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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.

TOPICS INCLUDE:
  • 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.



News Archive

revised: 05-Dec-2018 14:59