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Growing old forests

Growing old forests

Plantation pine trees cover over 37 million acres in the Southeastern U.S. These timber resources provide wildlife habitat, carbon sequestration, recreation, and other environmental benefts. Importantly, for landowners, these resources provide revenue.

Conventional rotation or optimal harvest age in loblolly pine plantations is typically 30 to 33 years. Other species such as longleaf pine have much longer optimal rotation ages. However, ...

1/15/2021

A better, stronger wood pellet

A better, stronger wood pellet

Wood pellets are big business as an export item. Europe consumes much of the U.S. wood pellet market to generate energy according to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. In fact, in 2018, the combined value of sales from the U.S. exports of wood pellets totaled $812 million or 6.04 million metric tons with transfers to the U.K. topping $646 million or 4.71 million metric tons. Since much of the pellet production in the U.S. comes from southe...

1/13/2021

$2.5 million DOE grant to help MSU researchers measure benefits of growing trees for biofuel

$2.5 million DOE grant to help MSU researchers measure benefits of growing trees for biofuel

A $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy will benefit Mississippi State researchers in the university's Forest and Wildlife Research Center studying the economic and ecological benefits of growing trees for biofuel production.

The DOE funding will help MSU scientists study how to produce better, hardier hybrid poplars and eastern cottonwoods harvested for biomass energy. The team also will quantify the ecosystem servic...

11/19/2020

Dr. L. E.

Dr. L. E. "Steve" Miranda Named SEAFWA 2020 C. W. Watson Award Winner

The Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) bestowed the Clarence W. Watson Award upon Dr. Leandro Esteban "Steve" Miranda during its 74th annual meeting, held virtually Oct. 26-28.

Miranda has been a prominent freshwater fisheries biologist for the USGS Mississippi Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit since 1986.The award is the highest honor given by the Association and is presented in conjunction wit...


Protecting a New Building Material

Protecting a New Building Material

A new building material is making its way into the U.S. market. Cross-laminated timber, or CLT, which has been used to construct large buildings in Europe for the last two decades is experiencing growth as a building material in the U.S. and Canada.

"As of March 2019, there are currently 545 buildings in North America either built or in the design phase using mass timber products such as CLT," said Dr. Beth Stokes, scientist in the Fores...

11/4/2020

Our People: Changyou

Our People: Changyou "Edwin" Sun

For Changyou "Edwin" Sun, a passion for forest economics grew out of his desire to help the community as a whole.

Sun grew up in a small village in China's Hunan Province, surrounded by mountains and forests where his parents still own some forestland.

"I grew up in a community where forestry was crucial," Sun said. "The most exciting aspect of my job is that natural resources are valuable assets to society as a whole, so w...

11/2/2020

Scientists at work: Sloshing through marshes to see how birds survive hurricanes

Scientists at work: Sloshing through marshes to see how birds survive hurricanes

As Huricane Zeta menaces the Gulf Coast, residents know the drill: Board up windows, clear storm drains, gas up the car and stock up on water, batteries and canned goods.

But how does wildlife ride out a hurricane? Animals that live along coastlines have evolved to deal with a world where conditions can change radically. This year, however, the places they inhabit have borne the brunt of 10 named storms, some just a few weeks apart.

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USFWS director to MSU students: Collective efforts can 'tackle complex wildlife, conservation management issues'

USFWS director to MSU students: Collective efforts can 'tackle complex wildlife, conservation management issues'

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Aurelia Skipwith smiles when she reflects on childhood summers spent at her grandfather's farm in Columbus. As one of the nation's leading natural resource professionals, Skipwith recently shared these memories and other insights with students in Mississippi State's College of Forest Resources as part of a special virtual seminar.

"Conservation and Mississippi are close to my heart. One of the ...


MSU forestry graduate brings home national award

MSU forestry graduate brings home national award

A national organization is honoring a recent Mississippi State forestry graduate as an exemplary student leader.

The Society of American Foresters has named Samantha "Sam" Seamon of Prattville, Alabama, the winner of this year's Student Leadership Award. The honor is given for embodying leadership and positive growth within both the forestry industry and the organization.

The spring summa cum laude graduate is continuing he...

10/21/2020

MSU Extension associate honored as new fellow of national forestry society

MSU Extension associate honored as new fellow of national forestry society

A prominent national forestry organization is recognizing a Mississippi State Extension Service staff member with a prestigious honor.

Senior Extension Associate Marcus Measells is one of only 17 honorees nationwide recently named a fellow of the Society of American Foresters. One of the organization's highest accolades, fellows are honored for their extensive and long-standing dedication to the advancement of the forestry industry at ...

10/14/2020

Nation's fourth largest wood collection acquisition makes MSU home to South's premier teaching, research tool

Nation's fourth largest wood collection acquisition makes MSU home to South's premier teaching, research tool

Mississippi State is now home to one of the nation's largest wood collections, making the university a prime training ground for research on rare and exotic species.

MSU's Department of Sustainable Bioproducts in the College of Forest Resources has acquired the 32,000-specimen David A. Kribs wood collection, the fourth largest in the U.S. according to the International Association of Wood Anatomists. This acquisition also makes MSU home ...

9/29/2020

A New Face in Bird Research

A New Face in Bird Research

Murry Burgess was alone, reaching her hand into a swallow's nest from the top of a 16-foot ladder in a barn in rural North Carolina, when she realized something didn't seem right. Rather than the familiar texture of small chicks, she felt something smooth, slick and scaly.

"There is a huge black rat snake just sitting in the nest, chilling, after eating my research," Burgess said.

Eastern rat snakes (Pantherophis alleghaniensis) a...


Where Have All the Bucks Gone?

Where Have All the Bucks Gone?

It's finally here and it feels like you've waited all year for this. The trail cams have been set out for months. You've been watching. You think you know who's who. There's one in particular. A ten-point buck you've seen on the camera a half a dozen times at least. It's a perfect predawn Saturday with a calm breeze. You head to the blind. You wait and wait and wonder where has the buck gone?

This scenario happens more often than many hu...


Bulldog Roots Run Deep

Bulldog Roots Run Deep

At thirteen, selling drinks up and down the stands of Davis Wade Stadium, a seed was planted in Jonathan Stoll. Now, years later, Stoll has returned to Mississippi State to reap the harvest as forest supervisor.

Stoll, a 2013 forestry graduate from the outskirts of Starkville, was hired to the position in July of 2019, after having worked as a consulting forester in Louisiana before returning to Mississippi to work for a timber company...

9/18/2020

Take the Stairs

Take the Stairs

Oftentimes, we'll take the stairs to get in those few extra steps. As we climb toward better health, do we consider how much strength lies in the wood beneath our feet? While we may not think twice about the actual steps we take, there are others who do. The Stairbuilders and Manufacturers Association has partnered with scientists in the MSU Forest and Wildlife Research Center to assess the wood commonly used in constructing stairs.

Dr...

9/14/2020

Our People: Sean Moskal

Our People: Sean Moskal

Senior wildlife, fisheries and aquaculture major Sean Moskal has three main passions which have all been cultivated by family: hockey, magic and the great outdoors.

A native of Germantown, Tennessee, he grew up playing hockey and attended Christian Brothers High School, where he was the starting goalie on the Frozen Wave ice hockey team that his uncle founded years earlier. His whole family loves the sport, and Moskal even has had th...


How much carbon do U.S. forests capture?

How much carbon do U.S. forests capture?

Roughly one third of the land area of the United States is made up of forested land. That's estimated at over 800 million acres of forests. Trees remove CO2 from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. This carbon is stored in the roots and trunk, making forests a globally important carbon storage system. A single tree can sequester about 88 pounds of carbon per year; so just how much carbon does the entire U.S. capture? A scientist ...

8/24/2020

Finding a better model

Finding a better model

It is estimated that the average single-family home in the U.S. includes 16,000 board feet of lumber for framing. Architects and engineers select grades and sizes of lumber for various components in construction of housing and buildings based on design values.

In 2013, afer several years of testing and reassessment, the design values for southern pine dimension lumber were adjusted. This change impacted the utility value of several lumbe...

8/13/2020

The Wildlife Society selects MSU College of Forest Resources faculty member as fellow

The Wildlife Society selects MSU College of Forest Resources faculty member as fellow

A Mississippi State College of Forest Resources faculty member is acquiring the prestigious title of fellow from The Wildlife Society.

Leslie Burger, assistant extension professor in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture, will be honored at the organization's annual conference to held virtually Sept. 28-Oct. 2. As one of the highest awards bestowed by TWS, the honor recognizes Burger for her remarkable service to the wild...


MSU's Shamaskin selected for national marine policy fellowship

MSU's Shamaskin selected for national marine policy fellowship

Andrew Shamaskin, a Ph.D. candidate studying land conservation at Mississippi State University, has been selected as a finalist for the Sea Grant John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. A panel of professionals selected him to serve as one of 74 fellows through a highly competitive process.

He will spend one year in Washington, D.C., gaining experience with the policy-making process in agencies and committees that deal with marine a...


MSU named Tree Campus USA for seventh consecutive year

MSU named Tree Campus USA for seventh consecutive year

On World Environment Day [June 5], Mississippi State is being recognized for the seventh consecutive year as a Tree Campus USA, an Arbor Day Foundation distinction.

MSU currently is the only university in the Magnolia State with this honor that recognizes commitment to the value and maintenance of trees.

The distinction requires that MSU have a campus tree advisory committee, plan for tree maintenance, allotted maintenance ...

6/5/2020

MSU's DAFVM announces interim administrative restructuring

MSU's DAFVM announces interim administrative restructuring

Mississippi State University Provost and Executive Vice President David R. Shaw and interim MSU Division of Agriculture, Forestry, and Veterinary Medicine (DAFVM) Vice President Reuben Moore jointly announced plans today [May 13] for the interim restructuring of DAFVM's administration.

At the direction of MSU President Mark E. Keenum, Shaw—the university's chief academic officer—said the new administrative structure "refl...

5/13/2020

Mississippi State develops smartphone app to assess wild hog damage

Mississippi State develops smartphone app to assess wild hog damage

According to a Mississippi State research study, feral pigs cause $66 million in property damage in the Magnolia State each year. With the wild hog population increases and damage estimates constantly changing, it's now easier to report and assess impacts with a newly designed MSU app.

The "Feral Pig Damage" app makes it easy for users to report the location of wild hog sightings and the damage they cause. Users can pinpoint or dra...


MSU invites community to report vultures

MSU invites community to report vultures

Vultures and airplanes have difficulty sharing air space. Now the predominantly black bird of prey may be sporting a bright orange wing tag, designed to help researchers study its flight path.

Scientists at Mississippi State are asking for citizen scientists to report sightings to help determine, among other things, the flight pattern of the mammoth bird.

Scott Rush, an associate professor in the wildlife, fisheries and aqu...


MSU research aiding essential wood products industry

MSU research aiding essential wood products industry

Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has identified the wood products industry as an essential critical infrastructure workforce.

Mississippi State has the only research program in the state dedicated to expanding the service and use of wood products, delivering research to the state's forest industry. While the way the research is being conducted may have shifted temporarily, researchers are leaning i...

4/3/2020

Tracking Beavers: Researchers study American beavers for wildlife management

Tracking Beavers: Researchers study American beavers for wildlife management

The American beaver, once prized for its pelt, is now frequently considered a nuisance for the extensive damage they can cause to crops, timber, and roadways. There is limited economic data on the damage caused by beavers, however, estimates for southern states reach millions of dollars.

Since beavers are a species of management concern across the U.S. and especially in the South, MSU researchers are investigating beaver ecology to help...


Legacy of the Lakes: How depth defines lakes in the Delta

Legacy of the Lakes: How depth defines lakes in the Delta

The hundreds of floodplain lakes that dot the landscape of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain between Cairo, Illinois and Baton Rouge, Louisiana tell a story that spans the ages. These lakes were created by the meandering of prehistoric river systems, the Mississippi River, and other contemporary rivers that flow through the valley to join the Mississippi River. While rich in legacy, lakes also serve as a water source for Delta farmers. Forest and...


MSU celebrates Arbor Day with annual campus tree planting

MSU celebrates Arbor Day with annual campus tree planting

Mississippi State faculty, staff and students commemorated Arbor Day on Friday [Feb. 7] by planting trees along Hail State Boulevard.

The eighth annual event took place a week prior to Mississippi's Arbor Day observance, which occurs the second Friday in February. Nationally, Arbor Day is in April, but southern states celebrate earlier to ensure a better survival rate for newly planted trees.

Seedlings planted include loblo...

2/10/2020

Bend, Break, Evaluate

Bend, Break, Evaluate

Timber is a multibillion dollar industry. Forestry is the number two leading commodity in the state of Mississippi generating nearly $1.2 billion in timber harvesting last year alone. Scientists in the Forest and Wildlife Research Center have completed a five year study to help increase the value of southern forests.

"Wood is the most important source of housing in the U.S. and the U.S. South is the most viable and sustainable, and la...

2/5/2020

From the Ground Up: MSU wildlife researchers use UAVs to help conserve bird species, habitats

From the Ground Up: MSU wildlife researchers use UAVs to help conserve bird species, habitats

Unmanned aerial vehicles are taking flight to aid Mississippi State researchers in a quest to improve grassland bird conservation, safeguarding the storied feathered vertebrates that are nationally in decline.

UAVs are assisting MSU researchers in the university's Forest and Wildlife Research Center in detecting quail coveys. The new method for estimating bird population also provides a faster, more accurate and less disruptive way t...


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