Archives—November 2011

Rolf Peterson receives Certificate of Distinction

Research Professor – Robbins Chair, Rolf Peterson has received the  2012 Certificate of Distinction from the Purdue Ag Alumni Association.  The Certificate is the highest recognition conferred by the Association.

Rob Swihart, Professor and Head of the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources said, “Notably, in my 20 years at Purdue, this is the first occasion of which I’m aware in which an alumnus in wildlife has been recognized!  By any measure, your achievements certainly warrant such recognition, and I know that our faculty, staff, and students will be thrilled with the news. ”

Congratulations to Rolf!



Joe Kovach – 1987 (MS)

The School of Forest Resources is saddened to learn of the recent passing of our alumnus  Joe Kovach (1958 – 2011)

This obituary and picture was published in the Wausau Daily Herald on November 1, 2011

Joseph A. Kovach

Joseph A. Kovach, 53, Wausau, died Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011, at Aspirus Hospice House in Wausau.

He was born Jan. 19, 1958, in Livorno, Italy, to Alexander and Virginia (Beatty) Kovach. Joseph’s father was a military man and, therefore, Joseph was able to travel the world as an army child. He was a graduate of both Penn State University(undergrad) and Michigan Tech where he completed his masters.

Joseph was married and divorced. He spent much time in Ecuador. He first went there as a Peace Corps volunteer from 1981 to 1983. He enjoyed it so much he later returned to work there as a forester for Baltek Corp. for eight years. It was at this time that he met and married the mother of his two children. They later settled in Wausau. Joseph worked in the Forestry Division for the DNR for 18 years as a forest ecologist and silviculturist.

He is survived by his mother, Virginia (Beatty) Kovach, Roy, Utah; son, Jesse Kovach, Wausau; daughter, Alexis Kovach, Madison; sisters, Judith Kovach, Wausau, and Kitty Kovach, Roy, Utah; nephew, David Kovach; and other loving family and friends.

Service with visitation will be from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011, at John J. Buettgen Funeral Home, Schofield.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Society of American Foresters and the Foresters Fund.

John J. Buettgen Funeral Home is assisting the family.







FISTA Basic Chainsaw Safety Training

Forest Industry Safety Training Alliance (FISTA) trainer Lee Schaumann, assisted by Jim Schmierer conducted a Level 1 Basic Chainsaw Safety training at the Ford Center facility at Alberta, 9 miles south of L’Anse, MI for Michigan Tech students and staff on Saturday, 11/12/11.  Participants learned about personal protective equipment, chainsaw maintenance, hazard awareness, safe chainsaw operation, proper notching, bore cutting, and tree felling techniques.   The afternoon was spent practicing what was learned in the field in the adjacent Research Forest.  Another training is planned for Spring semester 2012.


Jack Pine Thinning in Management Unit 22

A 70-acre jack pine stand on the Michigan Tech Research Forest in the Baraga Plains that includes direct seeding trials from the 1970s was thinned in 2011 to approximately 300 trees per acre (roughly 12’x12′ spacing) to improve vigor, reduce ladder fuels and fuel loads, and improve quality. The yield was 20 tons per acre on average and included mostly chips with a few loads of pulpwood. Samples were taken pre-treatment to develop nutrient profiles of the stand that can be monitored over time. Several Michigan Tech FERM students and a visiting group from Purdue toured the timber harvesting operation.