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SAF Student Chapter Hosts Quiz Bowl

SAF Quiz Bowl in Baton Rouge, November 2015

Baton Rouge was the host to the Society of American Foresters National Convention in November 2015, and the LSU Student Chapter hosted the Student Quiz Bowl at the convention. Shown moderating one of the sessions are LSU’s Christian Rossi (behind projector) and Christian Flucke (to his left). The three judges can be seen at the same table. Iowa State’s team is at left, competing against Alabama A&M’s team (off picture to right). Rush Maxwell was out in the hall, coordinating three concurrent quiz bowl rooms, and faculty advisor Dr. Niels de Hoop (behind camera) helped organize. The four-person team from Michigan State won the Quiz Bowl, with Iowa State earning second place. Over 600 people watched and listened as 30 teams competed.

Student Recieves the Ben and Pauline Stanley Graduate Student Excellence Award

ElizaBeth Clowes and her Major Professor, Dr. Julie Lively Congratulations are in order for ElizaBeth Clowes, a Master's degree student with a concentration in Aquaculture and Fisheries. For the last two years she been working on a Sea Grant project for the blue crab fishery. Her thesis title is "Efficacy and Feasibility of Alginate Bait for the Louisiana Commercial Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus) Fishery;" Dr. Julie Lively is ElizaBeth's thesis advisor/major professor.

During her time here, ElizaBeth has helped to revive the RNR Graduate Student Association and participated in the Aquaculture and Fisheries Club. ElizaBeth is graduating this May and very shortly will pursue work in the Great Lakes region.

LEFT: ElizaBeth Clowes (left) recieves the Ben and Pauline Stanley Graduate Student Excellence Award from Dr. Julie Lively(right)

The Ben and Pauline Stanley Graduate Student Excellence Award recognizes doctoral and master’s students who have made outstanding contributions to research, service or teaching in the School of Renewable Natural Resources (SRNR). This award symbolizes the School’s commitment to excellence in graduate education and the student may use this award to advance her/his graduate education.

RNR Student Wins a Top Prize at Recent SAF Meeting

Cory Garms, an RNR Graduate Student, working under Dr. Tom Dean, was awarded second place for his student presentation at the recent Society of American Foresters, meeting in Baton Rouge. His presentation was entitled, "Relative Resistance to Overturning of Pinus palustris and Pinus taeda L.: A Static Winching Experiment", The SAF Forest Science and Technology Board only recognizes the top three presentations for the entire meeting. Congratulations Cory!

RNR Student Wins AGU Student Paper Award

Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Scott Allen who won an Outstanding Student Paper Award at the Fall 2015 meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. The AGU Fall Meeting is the largest Earth and Space Science meeting in the world, with nearly 24,000 attendees. Outstanding Student Paper Awards are earned by fewer than 5% of student presenters. Scott’s presentation, “Stable Isotopes Indicate Within-Canopy Processes During Interception of Rainfall,” was invited by session organizers. Co-authors were Richard Keim (LSU RNR), Holly Barnard (University of Colorado), Renee Brooks (EPA, Corvallis, Oregon), and Jeff McDonnell (University of Saskatchewan).

Congratulations to our Fall Graduates

Fall 2015 RNR Graduates

Other images of the Graduation ceremony, and the Reception for Graduates and their families are located on our Gallery page.

Summer in Swaziland puts LSU students up close with African wildlife

LSU Colege of Agriculture Students in Swaziland BATON ROUGE, La. – Ten LSU College of Agriculture students spent two weeks in August studying African wildlife ecology in Swaziland. The students, who are all majoring in natural resources ecology and management (NREM), spent most of the study-abroad program at the Savannah Research Centre in the Mbuluzi Game Reserve. (LEFT: They are (left to right) Alexandria Medine, Jenna Collins, Taylor Carlson, Adam Vaccarella, Taylor Smith, Alexis Burruss, Bri Villasenor, Jacqueline Satter, Lillian Miller and Lindsay Mullen.

There they studied small mammals and birds and learned about conservation management and land use in the tiny African kingdom.

Alex Burris and Alexandria MedineAlexis Burruss, a senior from Carville, said studying in Africa was a life-long dream of hers.

“Once I got there, I realized I never really thought about what I expected, but it exceeded anything I could have imagined,” she said. “The people, the culture, the animals – it was amazing.” (RIGHT: Alexis Burruss (left) and Alexandria Medine collect data on small mammals during a study-abroad program on African wildlife ecology in Swaziland.)

Bret Collier, an assistant professor in the School of Renewable Natural Resources who organized the program and traveled with the students, said the purpose of the trip was to expose them to the field of wildlife ecology in a novel setting.

“Our role as educators is to give these students experiences that will benefit them in the real world,” Collier said. “American students are inexperienced in global issues. These students now have international experience and multiple viewpoints of conservation and land management.”

Lindsey Mullen traps mammels in SwazilandThe Mbuluzi Game Reserve is located next to extensive sugarcane fields, so the students were able to see the differences in land management practices between conservation reserves and agriculture. (LEFT: Lindsay Mullen holds a crested barbet caught in one of the small-mammal traps at the Mbuluzi Game Reserve in Swaziland during a study-abroad program in African wildlife ecology.)

“I gained a sense of how wildlife policies vary and how some are necessary for people’s survival,” Burruss said.

Collier stressed the program was not a vacation but an experience. The students were up by 5 a.m. most mornings and were active every day surveying birds, mammals and native vegetation. They slept in tents and showered in open-air showers, and the campsite had no electricity or internet connectivity.


More photos are available on the LSU College of Agriculture's website, HERE.

Article by Tobie Blanchard, LSU AgCenter

RNR Student Elected to Governing Board

Mary Grace LemonMary Grace Lemon Ph.D. student under the direction of Dr. Richard Keim, was elected to office in the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF).

The office is Student Member at Large, which is a position on the Governing Board of CERF. This is a two-year position, and elections were held among the national membership. Mary Grace will begin her term at the annual CERF meeting in November, to be held in Portland, OR.

CERF is a science and management organization focused on estuarine and coastal ecosystems with membership ranging across the country and internationally. Mary Grace's duties will include heading an education and outreach committee responsible for providing student and young professional members opportunities for further educational opportunities and furthering the foundation's outreach efforts to the general public. Mary Grace's involvement in CERF began during her Master's degree while doing research on oysters in tidal creek estuaries. The organization provides fantastic opportunities for students and young career professionals to connect with experts in the field in addition to maintaining a highly utilized job board.

2015 Clark M Hoffpauer Outstanding Grad Student Announced

Kristin Brzeski (right), a Ph.D. candidate working with Dr. Sabrina Taylor (left), has been named the 2015 Clark M Hoffpauer Outstanding RNR Wildlife Student.

The Clark M. Hoffpauer Memorial Fund was established to benefit students enrolled in the graduate program in the School of Renewable Natural Resources. The award honors the memory of Clark M. Hoffpauer who received his Masters of Science in Wildlife Management from Louisiana State University in the 1960's.

He was a lifelong pilot, adventurer and avid sportsman. During his distinguished career he served as director of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, where he began his career as a biologist in 1950. During his tenure as LDWF director he was responsible for the acquisition of five game management areas in Louisiana. He served as president for the Southeastern Game and Fish Commissioners Association and was instrumental in the return of the endangered brown pelican, changing legislation for alligator management, and many other innovative studies and practices that are in place today. After he left public service he started an environmental consulting firm that help develop spill emergency plans for many Louisiana refineries. In 1972 he received the Louisiana Conservation of the Year Award.

Congratulations Kristin!


Spring 2015 Graduation Class

Images from the Graduation Reception and the 2015 Spring Graduating Class of the LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources are available on our Gallery page. (1 June 2015: additional images were added)

Monsanto, Plein Foundation Fund Scholarships for LSU Ag Students

BATON ROUGE, La. – Monsanto and the Thomas A. Plein Foundation are helping support students in the LSU College of Agriculture by establishing two new scholarships.

The Monsanto scholarship will benefit students studying in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness or the School of Plant, Environmental and Soil Sciences. The Plein Foundation scholarship established by the Thomas A. Plein Foundation will benefit a student in the School of Renewable Natural Resources.

More information about these scholarships is available from the LSU Agcenter News page

2015 Wood Award Goes to RNR Student

Kunlin SongKunlin Song, a Ph.D. student in Dr. Qinglin Wu’s laboratory won the 2nd Place for the 2015 Wood Award given by the Forest Products Society. His winning paper is entitled “Fabricating Electrospun Porous Carbon Nanofibers with Antimicrobial Capability: A Facile Route to Recycle Biomass Tar.”

The Wood Awards are intended to recognize and honor outstanding research conducted by graduate students in the field of wood and wood products. This award is the most prestigious in the area of graduate research and the winners of this award have, without exception, gone on after graduation to exemplary careers in industry, education, and research. To honor his achievement Mr. Song received a plaque, a $500 award, and a complimentary registration to the International Convention in Atlanta, Georgia in June. The award will be presented at the Forest Products Society Awards Luncheon on Thursday, June 11th at the Georgia World Congress Center.

Congratulations to Mr. Song on a job well done.

Student Awarded LEEC Research Grant

Zhen Xu

Congratulations to Zhen Xu, an RNR Ph.D. student working for Dr. Jun Xu for receiving a 2015 Louisiana Environmental Education Commission (LEEC) research grant to assess the stable isotopes of dissolved oxygen and dissolved inorganic carbon in Catahoula Lake. Only nine projects were funding this cycle. Good job!

Electrofishing gives students look at fish diversity

RNR Students Study Fish Diversity

Raynie Harlan, a research associate in the LSU College of Agriculture’s School of School of Renewable Natural Resources, returns from taking a group of students electrofishing on Lake Maurepas. The students, from left, are Ryan Gary, Matthew Repp, Geoffrey Rhode and Aaron Christie. Christie is securing the anodes that are used to send electrical currents through the water and temporarily stun the fish.

RUDDOCK, La. – With Lake Maurepas standing in for their classroom, LSU College of Agriculture students in the School of Renewable Natural Resources boarded a boat equipped with a generator and anodes. The anodes send electrical currents through the water to temporarily stun fish.

Associate professor Mike Kaller teaches the course, which covers quantitative techniques in habitat, water quality and fish population assessment in freshwater ecosystems. The class features hands-on activities that help the students learn the skills of their professions.

“We do stream and river sampling through electrofishing and seining. We do habitat management exercises. We do aging exercises to understand how fish are growing in different environments,” Kaller said.

See more photos, and the rest of the story on the LSU AgCenter Headline News page. Story and Photo by Tobie Blanchard.

An additional story, "LSU Professor Electrofishes with Classes" appears in the Daily Reveille.

Xi Sigma Pi Has A Busy Spring

2015 Xi Sigma Pi Initiates

On 28 March 2015, five students were initiated (left to right): Arnand Mishra, Whitney Kroschel, Mary Grace Lemon, Fan Zhang, and Shannon Kidombo. Congratulations to our newest members!

James DonovonRegional Xi Sigma Pi Scholarship: Another Congratulations goes to undergraduate member James Donovan. He won second place in the 2015 Regional Xi Sigma Pi Scholarship Competition. James represented LSU to compete against applicants from seven other universities in the West Central region. James will receive a check for $500. Congratulations, James!

LSU has been doing very well in receiving this prestigious award, winning seven times in the last thirteen years. Recent winners are:

  • 2015: James Donovan (2nd place)
  • 2014: Kasie Dugas
  • 2012: Benjamin Hogue
  • 2010: Lauren Smith
  • 2009: Ian Stone
  • 2006: Matthew Reed
  • 2004: Angela Secott

Apple Pie Seminar: As part of the chapter's yearly tradition, the Apple Pie Seminar was presented on 18 March 2015. Mr Warren Peters, a 1981 BSF graduate of the (then) LSU School of Forestry and Wildlife Management, was the featured speaker. As President of Peters Forest Resources, Inc, he spoke about the "Career Opportunities and Professional Development in the Forestry and Wildlife Industry". Warren gave valuable advice based on his perssonal experience and responded to questions abuot good curriculum choices and personal enrichment activities that would help current students in the working world. Thanks to Warren for the excellent insights.

Xi Sigma Pi, forestry honor society, was founded at the University of Washington on November 24, 1908. The objectives of Xi Sigma Pi are to secure and maintain a high standard of scholarship in forestry education, to work for the improvement of the forestry profession, and to promote a fraternal spirit among those engaged in activities related to the forest. Currently, Xi Sigma Pi has expanded its objectives to include honoring the academic achievements of students in fisheries, environmental, and wildlife sciences.

RNR Students Compete in Forestry Conclave

RNR Students compete at Forestry Conclave

The most popular event at the Southern Forestry Conclave is the crosscut saw competition. LSU forestry and natural resource management students Hayden Carter and Ashley Tunstall saw through a 10” x 10” yellow poplar cant in 24 seconds. Stabilizing the cant holder are (l to r) Devyn Albin, James Donovan, Kevin Kohl, Christian Flucke and a student from La Tech. Applauding are Virginia Spencer and Christian Rossi. Additional students from La Tech are shown helping cheer the team, even though they were competitors.

Both Forestry Conclave and Wildlife conclave are featured in a story on the LSU AgCenter's News page. More images from the 58th Southern Forestry Conclave, hosted by Mississippi State, are also available on our Gallery Page. Congratulations to all of our students representing the LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources!

Class Participates in Teal Release

Teal release

Dr. Kevin Ringelman and Dr. Luke Laborde lead a field trip for RNR 4061/7012 at the Pinola Conservancy in Shreveport, Louisiana. The students participated in the release of newly banded blue-winged teal and green-winged teal. Check out the video to see the action.

Lt. Governor Speaks to Policy Class

Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne in RNR2037/2071
Dr. Luke Laborde (right) introduces Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne (left) to the RNR 2039/2071-- Introduction to Natural Resources Policy class

Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenn
e visited with over 50 students and faculty from RNR 2039 & 2071, Introduction to Natural Resources Policy. The class recently completed a segment on state government, reviewing the executive, legislative and judicial branches. Lt. Gov. Dardenne discussed the state budget process and forecast shortfall, and the role of the Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism in oversight of the Louisiana Seafood Marketing and Promotion Board and tourism. Lt. Gov. Dardenne emphasized the importance of Louisiana's unique outdoor heritage, advertised under the banner, "Pick your passion!" Louisiana residents and tourists spend over $2.2 billion annually participating in hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation in the state

Louisiana SAF Awards Outstanding Student

Louisiana SAF Outstanding Student: Haydon Carter

The Louisiana Society of American Foresters award for Outstanding LSU Student was presented to Hayden Carter at the 4-State SAF meeting in Texarkana, January 2015. Hayden is a junior in forestry at LSU and President of the Society of American Foresters Student Chapter at LSU. He currently works as an intern for Weyerhaeuser Company out of their southern Mississippi region and has plans of eventually owning his own business in the land and timber industry. Shown presenting the award are Dr. Rutherford (Director, RNR, right) and Dr. de Hoop (faculty advisor to the SAF Chapter, left).

News Archives: current | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011
revised: 05-Jan-2021 10:55