David Jones has joined the Mississippi State University Extension Service as the first forest products specialist.
Jones, a wood quality expert, formerly worked as a postdoctoral associate at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in forestry. He received a bachelor's degree in forest resources from Clemson University, a master's from Stephen F. Austin State University, and a doctorate in forestry from the University of Georgia.
MSU's Department of Forest Products was established in 1964 as the largest state-funded forest products laboratory. Mandated by the legislature, the department provides assistance to Mississippi's forest products industry, a $14 billion economic contributor.
The first forest products Extension specialist to be employed in the state, Jones will work with industry to increase production and reduce costs.
"I see this position working with industry, homeowners, schools and organizations," Jones said. "I will help educate people about wood and its many uses and the importance of the forest products industry to the state."
The forest products industry employs about 120,000 individuals in Mississippi and accounts for more than 8 percent of all jobs, Jones added. Forest products include four primary segments: pulp and paper, wood furniture manufacturing, composite wood and solid wood products.
"David will develop educational programs for industry personnel, homeowners and schoolchildren," said Rubin Shmulsky, forest products department head. "We are thrilled to have someone in this position to assist with the many facets of wood use."
Jones will maintain an office at the Franklin Center on campus in Starkville. He can be contacted at (662) 325-8454 or firstname.lastname@example.org.