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Governor's Comission on Greenhouse Gas Emissions includes RNR Faculty

[5 April 2021, The Daily Reveille] Nine LSU researchers joined committees and advisory groups for Gov. John Bel Edwards’s Climate Initiatives Task Force, an executive order signed in August of last year to reduce Louisiana’s greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

By February 2022, the Task Force will submit a detailed plan to reduce Louisiana greenhouse gas emissions 26-28% by 2025, 40-50% by 2030 and net zero emissions by mid-century.

“Just as we have done with coastal protection and restoration, we are building an inclusive, science-driven process to lead us to solutions to an incredibly complex and difficult problem,” Edwards said in a press release.

The task force is supported by six committees pertaining to sectors of the economy, and four advisory groups focused on science, equity, law and policy and financial and economic concerns.

LSU chemical engineering professor Kalliat Valsaraj is part of the Science Advisory Committee, tasked with assessing the feasibility of scientific recommendations to attain carbon neutrality by 2050.

“It may be challenging to the Louisiana situation because of its reliance on the oil and gas industry, but the prospect of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 is certainly possible,” Valsaraj said.

The transition to renewable energy and carbon neutrality is crucial in mitigating the effects of global climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions increase temperatures in the atmosphere and the ocean, leading to sea-level rise, more extreme weather and a host of other devastating effects outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Almost every country joined the United Nations’ Paris Agreement, which aims to limit greenhouse emissions by transitioning economies away from nonrenewable energy, like oil and natural gas, to renewable energy, like solar and wind. President Joe Biden rejoined the United States into the Paris Agreement on his first day in office, undoing the country’s November 2020 withdrawal from the agreement.

Louisiana is fifth among states in total carbon emissions and emissions per-capita, according to 2015-16 U.S. Department of Energy statistics. Much of Louisiana’s emissions come from the production of oil and gas at wells, the use of oil and gas as fuel in refineries and petrochemical manufacturing and from transportation emissions.

>Edwards described Louisiana as the “poster child for climate risk,” during a meeting of the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. Louisiana’s incidences of extreme weather and already-sinking coastline make the state especially vulnerable to climate-related impacts.

“Coastal erosion and the relocation of vulnerable communities will tax our state resources in the future,” Valsaraj said. “When you superimpose our already costly efforts at coastal restoration, even slight increases in sea level due to global climate changes (and arctic snow melts) will make our efforts even more difficult.”

Other LSU researchers in the science advisory group are petroleum engineering professor Mehdi Zeidouni, agriculture professor Chang Jeong and Richard Keim, a professor in the School of Renewable Natural Resources. Keim’s research at LSU focuses on the interaction of forests and wetlands with the water cycle, specifically as it pertains to greenhouse gases and climate change.

Richard P. Sivicek makes multiple donations to RNR

Richard P. SivicekRNR Alumnus Richard P. Sivicek (BSF ’69) made several gifts to the School over the last year. Rich has an interesting story: he was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, but as a young man, he had a keen interest in forestry and decided to go south, ending up at LSU. Sivicek graduated from RNR (then Forestry) in 1969 with a degree in forestry. While his career went in a different direction, he still considers forestry his passion and has generously decided to give back to the School.

Sivicek has endowed the Richard P. Sivicek Undergraduate Scholarship, the Richard P. Sivicek Graduate Scholarship, and has made a generous contribution to completely refurbishing the RNR computer laboratory. The undergraduate scholarship will be awarded primarily based on the degree of financial need, with preferential consideration to students concentrating in fisheries and aquaculture or wetland science.

Recipients of the graduate scholarship must be full-time graduate students studying fisheries and aquaculture in the School and have a minimum grade point average of 3.0. Consideration will be given to students pursuing a master’s degree, with financial need as a consideration for selection.

Sivicek’s donation to the computer laboratory will allow for an extensive update of our current infrastructure and will be named in his honor. With this donation, we will be able to reconfigure the laboratory and purchase new state-of-the-art computer equipment.

Sivicek always wanted a master’s degree in fisheries, but between family obligation and the military draft, he never realized his dream but has since focused on helping students achieve their goals. During his career, he worked for Georgia Pacific in Mississippi, worked construction in Chicago, and spent 22 years with the police department in a Chicago suburb. Donations like these greatly enhance our ability to train the next generation of natural resource professionals.

Diane Sustendal Labouisse endows graduate scholarship at SRNR

Diane Sustendal Labouisse photoDucks Unlimited, Inc. has received a gift from Diane Sustendal Labouisse to for the purpose of endowing an annual graduate-level scholarship at the LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources, to be known as the John Peter Labouisse, III/Ducks Unlimited, Inc. Scholarship.

John Peter Labouisse, III was the longest serving volunteer of the New Orleans Ducks Unlimited Committee. Mr. Labouisse served as a valued member of the DU General Membership, Sponsor and Major Donor committees, and at the time of his death, was recognized as a Life Sponsor of DU with over 40 years of service and contributions to wetlands and waterfowl conservation efforts.

The amount of the scholarship shall be a minimum of $2,000 per semester, or $4,000 per year. The recipient(s) of this award shall be at least one full-time graduate student in good standing in the LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources. Preference shall be given to students who have volunteered for DU through a collegiate, general membership, or sponsor chapter, and who are pursuing a course of study focused on waterfowl, wetland management, or wetland ecology. Recipients of the scholarship shall be selected by the School of Renewable Natural Resources Scholarship Committee, with approval of the VP of Agriculture.

Tiger Chapter DU Does it Again!

Tiger Chapter of Ducks Unlimited with awardsTiger Chapter Ducks Unlimited honored as National Collegiate Champion!

For the 3rd year in a row, Tiger Chapter Ducks Unlimited, sponsored by the LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources, was named National Champion out of over 115 U. S. collegiate Ducks Unlimited chapters.

Tiger Chapter was the 1st collegiate chapter in the U.S. to host a collegiate fundraising event in 1986, and has hosted 1 or more events annually since that time.

Pictured (left) are Tiger Chapter Co-Chair Tucker Ryan, Chair Sophia Abbott, and Co-Chair Brody Lukens. The chapter has over 20 active members, down somewhat do to COVID-19 restrictions. Drs. Luke Laborde and Kevin Ringelman serve as chapter advisors.

Research Matters
Spring 2020

The Spring 2020 edition of Research Matters is now available for download. See what is happening with our students and faculty in the many diverse and interesting teaching, research, and extension projects that are ongoing. RNR also welcomes Dr. Kristin DeMarco to the Faculty as an instructor, specializing in coastal wetland ecology.

Distinguished Communicator
AND Undergraduate Researcher!

Josef Schuster image

Josef Schuster is a Fall 2020 LSU Distinguished Communicator from the College of Agriculture AND has been awarded an LSU Distinguished Undergraduate Researcher Medal! Josef is a natural resource ecology & management (NREM) major. He plans to attend graduate school after graduation and continue his passion for research.

"The research that I've been involved with here stems across a couple different labs I've worked in. All the independent research I've done stems from either fisheries science or aquaculture research.

The aquaculture research was focused on developing a novel holding system for turtle hatchings. For the fisheries research, I've done everything - from studying what swordfish eat in the northern Gulf of Mexico to even looking at age and growth in largemouth bass and bluegill in lakes and streams."

Josef's advisor for the Distinguish Communicator in the Communications across the Curriculum program (CxC) was Dr. Michael Kaller, professor in the School of Renewable Natural Resources. His mentors in the Distinguished Undergraduate Research Program were Dr. Kaller, Dr. Mike Dance, Dr. Steve Midway, and Dr. Greg Lutz.

As the first program of its kind in the nation, LSU CxC is a multimodal, multifaceted program that works to improve the writing, speaking, visual and technological communication skills of undergraduates. Launched in 2005, LSU CxC equally emphasizes instruction in all four modes of communication while respecting the variations in style and genres within the disciplines. The unique LSU CxC model provides a holistic approach to undergraduate student learning by integrating certified courses within the disciplines, faculty development and training initiatives, student support and extracurricular workshops, and student recognition across the curriculum.

Recipients of the Distinguished Undergraduate Research Program award have completed many hours of research under the guidance of faculty mentors, presented their work to the university community, and published or presented their work for dissemination. This was an extraordinarily difficult year for all and yet these hard-working students managed to complete the difficult requirements for the medal despite any set-backs or complications.

Quite an accomplishment! Congratulations, Josef!

Research explores how coastal changes affect wildlife

(12/14/20) BATON ROUGE, La. — The LSU AgCenter has announced publication of research aimed at helping coastal planners predict the results of flood protection and wetland restoration on coastal wildlife.

The research was published in the “Wetlands” journal by U.S. Geological Service ecologist Brett Patton, LSU AgCenter coastal ecologist Andy Nyman and Megan La Peyre, assistant unit leader at the USGS.

The article, “Living on the Edge: Multi-Scale Analyses of Bird Habitat Use in Coastal Marshes of Barataria Basin, Louisiana, USA,” is online at https://bit.ly/3qVw75H.

Patton conducted the research as part of her master’s thesis, which was directed by Nyman.

Nyman noted that wetland loss, navigation channels, flood protection and wetland restoration can replace open water with marsh grasses, or vice versa, and replace fresh marshes with saline marshes, or vice versa.

“The research produced standardized measurements of waterbirds using marsh grasses, waterbirds using marsh ponds and waterbirds using the edge habitat where grass meets ponds,” he said.

"Preserving the Hunt" Continues

In today’s university-based wildlife conservation programs, it is increasingly common for enrolled students to lack prior exposure to or experience with hunting. In response to this trend, initiatives commonly referred to as “University Hunt Programs” are being developed (also see the article and videos reference below), whereby students are given an opportunity to learn about and participate in waterfowl hunting.

In video episodes, the program is introduced by 4 guests that have been active participants in them. This two-part podcast is a continuation of a paper (Successes and Challenges of University first Hunt Programs. ) Madelyn McFarland, a Graduate assitant at Mississippi State Univeristy, had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Mike Brasher, Dr. Kevin Ringelman, Dr. John Eadie, and Julie Huynh to discuss university hunt programs, as well as her and Julie’s personal experiences through Louisiana State University.

From Madelyn McFarland: "Coming from a non-traditional background, the university hunt program was my first introduction to hunting. Since my first hunt, I’ve gotten to chase ducks, geese, and doves in 5 different states! I am eternally grateful to the LSU hunt program and its sponsors for facilitating such a life changing experience."

-- Hunter Education for the Professionals: University Hunt Programs (1 of 2)
-- Mud on the Boots: University Hunt Programs (2 of 2)

Preserving the Hunt

LSU: Preserving the Hunt video image

In the School of Renewable Natural resources, we provide an opportunity for our wildlife students to learn to hunt. This is an important part of their education.

Our students gain an appreciation for the role of hunters in wildlife and habitat conservation, and this makes them better prepared for careers in wildlife management.

The videos below will give you a glimpse of the program.

See the LSU story: Hunting for the Next Generation of Conservation Stewards

Bret Collier named new Wildlife Society Bulletin

Dr. Bret Collier, Associate Professor of Wildlife Ecology, started as the new editor in chief on July 1. No stranger to the journal, he has been a longtime associate editor for both WSB and the Journal of Wildlife Management. His first published paper was in WSB in 2005.

“The Bulletin has always had kind of a special place within our field,” Collier said. “It publishes everything from population biology and mathematics to controversial topics and opinions pieces, and it provides a really good opportunity for young scientists to get some of their information out in a very readable format that reaches managers fairly quickly.”

The full announcement is avaialbe from the The Wildlife Society. Congratulations, Bret!

Dr. Stouffer's Brazilian Bird Research Featured in UK

Interesting UK Daily Mail Online article outlines Dr. Phil Stouffer’s long-term Brazilian bird research: LINK: "Iconic sound of the Amazon rainforest is fading away: Musician Wren and other rare birds are dying out even in areas untouched by humans"

Few places on Earth are as rich in biodiversity and removed from human influence as the world's largest rainforest -- the Amazon. Scientists at Louisiana State University (LSU) have been conducting research within the pristine rainforest for decades. However, they began to notice that some of the animals, specifically birds that forage on and near the forest floor, had become very difficult to find.

"What we think is happening is an erosion of biodiversity, a loss of some of the richness in a place where we would hope biodiversity can be maintained," said LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources Professor Philip Stouffer, who is the lead author of a new study published on 26 Oct 2020 in Ecology Letters.

The Aquatic Chicken: Pond Poultry

Tilapia genetics and their parallels with poultry

When considering ongoing genetic improvement efforts in tilapia culture, comparisons with the development of the modern chicken industry often present themselves, according to Dr. Greg Lutz, Professor and extension specialist at Louisiana State Univeristy Agricultural Center (and School of Renewable Natural Resources).

Interesting details here on The Fish Site.

Storm Prep and Recovery Guidelines for Crawfish & Finfish Producers

Aquaculture sites throughout the Gulf and South Atlantic regions are particularly vulnerable to storm related impacts, both in terms of physical damage and loss of livestock. Staff from the USDA Southeast Climate Hub enlisted Dr. Greg Lutz to collaborate with colleagues from Texas A&M and the University of Georgia to develop storm preparation and recovery guidelines for finfish aquaculture producers, including catfish farmers, baitfish producers and tropical fish operations throughout the region. When Lutz and Texas A&M's Dr. Todd Sink proposed a similar effort for crawfish producers, the idea was welcomed by USDA officials - a sign that Louisiana's $250 million crawfish industry is becoming more widely appreciated throughout the region.

Hurricane Preparation and Recovery –
USDA link: Crawfish Producers Guide – Dr. Greg Lutz] | [Permalink]

Hurricane Preparation and Recovery –
USDA link: Finfish Producers Guide – Dr. Greg Lutz | [Permalink]

"Cocktails and Conservation"

The National Wild Turkey Federation sponsored "Cocktails and Conservation-Spring Seclusion Edition: Predators Research." The live-recorded video featured RNR faculty Dr. Bret Collier, and adjunct faculty Dr. Michael Chamerlain with Jason Lupardus, Wildlife Biologist for NWTF.

The National Wild Turkey Federation is an international non-profit organization whose mission is 'the conservation of the wild turkey and the preservation of our hunting heritage.' It currently has more than 250,000 members in the United States, Canada, Mexico and 14 other countries.

The video is available at this URL - Cocktails and Conservation

Discover Day 2020

Congratulations to RNR undergraduate student, Katie Davis (NREM), a 1st Place winner overall with her slideshow presentation titled: "Population structure and genetic variation in Seaside Sparrows (Ammospiza maritima) using a next-generation sequencing approach." Katie also recieved a monetary award as the top-scoring student for Discover Day 2020 for the College of Agriculture!

The LSU Discover Day undergraduate symposium provides a forum for undergraduate students from any major to share their research and creative works. This year, 100 intrepid undergraduate students braved the frontier of remotely presenting their research online!

RNR Student is the 2020 Outstanding Senior for the LSU College of Agriculture

Elizabeth Sicard, 2020 Outstanding SeniorElizabeth Sicard has been selected as this year’s Gerald & Norma Dill COA Alumni Outstanding Senior. The Outstanding Senior Award recognizes seniors who have demonstrated a commitment to academic success and have a clear career goal in a profession related to Agriculture.

Elizabeth will graduate with at least a 3.95GPA with a BS in Natural Resource Ecology and Management with minors in Geology and Oceanography. She was honored with President’s Honor Roll (4) and Dean’s List (2) during all eligible semesters. During winter 2019-2020, she was selected for a prestigious undergraduate research experience at the McMurdo Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) station in Antarctica (see WBRZ story). During summer 2018-2019, she was selected for an Experiential Professional Learning Opportunities in Research and Education (EXPLORE) internship. These accomplishments are even more noteworthy considering that she was in Tiger Band and Bengal Brass and service to the community in BREC’s Green Force and Christ the King Service Team. Congratulations to Elizabeth for this well-deserved honor!

2019 Laborde Award for Leaderrship

Jenna Cheramie, 2019 Recipient of Laborde Award for Leadership photoJenna Cheramie, a senior in Wildlife Ecology at the LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources, is the 2019 recipient of the Laborde Award for Leadership. This scholarship is presented annually to a senior in RNR who has demonstrated leadership in student organizations while maintaining a record of academic excellence.

Pictured (L to R): Dr. Michael Kaller, Scholarship Committee Chair; Dr. Luke Laborde, donor; Miss Jenna Cheramie, and Dr. Allen Rutherford, Director of the School of Renewable Natural Resources (in holiday attire)!

image, Dr. Sabrina Taylor


Dr. Sabrina Taylor, associate professor in the School of Renewable Natural Resources was recognized at the LSU AgCenter, College of Agriculture award ceremony in December.

Dr. Taylor received the 2019 Sedberry Award for Outstanding Graduate Teacher. She was also the recipient of the 2019 Louisiana Agriculture Magazine Article of the Year award for “The Seaside Sparrow and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.”

Which birds follow deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest?

Birds in the Amazon follow deforestation

This summer's fires in the Amazon Rainforest remind us that deforestation continues to be an ongoing problem in Brazil. In fact, 20% of the Brazilian Amazon has now been deforested, and deforestation rates are once again on the rise. But what kinds of birds colonize these novel human-modified landscapes? And how do they get there? A group of researchers in the Stouffer lab tackles these questions and more in a recently published paper in Ecology and Evolution. [For a quick digest, see the blog that accompanies the paper.]

Blog Post by Cameron Rutt, PhD candidate in the Stouffer Lab: Widespread, generalist birds are riding the wave of Amazon deforestation"

Link to the paper published: Rutt, Cameron L., Vitek Jirinec, Mario CahnHaft, William F. Laurance, Philip C. Stouffer: 2019. Avian ecological succession in the Amazon: A long‐term case study following experimental deforestation. Ecology and Evolution https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.5822

The Carnivorous Plants of
South Louisiana

ABITA SPRINGS, LOUISIANA -- (source: WGNO, see the video) There are many scary things from politics, to clowns to spiders. Sometimes the creepiest things don't go bump in the night. They might not even move at all.

The hallmark of the plant world is the ability to use sunlight to make food during photosynthesis. In the long leaf pine savannah of south Louisiana, a few plants have evolved a curious method of getting nutrients from poor soil. They've become carnivorous.

Dr. Christopher Reid is a botanist and educator at LSU's School of Renewable Natural Resources and says and is intrigued by the plants and their relationships with other organisms. Dr. Reid says, "the fact that plants interact with animals in such a away as to trap them and consume them... usually, it's animals that eat plants."

There are over a dozen species of carnivorous plants in the area. They are part of the biodiversity of hundreds of plants that live under the pine trees. All of the plants in the area usually rely on routine forest burns that clear the tall vegetation and keep shrubs from getting to dense. This allows the opportunity for many species to get their time in the sun and thrive. Carnivorous plants take advantage of the forest fires and survive remarkably because of their buried rhizome. Even though the top of the plant may get burned, they will come up again.

The largest carnivorous plant in the area is the yellow trumpet pitcher plant and in it's modified leaves there is something similar to stomach acid that helps break down the insects that fall into the trap.

As wonderfully awesome as Little Shop of Horrors is (including the godly voice of Levi Stubbs), these plants aren't mean green mothers from outer space. Carnivorous plants have been around for millions of years and each one has their own unique way of eating. Some pitcher plants even secret a narcotic that paralyzes prey. Others like the plants like sundews have tentacles and use a fly-paper method. "The leaves of the sundew are covered with hairs that are gland-tipped. The glands secret a sticky substance. One of the features that pitcher plants have are these downward pointing hairs, which prevents whatever falls in to the digestive enzymes from crawling out," says Dr. Reid.

The Abita Creek Flatwoods Preserve has a pitcher plant trail which is hikeable and it includes parrot pitcher plants which become quite showy when they bloom with their otherworldly crimson blossoms. During spring, the preserve is full of nature's color, as the land blushes with the blooms of carnivorous plants and other flowering vegetation in the long leaf pine system. The preserve is free and open to the public from sun up to sun down.

Shockingly, as deadly as carnivorous plants may seem to insects, some arthropods have evolved to live inside of the pitcher plant for protection and there is even a species of moth that lives its whole life cycle inside the pitcher plant trap. Some spiders have evolved to build webs at the openings to steal the meal of the pitcher plants.

Simply put, nature is wild, sometimes ravenous, but always remarkable.

University 1st Hunt Program

Ty Price and Cameron Toerner

Ty Price, Sophomore, Wildlife Habitat Management, and Cameron Toerner, Senior, Wildlife Habitat Management, with a Pair of Blue-winged Teal taken during the RNR First Hunt Program sponsored by Delta Waterfowl Foundation.

High river pushed more CO2 into atmosphere

Dr. Yi-Jun Xu

(10/01/19) BATON ROUGE, La. — Many scientists believe rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are contributing to climate change. The increase may be related to the frequency that water moves from the ground into rivers and then into the air before returning to land as rainfall.

LEFT: Yi-jun Xu, a hydrology researcher in the LSU AgCenter, shows a photo of high water in the Mississippi River during the 2019 record flood stage. Photo by Rick Bogren/LSU AgCenter

This water movement is called the hydrologic cycle, and an intensifying hydrologic cycle could increase global carbon cycling, said Yi-jun Xu, a hydrology researcher in the LSU AgCenter.

Xu is finishing up a short-term study of the carbon cycle on the Mississippi River.

Initially working with an earlier grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to study pollution and water quality, Xu began sampling carbon concentrations in the Mississippi River when the record-high flood began in February 2019.

Dr. Nyman featured in CERF 2019 Conference Film
Festival Video

Passes Leveled

Congratulations to Dr. Andy Nyman...The YouTube video, titled "Cravasse" [LINK to the video] is about wetland wildlife management at the mouth of the Mississippi River; it was entered into the Coastal Estuarine Research Federation 2019 Conference Film Festival (CERF) in the "places" category. The video was produced by Gabe Giffin (LDWF) and features Dr. Nyman. Other videos in the competition can be viewed here.

Dr. Taylor Named AOS Fellow

At the recent American Ornithological Society (AOS) annual meeting in Anchorage, Alaska Dr. Sabrina Taylor was named as an AOS Fellow. AOS Fellows are selected because of their exceptional and sustained contributions to ornithology and/or service to the society. Join us in congratulating Dr. Taylor!

The Mississippi River Is Under Control—For Now

Dr. Yijun Xu was quoted in a recent issue of Time Magazine on the Mississippi River. Check it out!

TEDxLSU: Dr. Reagan Errera

Our own Dr. Reagan Errera (now with NOAA) recently did a TEDxLSU entitled "Why We Should Pay More Attention to Phytoplankton?" ENJOY!   [LINK]

What is barely visible to the unaided eye, helps create a large share of the world’s oxygen, but also has the power to disrupt aquatic food webs and have devastating effects on the natural and human world? Phytoplankton are the worlds tiny responders, helping and hurting environments as they interact with elements surrounding them. In this talk, phytoplankton ecologist Reagan Errera shows why the tiny single-celled life forms deserve a little more respect. In research ecologist Reagan Errera’s opinion, phytoplankton, the microscopic algae and other organisms floating in unfathomable numbers throughout the world’s oceans, don’t get the proper respect they deserve. In reality, these tiny single-celled life forms are just as important as trees, cleaning the air we breathe and impacting the global climate in profound ways.

A native of Florida, Reagan developed a fascination for algae blooms as an undergraduate studying abroad at the University of Queensland in Australia. She continued her passion for ocean science at Texas A&M, earning a master’s degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences and her PhD in Oceanography. Today she is a research ecologist with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, researching phytoplankton ecology with a special focus on global climate change and harmful algal species that produce a variety of toxins. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community

Of Interest

  1. The current issue (Spring 2019) of Research Matters has been posted. Research Matters is an annual overview of the research highlights and activities of the faculty and students of the School of Renewable Natural Resources. It is a great way to stay informed about the the great things happening in RNR.

  2. The 62nd Annual Southern Forestry Conclave 2019 was hosted this year by the School of Renewable Natural Resources and the Student Chapter of SAF. Photos from the event (all ~1100 of them) are posted to our special Gallery pages. Start the slideshow on Page 1 or Page 2.

LFPDC Student Awarded Scholarship

Mason LeBlanc Mason LeBlanc, a Master's degree student working with Dr. Richard Vlosky, Director, Louisiana Forest Products Development Center, has been awarded a Composite Panel Association Foundation scholarship, in memory of Robert E. Dougherty.

The Foundation reviewed thirty-three applicants for the 2019 Scholarship Program. Four scholarships were awarded to students based on recommendations from the Foundation’s Scholarship Committee.

Mason has also been awarded a Forest Products Society Scholarship to attend the Forest Products Society International Convention in Atlanta, Georgia in June.

Forest Products Society 2019
Award Winners Announced

LaGrange, GA – May 08, 2019 – The Forest Products Society (FPS), a global network for forest products professionals, announces the winners of its 2019 Annual Excellence Awards. The awards will be presented on June 27, 2019 during a luncheon at the 73rd FPS International Convention (IC) in Atlanta, GA, USA. The winners are:

Richard Vlosky, Ph.D. - Fred W. Gottschalk Memorial Award

Dr. Richard VloskyThe prestigious Fred W. Gottschalk Memorial Award, named for the first President of the Society, recognizes exceptional service to FPS by an individual member. The 2019 Gottschalk Award winner, Dr. Richard Vlosky, has exhibited consistent commitment in serving the Forest Products Society since becoming a member 27 years ago. He has been involved in a number of strategic leadership roles at the National and Section levels.

Vlosky’s activities have strengthened FPS through the common goal of advancing wood through science, technology and most importantly active communication of wood’s wonderful characteristics. He has proven to be a strong ambassador for forestry products and fostering the goals of FPS and aligning with FPS’s mission.

Vlosky previously served as FPS President in 2016 after being President-Elect (2015) and Vice President (2014). He is currently the chair of the 2019 International Nominating Committee, chair of the Mid-South Section Communications Committee and a member of the FPS National Communications Team.

New RNR Graduate Recieves 2019 Wood Award

Ju Dong, PhD receives 2019 Wood Award from the Forest Products SocietyJu Dong (left), a PhD student under Dr. Qinglin Wu in Forest Products, won the 2019 first place Wood Award given by Forest Products Society.

The Wood Award recognizes the most outstanding graduate student research conducted in the field of wood and wood products. Wood Award papers describe original research on a wide range of topics including, but not limited to, harvesting and forest operations, product development and manufacture, fundamental properties, end-use applications, and distribution and marketing.

His winning paper is entitled: 3D Printed Conductive Polycaprolactone Composites Integrated with Carbonized Cellulose Nanofibers: toward the Applications for Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) Shielding and Deformation Sensing.

Ju graduated on May 10, 2019 with a PhD in Renewable Natural Resources. Congratulations to Dr. Ju Dong!

Xi Sigma Pi Honor Society Member Wins Regional Award

Cameron ToernerCongratulations to Cameron Toerner who won the 2019 Scholarship for the West Central Region, given by Xi Sigma Pi, a national forestry honor society.

The School of Renewable Natural Resources at LSU has been able to maintain an impressive record, winning half of the awards in recent years in a region that comprises eight universities. Mason Leblanc won this award last year.

RNR Student to Receive 2019 Goldwater Scholarship

Katie Davis, 2019 Goldwater Scholarship winner

BATON ROUGE — Three Louisiana State University students have been chosen as recipients of prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships. The premier award recognizes top-performing undergraduate students of STEM disciplines.

“We congratulate Katie Davis, Jackson Green and Syed Akbar Zamin on being awarded the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship,” said LSU President F. King Alexander. “These three students join a long line of Goldwater scholars from LSU, and we can’t wait to see what else they will accomplish in their academic and research careers.”

Katie Davis, of Frisco, Texas, is an Ogden Honors College junior Stamps Scholar studying wildlife ecology in the LSU College of Agriculture (School of Renewable Natural Resources) and Spanish in the LSU College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Under the direction of Dr. Sabrina Taylor, Davis is investigating an anecdotally reported range expansion and contraction of the species Bachman's Sparrow in the early 20thcentury and comparing it to studies of the Field Sparrow. This research may inform the habitat needs of Bachman's Sparrow, a near-threatened species, and contribute to a further understanding of how genetically based variation in personality relates to species distribution. After graduation, Davis plans to pursue a PhD in Conservation Biology.

Dr. Stouffer to Recieve
National Honors

Dr. Phil Stouffer to receive AOS Honors

Phil Stouffer, the LSU School of Renewable and Natural Resources Lee F. Mason Professor of Conservation Biology, will receive the 2019 Peter R. Stettenheim Service Award from the American Ornithological Society, or AOS. This award is given to a senior ornithologist, who has provided extraordinary service to AOS. Stouffer will receive this award at the annual AOS meeting in Anchorage, Alaska, in June along with Mark Hauber, the Harley Jones Van Cleave Professor of Host-Parasite Interactions at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. They are the second recipients of the Peter R. Stettenheim Service Award.

“I’m honored to be recognized by my colleagues in ornithology. Sharing this award with my good friend Mark Hauber reflects not just the work we did together, but also the contributions of everyone involved in our publications,” Stouffer said.

LSU AgCenter awards first cannabis-related research funds

Dr. Chris Green is awareded first cannabis-related research funds

LSU AgCenter researcher Chris Green examines zebrafish that are being used to study the effects of medical cannabis in the treatment of epilepsy. The fish are used because their size reduces the cost of the research, and they have the same receptors in their brains that people do. Photo by Johnny Morgan/LSU AgCenter

More Honors for RNR Faculty, Students

2019 Alumni Association Award Winners

The LSU College of Agriculture Awards and Recognition ceremony honored outstanding alumni, faculty and students on April 5 at The Club at LSU Union Square. Award recipients included Luke Laborde, Mike Kaller, Katie Costanza, Matthew Braud, Sabrina Taylor, Andrew Alvis, Maddie Easley, Marianna Morrison, Tylan Jolivette, Teddy Garcia-Aroca, Julie Richard and Don Ator. Photo by Tobie Blanchard/LSU AgCenter

RNR Faculty Honored

Join us in congratulating Dr. Kevin Ringelman as the 2019 recipient of the TAF Undergraduate Teaching Award.

Join us in congratulating Dr. Luke Laborde on being named the 2019 College of Agriculture Outstanding Alumnus!.

SPIN Undergraduate Research Poster Night:
RNR Students Honored


1st place:
"Changes in the Distribution of Bachman’s Sparrow in the Early 20th Century." Kathryn E. C. Davis, Amie E. Settlecowski, Stefan Woltmann, and Dr. Sabrina S. Taylor.
School of Renewable Natural Resources

3rd place:
"Influence of salinity on the physiology of Golden Topminnow (Fundulus chrysotus). Angel Casillo and Dr. Christopher Green.
School of Renewable Natural Resources

Each year, students in the College of Agriculture who have been awarded undergraduate research grants present their research during the College of Agriculture Undergraduate Research Poster Session held during LSU Spring Invitational (SPIN). This poster session allows students to share what they have been working on this year and present their results to faculty, staff and the public. High school students attending Spring Invitational and their parents are invited to attend the poster session.

Agriculture Residential College freshman are also invited to attend and judge. They select a poster presenter to receive the ARC student choice award. This award is presented to undergraduate researcher who does an exceptional job of explaining their research to the public.

RNR Graduate Students as Science Communicators

RNR graduate students, Whitney Kroschel, Mary Grace Lemon, Lauren Bonatakis, and Ashley Booth, are actively involved with writing popular science articles for Envirobites.org, an internationally-reaching blog focused on environmental science communication. Kroschel serves as a publication and content editor and Lemon and Booth are content editors. Check out Envirobites.org and see the links below to articles they’ve contributed so far:

News Archive

revised: 01-Jun-2021 8:49