A forest management specialist at Mississippi State University has been named Extension Forester of the Year by the Forest Landowners Association.
Stephen Dicke, Extension professor in MSU’s College of Forest Resources, will receive the honor at the organization’s annual meeting in Stevenson, Wash.
A certified arborist and tree farm inspector, Dicke was praised in the nomination for his intensive work in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Dicke led an educational effort to help landowners determine casualty losses, develop management and recovery strategies, and assist with urban tree losses along the Mississippi Coast.
"Dr. Dicke organized 40 programs for more than 2,400 participants in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina," said Andrew Ezell, MSU forestry department head. "His educational materials were not only used throughout south Mississippi, but also by his Louisiana and Texas colleagues, who were also recovering from the damage of hurricanes Katrina and Rita."
A Mississippi registered forester, Dicke is active in the Tree Farm Program, serving as a tree farm inspector and inspector trainer. He also serves on the state tree farm committee.
Dicke was praised for his consistent productivity. Over the last four years, Dicke has conducted 297 programs for nearly 12,000 participants who represent more than 2.4 million acres of forestland. He also has authored or co-authored 49 publications and secured almost $1.5 million in outside funds.
"His work to improve the lives of private forest landowners and forestry in Mississippi and the Western Gulf Region is exemplary," Ezell said. "Dr. Dicke is an exceptional faculty member, active in professional organizations and community service."
Dicke received his bachelor’s degree in forest management from the University of Missouri, a master’s degree in horticulture and forestry from the University of Nebraska, and a doctoral degree from MSU. He is a member of the National Arbor Day Foundation, International Society of Arboriculture, Society of American Foresters, Mississippi Forestry Association, and the Hinds County Forestry Association.
Dicke also works with the Boy Scouts of America. He and wildlife research associate Adam Rohnke were recently awarded a bronze award from the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals for Merit Badge counselor training materials.
Established in 1941, the Forest Landowners Association represents private landowners in 48 states with education, information and national grassroots advocacy. Its members own and operate more than 40 million acres of forestland.