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Congratulations Graduates!
Fall 2018

LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources Graduating Class of Fall 2018

For more images see our Gallery page.

Congratulations to
Faculty Award Winners!

(12/12/18) BATON ROUGE, La. — The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture announced the winners of their annual faculty and staff awards during their annual conference ceremony held Dec. 11 at the LSU Student Union Theater.

Reserachers from RNR include Zhijun Liu, professor in the School of Renewable Natural Resources, for being part of a collection of researchers who study cercospora, a disease that can decimate a field through defoliation, won the Tipton Team Research Award. Through their research, the group has determined that certain elements such as iron can suppress disease development. They are also working on developing resistant crop varieties and fungicides to control the disease. The team is also developing protocols to detect the disease at an early stage.

Michael Kaller, an associate professor in the School of Renewable Natural Resources, received the Sedberry Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher. Kaller has served as undergraduate coordinator and associate rector for the College of Agriculture. These duties required him to schedule courses and room assignments and to aid in recruitment and retention. He played a role in developing an aquatic insect taxonomy and ecology class for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Robert Reigh, Professor and Director of the Aquaculture Research Station, was author of the Louisiana Agriculture magazine article of the year. Reigh’s article, “AgCenter Research Aims to Boost Louisiana Alligator Industry,” focused on issues related to alligator nutrition and effects of incubation conditions.

Service awards were presented to two faculty members for their years of service on the magazine’s editorial board. They were Dan Fromme, corn and cotton specialist at the Dean Lee Research and Extension Center in Alexandria, and Chris Green, professor at the Aquaculture Research Station in Baton Rouge.

Researchers collaborate to determine
Roseau cane die-off cause

(10/05/18) BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU AgCenter researchers along with scientists from multiple agencies are collaborating to investigate the decline in health of Roseau cane or Phragmites, a vital marsh grass in the lower Mississippi River Delta.

Earlier this year, Congress directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Agricultural Research Service to work with stakeholders to develop a pest management program for control of the Roseau cane scale infestation in the delta.

This additional funding allowed research efforts to expand into plant pathogens, soil health, and plant and insect genetics. With support from the Louisiana Legislature, AgCenter coastal ecologist Andy Nyman will use remote sensing to measure Roseau cane health in the marsh, and Ehab Meselhe, vice president for engineering with the Water Institute of the Gulf, will model the potential impact of die-offs on navigation dredging in the lower delta.

Nyman said his goal is to determine when Roseau cane first began to die off and how much of it has died and not replaced itself.

Nyman will conduct field work in the marsh to accurately verify what is out there. He will also use satellite imagery taken over time that provides a normalized different vegetation index. This index helps the researchers determine if green vegetation is in the area and can show if die-offs happen over time.

Conservationists Worry Over Airport Plan in Wildlife Refuge

A plan to build an airport in a Louisiana wildlife refuge has shocked conservationists who say it could harm important bird habitat on a coastline disappearing under encroaching Gulf of Mexico waters.

US News and World Report provides an interview with RNR Alum Dr. Erik Johnson, and RNR Faculty member Dr. Phil Stouffer, on the impacts of building an airport on Elmer’s Island Wildlife Refuge.

RNR Faculty Leads Waterfowl Breeding Ecology & Management Graduate Student Field Course

[click image to enlarge and read PDF)

Inaugural Award: Laborde Endowed Scholarship for Leadership in Renewable Natural Resources

LSU Alumni Association Laborde Award inaugural recipients
Pictured are Tracy Jones, scholarship coordinator for the LSU Alumni Association, Dr. Allen Rutherford, Director of the School of Renewable Natural Resources, Colette Pansini, Senior in Wildlife Ecology, Anna West, Senior in Wildlife Ecology, and Luke and Sonja Laborde, scholarship donors.

RNR Student Honored with
First Barton Scholarship

Cassandra Skaggs, Barton Scholarship winner

Scholarship recipient Cassandra Skaggs (front) with from left, Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation Executive Director Kell McInnis, LSU Alumni Association Presedent Cliff Vannoy, John Barton, Jr., Association Vice President Tracy Jones, and School of Renewable Natural Resources Instructor, Luke Laborde.

Cassandra Skaggs, a graduate research assistant in the School of Renewable Natural Resources, was awarded the first John W. Barton, Sr. College of Agriculture Wildlife Scholarship in March.

Research Matters - Spring 2018

Resesarch Matters

The Spring 2018 edition of Research Matters is now available. Download your copy and catch-up on happenings in School of Renewable Natural Resources.

  • Highlights of ongoing student and faculty research projects
  • RNR Scientists Investigate Factors to Guide Nesting Island Restoration
  • RNR Welcomes New Wildlife Extension Specialist: Dr. Ashley M. Long
  • New Instructor welcomed to RNR: Dr. Chris Reid
  • What is happening in the classroom: Hands-on experience for students
  • International travel experiences for Students
  • Tiger Chapter Ducks Unlimited raises $100,000
  • 2017-2018 Student Scholarships awarded
  • Graduate Student news

Workshop for Coastal Wetland Wildlife Managers

The McGraw Center for Conservation Leadership sponsored a workshop for coastal wetland researchers and managers in May, 2018 at the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge in southwest Louisiana. Thanks to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for the video.

Organized by Dr. Andy Nyman of Louisiana State University and financed by the McGraw Center for Conservation Leadership and Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, the workshop included 35 participants from regulatory agencies, academic institutions, state and federal agencies, and environmental consulting firms, representing Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. The hope was to increase the effectiveness of wetland management and restoration through a four-day conversation about the challenges facing coastal wetlands and those who manage them. (Ashley Booth, PhD student; PI: Dr. Sammy King) [PDF]

For more information, to see presentations, and photos go to Dr. Nyman's post-Workshop for Coastal Wetland Wildlife Managers webpage

Dr. Tiersch Named as Chair of the USDA
National Genetic Resources Advisory Council

Dr. Terry TierschDr. Terrence Tiersch, Professor in the School of Renewable Natural Resources and Director of the Aquatic Germplasm and Genetic Resources Center, has been named to serve as the Chair of the National Genetic Resources Advisory Council.

The Advisory Council formulates recommendations on actions and policies for the collection, maintenance and utilization of genetic resources. It also makes recommendations for coordination of genetic resources plans of several domestic and international organizations, and advises the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and the Director of the National Genetic Resources Program (NGRP) of new and innovative approaches for conservation of genetic resources.

The NGRAC can consist of up to nine members appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture and seven or more ex-officio members. Two-thirds of the appointed members represent scientific disciplines relevant to the NGRP, and one-third represent activities relevant to the general public. Thus it is likely that each of the relevant life forms (e.g., plants, forest species, animals, aquatics, insects and microbes) is represented by an appointed scientific member.

More recently, the Council was charged with advising the U.S. Department of Agriculture on ways to ensure that the NGRP serves the needs of farmers for high quality and diverse germplasm, as well as how to develop a broad strategy for maintaining biodiversity available to agriculture and strengthening public sector breeding capacities.

Congratulations Graduates!
Spring 2018

RNR Graduating Class of Spring 2018

Images of the College of Agriculture Diploma Ceremony and the RNR Graduates' Reception are available on the Photo Gallery page.

Current Issue of LA Agriculture
Features RNR Faculty and Students

The fall 2017 issue of Louisiana Agriculture magazine focuses on nutrient management, a term that means LSU AgCenter scientists are working hard to keep Louisiana’s finite water supply wholesome and prevent environmental degradation from crop and livestock production, garden and golf course management, and community and industrial waste near waterbodies. Check the links below to learn more about the many projects they are engaged in to help preserve water resources and keep Louisiana farmers in business. If you would like a printed copy of this issue, or if you have any questions, please contact the editor, Linda Benedict. The LSU AgCenter is here to serve you.

Several RNR faculty (Drs. Richard Keim, Michael Blazier, Yi-jun Xu, and Megan La Peyre) and students (Jeremy Reiman, Emily DelDuco, Songjie He, and Phillip Westbrook) have articles in the latest issue of Louisiana Agriculture.

Xu Lab Hydrology Students Present at AGU Fall Meeting in New Orleans

Four graduates (Emily DelDuco, Bo Wang, Songjie He, and Jeremy Reiman) and one undergraduate student (Skylar Bueche) from SRNR presented their studies at the 2017 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting. The AGU meeting was held on December 11 - 15, in New Orleans. The AGU fall meeting is the world’s largest and most important conference in Earth Science (and it is a pretty big deal for students to make a presentation there).

The meeting and the presentations were highlighted in several news releases: in the Times Picayune (LINK) and the AGU Press office (LINK)

Professorship Awarded
to Dr. Stouffer

Congratulations to Dr. Phil Stouffer for being named the Lee F. Mason LSU Alumni Association Departmental Professor in the College of Agriculture. Applications for this professorship were college-wide and the applicant pool was very competitive. Good job Phil, you are very deserving!

RNR Alum Awarded AFS
Golden Membership Award

RNR alumnus, Dugan Sabins (MS Fisheries Science 1973) was recently award the American Fisheries Society’s Golden Membership Award at the 147th AFS Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida.

Dugan is a retired Senior Environmental Scientist with the Office of Environmental Assessment of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). He has over 40 years of experience in water resources and the aquatic sciences. Among his experiences are a multi-year limnological study of the Atchafalaya Basin and lower Mississippi River. While at DEQ he was had technical and management responsibilities for surface water quality standards, monitoring and assessment, and with the nonpoint source program.

Dugan represented DEQ on the Management Committee of the Gulf of Mexico Program, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, the Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee, and the Coordinating Committee of the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force (Gulf Hypoxia Task Force). He has also served as president of the Louisiana Chapter of the American Fisheries Society and the Louisiana Water Environment Association. Congratulations to Dugan Sabins for a great career and this special honor!!

NYT Highlights RNR Research
on Mottled Ducks

What Swims Like a Duck and Quacks Like a Duck Could Be a Hybrid of Two Duck Species. This is the title of the New York Times (NYT)article highlighting reseach done by Robert Ford (MS, RNR) and Dr. Sabrina Taylor. The study published Thursday in The Condor: Ornithological Applications suggests the riddling possibility that two duck species forming a hybrid species could one day leave us with less diversity among North American ducks.

Dr. Taylor was interviewed For the NYT article, which appears in the 11 September 2017 edition. Check it out!

Dr. Terry Tiersch named to National Genetic Resources Advisory Council

Dr. Terrence TierschDr. Terrence Tiersch, Professor in the School of Renewable Natural Resources, and Director of the Aquatic Germplasm and Genetic Resources Center, has been appointed to a 2-year term on the National Genetic Resources Advisory Council.

The Advisory Council formulates recommendations on actions and policies for the collection, maintenance, and utilization of genetic resources; makes recommendations for coordination of genetic resources plans of several domestic and international organizations, and advises the Secretary of Agriculture and the Director of the National Genetic Resources Program of new and innovative approaches for conservation of genetic resources.

More recently, the Council was charged with advising the U.S. Department of Agriculture on ways to ensure that the National Genetic Resources Program serves the needs of all farmers for high quality and diverse germplasm, as well as how to develop a broad strategy for maintaining biodiversity available to agriculture, and strengthening public sector breeding capacities.

Tiersch is the first aquatic species scientist to serve on the Council.

Bioenergy Insight Conference 2017: Q&A session with LFPDCs Richard Vlosky

The Bioenergy Insight Conference, a world-leading bioenergy event, will be held in Edinburgh, Scotland, on 4 and 5 October 2017, covering the whole bioenergy supply chain. The show will focus on all the new developments and the latest challenges. Topics covered in the seminars include the global biomass market, financing bioenergy projects, and ensuring sustainability at scale.

Dr. Richard Vlosky, Professor and Director of the Louisiana Forest Products Development Center will be a major speaker at this event. As a prelude to this event, Dr. Vlosky introduces the topic of Bioenery, economics, and industry trends in a Q&A featured in the most recent Bioenergy Insight news bulletin.

His talk at the conference will be entitled: Update on the wood-based bioenergy sector in North America. Registration information is available on the Bioenergy Insight 2017 Conference and Expo site.

RNR with Governor's School of Agriculture

Dr. Luke Laborde of the School of Renewable Natural Resources led the Governor's School for Agricultural Sciences for an overnight field trip at Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge.

The Governor's School brings to campus 15 high school juniors intending to major in agricultural sciences. Counselors to the program included RNR students Amanda Benge, Jazmyn Bernard, and Josef Schuster. The visit was hosted by LDWF refuge staff Gabe Giffin, Katie Barnes, and Phillip Trosclair.

Forest Product Society International Conference

Check out the Dr. Vlosky’s interview at the recent 71st annual Forest Product Society International Conference held at Mississippi State University [June 26, 2017].

Dr. Vlosky, the Director of the the Louisiana Forest Products Development Center, is the current Society president.

Traditional Graduate Fellows Grant Awarded

RNR Faculty member, Dr. Sabrina Taylor, recently received a Traditional Graduate Fellows Grant from the Louisiana Board of Regents to increase the quality and diversity of graduate students entering the School’s Graduate Program.

Any RNR faculty member who provided information for the proposal can nominate a student for this fellowship. One PhD student will be selected by a committee to receive $30,000/year and a tuition waiver for four years. Nominated students with high GPAs & GREs, research experience, good letters for reference, and who increase the School’s diversity will be considered highly competitive.

The fellowship will begin in the Fall 2018 semester. Dr. Taylor will make every effort to extend this funding by submitting grant proposals in subsequent years.

LFPDC Alumnus Named International Fellow

Dr. Francisco Aguilar, LFPDC alumnusDr. Francisco Aguilar, a former student of Dr. Richard Vlosky (Directory, Louisiana Forest Products Development Center - LFPDC) has been awared the 2017 Brady J. Deaton Fellow in International Agriculture by the Universty of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources (CANFR).

Francisco is an Associate Professor of Forestry, on the faculty since 2009. His research focuses in two areas: the economics of wood and non-wood products, and policy and land management. He follows the wood energy market and its competitiveness as compared to other energy sources.

Congratulations to Dr. Aguilar. More information about him is available at the CNFAR

Vlosky Appointed to Sustainable Biomass Program Working Group

Rich Vlosky

Richard Vlosky, Director and Professor, Louisiana Forest Products Development Center, and Crosby Land & Resources Endowed Professor of Forest Sector Business Development, in the LSU AgCenter, was appointed to represent Louisiana State University on the Sustainable Biomass Program (SBP) Working Group.

SBP, based out of the United Kingdom, is a unique certification system designed for woody biomass, mostly in the form of wood pellets and wood chips, used in industrial, large-scale energy production. The Working Group, with global membership, was established to review current certification guidelines.

Six NREM Degree Programs Offered by RNR Receive Accreditation from the Society of American Foresters

RNR Building, LSU

Six areas of concentration are now accredited by the Society of American Foresters.

Three of the AOCs (Forest Resource Management, Forest Enterprise, and Wildlife Habitat Conservation and Management) meet the standards for accreditation under SAF’s traditional Forestry program. The other three AOCs (Conservation Biology, Ecological Restoration, and Wetland Science) meet the standards for accreditation under SAF’s new program called Natural Resource and Ecosystem Management.

Accreditation is a mark of academic quality, a demonstration of accountability, and a promise of continued planning for the future.

The forestry program in RNR has been continuously accredited by SAF since 1936, the first year SAF started its 81-year-old accreditation program. The Society of American Foresters established the standards for accrediting natural resource and ecosystem management programs in 2014 to create educational criteria that train resource professional in the art and science of sustaining ecosystem composition, structure, and function that satisfy long-term objectives. RNR’s long history of accreditation reflects the School’s ability to identify and respond to the evolving needs of society from its natural resources.

Director of LFPDC Installed as
President of Forest Products Society

Richard Vlosky, Director, Louisiana Forest Products Development Center, LSU AgCenter, was installed as President of the Forest Products Society at the Society’s 70th International Convention in Portland, Oregon on June 29, 2016. The Forest Products Society, the largest international not-for-profit technical association, was founded in 1947 to provide an information network for all segments of the forest products industry.

Dr. Bill Kelso: Graduate School Headliner

Dr. Bill Kelso, Faculty Focus

Dr. Bill Kelso is one of the subjects of the the Faculty Focus for the month of June in the LSU Graduate School Newsletter (volume 5). Click the image above for a PDF of Dr. Kelso's profile. The most current newsletter is available from the Graduate School Home page.

Dr. Taylor Recognized as 'Rising Star'

Dr. Sabrina Taylor Congratulations to Dr. Sabrina Taylor, named by the LSU Alumni Association as one of this year's "Rising Stars"

Each spring, the University recognizes the teaching, research, and service accomplishmets of its faculty with more than 120 awards presented at the Distinguished Faculty Awards Ceremony. Twenty-four of the individuals honored this year received awards underwritten by the LSU Alumni Association, including the ten recipients of the new Rising Faculty Research Awards

More information on Dr. Taylor and her research program (and the other recipients of this year's recognition) is available in the current issue of the LSU Alumni Magazine. The online edition for Winter 2015/volume 91, number 4, can be accessed here.

Bonnet Carre Spillway opens again

Flooding along the Mississippi River has led to the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway for the second time in five years. LSU AgCenter correspondent Craig Gautreaux has the story on how the opening affects the ecology of the outflow area, with comments by Dr. Richard Keim, RNR Faculty and LSU AgCenter Forested Wetland Hydrologist.

Louisiana Forest Industry Website Gets Update

BATON ROUGE, La. – The LSU AgCenter recently updated an online directory with current information about forest products companies in Louisiana.

The site allows users to search more than 600 companies by product, parish or company name, said Richard Vlosky, director of the Louisiana Forest Products Development Center in the AgCenter.

Company locations are identified on a Louisiana map, and company contact information appears when a map icon is clicked.

Designed primarily to promote economic development in Louisiana’s forest sector, the website was initially developed by Vlosky and Fred Piazza, AgCenter chief information officer, and was funded by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and Louisiana Economic Development. The 2015 update was funded by Crosby Land & Resources LLC, of New Orleans.

“This is an example of how collaboration between the LSU AgCenter, state government agencies and industry can facilitate development of an innovative tool to power economic development,” Vlosky said.

“In addition to being a valuable business and promotional tool for the industry, the website information will identify spatial company clustering, which is a useful tool for economic development planners, as clusters tend to have efficiencies and scale economies that attract additional industry,” he added.

The forest sector is the largest segment of Louisiana agriculture with a nearly $3 billion contribution to the state’s economy in 2014. Forest products manufacturers employed nearly 13,000 people, while timber sales generated $12.7 million in severance taxes that year.

The website can be accessed at www.lsuagcenter.com/forestindustries.

Richard Vlosky can be reached at 225-578-4527 or rvlosky@agcenter.lsu.edu

Writer: Rick Bogren at 225-578-5839 or rbogren@agcenter.lsu.edu

Bioproducts Industry Growing in Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, La. – With several success stories to tell, Louisiana is poised to become a major player in the bioproducts industry, speakers said during a bioenergy conference held by the LSU AgCenter.

The conference was held in conjunction with National Bioenergy Day on October 21, 2015.

“There is a lot of focus right now on bioenergy globally, particularly in the wood sector. We want to ensure Louisiana producers are aware of what is happening in this industry,” said Rich Vlosky, conference coordinator and director of the LSU AgCenter Forest Products Development Center.

One successful bioproduct venture in the state is Myriant in Lake Providence, which uses sugars to develop bio-succinic acid. It opened its flagship facility in Lake Providence in December 2010.

Mark Shmorhun, vice president of engineering and general manager for the Lake Providence facility, said a lot of “great” things are happening right now.

“It’s been a slow process, but we’re seeing success with our product,” Shmorhun said. “Not all chemicals are created equal, and the succinic acid we’re creating is biobased; therefore, it is environmentally friendly.”

Succinic acid is used to make a broad range of products people use every day, as well as in pharmaceutical compounds.

Cool Planet Energy Systems in Alexandria is another Louisiana bioproduct success story. Mike Bukowski, vice president of operations for the Alexandria site, said his company’s focus is to “change the world for good.”

Reed Huckabay Forestry Scholarship Endowed

Reed Huckabay, BSF 1998A new forestry scholarship in honor of the late Reed Huckabay of Shreveport has been endowed to the Louisiana Forestry Foundation by friends, family and colleagues.

Huckabay was a forester for RoyOMartin, working in the Campti district for more than 15 years. He graduated from Louisiana State University with a forestry degree in 1998.

The 41-year-old forester died last April after a courageous battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS).

Applications for the scholarship will be available to students majoring in forestry at either Louisiana State University or Louisiana Tech University through those departments on campus. The application period begins in spring 2016 for the following fall semester.

Huckabay was known for his passion for forestry and the outdoors. He grew up on a farm in Armistead developing a work ethic that served him well in his career. He formed many lasting relationships with those in the timber industry and became an expert on oil and gas exploration in the area.

“Reed’s work ethic and his dedication to RoyOMartin and his coworkers serve as an example for us all,” said RoyOMartin Woodlands Manager Mickey Rachal.

The Louisiana Forestry Foundation is dedicated to advance, promote, develop and extend education in the field of forestry.

The Foundation has awarded more than $740,000 in scholarships since it began in 1969.


Dr. William E. Kelso (right) was awarded the 2015 Excellence in Education Award from the American Fisheries Society at the recent Annual Meeting in Portland, OR.

Faculty Participates in Formal Defense

Dr. Wu as thesis opponent

Dr. Qinglin Wu served as the opponent for a Ph.D. thesis defense in School of Energy Systems, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Lappeenranta, Finland for Ms Marina Nikolaeva (middle in the picture) on June 12, 2015. Ms Nikolaeva's major professor is Prof. Timo Karki (left in the picture). Her dissertation is on fire-retardant treated wood plastic composites. Very formal affair!!

Zambian Scientists Visit and Train with RNR Faculty

 Rockefeller RefugeIn July 2015, seven Zambian scientists representing the International Crane Foundation, Zambian Wildlife Authority, Bird Life Zambia, and the World Wildlife Fund, visited RNR for 12 days of intensive training in wetlands and waterbird ecology. Four of the seven scientists are lone ecologists on remote refuges in Zambia and work with a variety of wildlife including crocodiles, hippos, lions, antelope, and the wattled and black crowned crane.

Drs. Sammy King, Luke Labourde, and Andy Nyman provided several lectures to the group and led field trips to Grand Cote National Wildlife Refuge, Rockefeller Refuge, Lacassine Pool, the coastal prairie, and Pass a’ Loutre Wildlife Management Area. The Nature Conservancy led a field trip into the Atchafalaya Basin as well.

Zambian Scientists visit at the Mississisppi RiverThe scientists developed a greater understanding of wetland systems and also recognized the contrast between our highly modified wetland systems and their mostly pristine wetlands.They also visited with the Gulf Coast Joint Venture and developed a better understanding of broad-scale wetland monitoring. Dr. Brett Collier spoke to them about telemetry and its potential use in monitoring and research of large mammal populations. It was a great experience not only for the Zambians, but the RNR faculty learned a tremendous amount from our Zambian colleagues and were inspired by their passion for wetland and wildlife resources.

The group from Zambia was also highlighted in an article that appeared on the AvoyellesToday.com website. In Avoyelles, they were hosted by Dr. L.J. Mayeux of Marksville, parish coroner and expert on ducks and duck habitat. They were impressed by Mayeux’s collection of wood carvings and other duck-related items. The visitors also toured Grand Cote National Wildlife Refuge. The link to the complete write-up can be accessed here.

LFPDC is Providing Leadership for Forest Products Society

1. Dr. Niels de Hoop (right) served the past year as President of the Forest Products Society and is being presented a Gavel of Appreciation by FPS Executive Director Craig McKinney (left). 2. Dr. Rich Vlosky (right) is now the President-Elect of the Forest Products Society. He was presented a plaque by outgoing President Dr. Niels de Hoop (left) at the International Convention of the Forest Products Society.

All faculty members at the Louisiana Forest Products Development Center (LFPDC) are providing leadership for Forest Products Society.

The Forest Products Society is the premier organization through which scientists in wood products share their ideas and research results. It publishes the Forest Products Journal and many other journals and books that are circulated globally. This means that the LSU AgCenter is providing leadership in the dissemination and sharing of wood products research for the world.

Four faculty members serve in the Louisiana Forest Products Development Center (which is within the School of RNR) and were recognized at the International Convention of the Forest Products Society held June 10-12, 2015, in Atlanta: Drs. Rich Vlosky (Director), Qinglin Wu, Todd Shupe and Niels de Hoop. Dr. Vlosky is currently serving as President-Elect of the Forest Products Society. Dr. Wu is Faculty Advisor to the LSU Student Chapter. Dr. Shupe serves on the Board of Directors representing the 6-state south-central region. Dr. de Hoop now serves as Past President, having served during a time of major management transition. Through this leadership, the LSU AgCenter has emerged as one of the foremost organizations serving society in the responsible utilization and management of forest resources.

Congratulations on Award

Graduate student Barcley Pace won a student presentation award at the 36th Annual Meeting of the Louisiana Chapter of the American Fisheries Society meeting. Her presentation was on the “Infectivity pattern of white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) in the Louisiana red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii).” Dr. Chris Green is Barcley's major professor.

College of Ag Alumni Awards Recognize Two in RNR

Ag Alumni Awards, Spring 2015

Anna Claire Ferchaud, left, received the K.C. Toups Memorial Les Voyageurs Award, and Mike Kaller, right, received the LSU College of Agriculture Alumni Association’s Early Career Outstanding Aumni Award. They are pictured with Allen Rutherford, head of the School of Renewable Natural Resources. Ferchaud is a senior in the school, and Kaller is an associate professor in the school. (Photo by Tobie Blanchard)

LSU College of Agriculture alumni group holds spring awards ceremony.
The LSU College of Agriculture Alumni Association recognized outstanding alumni, faculty and students at a ceremony on Friday, April 24, at The Club at Union Square on the LSU campus.

The event served as a spring gathering of alumni and friends of the LSU College of Agriculture, according to Luke Laborde, president of the association.

More details about the awards ceremonoy and all of the recipients are available from the LSU Agcenter Headline News page.

Congratulations to Anna Claire and Dr. Kaller!

Nanocellulose: A Green Building Block for Next-Generation Sustainable Material and Energy

The Winter 2015 issue of Louisiana Agriculture Magazine, published by the LSU AgCenter, includes articles on a wide range on topics. Dr. Qinglin Wu, Roy O. Martin Sr. Professor in Composites and Engineered Wood Products in the School of Renewable Natural Resources, contributed a feature article on the use of "nanocellulose" as a source for a variety of applications, such as high performance composites, electronics, biomedical materials and energy.

The article is now available online.

More Countries Turn to Louisiana for Forestry Needs

BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana is benefitting as countries around the world turn to the state to satisfy growing demand for wood products and forestry expertise, said Richard Vlosky, director of the LSU AgCenter Louisiana Forest Products Development Center.

Forestry has long been Louisiana’s No. 1 agricultural commodity, adding $2.9 billion to the economy in 2013, according to the AgCenter’s Ag Summary. Around the world, sustainable energy efforts have brought new attention to sustainable forest management and product development, Vlosky told attendees of the March 12 Global Agriculture Hour, an event sponsored by LSU AgCenter International Programs.


Distinguished Early Career Award

Dr. Chris GreenDr. Chris Green (right) was awarded the Distinguished Early Career Award at the annual meeting of the US Aquaculture Society.

The Distinguished Early Career Award recognizes an individual who has been involved in U.S. aquaculture for 10 years or less. This award recognizes outstanding leadership or innovation in research, education, extension, or industry development in the field of aquaculture. The award specifically emphasizes significant personal contributions made to further advance U.S. aquaculture.

Congratulations to Dr. Green!

Thanks and Farewell to Dr. Al Afton on Retirement

Dr. Sammy King (left), Leader of the USGS Coop Unit, presents Dr. Al Afton a plaque from the USGS in appreciation for the leadership, dedication and support he has provided to the Cooperative Research Unit during his 26 years as Assistant Leader Wildlife.

On Thursday, 30 Spetember 2014, the faculty and staff of the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and the School of Renewable Natural Resources got together to celebrate the retirement of one of its own. Dr. Al Afton, Assistant Unit Learder (wildlife) is retiring after 26 years of outstanding federal service to the Coop Unit and to RNR.

The focus throughout Dr. Afton's career has been on relevant, applied management issues related to waterfowl ecology which has led to numerous accomplishments and has furthered a waterfowl legacy at LSU and the Cooperative Unit Program. He developed the North American Duck Symposium and a waterfowl listserve, both of which have greatly benefitted the waterfowl profession and state and federal land management agencies.

We will miss Dr. Afton, as he plans to escape the humid Southland and return to the frozen North for retirement. He plans to keep in touch and to follow the LSU sports on the SEC Network from a much cooler climate. Thanks again, to Dr. Afton...Congratulations on your retirement.

Photos of the get-together are on our Gallery page.

Dr. Stouffer on Sabbatical in Africa as Fulbright Scholar

Dr. Phil Stouffer (Professor, Conservation Biology) is on a year-long sabbatical as a Fulbright Scholar at the College of African Wildlife Management in Mweka, Tanzania.

To document his time there, he will post natural history-related photos to his Flickr account (https://www.flickr.com/photos/stoufferlsu/). He has promised that it will be more than birds! Check in from time to time to follow his adventures. Enjoy!

Students Get Taste of Natural Resource Management in RNR1001 Class

Dr. William Kelso, Professor in School of Renewable Natural Resourses, is the "professor of record" for this new program in the Agricultural Sciences. The course is Natural Resources Conservation, RNR1001, and it allows high school students to get a jump-start on their college careers in natural resources and agricultural sciences. The Associated Press(AP) story highlights the details and benefits to Lousiana students.

LIFT2 Grants Awarded to Three RNR Faculty

LSU has awarded 15 grants totaling $500,000 to faculty members through its new LIFT2 (Leveraging Innovation for Technology Transfer) grant program, which provides funding to validate the market potential of the faculty members' inventions. Grants are for up to $50,000. LSU President F. King Alexander says in a prepared statement that "this program will help to see many of these projects advance from basic research to market." Results of the research from the first grants are expected within a year. The grant awardees were selected from among 47 applications.

Congratulations are in order for three of our Faculty members receiving these prestigious awards:

Professors Todd Shupe and Richard Vlosky in the School of Renewable Natural Resources, along with Dr. Jim Richardson in the E. J. Ourso College of Business Administration on the LSU A&M campus received one of these these for their project titled: “Reclaiming Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA) from Decommissioned Preservative-treated wood: Technology, Economics, and Markets

Assistant Professor Julie Anderson Lively in the School of Renewable Natural Resources, also received one of these awards. The title of her project is “Packaging and storage of a new blue crab bait

LFPDC Faculty Take Leadership Role in the Forest Products Society

All four faculty members in the Louisiana Forest Products Development Center (LFPDC), LSU AgCenter, have taken on leadership positions in the Forest Products Society (FPS).

In August, at the Society’s annual international convention in Quebec, Dr. Niels de Hoop, Associate Professor, will be installed as President and Dr. Richard Vlosky, LFPDC Director and Crosby Land & Resources Endowed Professor of Forest Sector Business Development, will be installed as Vice-President. Dr. Todd Shupe, Professor and Director of the LFPDC’s Wood Durability Laboratory will remain Regional Board Member for the South-Central Region for the next year. Dr. Qinglin Wu, Roy O. Martin Sr. Professor in BioComposites/Nanomaterials and Director of the Composites Engineering Laboratory, will become the Faculty Advisor for the newly created FPS Louisiana State University student chapter based in the School of Renewable Natural Resources.

In addition, at the Quebec convention, LFPDC faculty member Dr. Mark Gibson, Director, School of Forestry, Louisiana Tech University, will receive the prestigious Fred W. Gottschalk Memorial Award, named for the first President of the Society, which recognizes exceptional service to the Forest Products Society by an individual member. The Forest Products Society is an international not-for-profit technical association founded in 1947 to provide an information network for all segments of the forest products industry.

2 weeks, 100 plants: LSU Ag students take to woods for plant identification class

Don Reed and Ag Center ClassFRANKLINTON, La – [6 June 2014] With a tall walking stick in hand, Don Reed (center - on stairs), an LSU College of Agriculture professor and AgCenter forestry and wildlife specialist, wandered through Bogue Chitto State Park pointing out trees and plants to a group of students.

Each student had to correctly identify the common and scientific names of 20 plants. They called out names such as cherry laurel, St. Andrew’s cross and sweet leaf and more sinister-sounding ones like witch hazel and devil’s walking stick.

The group was spending two and half weeks in forests in southeast Louisiana as part of an intersession class through the LSU College of Agriculture.

Intersession classes are offered between semesters and last about two weeks. Cody Juneau, a senior in Renewable Natural Resources, said he learned a lot in a short period of time.


With Sadness...

Eric Paul "Pee Wee" FabreIt is with sadness we relay that one of our students, Eric Fabre, an NREM senior from Slidell, LA was killed in a tragic traffic accident. Many of you knew Eric from class, as a fellow student, and as a friend.

Condolences can be left on the Honaker Funeral Home web site.
Please keep Eric’s family in your thoughts. This is a tragic loss. -- Allen Rutherford

ERIC PAUL ‘PEE WEE’ FABRE, age 20 years, of Slidell, LA, passed away on Friday, June 20, 2014. Son of Milisa Hubbard (Sonny) and Jack Fabre (Michelle). Brother of Blake Fabre (Brittany) and Allie Hubbard. Step-brother of Megan Balladares and Raymond Balladares. Also survived by his fiancé, Taylor Tycer, his grandparents, and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. A native of Slidell and a graduate of Northshore High School. He was a Senior at LSU where he was enrolled in the Wildlife and Fisheries Federal Program. He was an avid outdoorsman, who loved to hunt and fish. A friend of many and was loved by all who were touched by him. Relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend the Funeral Mass at St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church, 910 Cross Gates Blvd., Slidell, LA on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at 6:00 P.M. Interment will be private. Visitation at the church on Tuesday after 4:00 P.M. until funeral time.

Students Awarded Louisiana Environmental Education Commission Grants

Songie HeKaci FisherRenewable Natural Resources Ph.D. students, Songjie He (left) and Kaci Fisher (right), have each been awarded a Louisiana Environmental Education Commission (LEEC) University Grant.

LEEC’s mission is to promote environmental education at all academic levels with the result of producing a literate citizenry who can make informed natural resource-related decisions.

Both are students in Dr. Jun Xu's Watershed Hydrology Lab. Songjie will use the grant funds to study historic nutrient inputs from coastal rivers in south Louisiana, and Kaci will be investigating heavy metal transport and retention in the Calcasieu and Atchafalaya River Basins. Congratulations to Songjie and Kaci!!

"Alligator: King of the Bayou"

"The American alligator is the largest reptile in North America and Louisiana has millions of them – from the coastal parishes to the Arkansas state line. They are so plentiful that they’re hunted for their meat and hides. But for a period of time, beginning in the early 1960s, Louisiana’s alligator population was in steep decline. Since then, Louisiana has instituted one of the world's most successful wildlife conservation projects to help ensure the alligator’s survival. Since 1985, some 300,000 gators have multiplied to nearly 3 million today." --LPB

As part of the LPB series "Alive in America's Delta", see our own Yu-Hsin Hsueh (Ph.D student of Dr. Chambers and Dr. Keim) as she talks about her own encounter with alligators while doing research in the swamp. This segment gives witness first-hand to how this keystone species – and cultural icon – was brought back to viability using a combination of biological science and marketplace economics.

The full program can now be accessed on LPB online.

revised: 05-Jan-2021 10:56