News Briefs

Dana Whaley joined us in February 2009 as administrative staff assistant in the Undergraduate Programs Office when Kathleen Kasubick went on medical leave.

Harry V. Wiant, Jr. retired from the Joseph E. Ibberson Chair in forest resources management in August 2009.  It was back in July 2002 that he was named the first recipient of that newly endowed position.  During his tenure here, Wiant initiated the annual Ibberson Forum for forest landowners and foresters, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Forestry Association and the School of Forest Resources.  He was actively engaged in both undergraduate and graduate education, teaching courses in forest measurements, forest policy, and consulting forestry.  He served as co-adviser of the Penn State Student Chapter of the Society of American Foresters.  He continued research in forest inventory techniques and taught short courses for foresters on that topic.  Wiant was also active in the Pennsylvania Forestry Association, serving as vice-president in 2005-06.  In 2009 he was awarded the Alumni Association Faculty Award from his alma mater, West Virginia University.

Robert G. “Bob” Wingard died November 24, 2009.  Wingard was a wildlife management specialist at Penn State for 31 years (1952-83).  He was a World War II veteran, serving as an aviation chief ordinance-man.

In fall 2009, Rachel Cleaver, then a senior in Wildlife and Fisheries Science, received a scholarship award from Shikar-Safari Club International, a private wildlife conservation group. 

Jay R. Stauffer, Jr., distinguished professor of ichthyology, was recognized for 25 years of service in fall 2009.

KoreanVisitorsNicole Brown and Paul Smith hosted Korean visitors who visited the School of Forest Resources in February 2010 to tour the wood products labs and discuss formaldehyde emissions regulations.  Pictured, left to right:  Dr. Sumin Kim (assistant professor, Department of Architecture, Soongsil University, Korea), Dr. Nicole Brown, Dr. Byung-Dae Park (assistant professor, Department of Wood Science and Technology, Kyungpook National University, Korea), Dr. Paul Smith, and Dr. Jong Young Park (senior research scientist from the Korea Forest Research Institute).  Dr. Park also presented a seminar entitled "Microstructure of Cured Urea-Formaldehyde Resin Adhesives for Wood-Based Composite Panels.”

At Penn State Alumni Association’s Annual Volunteer Awards program in November 2009, The School of Forest Resources Alumni Group received the Fellowship and Networking Award for the SFR Centennial Celebration held in 2007.

The Urban Forestry Program won a 2009 Penn State Cooperative Extension Director’s Team Award.  The team consists of Bill Elmendorf (School of Forest Resources), Vinnie Cotrone (Northeast Region), Mark Remcheck (West Region), Julianne Schieffer (Southeast Region), Scott Sjolander (West Region), and Ellen Roane (PA Bureau of Forestry).  The Team Award recognizes administrative or program teams that work together in an exemplary fashion to address a special initiative or goal.

Avian Ecology and Conservation:  A Pennsylvania Focus with National Implication, published in 2010 by the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, includes chapters written by a number of School of Forest Resources personnel including Margaret Brittingham, Duane Diefenbach, Matt Marshall and graduate students Laurie Goodrich, Glenn Stauffer, and Andy Wilson.

Sandra E. “Sandi” Stauffer, retired staff assistant, died from complications of Parkinson’s disease on February 28, 2010.  She retired in 2005 after 25 years of service.

Rex E. Melton died March 13, 2010.  Read more about Prof. Melton here.

Emily Thomas, master’s candidate in W F S, won Best Student Paper award at the annual PA chapter of The Wildlife Society meeting in State College in March 2010 for her paper, "Effects of oil and gas development on forest songbirds in the Allegheny National Forest."  

At the 13th annual Environmental Chemistry Student Symposium held at University Park in March 2010, Sarah Pabian, Ph.D. candidate in W F S, won best overall presentation for her poster, "Soil calcium and forest bird habitat quality," and Keith Price, also a Ph.D. candidate in W F S, received an award for his poster, "Importance of stream hydrology on downstream transport of biologically stored phosphorus."  

Forest Science senior Christopher Hone served as our college’s student marshal at spring 2010 commencement, an honor bestowed on the graduating senior with the highest grade point average in the College of Agricultural Sciences. 

Hunter Carrick received the Editor's Award this year from the International Association for Great Lakes Research.  The Editor's Award recognizes the crucial role played by peer review in assuring the quality of the Journal of Great Lakes Research.  It is presented for "outstanding support of the journal's review process."  The award was given at the annual meeting in Toronto, Canada, in May.

June 2010 marked a milestone for the Penn State Wood Products Extension program.  The Penn State WoodPro Web site, maintained by Chuck Ray, received its 200,000th visit since its start-up in 2002.  Penn State WoodPro was initiated as a tool for communicating primarily with the Pennsylvania wood industry, but the visitation statistics reveal that users are spread across the globe.  As a result, the site’s resources have been broadened to address issues affecting forest resources worldwide.

Victoria Braithwaite has been appointed associate director of the Penn State Institute of the Neurosciences and will oversee and facilitate neuroscience research and teaching at University Park.  She will continue to be a faculty member of the School of Forest Resources. 

Tau Phi Delta fraternity swept the honors at the Year-End Greek Life Recognition, receiving the following three honors for the second year in a row:  Chapter of Excellence, Outstanding Fraternity Chapter of the Year, and Distinguished Community Service Award.  Tau Phi Delta also received the highest award given by the University—the President’s Cup for Organizational Excellence.

James and Linda Finley have pledged $200,000 to the Pennsylvania Forest Stewards Endowment.  The endowment supports a program that trains volunteers in the principles of forest stewardship so they can share that knowledge with forest landowners throughout the state.  The endowment is part of the couple’s estate plans.

FRIT2010The 2010 Forest Resources Institute for Teachers (FRIT), with a "Woods and Waters" theme was taught by Bryan Swistock, water resources Extension specialist, Joseph Harding, Forestlands Manager, David Jackson, Cooperative Extension Forest Resources Educator, and Sanford Smith, Forest Resources Extension Specialist.  In this photo, school teacher participants look as on Swistock explains how specific aquatic insects indicate water quality.  FRIT is offered each year to educators teaching grades K-7.  For more information about FRIT contact Smith at

Bruce Lord and has accepted a faculty position with the Department of Statistics at Penn State where he will have a full load of teaching and consulting beginning fall 2010.  He will teach one of the statistics courses required of School of Forest Resources' students, so we will continue to benefit from his expertise.