to mold my own future,” Arman said. “It starts one small step at a time. One little conversation, one experience can change everything.” By Katie Marshall, University of Idaho Coeur d’Alene , Fall 2021.
COLLEGE OF NATURAL RESOURCES
Fish and Wildlife Sciences
Experiential Learning Opportunities Flourishing
uring their time at the University of Idaho, every Fish and Wildlife Sciences undergraduate gains specialized hands-on experience through summer internships and independent research. Faculty and our partners are excited to make experiential learning accessible to ensure graduates are equipped with the skills, knowledge and passion for meaningful careers. In the summer 2021, 36 students conducted internships with 20 different organizations including the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, Nez Perce Tribe, Sitka Tribe, Santa Anna Zoo, Coastal Marine Education & Research Academy, and North Dakota Game and Fish Department. The FWS department also co-sponsored paid internships with the USFWS Mexican Wolf Recovery Program, the WDFW and USFWS Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbit Recovery Program, IDFG deer calf survival project, WDFW Blue Mountains Wildlife Area Complex and the U of I Hagerman Fish Culture Experiment Station. Through the Berklund and Gratson Fellowships, senior Lydia Druin evaluated genetic diversity and relatedness among jaguar populations in Costa Rica, while junior Sean Elison studied parentage and relatedness of Mexican wolf packs. The Hungerford Fellowship enabled senior Delaney Snaadt to monitor fecal DNA of the endangered Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit, while the Summer Authentic Research Experiences of the state-wide Genes by Environment program (NSF-EPSCOR GEM3) supported seven additional students as they conducted critical research on trout and sagebrush.
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Researchers Explore Climate, Human and Wildlife Interactions on Rangelands U of I researchers will monitor six sites throughout a five-year project to learn how drought affects vegetation, and how resulting changes impact elk, deer and livestock, as well as their interactions with predators. “We’ll look at the interactions between wolves and drought and how those affect wild ungulate populations, as well as livestock and the people who live there,” said Sophie Gilbert, assistant professor of wildlife ecology and management. The research also seeks to determine how decision-makers respond to these multiple sources of stress, and how wildlife and plant forecasting tools — resulting from the project — are received and used by ranchers and wildlife managers. The study will examine the interconnectedness of the inhabitants of western rangelands, including humans, plants and animals, in the face of a changing climate and other stressors, Gilbert said. “Stereotypical stories about the West are told with heroes and villains, where some animals may be considered good or bad, and some may be saviors or foes,” Gilbert said. “We want to go beyond that, to learn how interconnected those things are and how all wildlife comes with costs and benefits to humans that share these landscapes.” The researchers will use camera traps to collect images of animals in the study area, and work with a film crew to document the research and produce a documentary film to share with the public. Chloe Wardropper, assistant professor of human dimensions of ecosystem management, said researchers will share findings, footage and images from the camera traps in an effort to engage residents in throughout the study area. Volunteer citizen scientists will be able to participate online. “Outcomes of this project include a better understanding of how climate and carnivore risks affect human decision-making, and how humans impact rangeland food webs by raising livestock and altering wildlife behavior and abundance,” Gilbert said. “It could lead to coexistence between humans and wildlife in changing environments.” By Ralph Bartholdt, UCM, Fall 2021.
Keep up with Fish and Wildlife Sciences. Visit uidaho.edu/cnr/departments/fish-and-wildlife-sciences
Sacha Wells filming and interacting with Nez Perce members.
Sharing Stories of Connectivity During her first year at the University of Idaho, Sacha Wells (Ecology and Conservation Biology ‘21) realized she could use storytelling to bring ecology to life. Wells came to U of I intent on studying ecology. As she pursued her degree, however, she was enamored with storytelling through filmmaking. “Storytelling is such a powerful tool,” Wells said. “Combining image and sound into a film allows stories to be shared with anyone from anywhere.” “As I started looking for a job, the Discover Your Northwest position was exactly what I wanted,” she said. Discover Your Northwest is a nonprofit focused on providing people with access to public lands and environmental stewardship education. They do work in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Northern California. Colleen Mathisen, Discover Your Northwest Lolo Pass branch manager, worked with Wells and a team of artists to tell the story of the Nez Perce Tribe’s artistic traditions and connection with their land.
“Talking to the Nez Perce people was empowering. The best way we can learn how to care for the earth is through listening to them.” Sharing stories like this supports local artists and Nez Perce tourism. The film Wells helped create is used to draw in visitors to Idaho. It is shared locally and throughout the world. Through interviews with Tribal members, Wells heard first-hand the importance of sharing Native American stories. “Talking to the Nez Perce people was empowering,” Wells said. “The best way we can learn how to care for the earth is through listening to them.” The film focused on the ways creative pieces such as beadwork made by the Nez Perce people show their culture and stories. It highlights the ways in which creativity communicates information about the creator. Creative works guide the way the Tribe cares for the environment around them. The skills and messages behind each creative process is passed down through each generation. “Our goal of the film was to lift up the voices of Native American tribe members,” said Wells. “My role was facilitating their ability to tell stories about the Nez Perce cultural and artistic expression.” By Katy Wicks, UCM, May 2021.
COLLEGE OF NATURAL RESOURCES
Forest, Rangeland and Fire Sciences
Rising to the Occasion STUDENTS LEAD FIRE MITIGATION AT UIEF AND BEYOND
Heather Heward, left, and Leda Kobziar (center) prepare for treatments with students.
tudents have planned and implemented treatments on more than 800 acres on Moscow Mountain in the last four years, employing prescribed burning, thinning and hand/ machine line installations to protect the U of I Experimental Forest (UIEF) and neighboring lands and homes as part of broader forest management goals. They are also responsible for construction and maintenance of roads and hiking trails. The UIEF, overseen by CNR, manages over 8,000 acres on East Moscow Mountain. There are approximately 20-25 student workers during the school year and 10-15 in the summer, and staff efforts are joined by members of the Student Association for Fire Ecology (SAFE) Club. To our students and the community, the UIEF is more than just a forest. It is a classroom and a world-class resource center where students become leaders of natural resources, all while having a momentous impact on reducing fire hazards on the Palouse. During summer 2021, students responded to three lightning fires: the Hatter fire, the Upper Rock Creek fire and the Basalt Hill fire. In September, treatments by SAFE club members slowed the spread of the Idler Fire, which burned about 120 acres, one home and a barn. “That was a red flag day with high temperatures and wind, and if not for the work of the student club some months before to reduce fuels in the area, more homes would have burned,” said Idaho Department of Lands fire incident commander Mike McCannus, a 2008 CNR graduate. When students saw before and after photos of the areas affected, their “hearts swelled with pride,” said Heather Heward, UI Professor, SAFE Club Advisor and chair for the Idaho Prescribed Fire Council. 16 |
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“They’re so excited to do this work. There’s no way to overplay the impact that having a shared mission has on students. They will look back on their experience on Moscow Mountain for the rest of their careers,” said Heward. Fire Ecology Management major and UIEF Student Staff Program Lead Joe Morgan agreed. “Helping train UIEF staff to fight fire has been a real highlight for me. They did great work on the fires we responded to, which showed the value of student involvement on the UIEF and Moscow Mountain area.” Many treatments that students do are specifically to keep fires from spreading to neighboring lands and homes. “In the future, we’ll continue to have collaborative projects that cross borders, helping to co-manage Idaho forests as well as private lands. We hope to expand to a wider area and reduce the overall fire hazard further,” said Rob Keefe, Associate Professor and Director of the UIEF. “The UIEF is the students’ land to manage, which is very unique in the US.” said Keefe. Students don’t just make the Palouse safer — they model modern and collaborative wildfire management efforts across multiple land ownerships. “When U of I President Green talks about careers that matter, this is what he means. We’re making a collective impact on students and the land,” said Dean Dennis Becker. Heward emphasizes that “adults learn by doing and being responsible. The UIEF offers invaluable leadership opportunities. As a land grant institution that strives to improve the landscape and make better leaders for tomorrow — this is how we do it.” By Kelsey Evans, CNR, August 2021.
Keep up with Forest, Rangeland and Fire Sciences. Visit uidaho.edu/cnr/departments/forest-rangeland-and-fire-sciences
Bill Perry Used Forest Service Pathways Program To Lock In a Full-time Forestry Position After Graduation As a marine, William “Bill” Perry was a sergeant and commander of a Light Armored Vehicle, a mini tank and crew, that prepared for duty in Iraq. He experienced challenges in both the Marine Corps and at U of I, said Perry, who grew up in Grangeville. Completing both military and academic programs back-to-back has given him a sense of accomplishment, and most importantly as a civilian, a full-time occupation working for the U.S. Forest Service. “Bill is extremely disciplined, does a great job balancing school and work life and is well-liked by his peers and other professors, which speaks volumes,” said Randall Brooks, Extension professor of forestry and Perry’s advisor. When he returned to Idaho after serving four years in the Marine Corps, Perry knew he wanted a job in the mountains. He was initially hired as a U.S. Forest Service technician, and through the Forest Service Pathways Program worked his way into a full-time position while enrolled in U of I’s forestry program. But the transition from marine to forester didn’t happen overnight. “After the Marine Corps, it takes a while to adjust to civilian life,” Perry said. “The high pace and stress and lifestyle of the Marine Corps is completely different than what I experienced in the Forest Service and the university.” He was usually the oldest student in his classes, he said, “but everyone was very accommodating and welcoming and that helped me settle into academics.”
Tasmanian Devils and the Global Biodiversity Crisis As a top apex predator and scavenger and one of the few carnivores worldwide that consume bones, tasmanian devils play a critical role in the Tasmanian island ecosystem by cycling essential nutrients back into the soil. These nutrients, including phosphorus and nitrogen, would otherwise remain locked in bone material for years. The emergence of a highly transmissible cancer in 1990 threatens Tasmanian devils with extinction — but one population on the Western Tasmanian coast has not yet been infected. The resulting population gradient provides an ideal natural experiment to study how scavenger and predator declines alter energy flow and influence ecosystem services.
Perry ranked among CNR’s top forestry students for the class of 2021.
Perry joined forestry clubs and, when he wasn’t working for the Forest Service during summer months, he worked at the Pitkin Forest Nursery. As a forester, Perry will oversee timber harvesting operations in the Clearwater National Forest. “I was taught to work hard and do my best,” he said. “The University of Idaho and the Forest Service provided me with the opportunities I needed to become who I wanted to become.” By Ralph Bartholdt, UCM, June 2021.
“We know through population and community ecology that if you remove a keystone species, there’s a reorganization that occurs throughout the food web,” explained project lead Laurel Lynch, who is working with CNR Associate Professor Tara Hudiberg, as well as researchers across the globe and U of I to study whether this “reorganization cascades belowground and influences microbial populations and plant-available nutrients,” said Lynch. When whole microbial communities are more efficient, they store more carbon belowground. Soil carbon sequestration is a key way of reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and combatting climate change. Beginning Fall 2022, this global study will consider the overlooked role scavengers play in ecosystems. Results will be used in modeling approaches to predict biodiversity loss over the next 50 years.
COLLEGE OF NATURAL RESOURCES
Natural Resources and Society
Conservation Without Borders Endowment Enables Future Leaders of Conservation
he William J. McLaughlin & Nick Sanyal Conservation Without Borders endowment was created in memory and honor of two former University of Idaho professors, Bill McLaughlin (1949 – 2017) and Nick Sanyal of Natural Resources and Society. As teachers and conservationists, both Bill and Nick leave lasting legacies of not just changing the world themselves but empowering those who seek to do so. The endowment’s purpose is “to give our students an immersive experience in the conservation field, by rolling up their sleeves every day,” states Lee Vierling, department head of Natural Resources and Society and director of the Environmental Science Program. “This is just one localized example of how we are working to further our land grant mission – by having students interface with organizations who are out doing this work on the ground,” said Vierling. Sanyal speaks to how Palouse Land Trust (PLT) provides a comprehensive experience in a real-world learning environment. With organizations like PLT, “students can take ownership of the knowledge we make accessible to them. Students cannot do this through passive learning; they must be active members of a professional organization,” said Sanyal. Lovina Englund, Executive Director of PLT, U of I alumna (’05, M.S. ’07) and former CNR staff member, believes supporting interns makes her a thread to the next generation of conservation leaders. “As an alumna, it’s delightful to be able to pay it forward and give students – our next generation of conservation leaders — the opportunity to learn about private land ownership conservation in the Palouse landscape,” said Englund.
Student Sierra Hamilton with Englund and land manager Andrew Saralecos, ’09.
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Keep up with Natural Resources and Society. Visit uidaho.edu/cnr/departments/natural-resources-and-society “They were really excited about being outside all day. The kids and instructors accomplished much more than they thought they could,” said Beth Kochevar, K-12 Residential and Outreach Programs Coordinator. For the 2021 – 2022 school year, MOSS adapted their outreach to accommodate McCall-Donnelly School District’s resumption of fulltime instruction. Through a McCall-Donnelly Education Foundation Grant, we now have two Americorps members dedicated to outdoor local learning. These instructors visit different schools every week, expanding MOSS’ reach to more grades and students.
Making Outdoor Education Accessible MOSS broadens K–12 outdoor education reach The McCall Outdoor Science School (MOSS) at McCall Field Campus is expanding their reach to local K-12 public schools through graduate students and Americorps workers dedicated to environmental education. In the wake of the pandemic, hundreds of McCall-Donnelly School District students took their learning to the trails and shores of Lake Payette on the McCall Field Campus.
“Last year we had a max capacity of 50 students a day, so we couldn’t serve everybody. But with this version, we can serve all elementary students. Even if it’s not every day, we have a greater reach of kids having an outdoor learning experience,” said Kochevar.
“Every year, I am amazed by the diversity of experiences, educational backgrounds and interests that make up our graduate cohorts. With a network, it is fantastic to see our graduate students connect with potential employers. This is how we change the world.” GARY S. THOMPSON, MFC MARKETING AND LEADERSHIP COORDINATOR
Measuring Forest Carbon Offsets Researchers revamp greenhouse gas accounting Greg Latta speaks for the trees – or, for their role in offsetting carbon when meeting domestic greenhouse gas emission standards, that is. Carbon offset stakeholders will benefit from a collaborative study lead by Greg Latta, Associate Research Professor of Forest Economics and Director of the Policy Analysis Group. The effort is a part of the Forest Carbon Quantification Consortium consisting of researchers from University of Idaho, University of Maine, The Ohio State University, North Carolina State University, and previously, Texas A&M and Duke. It is generously supported by donors small and wide, including Amazon and Microsoft. The research is tackling a crucial problem: current methods of tracking market leakage in carbon offset programs rely on methodologies produced in a 2004 study (Murray et. al.) We aim to “better account for how the market effects our expectations for mitigation of carbon emissions,” said Latta. This will be done through the reevaluation of Murray’s standardized 2004 numbers, which are used to account for “market leakage.” “Leakage” can be explained in this scenario: as a forester, you might sequester more carbon by not harvesting your trees this year. Therefore, the price for carbon offsets rises because there’s less wood on the market. Your neighbor may then choose to cut more trees. You and the neighbor are now connected in a leakage market.
“It’s not an easy process to just change the leakage numbers that you’re using in your methodology,” emphasized Latta. But, when “we come up with a number that is more scientifically valid, voluntary carbon offset programs can adapt their methodologies to that methodologies.” At the conclusion of this critical study, there will be revamped methodologies and policies that are more relatable to current carbon offset programs. “The 2004 study was relevant to that time. We’re going to have something current,” concluded Latta. Articles by Kelsey Evans, CNR, Fall 2021.
COLLEGE OF NATURAL RESOURCES
BROADENING UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH: Undergraduate Research Experience Program Expands Opportunities
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NR launched the Undergraduate Research Experience (URE) in the 2019-2020 school year, attracting an inaugural cohort of six students. The program quickly expanded to include 16 freshman and transfer students for 2020 – 2021. This year, 27 new students from all over the country are participating. Through the URE, new students foster an understanding of the natural world, grow their connection to Idaho, partner with a faculty mentor, earn three credits and receive a 2,000 stipend, all thanks to funding by generous donors such as the DeVlieg Foundation.
Student Dates Historical Colville Indian Agency Cabin Using Tree-Ring Science Matt Franz has learned that walls can talk. They just need someone to translate. The forestry and fire ecology senior is working with Associate Professor Grant Harley, who runs a tree-ring laboratory in the Department of Geography and Geological Sciences. In Summer 2021, Harley’s team traveled to Chewelah, Washington, to age the Colville Indian Agency Cabin.
CNR established this innovative program to grow enrollment and improve retention. The URE supports their academic development, develops critical thinking and communication skills and stimulates their creativity and intellectual independence. Conservation biology major Harrah Friedlander ’22 came to U of I from Chicago with the help of the URE. “I was excited to explore different areas of study and assist in ongoing research in a supportive environment,” she said. “After the URE, I felt comfortable formulating my own research questions, setting research goals and exploring and managing data.” Of course, other universities offer undergraduate research, but the URE is different. “We start at the freshman year, when others start at the junior year,” said Steve Shook, associate dean and professor of forest and sustainable products in CNR. “Right away, students get to see why research is important, and that our faculty were once starting out just like they are.”
The cabin was the home of Maj. John A. Simms, an Indian Agent of the United States who worked with the Coeur d’Alene, Spokane, Kalispel and Colville tribes. The Stevens County Historical Society believes the cabin was built in the mid-1800s and reached out to Harley for help pinpointing its exact year of construction. The team used hollow drills to extract tree cores from the cabin’s walls and ceiling. Each core contains a record of the tree’s growth, or a ring for every year. The width of each ring varies depending on the climate each year.
“Our goal is to endow the program through private gifts so we can offer it to more students, perhaps even all first-year CNR students who want to participate,” Shook said. Based on feedback from students, it is money well spent. “I found it valuable partaking in research and learning how college level experiments are conducted,” said fishery resources major Kyle Ureta ’24, who researched mountain biking’s impact on trails and soils. Through hands-on research, URE students can see they have a place in U of I’s mission to serve the state of Idaho and beyond. For Friedlander, in understanding and protecting biodiversity. “I want to serve as a conduit between the scientific community and public, finding ways to engage and excite them about conservation, just as my mentors have done for me.” Article by Jamie Wagner, U of I Communications, and Kelsey Evans, CNR, Fall 2021.
The team will compare the growth pattern of the cabin’s tree cores with cores taken from local living trees. If the living trees are old enough that the tree-ring pattern from the cabin logs matches the early rings from the living trees, the team will know when the cabin logs were harvested, helping the historical society piece together the history of the region. Article by Leigh Cooper, University Communications and Marketing, July 2021.
COLLEGE OF NATURAL RESOURCES
BUILDING MOMENTUM with Director of Development Mary Ellen Brewick Mary Ellen meeting with donor Clara Bleak (‘46) and CNR alum Ping Honzay (‘12) in Minnesota.
hat a year we’ve had! I’ve enjoyed meeting many dedicated alumni, fascinating students and passionate donors. My conversations across our beautiful state, from mountaintops to riverbeds, have been incredible. I look forward to meeting more of you as I am able to travel more frequently. Other highlights have been hosting several events for university leadership and friends of CNR at the Taylor Wilderness Research Station and at Rinker Rock Creek Ranch, celebrating the building of the mass timber arena in Moscow and, of course, our McCall Field Campus Reunion! Our efforts in McCall have progressed steadily and I’m pleased to share that we are building momentum with partners across the state in public agencies, private companies, foundations and individuals. We still have much to accomplish, but we have tangible energy and commitment driving us forward.
Mary Ellen hiking at Taylor Ranch.
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We now have the opportunity to be part of U of I’s BRAVE. BOLD. Comprehensive Campaign, which is designed to elevate the U of I student experience by increasing resources for scholarships and support. Our CNR students benefit from your generosity, and we are excited to reach even more Vandals pursuing a career in natural resources. If you’ve ever considered making a gift to support scholarships, now is a fantastic time to do so. Please reach out to me at email@example.com or 208-885-5145. Together, we can positively impact our students’ lives!
CNR FY21 CONTRIBUTION SUMMARY TOTAL FY20 GIVING
DESIGNATION PURPOSE FACILITIES
FACULTY-STAFF SUPPORT $862,762
PRIMARY DONOR AFFILIATION ................ TOTAL
Alumna/us ................................................................... $677,035 Corporation ................................................................... $614,011
TO MCCALL FIELD CAMPUS INFRASTRUCTURE ENHANCEMENT FUND (NF074)
Donor Advised Fund ..................................................... $3,650 Faculty/Staff .................................................................... $9,274 Family Foundation ...................................................... $113,748
CLASS YEAR WITH HIGHEST TOTAL DONATIONS
NUMBER OF DONORS
Former Faculty/Staff ........................................................ $250 Foundation .................................................................. $103,424 Friend ............................................................................ $162,632 Memorial Donor ................................................................. $885 Organization................................................................. $711,434
Parent of Current Student ........................................... $1,960
Parent of Former Student ............................................ $4,145 Retired Faculty/Staff .................................................... $11,975
Student ..................................................................................... $60
In 2021, we raised $2.4 million — $600,000 more than our goal! In addition to these gifts, we established three
jointly funded positions with state and federal agencies, had a lead gift of $200,000 for the CNR Student Excellence Endowment and established the Timber Investment Fund to make gifts of land easier to accept. For these accomplishments and many more, we celebrate and thank you.
BEING BRAVE AND BOLD: FUNDRAISING GOALS CNR SCHOLARSHIPS: $500,000
MCCALL FIELD CAMPUS: $2,000,000
Supporting our students through more than 80 scholarships such as:
We are piloting an Annual Giving Program to grow our McCall Field Campus’ endowment.
We are growing infrastructure through a $5 million request from the legislature’s FY23 Permanent Building Fund.
Kenneth E. Hungerford Scholarship for Undergraduates in Wildlife with promise for innovative research
Eubanks Excellence Scholarship
Undergraduate Research Experience (URE) to support new students in research
Awards for high achieving out-of-state freshmen
Dean Dwight Jeffers Scholarship for CNR undergraduates with high financial need
Learn how you can continue building momentum by visiting our giving page at uidaho.edu/giving/cnr.
PARTNERSHIPS WITH THE STATE OF IDAHO: n
In addition to the McCall Field Campus’ $5 million request, we are focusing on our legislative-congressional requests of $1.3 million for Rinker Rock Creek Ranch and $1.2 million for Wildlife Research and Outreach.
COLLEGE OF NATURAL RESOURCES
MCCALL FIELD CAMPUS 2021 REUNION:
Celebrating history, envisioning our future
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ver one hundred U of I alumni, students, staff and friends joined us in July to celebrate 80 years of forestry summer camp and 20 years of MOSS on McCall Field Campus (MFC.) From the summer camp class of 1940 to the K-12 students of today, generations spanning eight decades connected over cherished memories and made new ones. Together, we envisioned the future of the MFC as it continues to innovate in environmental education, grow in inclusivity, leverage community ties and expand programming to learners of all ages, all while remaining true to our values of collaboration and sustainability. From the beauty of Lake Payette to the feeling of home found in the lodge and cabins, everyone marveled at the staff, students and community’s ability to uphold McCall’s tradition of being a special place for experiential learning. RELIVE THE EXPERIENCE: https:// youtu.be/ qfb3W87zHgU
As the reunion commenced, attendees enjoyed BBQ, hikes, canoe rides, and even lake side naps. MFC stories of winter lake plunges, firefighting, field trips, campfires, trivia nights, bats, and the mighty first aid kit were shared with laughter and delight. Learning forest mensuration, ecology, how to snowshoe in blinding conditions and how to cook a bear steak were a few common topics.
“It was an amazing time to hear stories of the impact of this place on so many alumni, from our forestry summer camp alums who told stories of learning to measure trees and become professional foresters, to our graduate students who were impacted by their experiences of learning to communicate and share the science of this place. It was really inspiring to have all these folks together to share in our vision for the future” said Karla Eitel, MFC Director. Laura Kostenblatt (‘11, M.Ed. ‘12,) shared how her “positive bubble became infectious” as she experienced wilderness outreach for the first time. “MOSS opened up a floodgate of opportunity so that I could step away from my fear, take a leap and go to it.” As a professional, Kostenblatt has become an experienced outdoor educator with a love for inquiry-based learning. “The kids get to discover their essential questions as they go through the scientific process,” said Kostenblatt. Mike Falter (‘69 and previous U of I FWS faculty member), and his grandson Will Weygint (B.S. ‘19, M.S. ‘22) have been involved with Summer Camp and MOSS their whole lives. They shared visions for a collaborative future. “At MFC I’ve been able to chart my own path and break into the field of forest ecology and remote sensing,”” said Weygint. “I’ve seen how powerful of an experience it is for [the kids,] and the instructors too.” In the future, Weygint hopes to build that on a broader scale to give that opportunity to all of Idaho’s students. “I’d like to see students sharing problems and solutions and getting excited about the challenges and successes in their field. The McCall Field Campus sets the stage for a lifetime of working together,” agreed Falter. With your help, the MFC will continue to inspire future leaders of natural resources. We’ve raised over $3.5 million towards scholarships and we’ve received gifts ranging from $100 to $1.5 million from donors who are passionate about the future. We aim to grow programs and scholarships, increase collaboration through a new teaching and learning center, foster community with a state-of-the-art dining lodge, advance research and education through additional support buildings, and make essential infrastructure improvements to campus electricity and signage. “We imagine a future where our buildings serve as co-teachers, providing lessons in sustainable use of resources, locally sourced material, and attention to the climate in which we live,” said Eitel. By Kelsey Evans, CNR, Fall 2021.
Stay Connected through the CNR Virtual Coffee Klatch Coffee Klatch aims to unite college administration, alumni, retirees and friends for an informal conversation about the state of the college. Originally started in a local Moscow coffee shop, we’ve gone virtual to expand our connections across the country. Whether you’re sipping coffee on campus or from thousands of miles away, we hope you will join us each semester for a new topic from our guest speakers. We’ll convene for a social before presentations and have ample time throughout for questions and suggestions. This is an opportunity to communicate directly with Dean Dennis Becker. Your input and contributions play an integral role in running our college and we want to hear from you! In Spring 2021, our topic was alumni involvement. Highlights included updates on mentoring and ambassador programs and worldwide expansion of virtual alumni connections. Lisette Waits, professor of Wildlife Resources and department head of Fish and Wildlife Sciences, spoke on the “incredible response” to a new Fish and Wildlife professional student mentoring program. “We need a lot of mentors to make this work. The students job shadow, spend time in the field and are able to ask important questions. The students come away super excited about their major and with more confidence for their field,” said Waits. “I am always inspired by the quality of our students and faculty. Any part we can play in helping the next generation of Natural Resource professionals is very rewarding,” said alumni and mentor Chip Corsi (Fisheries ‘81,) who works with Idaho Fish & Game. In Fall 2021, Coffee Klatch highlighted CNR’s rebounding. Despite challenges brought by COVID-19, there has been growth in student numbers and retention, revitalized support through leveraged partnerships and development of new associate degrees that meet demands for a trained workforce. Visit the CNR website page before each Coffee Klatch to submit questions and feedback, and please join us for coffee in Spring 2022. We want to hear from you!
COLLEGE OF NATURAL RESOURCES
ALUMNI AWARDS HONOR ALUMNI AWARD Bob Rummer (B.S. ‘80, M.S. ‘82) currently works as a Research Development Consultant in Boulder, Colorado. Previously, Bob worked for close to thirty years as a USFS research engineer and project leader. He was the Director of Forest Operations Research for the USFS Southern Research Station and the Director of Development for the University of Kansas Office of Research.
EARLY CAREER ALUMNI ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Carlos Muñoz Brenes (Ph.D. ‘17) is the Director of Social Science for Conservation International. He earned his Ph.D. in Economics & Governance of Land Cover and Land Use Change, Policy & Conservation Approaches. Prior, he received his M.A.L.D. from Tufts University and his M.A. from Boston College.
BRIDGE BUILDER AWARD Erin Brooks (Ph.D. ‘03) is a U of I Associate Professor and Agricultural Engineer for U of I’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. His research includes fundamental hydrologic field experiments and modeling, in-stream sediment transport and nutrient cycling, forest fuel management and post wildfire mitigation, and spatial patterns in crop response and nitrogen uptake. J. Andres Soria (Ph.D. ‘05) is an Associate Professor and Director of the Berglund Center, an innovation and entrepreneurship center, at Pacific University. He has been involved in the development of
new products and technologies in energy and materials for over twenty years and he previously served at the National Academy of Science – National Research Council as an expert in biofuels.
INTERNATIONAL ALUMNI ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Luigi Maiorano (Ph.D. ‘07) is an Assistant Professor in Zoology, Department of Biology and Biotechnology, at the Sapienza University of Rome. He leads a lab focused on species distribution as a part of the Macroecology and Biodiversity Conservation research group.
CELEBRATING CNR AWARD Monique Crumb-Wynecoop (M.S. ‘17) earned her B.S. in Ecology and Conservation Biology, B.S. in Fishery Resources and M.S. in Natural Resources at the University of Idaho and is currently a Northeastern Washington fire ecologist and Tribal Liaison for the Northern Rockies Fire Science Network.
HONOR ASSOCIATE ALUMNI AWARD Winifred Kessler has worked as a wildlife ecologist for the University of Idaho, Utah State University, the University of Northern British Columbia, and for the USFS as an Alaska Regional, National Wildlife, and Principal Rangeland Ecologist. In 2020, after a 40-year career, Winifred retired from her position as the Alaska Regional Director for Wildlife, Fisheries, Ecology, Watershed, and Subsistence Management.
ALUMNI NEWS Laurence Crabtree (B.S. Forest Resources ‘77) has retired after more than 50 years dedicated to national forests. After studying forestry and entomology at U of I he began his career working in the Clearwater National Forest as a smoke chaser. Thereafter, he worked numerous positions as a firefighter, timber and forester. Crabtree then spent twenty years as a District Timber Management Officer and District Resource Officer for Lassen National Forest, followed by several years as a District Ranger for Humbult-Toiyabe, Modac and Plumas National Forests. After, Crabtree worked on the King Fire Restoration Project as an Agency Administrator and was supervisor of the Eldorado National Forest. Crabtree helped Eldorado become a leader in timber production and hazardous fuel treatment.
instructor at MOSS. Magney is now an assistant professor in UC Davis’ Department of Plant Sciences, where he researches plant biophysics through remote sensing and environmental informatics, helping us to understand the fundamental role of plants in making the planet livable.
Troy Magney (Ph.D. Natural Resources ‘15) received the Early Career Award from the American Society of Plant Biologists. Magney earned his B.A. in physical geography from the University of Denver before coming to U of I to study plant ecophysiology with lidar and hyperspectral data collected in nearby wheat fields and the Alaskan arctic. While pursuing his Ph.D., Magney was also a field
Bob Schafer (B.S. Resource Recreation & Tourism ‘99) was promoted to the position of Partner with the Land Group in Eagle, Idaho. Bob has a master’s in landscape architecture from North Carolina State University. He has dedicated many years to park management in Bellevue, Washington and is Co-chair of the City of Boise’s Planning and Zoning Commission.
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Blake Manley (B.S. Forestry ‘08) earned the Rob Waibel Educator of the Year award presented by the Oregon Natural Resources Educators Association. Manley is a forestry and natural resources instructor at Sweet Home High School in Oregon. Manley was selected for the award following his work on ‘Manley Jobs,” a series of videos that creatively enabled classroom learning during lockdowns that continues to serve as outreach for growing the Future Natural Resources Leaders program.
IN MEMORY John H. Ehrenreich, (Dean of the College of Natural Resources; 1971-1984, Professor Emeritus of International Forest and Range Resources; 1971-1999) passed away on February 5, 2021. A Wisconsin native, John received his Bachelor’s in forestry and range management, his Masters in range ecology at Colorado State University, and his PhD in plant ecology from Iowa State University. Before becoming Dean, John was head of the Department of Watershed Management at the University of Arizona. He also held a joint appointment with the University of Missouri and the U.S. Forest Service, working as an associate professor of forestry and as a project leader in forestry, range and wildlife ecology. Before retiring from the University of Idaho in 2000, John modernized the College of Natural Resources. He traveled the world to support international students, created opportunities for female faculty and founded the Inland Empire Tree Improvement and Tree Nutrition Cooperatives. John Fitzgerald, 81, (J.D. ‘65) passed away March 14th, 2021. John received his B.S. in Business and Accounting and was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity. While at U of I, John met and married June Hoalst. Shortly after, he received his J.D. from U of I and practiced law until 1999. John is remembered fondly by CNR for his support of many aspects of U of I, including our cherished McCall Field Campus. George William LaBar, 79, (Fish and Wildlife Resources Department Head, 1995-2004) died April 17, 2021 in Dresden, Maine. George served as a naturalist in Yellowstone and taught at universities including Cal Poly, Universidad Simon Bolivar in Venezuela and the Universities of Maine and Vermont. For 19 years at University of Vermont he taught fisheries biology, ichthyology, and water resources, and he conducted research on fisheries ecology on Lake Champlain. In 1995, George took the position of Head of the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources at the University of Idaho. During George’s 34-year academic career he published nearly 50 scientific papers and directed 40 MS and Ph.D. students. On retirement, George and Joan spent two years visiting 311 National Wildlife Refuges in 49 states, resulting in his book “The RVers Guide to the National Wildlife Refuges.”
Helen L. and Wayne A. Hedman, 81 and 80, (Lewis-Hedman Memorial Scholarship Endowment) of Hamilton, Montana, passed away on May 3rd, 2020, and December 2nd, 2019, respectively. Both Helen and Wayne are remembered for their keen love of wilderness, animals, rivers, and mountains, as well as their commitment to the US Forest Service and countless other environmental organizations. The couple played a key role in numerous Idaho and Montana communities as co-owners of Bitterroot Drug and they leave a lasting legacy at U of I through the Lewis-Hedman Memorial Scholarship Endowment, which will support CNR undergraduates for generations to come. Art “Doc” Partridge, 93, (Professor Emeritus of Forest Pathology) died October 28, 2020, at his home in Moscow. Doc retired in 1997 and lived on Moscow Mountain. If you’ve heard stories about Doc, it was probably about “blowing up stumps.” His research and the pathology lab he started have influenced generations of students and scientists. Janice “Jan” Pitkin, 76, (Department of Forest Products Staff) passed peacefully in her Moscow home on January 21, 2021. Jan was a teacher’s aide for the Moscow School District before joining the U of I News Bureau. After, Jan spent 16 years with the Department of Plant, Soils and Entomological Sciences, and another 10 with the College of Natural Resource’s Department of Forest Products. Coworkers, faculty and students were like family to Jan. She is remembered fondly for her positivity, recruitment and support for the department, as well as her famous plates of fudge. Robert (Bob) Shedd, 85, (B.S. Forestry) passed away in Tacoma, Washington on October 28, 2021. Bob worked for the BLM in the 1960’s in Boise, Burley and Salmon, Idaho before moving into Commercial Real Estate Appraising. After stints in upstate NY and Missoula, MT, Bob and his family eventually settled in Washington State. He spent the last 27 years of his career with Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company and retired as the VP for the Land Management Division. Delmar D. Vail, 91, (CNR ‘53) passed away on August 24, 2021. Del Vail was the recipient of the Public Lands Foundation Lifetime Service Award after an exceptional 38-year career with the BLM. Del brought management to BLM lands in the California Desert and played a leading role in establishing the Desert Ranger Force. He was a dedicated instructor and championed employee development programs within the BLM. He held multiple leadership positions before serving as the assistant director and deputy director for BLM headquarters’ Lands and Renewable Resources in addition to being the BLM Idaho state director from 1985 to 1994. Jamalee (Jamee) Williams, 24, (B.A. Forestry with Forest Operations ‘18) passed away on November 6, 2020. As an undergrad, Jamee worked with the Intermountain Forestry Cooperative, the U of I Experimental Forest, the Pitkin Forest Nursery, PotlatchDeltic and Pope before being hired full time after graduation with Pope (Rayonier.) For two years, Jamee also recruited interns for CNR employer events. Jamee is the daughter of Rich McMillan, Area Manager for the PotlatchDeltic Headquarters office. She loved horses, jeeps and shed hunting.
COLLEGE OF NATURAL RESOURCES
UNIVERSITY FACULTY AND STAFF AWARDS AWARDS
PROMOTIONS n April Hulet, Promoted to Associate
Professor of Plant and Wildlife Sciences: Granted tenure
n Jason Karl, Associate Professor of
Rangeland Ecology and Harold F. and Ruth M. Heady Endowed Chair of Rangeland Ecology: Granted tenure
n Mark Kimsey, Promoted to
Associate Professor of Forest Resources
n Leda Kobziar, Associate Professor
of Wildland Fire Science, Director, Master of Natural Resources: Granted tenure
n Greg Latta, Promoted to Assistant Randy Brooks
n Ken Cain, Professor of Aquaculture and Fish
Health, Associate Director of the Aquaculture Research Institute: Distinguished University Professor n Tara Hudiberg, Associate Professor of Forest, Rangeland and Fire Sciences: Excellence in Research and Creativity Award n Travis Paveglio, Associate Professor of Natural Resource Sociology: President’s MidCareer Faculty Award n Ryan Long, Associate Professor of Wildlife Sciences: President’s Mid-Career Faculty Award
Research Professor of Forest Economics: Granted tenure
n Randy Brooks, Extension Professor of
Forestry and Extension Forestry Specialist: University Award for Advising Excellence n Jan Eitel, Assistant Professor of Natural Resources and Society: Donald Crawford Graduate Faculty Mentoring Award n Teresa Cohn, Research Assistant Professor: Excellence in Interdisciplinary and Collaborative Efforts Award n Steve Hacker, Senior Director of Operations and Outreach: Lawrence C. McBride Staff Award
n Andrew Nelson, Tom A. Alberg
and Judith Beck Endowed Chair of Native Plant Regeneration, Promoted to Associate Professor: Granted tenure
STUDENT AWARDS n Chloe Beall, Outstanding Senior
n Matthan Hale, Outstanding Senior
n Anilkumar Krosuri, Outstanding
n Lydia Druin, Overall Outstanding CNR
n Kade Holling, Outstanding Senior
n Anna Lindquist, Outstanding
n Catherine Hughes, NRS Graduate
n Darcy McCarrick, Outstanding
n Jyoti Jennewein, Overall Outstanding
n Stacey Nerkowski, Outstanding
Undergrad and Outstanding Ecology and Conservation Biology Student
n Toni Eells, Outstanding Senior of
Natural Resources and Society
n Lars Filson, Outstanding Senior Fire
Ecology and Management
n Hana Haakenstad, Outstanding
Senior of Environmental Science
28 | WINTER 2021 - 22
Rangeland Conservation Fishery Resources
CNR and NRS Outstanding Graduate Student; U of I Graduate Student Research and Creativity Award
n Daniel Jokic, Outstanding Senior Forest
and Sustainable Products
ENVS Graduate Student CNR Graduate Student FWS M.S. Student
FWS Ph.D. Student
n Jeffrey Stenzel, Outstanding
FRFS Graduate Student
n Evando Vega, Outstanding Senior
DEPARTMENT UPDATES WELCOME New Faculty
n Meghan Foard, Senior Ecology
n Alyssa Bovinette, Academic Advisor
n Jamie Jessup, Administrative Assistant II
n Kelsey Evans, Writer in Residence
n Patience Mateer, Administrative
n Matt Falcy, Assistant Professor of
n Rich Giles, Academic Advisor
n Shanny Spang Gion, Visiting Tribal
n Sami Gupta, F&W Coop Program
n Jen Meekhof, Grants and Contracts
n Matthan Hale, Nursery Production
n Chu Qi, Research Scholar in FRFS
n JayCee Iannelli, Graduate Programs
n Andrea Jenkins, Administrative
n Kaitlin Waterloo, MOSS Food Services
n Kelsey White, CNR/CALS Career Advising
n Tom Zimmer, Fiscal Operations Manager
Shanny Spang Gion joins CNR as Visiting Tribal Scholar Shanny Spang Gion, a citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Nation from Lame Deer, Montana, has joined the University of Idaho community as a Visiting Tribal Scholar in the College of Natural Resources. Spang Gion has a monumental vision for integrating Indigenous knowledge systems into academia as she works to establish a supportive and sustained space for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students to excel in STEM. The position upholds the University of Idaho’s President’s Native American Council Memorandum of Understanding, which has a mission of promoting tribal leadership that fosters unity and cooperation among Native American students, Signatory Tribes, and the University. “The position was envisioned with the idea of not only supporting Native student success in STEM, but to bring our own Indigenous knowledge systems to academia in ways that are culturally relevant and appropriate for tribal nation building. Tribal nation building promotes a Tribe’s inherent sovereignty and self-determination,” says Spang Gion. In her position, Spang Gion is excited to assist both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students interested in conducting research with tribal communities and in Indigenous science, knowledge and value systems. Spang Gion is eager to help all students with interests in science, education and any combination of fields. Spang Gion is also working with faculty to develop curriculum that emphasizes mentoring for Native STEM students. “I am working to make space for courses that speak directly to indigenous knowledge systems and how they are woven with western frameworks, and how we can build these two ways of
knowing and research together to make space for Native students and faculty.” Spang Gion is bringing her expertise to CNR, where she is helping establish sustainable protocols and spaces for Indigenous students and knowledges, now and into the future. UI Moscow is located on the homelands of the Nimiipuu (Nez Perce,) Palus (Palouse) and Schitsu’umsh (Coeur d’Alene) tribes. We extend gratitude to the Indigenous people that call this place home, since time immemorial. UI recognizes that it is our academic responsibility to build relationships with the indigenous people to ensure integrity of tribal voices. By Kelsey Evans, CNR, Fall 2021.
COLLEGE OF NATURAL RESOURCES
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