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MSU's targeted conservation tool aims to improve profitability for farmers

MSU's targeted conservation tool aims to improve profitability for farmers

Two Mississippi State researchers and pioneers in the growing field of economically targeted conservation are showing farmers that making money off their land can be feasible even when the land isn't producing.

Wes Burger and Mark McConnell, MSU researchers in the Forest and Wildlife Research Center, are launching the MSU Precision Conservation Tool, a decision-making software that identifies precise locations where conservation prac...


Our People: Adam Wade

Our People: Adam Wade

By day, Adam Wade is finding better ways to identify wood species using artificial intelligence as a sustainable bioproducts doctoral student. At night, he's crafting a custom guitar out of poplar and maple.

"The guitar design I'm working on replicates a Fender Stratocaster. I'm making everything from scratch using rough-sawn lumber. The guitar's body is made of poplar with a soft maple top. The neck and fretboard are hard maple. I'm usi...

3/14/2021

MSU student forestry organization again honored as leading national chapter

MSU student forestry organization again honored as leading national chapter

For the third year in a row, Mississippi State's student chapter of the Society of American Foresters is the top chapter in the nation.

The Outstanding Student Chapter award honors the best three SAF student chapters, as well as their faculty advisor. MSU has been recognized in first-place nine times in the last 25 years and has placed in the top three consecutively for more than two decades.

Adam Lindsey of Purvis, a seni...

3/1/2021

Scientists Search for Peak 'Gobble' Season

Scientists Search for Peak 'Gobble' Season

Each spring, turkey hunters cover themselves from head to toe in camouflage, head into the woods to find the perfect spot, take out a small wooden box and begin moving the top of the box to make a screeching sound which mimics a female. Their objective is to engage the elusive male turkey. Spring turkey hunting is a mix of tradition, culture, and economics. It occurs when turkeys are at the height of courtship. Males gobble and strut in full-f...


Plant-based Chemicals of the Future

Plant-based Chemicals of the Future

Fossil fuels are decayed plants and animals that have been converted to oil, coal, and natural gas through years of exposure to heat and pressure in the earth's crust. Petroleum, a common fossil fuel, is used to create over 6,000 different products.

There are issues related to the extended use of petroleum including environmental pollution and global warming. Add to this the diminishing reserves of fossil fuels. So, how do we replace t...

2/24/2021

MSU celebrates Arbor Day with tree planting on Drill Field

MSU celebrates Arbor Day with tree planting on Drill Field

Mississippi State faculty, staff and students celebrated Arbor Day today [Feb. 12] by planting trees on the MSU Drill Field.

Nationally celebrated in April, Mississippi's Arbor Day observance occurs on the second Friday in February, similar to other southern states that adjust the holiday in the warmer climate to ensure better survival of newly planted trees.

According to the MSU Extension Service, forestry and forest produ...

2/12/2021

Can trees aid in nutrient management in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley?

Can trees aid in nutrient management in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley?

A first-generation forester from Myanmar is trying to help improve water quality in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley.

The Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley, or LMAV, consists of 25 million acres spanning seven states. This floodplain is responsible for draining 40 percent of the contingent United States. The LMAV is home to forested and wetland habitat critical to native and migrating wildlife and birds. The area is also home t...

2/8/2021

The changing tide of trade

The changing tide of trade

As the global forest products industry shifts over time, how can stakeholders better understand emerging trends? A scientist in the Forest and Wildlife Research Center has made it his life's work assessing the international trade of forest products and communicating vital insight to the industry's stakeholders.

Dr. Changyou Sun has studied the forest products industry for more than 20 years. In that span of time, globalization has shif...

2/1/2021

Wild at heart

Wild at heart

Rick Dillard's love of the outdoors serves him well as fish and wildlife program manager for the U.S. Forest Service. His passion has been a guiding force in his professional and personal life. The Potts Camp, Mississippi native and CFR alumnus comes from a long line of hunters, fishermen, and trappers.

"I fished with my grandmother before I could even carry a fishing pole. My most vivid memory, however, happened later. I was nine the fi...


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.

<...


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

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