Trail Mix, Fall 2013
News from the Dean
Greetings: Welcome to the fall 2013 edition of "Trail Mix," our college internal communications newsletter. Our goal is to keep you informed of college developments.
Open communications make for a happier, healthier workplace. Your input is always welcome. Please submit your suggestions on how we can improve best practices within our college.
- Dean Kurt Pregitzer has been appointed Dean’s Representative for the 2013-2014 Faculty Senate.
- The McCall Outdoor Science School won the W.K. Kellogg Engagement Scholarship Award for the West region and will compete for the National 2013 C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award. A CNR team representing MOSS will submit a 2-minute video and a 20-minute presentation to compete for the national award at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX on October 8. The national award will be announced in Washington DC at the Association of Public Land Grant Universities (APLU) convention in November. This award will garner not only a cash prize, but national recognition of the University of Idaho’s McCall Outdoor Science School.
- McCall Field Campus – Update: The master site planning process has begun. Epikos (McCall, ID) and CRSA (Salt Lake City, UT) are partnering to assess the campus and develop a plan, which will include building renderings in support of existing CNR programming and future programming opportunities. Workshops will be held Sept. 4 in McCall and Oct. 2 in Moscow. Delivery of the final site plan is expected December 2013.
- Nursery Building – Update: The goal of having a support center with office space, sales office and classroom capacity for the Center for Forest Nursery and Seedling Research at the Franklin H. Pitkin Forest Nursery is near the finish line. Partners in the Idaho forest industry are providing much of the wood product for the building, along with contributions from our own UI Experimental Forest, construction is expected to begin on Sept. 3 with a completion goal of Jan 3, 2014. We have set up a webcam so you may watch the building become a reality.
- Dr. J. Michael and Sharon Scott established a graduate student scholarship endowment in the Department of Fish & Wildlife Sciences. Providing finishing and support funds for graduate students is needed across the college and Mike and Sharon have answered the call with the J. Michael and Sharon L. Scott Graduate Student Endowment. Dr. Scott’s passion and legacy will forever be tied to the tremendous research and exemplary graduate students in the department. Thank you, Mike and Sharon!
- Dean Kurt Pregitzer will travel to Finland Sept. 9-16 at the invitation of the Finnish Forest Research Institute to attend an international workshop on greenhouse gas reporting.
Points of Pride
- The Fire Ecology and Management program is one of the first programs in the nation to receive glowing accreditation from the Association for Fire Ecology.
- The Idaho Legislature, like those in several other western states, has expressed dissatisfaction with the way federal lands within the state are being administered. During the 2013 session of the Idaho Legislature, a Federal Lands Interim Committee was created to study the situation and given the assignment “to ascertain the process for the State of Idaho to acquire title to and control of public lands controlled by the federal government in the State of Idaho.” The study committee held its first meeting in August and invited Jay O’Laughlin, Professor of Forestry and Policy Sciences, to present findings from studies on federal land management policies that the CNR Policy Analysis Group he directs has published including analyses of alternatives to the current land management policy arrangements. His presentation and copies of these studies are available on the committee’s website.
- Troy Hall was selected as Head of the Department of Conservation Social Sciences and took up post on June 23.
- Jo Ellen Force has been named as the first female recipient of the 2013 Gifford-Pinchot Medal, which will be awarded at the national Society of American Foresters convention in Charleston, NC. CNR alumni Kas Dumeroese will receive the 2013 Technology Transfer Award.
- Lee Vierling, Kelly Wendland, and Ph.D. candidates Carlos Munoz and Peter Schlesinger traveled to the border region where Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras meet. This region, called Trifinio, is the site of a tri-national agreement to understand the underlying causes of land use change over time. The project is supported by a NASA grant, and backed by local land management stakeholders and representatives of CATIE. This visit marked the beginning of a 3-year study.
- A team of researchers including Lee Vierling, Jan Eitel, and Ph.D. students Heather Greaves and Troy Magney, along with collaborators from Columbia University, conducted extensive field work in the Alaskan Arctic this summer to study changes in the structure of shrub vegetation that are likely occurring due to cascading effects of climate change. The team is studying links among vegetation structure, photosynthetic efficiency, biosphere-atmosphere carbon exchange, and habitat for insects and birds. This was the first field season of a 3-year project sponsored by NASA. Along with laser-based measurements of shrub structure, the team also succeeded in imaging more than 10,000 mosquitoes in 3D.
- Tim Link, Brian Kennedy and former CNR faculty Alex Fremier played a significant role in securing funds for 24 Ph.D. students over 6 years for a total amount of $3.1M through IGERT. This Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) award prepares Ph.D. students at the University of Idaho to develop adaptation strategies for the short-term and long-term impacts of climate change and population dynamics on water supply and demand. Trainees will evaluate ground- and river-water resources in the Columbia River Basin throughout North America and the Biobio River Basin in Chile and analyze the social institutions and organizations who will use the science in decision-making.
- The Wildlife Society has awarded Oz Garton the Outstanding Monograph Award for 2013, which will be presented at the national meeting in Milwaukee, WI in October.
- Former CNR faculty Sandra Pinel presented her research outcomes and publications to the Clearwater Basin Collaborative to assist their work in addressing management practices in the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest. Pinel was also awarded a contract with the Nez Perce and Clearwater National Forest on collaborative forest planning and development of methods for assessing social impacts of the ten-year Collaborative Forest Restoration Act pilot program.
- Christine Moffitt will be awarded an AFS Distinguished Service Award at the annual meeting for her service as a member of the selection committee for the incoming Executive Director of the society, as well as her selection as an honoree by the Equal Opportunities Section for her scientific contributions, as well as senior female leadership. She will also serve as a keynote presenter, speaking in a session on professional diversity, and has co-organized a session on the use of hatchery fish in fisheries management.
- Christine Moffitt and Dr. Barnaby Watten of the USGS Leetown Science Center in Kearneysville, WV, are collaborating on a project evaluating elevated pH as a tool to prevent transport of invasive mollusks and other species in ship ballast and various tank systems. Moffitt and Watten’s research shows that elevating the pH with compounds such as sodium hydroxide, neutralized by carbon dioxide, can produce an economical, environmentally safe discharge. In September, Watten, Moffitt and graduate student Amber Barenberg will conduct shipboard trials in Lake Superior.
- Zach Penney (Ph.D. candidate, Fishery Science) has been selected as a Knauss Fellow for 2014. The National Sea Grant College Program Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship matches highly qualified graduate students who have an interest in water or fishery resources and national policy with “hosts” in the legislative and executive governmental branches at a national level. In addition, Zach has been selected by the Education Section of the American Fisheries Society to compete for the Sea Grant best student paper award at the Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society in Little Rock, Ark., September 8-12.
- Bill Sweeney (Senior, Forest Resources) was named to the search committee for the Executive Vice President of the Society of American Foresters. Bill will provide insights from a student/young professional’s perspective and will contribute to the process as a full member. Bill is serving on a seven-person committee, and he will participate fully in each part of the interview and selection process, playing an integral role in the selection of the next Executive Vice President of the Society of American Foresters.
- Semester In The Wild students began the 35-mile excursion into Taylor Ranch on Wednesday, August 28. They will spend the majority of the semester at Taylor, living and learning in an immersive environment, and will post regularly about their experiences. You may view that blog here.
- Please join us in welcoming Lourana Swayne as our newest Grants and Compliance Specialist in our Fiscal Services office. Lourana comes to us with a lot of CNR grant experience.
- Jamie Anderson accepted a position with Eastern Washington University and has already begun her new job.
- Mary Schierman has left to pursue and build her personal business. Katie Marsh will be taking over Mary’s EPAF duties for all new non-faculty hires. Please work closely with Katie to ensure EPAF’s are processed in a timely fashion.
- Lori Mulalley has headed out to enjoy her retirement.
- Please join us in welcoming TingTing Chen to the Fiscal Services office. TingTing will be assisting with travel claims, PCard claims, and various other fiscal technician duties.
- Stanley B. Carpenter, 75, passed away on Tuesday, August 20, 2013. He was a long time resident of Baton Rouge, LA, and a native of Searcy, AR. He proudly served in the United States Army as a First Lieutenant (USAR) Artillery Officer in Fort Hood, TX. Stanley earned a BS degree at the University of Idaho, a MS degree at the University of Washington, and a Ph.D. at Michigan State University. He retired as Director of Forestry Wildlife and Fisheries at LSU.
- Roque Nolan Nalley passed away May 13, 2013. Nalley received a bachelor’s degree in Forestry and Agriculture from Oklahoma State University, and obtained his master’s degree in Forest Resources from the University of Idaho. He was a Chief Forester for the Colville Indian Tribe and an Environmental Scientist for the Washington State Department of Ecology.
- Dr. Robert (Bob) J. Robel passed away Jan. 16, 2013. Bob worked with Paul Dalke and studied migratory patterns of elk in the Selway.
- Charles George Carll, 59, died at home in Madison, WI, Saturday August 17, 2013. Charlie received a BS in Wood Industries from West Virginia University, and a Master of Science in Wood Technology from the University of Idaho in 1979. He retired from the Forest Products Laboratory of the United States Forest Service in 2011 after 31 years of service. As a Research Forest Products Technologist he co-authored numerous published research papers on wood durability and protection. He also revised and maintained building standards for moisture control with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).