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April 13
The Decline, Fall and Restoration of the American Chestnut
Ron Rathfon with chestnut trees.

​The American chestnut was once one of the most common tree species in eastern U.S. forests. It was a majestic tree, rivaling all other species in stature. Since the introduction of chestnut blight in the early 20th century, it has been reduced to a small number of scattered, yet diseased survivors.

Join us on either date and become a part of the movement to restore this magnificent tree to Indiana’s forests. You may choose to participate in any one of these events or both.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 9am — 12pm
Planting American chestnut hybrid seedlings at INTACF's, Indiana Chapter-The American Chestnut Foundation, southern test orchard at Southern Indiana Purdue Agricultural Center.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015 7pm — 8:30pm
Lecture detailing the history, uses, ecology, decline, early rescue efforts, current breeding program, and future restoration of the iconic American chestnut.

Where: Southern Indiana Purdue Agricultural Center (SIPAC), 11371 East Purdue Farm Road, Dubois, IN 47527.

Indiana Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation (INTACF)
American Chestnut Foundation
Chestnut Blight​, Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Laboratory
Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center​ (HTIRC)

Ron Rathfon, Regional Extension Forester
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

April 13
Northern Long-Eared Bat Listed as Threatened
Bat, northern long-eared bat threatened species.

"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today it is protecting the northern long-eared bat as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), primarily due to the threat posed by white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that has devastated many bat populations.

At the same time, the Service issued an interim special rule that eliminates unnecessary regulatory requirements for landowners, land managers, government agencies and others in the range of the northern long-eared bat. The public is invited to comment on this interim rule as the Service considers whether modifications or exemptions for additional categories of activities should be included in a final 4(d) rule that will be finalized by the end of the calendar year. The Service is accepting public comments on the proposed rule until July 1, 2015 and may make revisions based on additional information it receives.

“Bats are a critical component of our nation’s ecology and economy, maintaining a fragile insect predator-prey balance; we lose them at our peril,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “Without bats, insect populations can rise dramatically, with the potential for devastating losses for our crop farmers and foresters. The alternative to bats is greater pesticide use, which brings with it another set of ecological concerns.”

In the United States, the northern long-eared bat is found from Maine to North Carolina on the Atlantic Coast, westward to eastern Oklahoma and north through the Dakotas, reaching into eastern Montana and Wyoming. Throughout the bat’s range, states and local stakeholders have been some of the leading partners in both conserving the long-eared bat and addressing the challenge presented by white-nose syndrome." Read more...

Northern Long-Eared Bat - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Bats - The Education Store
Impacts of White-Nose Syndrome on a Bat Community Near the Indianapolis Airport - Indiana Department of Natural Resources

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

April 08
Plant for the sun-choose, plant trees wisely for energy efficiency

Trees offer many functional and aesthetic benefits, but one of the most common is shade. Because of this, one of the most important aspects of tree selection and planting is placement. Improper placement of trees can diminish the value of the tree on the site. The tree can actually become a liability if it conflicts with infrastructure or just does not providing any useful shade at all. For shade where it’s needed most that also allows passive solar gain in the winter months, you must use an energy efficient design.

Tree Shade Diagram

Figure 1  (Diagram by Greg Pierceall)

In this hemisphere, the sun is in the south and the source of cold weather is in the north. Whenever possible, place openings for sunlight and radiant heat primarily on the southern exposure, then on the west and east. For energy efficiency in winter, use the low arc of the sun to capture the maximum amount of warmth through east-, west-, and south-facing windows. Windows with a northern exposure are a source of cool air from prevailing winds during the hot months. So, give the north minimum exposure and maximum natural protection in the winter.

When selecting trees for energy efficiency, don’t plant evergreen trees near the house on southern exposures. Trees may provide some shade and screening, but will also block out the warming effects of the sun during winter months. When choosing trees for shade and solar gain, choose larger, deciduous-canopy trees, which provide an advantage year round. Select good quality trees that are suitable for your location from a reputable source. See the publication FNR-433-W on the Education Store website for more information on tree selection and planting.

Correct placement is critical for an energy-efficient design and low maintenance as the tree grows and matures. Be certain that the mature height and spread fit the location before placing the tree. This allows the tree freedom to spread into the design space naturally without excessive pruning to prevent conflicts with the house. However, the tree still must be close enough to the house for the canopy to provide shade. A good rule of thumb to plant the tree at least 20 feet from the house. For larger shade trees, you may need to plant as far as 40 feet from the house to insure room for growth (Figure 1).

Trees help make homes energy-efficient by creating a cooling effect during the hot summer months or by allowing the passive solar gain during cold winter months. However, proper selection and placement is critical to make this work.

Tree Installation: Process and Practices - The Education Store
Tree Planting Instructions - Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Planting & Transplanting Landscape Trees and Shrubs​ - Department of Horticulture, Purdue University

Lindsey Purcell, Urban Forestry Specialist
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University​​

April 07
Soundscape Ecology - Record Your Earth Sounds

Soundscape EcologyThe Purdue Global Center for Soundscape Ecology has been recognized by PBS. NOVA, a documentary series focused on science and department of PBS, interviewed Bryan Pijanowski, Professor of Human-Environment Modeling and Analysis Laboratory, and Matt Harris, Graduate Research Assistant, to learn more on the subject and to share this story on the NOVA site in video format. Soundscape ecology is the study of how the environment changes by studying the sounds within that environment. ​

Anyone can be a citizen scientist and download their "sounds of earth" to the soundscape ecology database. There is no cost and it is easy to do. Just visit the web site for instructions, Record the Earth.

Take a look at the Soundscape Ecology video on NOVA's site. 

Soundscape Ecology Research Projects, Forestry and Natural Resources
Purdue Boiler Bytes highlights Discovery Park Global Soundscape Research Center led by FNR's Dr. Bryan Pijanowski, Got Nature?
Soundscape Recorder (Android App), The Education Store
Soundscape Recorder (iOS App), The Education Store

Bryan Pijanowski, Professor of Human-Environment Modeling and Analysis Laboratory
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

April 06
Locations to dispose of unwanted meds
"Community medicine collection programs make it easy for people to rid their homes of unwanted pharmaceuticals, but they can be difficult to get off the ground. That's where our Unwanted Meds team comes in. They have helped police departments across Illinois and Indiana establish collection programs and raise awareness of the importance of proper disposal.
In the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) Community Spotlight feature, we look at West Lafayette Police Department's Prescription/Over-the-Counter Drug Take Back (Rx/OTC) program. In 2010, Officer Janet Winslow started the wildly successful take-back program, one that has no doubt had a dramatic impact on the community and the environment." Full article

How to dispose of unwanted medicine and personal care products - Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant 
Unwanted Medicine - Indiana government
Hoosier Home Remedies​ - The Education Store
April 03
Workshop: Indiana Natural Resources Teacher Institute

Are you an Indiana classroom teacher interested in learning more about Indiana’s forest resources and how to integrate them into your classroom? The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (INDNR)/Division of Forestry, along with Purdue University Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR), will conduct the Indiana Natural Resources Teacher Institute (NRTI) the week of June 22-26 at the Forestry Training Center at Morgan-Monroe State Forest. This multi-day conservation education program will include visits to public and private forests, tours of forest industry facilities and an introduction to forestry research in Indiana. The purpose is to provide an unbiased look into the impact sustainable forestry has on our state’s economy, environment, and quality of life, and to equip teachers to take that knowledge into the classroom.

This workshop will advance effective teaching and learning about Indiana’s forest resources and their management. Participants will learn how to approach the teaching of STEM concepts and principles from a natural resource perspective and develop a STEM-based curriculum project to be implemented with their students. Participants will receive over 30 Professional Growth Points toward license renewal. There is no charge for educators to participate in the Institute. All housing and meals will be provided at the Forestry Training Center.

Application forms are available by contacting Donna Rogler, This program is for Indiana educators only.

Workshop: Indiana Natural Resources Teacher Institute
Locations: Forestry Training Center at Morgan-Monroe State Forest
When: June 22-26, 2015

Project Learning Tree
INDNR Forestry

Donna K. Rogler, Project Learning Tree Coordinator/District Forester
Indiana DNR Forestry

Lenee Farlee, Sustaining Hardwood Extension Specialist
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University​
​ ​
March 28
Pets Disappearing? The cause may be coyotes

​There have been multiple sightings of coyotes in the Indianapolis suburb area, especially the southern part of Indianapolis. As habitats for these animals shrink, the coyote sightings have increased. Coyotes no longer have any natural predators, but they are afraid of humans. These animals mainly eat small animals like rabbits, mice, and squirrels but have been known to attack small pets. It is imperative to go outside with your pet to ensure their safety from coyotes. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (INDNR) will be hosting a coyote seminar for the public in April.

What: Living with Coyotes, Greenwood
Where: Greenwood Library, 310 S. Meridian St., Greenwood, IN
When: April 2, 2015
Time: 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Cost: Free
Registration is required. 

Coyotes a constant problem in Indy suburbs, IndyStar
Dealing with Nuisance Coyotes, INDNR
Should I be worried about coyotes in my yard?, Got Nature?

Indiana Department of Natural Resources​

March 27
New Podcast! Giant Salamanders Part 3: studying young giants
Dr. Shem Unger holding hellbender.Dr. Shem Unger holds giant salamander.

​Giant salamanders are sensitive to changes in their aquatic environment. Perhaps one of the most significant factors influencing their livelihoods is the quality of their habitat. In previous podcasts we heard how water temperatures can influence hellbender immune system and foraging ecology. In this podcast our guest host, Dr. Steve Kimble, will be interviewing Dr. Shem Unger regarding his work on the effects of sedimentation on the physiology of juvenile eastern hellbenders.

Listen here:
Giant Salamanders Part 3: studying young giants, Got Nature? Podcast
iTunes - Got Nature?

To contact Dr. Unger:
Savannah River Ecology Lab

Other resources:

Rod Williams, Associate Professor of Wildlife Science
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University

March 26
Hellbender Hustle and Feast Like a Hellbender

Feast Like a Hellbender Mark your calendars April 11th for our all-you-can-eat Cajun cuisine dinner in support of hellbender conservation in the Blue River! Hundreds of dollars in door prizes. Menu consists of crawfish, shrimp, jambalaya, beans and rice. Activities will include face painting, coloring, hellbender movie, trivia games, and live animals. This event is for all ages.

When: April 11, 2015, Hellbender Hustle-9:00am, Feast Like a Hellbender-11:00am. US/Eastern
Location: O'Bannon Woods State Park, Hickory Hollow Nature Center, 7234 Old Forest Road SW, Corydon, IN 47112
Register at

Got Nature? Podcasts
iTunes - Got Nature?
The Nature of Teaching, The Education Store, Purdue Extension

Rod Williams, Associate Professor of Wildlife Science
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University

March 23
Landscapes with Rainscaping Capture Stormwater
Landscape, Purdue Rainscaping Education Program

Spring showers bring May flowers! This common phrase is very pertinent as we head out of March and soon into April. Spring showers are looming in the distance and will bring an abundance of rain...which will lead to runoff and flooding. Who wants their landscape to turn into mud when the spring showers come? Purdue Extension is offering a program which will teach attendees how to resolve this problem.

The Purdue Rainscaping Education Program will help attendees learn about rainscaping in residential and small-scale public spaces. Spring 2015 pilot workshops will teach master gardeners, landscape professionals, and agency staff how to promote community awareness and education for bioretention/rain garden planning, installation, and maintenance.​ 

The five three-hour sessions include flipped classroom instruction through online learning modules, experiential training activities, field techniques, and field trips to view rainscaping projects. Participants help create a demonstration bioretention/rain garden with community partners in a public space during the final session. Participants must attend all five sessions to receive the certificate of completion. 


Session Topics and Dates:

​Session 1 - Introduction to Rainscaping, Monday, April 6,2015
Session 2 - Site Selection and Analysis, Monday, April 13, 2015
Session 3 - Plant Selection and Design, Monday, April 20, 2015
Session 4 - Installation and Maintenance, Monday, April 27, 2015
Session 5 - Demonstration Garden Installation, Monday, May 4, 2015

Location: Purdue Extension-Tippecanoe County office, 3150 Sagamore Parkway South, Lafayette, IN 47905
Time: All sessions will take place from 3-6 p.m.
Cost: $25 for all sessions
Registration: View The Education Store site or call 888-EXT-INFO to register for the event.

Purdue Rainscaping Education Program, Purdue Agriculture
Sustainable Communities, Purdue University Extension
Climate Change: How will you manage stormwater runoff?​, The Education Store

Kara Salazar, Sustainable Communities Extension Specialist
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources & Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant

John Orick, Purdue Master Gardener State Coordinator
Department of Horticulutre and Landscape Architecture​​

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