Welcoming Mark Rudnicki to new Biomaterials position

The School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science has another new face. Mark Rudnicki has joined our ranks as Professor of Practice, Forest Biomaterials. This position was created in order to coordinate efforts between Michigan Tech and the statewide biomaterials initiative as the Michigan Forest Biomaterials Initiative develops and grows.

Rudnicki comes to us with extensive teaching background and experience in extension and outreach. Mark will be leading our school’s effort to support the developing Michigan Forest Biomaterials Initiative, which, in Mark’s words is “an ambitious endeavor to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Michigan by moving purposefully toward a future that takes responsible yet full advantage of Michigan’s renewable resources”.

New Assistant Professor in Remote Sensing/GIS Spatial Analysis

Isabella Mariotto

Join us in welcoming Dr. Isabella Mariotto to the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science.

Dr. Mariotto has filled the position of Assistant Professor in Remote Sensing/GIS Spatial Analysis. Mariotto’s areas of expertise include, remote sensing and GIS spatial analysis and modeling, hyperspectral remote sensing of vegetation, remote sensing of aboveground Carbon storage, biodiversity, food security, and evapotranspiration from Energy Balance models. Isabella has a Ph.D. in Ecology (Remote Sensing and GIS) from New Mexico State University and completed her postdoctoral scholarship with University of Arizona and the US Geological Survey.


Welcoming Dr. Yvette Dickinson

Yvette Dickinson

Dr. Yvette Dickinson has joined SFRES as Assistant Professor of Silviculture.

Dickinson, who hails from New Zealand, is an avid fly-fisherman, hiker, and amateur naturalist. In 2011, she completed her Ph.D. in Forest Resources at Pennsylvania State University, studying the influence of silvicultural management on forest structure. Dickinson comes to us from Colorado State University, where she completed her post-doctoral work and taught silviculture and forest management.

Isle Royale Wolf-Moose News Article in “Nature”

The monumental Isle Royale Wolf/Moose Study, which has been active for more than fifty years, has been a riveting drama to follow. In recent years, the wolf population has been in decline, raising questions as to the future of the wolf on Isle Royale. Below-average temperatures this winter have created an ice bridge between Isle Royale and the mainland, a fairly-rare and potentially promising event for the wolves of Isle Royale. Read what Michigan Tech’s Rolf Peterson and John Vucetich have to say on the subject in this week’s issue of Nature http://www.nature.com/news/iconic-island-study-on-its-last-legs-1.14697 and don’t miss the link to the editorial at the end of the article.

New Funding – Roth

Amber Roth has received $25,000 of funding from the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory to coordinate the Midwest Landbird Migration Monitoring Network. For this award, Roth will write and edit the Midwest Landbird Migration Monitoring Network Strategic Plan in collaboration with the US Fish & Wildlife Service and the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory. Along with the grant, comes Roth’s new title of Midwest Landbird Migration Monitoring Network Coordinator . The strategic plan will lay out a road map for coordinating bird monitoring and research efforts toward objectives of the Midwest Coordinated Bird Monitoring Partnership (http://midwestbirdmonitoring.ning.com/). The goal of the plan is to provide guidance for improving usage of data generated by the network of partners across the Midwest to better address priority migration information needs at the regional scale.

Terry Sharik Appointed to Robbins Chair

Dr. Terry Sharik, dean of the School of Forest Resources & Environmental Science, Robbins Chair of Sustainable Resources

Congratulations to Terry Sharik, dean of the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, on his recent appointment to the Robbins Chair in Sustainable Resources. Sharik has made great progress in bringing together players from all aspects of sustainable resources in Michigan through his efforts with the Michigan Biomaterials Initiative. To learn more about the Michigan Biomaterials Initiative, visit the MTU Biomaterials main page.

The Wildlife Society 2013 Annual Conference

Michigan Tech Students Participating in Quiz Bowl

The Michigan Tech student chapter of The Wildlife Society had an excellent performance in the quiz bowl competition at The Wildlife Society 2013 Annual Conference, coming in fourth out of seventeen teams.  They were very nearly third, and played Humboldt State (2nd place & very tough) which is a success by most participants standards.  They beat Purdue in the 1st round, SUNY Cobleskill in the 2nd, lost to Humbolt in the 3rd, and barely lost to University of Tennessee in the deciding match for 3rd-4th place.

Welcome New Assistant Professor, Dr. Joe Wagenbrenner

Dr. Joe WagenbrennerWe are proud to be welcoming Dr. Joe Wagenbrenner to the School of Forest Resources & Environmental Science. Dr. Wagenbrenner will be filling the position of Assistant Professor of Forest Hydrology. His areas of expertise are forest hydrology, effects of wildfire on hydrologic processes, erosion and sediment transport, and land use/disturbance hydrology.

Most of Dr. Wagenbrenner’s research has focused on quantifying the effects of wildfire on runoff and erosion and measuring how well these effects can be mitigated. He is also interested in erosion and sediment transport in unburned landscapes.

Dr. Wagenbrenner will be teaching classes in forest hydrology.

Visit from Yunnan Delegation

Signing the Memorandum of Understanding

A delegation from the Yunnan Academy of Forestry, Yunnan, China, visited the Michigan Tech School of Forest Resources & Environmental Science (SFRES) on October 10th-12th in a combined effort between Michigan Tech and the Yunnan Academy of Forestry to promote academic ties and international cooperation. SFRES professors and scientists presented to the delegation on topics varying from invasion ecology to wetland restoration to genetic mapping. The group from the Yunnan Academy of Forestry was also given the opportunity to visit local restoration sites, such as the Torch Lake Stamp Sands Restoration Site. During the three day visit, members of SFRES and the Yunnan Academy drafted a Memorandum of Understanding to recognize areas in which the two institutions may work together into the future. The two schools aim to work in conjunction in exploring mutually beneficial collaborative research projects as well as exploring the feasibility of initiatives, such as student and faculty exchanges, to promote cross-cultural learning.

Potvin research in print

Lynette Potvin ’08, currently an ecologist for the USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station in Houghton, Research Scientist Dana Richter (SFRES), Professor Martin Jurgensen (SFRES) and colleague, published the paper, “Association of Pinus banksiana Lamb. and Populus tremuloides Michx. Seedling Fine Roots with Sistotrema Brinkmannii (Bres.) J. Erikss. (Basidiomycotina),” in Mycorrhiza (2012), Vol. 22:631-638. The paper, which came out of Potvin’s master’s research, describes a previously non-described interaction between a decay fungus and the roots of tree seedlings and their symbiotic fungi, the exact role of which remains a mystery. (Tech Today, Nov. 1, 2012)