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News Briefs

In November, M.S. student Sarah Gustafson won third place at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Agronomy in Long Beach, CA, in the Graduate Poster Competition for her presentation titled “Determining the influence of land-use on urea sources and transport within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.”

On October 29, 10 students from the Penn State Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society attended the Delaware/Maryland State Chapter Meeting held at the Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland.  Students were invited to present posters of their current research in wildlife management.  Five undergraduates and four graduate students presented posters that were judged by a panel of three judges.  Amanda Bowe, a senior WFS student, won Best Undergraduate Poster for her poster titled, “Landscape resistance in jumping mice: using GIS to measure connectivity between subspecies.”  Amanda is currently working with Jackie Grant on this project which will become Amanda’s undergraduate honors thesis.

Mike Powell serves as the Penn State School of Forest Resources representative on Allegany College of Maryland’s forestry program advisory board.  In fall 2010, Mike also served on a search committee in Intercollegiate Athletics for a new program coordinator for the Penn State Stone Valley Recreation Area and Vertical Adventures.

Congratulations to staff assistant Kathleen Kasubick who was honored this fall for 25 years of service to Penn State!

In October, the Penn State Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society tied for third place out of 17 teams in the Student Quiz Bowl at TWS annual conference in Utah, and the Penn State SAF Student Chapter finished in second place in the Student Quiz Bowl at the SAF National Convention in New Mexico.

The NE1033 multistate research project on biological improvement and restoration of chestnut was honored by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) in December 2010 with the Excellence in Multistate Research Award.  The School of Forest Resources has played an important role in the chestnut genetics part if this multistate research project since its inception in 1982 as NE140.  Kim Steiner, professor of forest biology, and research technician Sara Fitzsimmons play a major role in The American Chestnut Foundation’s (TACF) breeding program and are currently responsible for evaluating TACF’s most advanced progeny test established at University Park in the Arboretum.  John Carlson, professor of molecular genetics, and his lab team are sequencing the Chinese chestnut genome to identify all of the blight resistance genes.  The chestnut genome project is funded by industry and the Forest Service.

In January 2011 we bid farewell to research support technologist Paul Lupo who accepted a position with Walker Lumber Company.  Paul led and/or assisted in several of our required undergraduate courses in addition to performing research duties for several of the School’s programs.

Mark Gagnon, visiting assistant professor of sustainable entrepreneurship, was awarded the Best Teaching Case Award from the International Small Business Journal at the U.S. Association for Small Business & Entrepreneurship conference in January 2011. The case, “Saving a Green Venture: Envirowood,” involved students developing a plan to save a green venture in seven days. Students were asked to identify the major problems facing the venture, to prioritize these problems and to develop solutions. Key concepts covered were cash management, value-proposition redefinition, and the impact of a recession on a start-up.