NC State Natural Resources College to Commemorate the Centennial of the Extinction of the Passenger Pigeon

2014 Marks the Centennial of the Extinction of the Passenger Pigeon

passenger pigeon - extinctOn September 1, 1914, Martha died. Her death, at the Cincinnati Zoological Gardens, marked the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon – a species made extinct due to the actions of humans.

The College of Natural Resources invites you to join us at one of these events marking this significant moment in environmental history.

“In Memory of Martha” Sculpture Build
Help remember the Passenger Pigeon by folding origami pigeons to symbolically recreate the flocks of 100 years ago.  The origami birds will be assembled into a sculpture.
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WHEN: September 2, 2014 / 11:00 – 2:00 pm
WHERE: The Brickyard, NC State Main Campus


“Wildlife Trafficking: A Growing Global Threat to Threatened and Endangered Species” Lecture
SPEAKER: Susan Lieberman, Vice President – International Policy
Wildlife Conservation Society

Dr. Susan LiebermanWHEN: September 9, 2014 / 7:00 -8:00 pm
WHERE: Nelson Auditorium, NC State Main Campus

Dr. Susan Lieberman has worked in international biodiversity conservation, at the intersection between science and policy, for more than 25 years, and has extensive experience working on international wildlife trade. She is a member of the U.S. Presidential Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking, former director of the Species Programme of the WWF-International, and Chief of the Division of Scientific Authority of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

She has worked on the conservation of species of tigers, African and Asian elephants, African and Asian rhinos, giant pandas, African and Asian great apes, whales, marine turtles, and polar bears and conducted postdoctoral research on tortoises in Mexico and on prosimians.

Lieberman completed her Ph.D. at the University of Southern California where her research focused on tropical ecology, and amphibians and reptiles in Costa Rica.


These events are part of the NC State College of Natural Resources’ 85th Anniversary Celebration

NC State Names New Department Head for Forestry & Environmental Resources

Gower_Pic-webDr. Stith T. (Tom) Gower will join the College of Natural Resources at NC State University as head of the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources.

Dr. Gower is an internationally recognized forest ecosystem ecologist, and is currently a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology and Faculty Director of BioHouse, a living learning community program for undergraduates majoring in biological sciences.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Furman University, a Master of Science in Forest Ecology and a minor in Soil Science from NC State University, and a PhD in Forest Ecology from the University of Washington.  He is a University of Wisconsin Systems Teaching Fellow and Scholar and an HHMI Faculty Fellow with the Institute for Biology Education.

Dr. Gower’s research focuses primarily on the effects of disturbance on carbon, water and nutrient budgets of forest ecosystems, life cycle inventories of greenhouse gases to produce wood and paper products, forest carbon adaptation and mitigation management, and whole system (biological and industrial) analysis of forest ecosystems and landscapes to optimize sustainable production of ecosystem goods and services.

He has served as PI or co-investigator on numerous large multidisciplinary research teams raising over $14 million in extramural funding from the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. His research has built productive collaborative relationships with state, provincial, federal, and private industry in the USA, Canada, Russian Federation, Sweden, China, and Portugal.

Dr. Gower is a frequent speaker on the topic of forest carbon cycles in biological and industrial (e.g., life cycle inventory) ecosystems and national forest carbon management policy at national and international conferences and symposia. He is the co-author of two books, approximately 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, and numerous proceedings papers, book chapters, and presentation papers and abstracts. He has also served on numerous forestry and natural resource advisory boards such as Advisory Committee for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Digital Active Archive Center, and served as subject editor for forestry journals such as Tree Physiology and the Canadian Journal of Forest Resources.

In recent years, Gower has become interested in education innovation, and is a recent co-recipient of a NSF Ideas Lab grant to promote quantitative sciences in natural sciences, as well as renewing a national dialogue on rewarding faculty for outstanding education. He is currently involved in developing a series of education innovation classroom case studies and curricula that emphasize student-centered learning.

“Tom Gower brings a wealth of new ideas and a proven record of accomplishment to the Department and the College,” says Dean Mary Watzin. “I am delighted that he is willing to take on this new challenge.  Tom has a solid record of interdisciplinary thinking – developing and implementing creative new curricula and first-year retention programs and fostering opportunities for students to engage in meaningful research experiences.  His research exploring the dynamics of forest ecosystems and the tradeoffs that exist under different future scenarios of natural and industrial forest management, along with an enthusiasm for sharing information and solving practical problems, make Tom an excellent match for our college.  I look forward to working with him and am fully confident that under his leadership, this strong department will rise to the next level of excellence.”

Originally from Kentucky, Dr. Gower is married to Connie Gower, a native of Hendersonville, NC and graduate of North Carolina State University. They have two daughters, Kristen and Cathy, both of whom graduated from or attended NC State.

“I am thrilled to be returning to NC State and building on the incredibly rich history of the department, college and institution” says Dr. Gower. “It is truly an honor to return and serve the students, staff, and faculty.”

Dr. Gower will assume the duties of department head on October 16, 2014.


McCord to Serve as Research Associate Dean for NC State College of Natural Resources

Dr. Marian McCord - NC State UniversityDr. Marian G. McCord has been selected as Associate Dean for Research in the College of Natural Resources at NC State University.

Dr. McCord is currently a professor with appointments in the Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry, and Science at North Carolina State University, the Joint UNC/NCSU Department of Biomedical Engineering, and is an adjunct associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Brown University, as well as a Master of Science in Bioengineering and a Ph.D. in Textiles and Polymer Science both from Clemson University. She joined the faculty of the College of Textiles at NC State in 1994 and leads NC State’s Global Health Initiative.

Dr. McCord sees her research field as “textiles as interventions” – i.e., textiles that prevent or treat disease, or improve human health and well-being. Some of her global health related projects include nonchemical insecticidal bed nets and low cost hemostatic bandages. She is a scientific advisor to Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE), a social venture dedicated to meeting the needs for safe and affordable sanitary products for women in the developing world. The College of Natural Resources is also a partner in the SHE project.

Dr. McCord has been the co-director of the Atmospheric Plasma Laboratory at the College of Textiles at NC State University for 14 years, and is a cofounder of Katharos, Inc., a company that aims to provide phosphate filtration solutions for end-stage renal disease patients.

She has made significant contributions to her field including serving on the editorial board of the Journal of Fiber Bioengineering and Informatics, as an officer and executive committee member of the Triangle Global Health Consortium Advisory Board and the steering committee of the NC One Health Collaborative.

Recently Dr. McCord was recognized as one of 125 Transformational Women at NC State for her work as Director of the Global Health Initiative and for her work with SHE.

“Over the last 20 years, Marian McCord has built an interdisciplinary portfolio of research focused on improving human health and wellness by developing novel textiles that prevent and treat disease. She has a proven track record assembling and leading multidisciplinary research teams and has received funding from a wide variety of sources.” says Dr. Mary Watzin, dean of the College of Natural Resources. “Through her work, Marian has earned a national and international reputation for solving practical global health challenges. I am delighted that she is willing to take on this new challenge and am confident that she will bring creativity, energy, and a genuine appreciation of power of collaboration to the College of Natural Resources.”

“I’m looking forward to joining CNR, and to working with the faculty, staff and students to advance the College’s research initiative” says Dr. McCord. “I think that CNR is the right place for me to be able to make a significant impact in addressing some of the greatest challenges facing society today.”

Originally from Newport Rhode Island, Dr. McCord lives in Apex with her husband and two children. She will assume her duties as associate dean of research on August 1, 2014 and will hold academic rank in the Department of Forest Biomaterials.

Out of the Classroom and Into the Fire

At NC State University, our students Think And Do.  Nowhere is that more evident than at the College of Natural Resources’ Forestry Summer Camp during Fire Week.

Students in Forestry 265 participated in a controlled burn in G.W. Hill Demonstration Forest as a step towards becoming certified firefighters.

The operational burn was for instructional purposes and included 23 students and eight professionals from the State Forest Service, the Park Service and the Nature Conservancy.

Sustainable Forestry Teachers’ Academy Garnering High Praise

The Sustainable Forestry Teachers’ Academy is just wrapping up another year and it is already getting fantastic reviews from its students — the teachers.

The Academy is a four-day residential program that focuses on the social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainable forestry in North Carolina. This annual program is chock-full of learning experiences for the teachers who are prepared to return to their own classrooms with new knowledge and materials to share with their students.

In a recent North Carolina Forestry Association News Update, the Academy is described in this way:

Source: North Carolina Forestry Association, June 20, 2014, email News Update

“Just Fabulous”

Academy Leaders

Sustainable Forestry Teachers’ Academy Leaders Susan Moore (left), Renee Strnad, and Jennifer Grantham

That is what one teacher expressed to NCFA Executive Vice President Pryor Gibson at the conclusion of the tour of Parton Lumber Company.  The teacher stopped Gibson just before she boarded the bus that was bound for the group’s next stop.

“I want to thank you and the NCFA for this opportunity.  It is just fabulous. I have learned so much and everyone has just been so great at all of our visits.  And these three ladies are just awesome.”

The teacher was referring to Susan Moore, Renee Strnad and Jennifer Grantham of N.C. State University Extension Forestry who organize and guide the Academies.

Needless to say, the Sustainable Teachers’ Academy had another successful week of educating teachers on forestry and the forest products industry in Asheville this past week.  In addition tours of facilities, the teachers participated in workshops and PLT programs.

The coastal version of this program runs next week in New Bern.

Teachers learn about the Longleaf pine ecosystem at the Croatan National Forest

Teachers learn about the Longleaf pine ecosystem at the Croatan National Forest

These residential programs designed for teachers feature visits to several forest products facilities in the Asheville (mountain) and New Bern (coastal) areas in addition to workshops and visits to educational forests.

The NCFA appreciates its membership hosting the teachers at their facilities in what has become an extremely popular program with teachers.