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MSU researchers think 'outside the block,' win big at MDA V-Quad competition

MSU researchers think 'outside the block,' win big at MDA V-Quad competition

For a team of Mississippi State researchers, concrete design isn't set in stone.

Jilei Zhang, Warren S. Thompson Professor of Wood Science and Technology, and a team of MSU Department of Sustainable Bioproducts researchers have rethought the material's design and cemented their product's status by participating in the Mississippi Development Authority's inaugural V-Quad competition, a U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored initiative to...

9/14/2021

Live, in-wood forestry equipment show set for Sept. 17-18

Live, in-wood forestry equipment show set for Sept. 17-18

Machinery and equipment that drive the South's timber industry is being demonstrated this weekend at the Mid-South Forestry Equipment Show.

The event is Friday [Sept. 17], 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday [Sept. 18], 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Mississippi State's John W. Starr Memorial Forest off Highway 25, south of Starkville. Show partners include the university's College of Forest Resources and Extension Service, the Mississippi Forestry ...

9/13/2021

A Bird on the Water is Worth Two to the Farmer

A Bird on the Water is Worth Two to the Farmer

From the arid fields of New Mexico to the winter-flooded rice fields of the Mississippi Delta, Alexandra Firth has developed a passion at the intersection of agriculture and soil conservation.

After graduating with a degree in ecology from Humboldt State in Northern California, the Phoenix native's career as a biological technician took her all over the U.S. and briefly to Europe. It was while working on an organic farm in New Mexico, h...


Knots Untangled

Knots Untangled

Picking a two-by-four from a lumber stack at your local home improvement store only takes a minute. How that piece arrived there, however, is part of a much larger story. Lumber is one of Mississippi's most important commodities and part of a $13.12 billion-dollar industry that employs over 61,000 people in Mississippi alone. Researchers in MSU's Forest and Wildlife Research Center hope to untangle how knots—remnants of where branches gr...

8/18/2021

Our People: Thomas Rovery

Our People: Thomas Rovery

Rising Mississippi State wildlife, fisheries and aquaculture junior and Memphis, Tennessee, native Thomas Rovery has always had a curiosity for reptiles, with a particular interest in snakes.

"As a kid, I was always outside, pointing out camouflaged snakes, trying to identify lizards in the grass or showing off a turtle I'd found," Rovery said.

In high school, he discovered a way to satisfy his curiosity while also gaining ...


MSU deer biologist wins prestigious applied research award

MSU deer biologist wins prestigious applied research award

A Mississippi State professor in the College of Forest Resources is being recognized with a prestigious applied research award by the nation's premier wildlife science organization.

Professor Steve Demarais is the recipient of the Caesar Kleberg Award for Excellence in Applied Wildlife Research from The Wildlife Society. He will be honored at the group's annual conference held virtually November 1-5.

This Caesar Kleberg Wil...


MSU launches online natural resources degree programs

MSU launches online natural resources degree programs

Two departments in Mississippi State's College of Forest Resources are adding new online master's degrees, making online degree options now available in all three departments.

Students can now earn master's degrees in sustainable bioproducts or wildlife, fisheries and aquaculture conservation education. These new offerings are in addition to the current forestry master's in the MSU Center for Distance Education which has been graduat...

8/9/2021

Forestry Fair Trade

Forestry Fair Trade

Thanks to the ever-increasing availability of information through technological connectivity, the globalization of industry was all but guaranteed. Still, as countries advance their political and economic power at varying speeds, some nations become particularly vulnerable to malicious international trade practices such as dumping and subsidies. To counteract these unfair practices, oftentimes, temporary trade barriers, otherwise known as TTBs...

8/3/2021

MSU creates precision tool to improve forest management

MSU creates precision tool to improve forest management

An assistant research professor in Mississippi State's Department of Forestry is leading a collaborative team in creating a precision tool to help increase profits for timber producers and wood-mill consumers.

Bruno da Silva, also a scientist in the university's Forest and Wildlife Research Center, is studying timber supply modeling as part of a $100,000 grant awarded by International Paper, one of the world's leading producers of fiber-...

7/21/2021

Don't Wing the Future

Don't Wing the Future

Power companies across the nation spend millions of dollars each year repairing and replacing utility poles damaged by woodpeckers. Researchers in the Forest and Wildlife Research Center are putting their heads together to develop a predictive map of where such damages will likely occur, giving power companies a proactive and cheaper way to head off damage before the pecking even begins.

The Tennessee Valley Authority keeps the lights o...


Built to Last

Built to Last

Alan Sherrington grew up on the north bank of the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington, just outside of Portland, Oregon. He was raised in a forest products family but didn't necessarily see himself in the industry when he left the Pacific Northwest to attend Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama.

"My dad has worked in the forest products industry for the last 30 years, many of which have been at Weyerhaeuser, so I grew up familiar ...

7/15/2021

MSU scientist returns to community-driven vulture study, relying on 'citizen scientists'

MSU scientist returns to community-driven vulture study, relying on 'citizen scientists'

A Mississippi State-led study using "citizen science" is entering its second year of data collection that ultimately could yield solutions to vulture-aircraft collisions.

MSU College of Forest Resources Associate Professor Scott Rush said he expects to deliver scientific-based recommendations from the analysis to mitigate this human-wildlife conflict, a frequent challenge for military pilots who encounter the birds during take-off, l...


Ash's Fight for Life: Preparing for Emerald Ash Borer's Invasion

Ash's Fight for Life: Preparing for Emerald Ash Borer's Invasion

Trees are all around us, giving off oxygen, storing carbon, and giving life and shelter to wildlife. But what would a world without trees look like? Species like the American chestnut and elm have nearly disappeared due to the introduction of invasive pests and fungus. Ash species find themselves in a similar position with the emerald ash borer. That's why researchers are finding ways to aid in control of the insect and plan for long-term rest...

7/2/2021

Covering the Basics: Understanding the Ideal Habitat for Wild Game

Covering the Basics: Understanding the Ideal Habitat for Wild Game

There is a common misconception in the hunting world that plentiful food supply equals frequent visits by white-tailed deer or wild turkey to a specific habitat. Hunters plant food plots, place spin feeders, yet don't see the wildlife activity for which they had planned. What is missing from the equation is an equally important factor…cover.

Much like an animal needs food and water, they also need adequate shelter. That is why res...


Mississippi State abuzz as a Bee Campus USA

Mississippi State abuzz as a Bee Campus USA

The current buzz around Mississippi State's campus is its new affiliation as a Bee Campus USA, a designation of the Xerces Society.

The university joins 122 campus affiliates across 44 states recognized for benefiting pollinators. The MSU Bee Campus committee, consisting of faculty and staff in the College of Forest Resources and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, led the effort. Wes Burger, interim dean of the College of Forest R...

6/22/2021

MSU student receives scholarship from consulting foresters' association

MSU student receives scholarship from consulting foresters' association

Mississippi State's long-time partnership with a national consulting foresters group has funded a student's path toward a forestry degree.

Jared Mathis, a junior forestry major from Brookhaven, was this year's recipient of an annual scholarship awarded by the Mississippi Chapter of the Association of Consulting Foresters, or ACF.

The transfer student earned an associate degree from Copiah-Lincoln Community College, where he made ...

6/14/2021

MSU researchers build madtom catfish hotels for business of conserving imperiled species

MSU researchers build madtom catfish hotels for business of conserving imperiled species

Mississippi State researchers are discovering that opening hotels—fish hotels—for 'checking in' on imperiled, hard-to-find aquatic species is a valuable business.

Built specifically for frecklebelly madtom catfish, MSU fisheries biologists are seeing that the new housing aids them in studying the freshwater species for more effective conservation strategies.

Averaging under four inches in length and native to ri...


Life of a Wooden Crosstie

Life of a Wooden Crosstie

The life of a railroad crosstie sees nearly 20 years of service. Through harsh conditions such as rain, heat, and snow, the backbone of the rails is built to last. But just how long should they carry the load?

Researchers from the Forest and Wildlife Research Center and the Railway Tie Association have set out to determine how durable railroad ties are by exposing them to different conditions and preservatives.

Dr. Beth Stokes, a...

6/9/2021

MSU faculty and staff honored for excellence in natural resources

MSU faculty and staff honored for excellence in natural resources

Mississippi State faculty and staff in the College of Forest Resources and the Forest and Wildlife Research Center have received recent honors for teaching, research and outreach.

Wes Burger, CFR interim dean and FWRC interim director, spoke at an annual awards ceremony at the conclusion of the spring semester about how honorees continue to lead despite a challenging year.

"We are a small college but very productive," Burger ...

5/19/2021

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

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