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Forestry and Natural Resources > Department News

 Spotting Scope - January 2015


  • Parsell, T., Yohe, S., Degenstein, J., Jarrell, T., Klein, I., Gencer, E., Heweston, B., Hurt, M., Kim, J.-I., Choudhari, H., Saha, B., Meilan, R., Mosier, N., Ribeiro, F., Delgass, W.N., Chapple, C., Kenttämaa, H.I., Agrawal, R., and Abu-Omar, M.M. 2014. A synergistic biorefinery based on catalytic conversion of lignin prior to cellulose starting from lignocellulosic biomass. Green Chemistry, In Press.
  • Doyle, J.M., Hacking C.C., Willoughby, J.R., Sundaram, M. & DeWoody, J.A. (2015) Mammalian genetic diversity as a function of habitat, body size, trophic class, and conservation status. Journal of Mammalogy, In Press.
  •  Nowakowski, A.J., DeWoody,J.A., Fagan, M.E., Willoughby, J.R. & Donnelly, M.A. (2015) Mechanistic insights into landscape genetic structure of two tropical amphibians using field-derived resistance surfaces.  Molecular Ecology, In Press.
  • Wijayawardena, B., DeWoody, J.A. & Minchella, D.J. (2015) The genomic proliferation of transposable elements is facilitated by the invasion of new habitats:  Schistosoma mansoni in the new world.  Genetica, in press.

Faculty in the News

Graduate Honors and Awards

​Congratulations to Patrick Duffy, Graduate Teaching Assistant, who successfully defended his thesis on December 2nd!

Undergraduate News and Awards

The 18th Annual Tree Care Industry Association Foundation Student Career Days (SCD) wrapped up another successful competition last fall in Bushnell Park in Hartford, Connecticut, and FNR students excelled! Eight students attended the event with Lindsey Purcell, Urban Forestry Specialist, and 5 were part of the student competition. Lindsey noted that “The TCIA student career days is an exemplary industry program that provides immersion into our industry with peers, professionals and educators for an incredible experience.  Purdue and FNR were represented well at the program and were commended by many for their knowledge and deportment.” 


Held in conjunction with TCI EXPO, the world's largest tree care industry trade show and conference, SCD had a record attendance this year, with 352 students and instructors from 28 programs descending on Hartford. The students took full advantage of the opportunity to test their knowledge and participate in a variety of skills competitions, including tree climbing skills competitions and written exams.
Students also competed in a belayed scramble, a throwline toss, safety gear check and a work climb in the trees of Bushnell Park. Students worked to gain as many points as possible in the least amount of time, and to demonstrate knowledge of their field.

Here’s how Purdue students did:

  • Casey Johnson - First Place, overall collegiate men's division. Casey also took first place in the following individual competetions:
    • work climb
    • thow line
    • belayed scramble
  • Travis Dunn - Ninth place, overall collegiate men's division.
  • Sean Anderson - Fifteenth place, overall collegiate men's division.
Staff Recognition

janis Gosewehr
  • On Thursday, January 22, the Provost Recognition Luncheon was held to honor AP staff in the academic departments who had served the Purdue community for many years.  FNR AP staff celebrating their service anniversaries this year include:  Liz Jackson, Manager of the National Walnut Council/Executive Director of the IFWOA/ Engagement Specialist for the Hardwood Tree Improvement (10 years), Julie Pluimer, Administrative Manager of the Office of Student Services/Academic Advisor (10 years) , Brian MacGowan, Wildlife Extension Specialist (15 years), Marcia Kremer, Genetics Laboratory Manager (35 years), and Marlene Mann, Administrative Assistant (35 years).  Congratulations and thank you to all of you!
  • Congratulations to Janis Gosewehr, Operations Assistant, who is celebrating her 25th year at Purdue!  Janis, her daughter Megan, and Marlene Mann attended the clerical/service staff recognition lunch and program on December 11 where over 300 staff were recognized. Janis’ position was also recently reclassified to Administrative Assistant.  Congrats, Janis!

Alumni News

  • lisaAlexanderBaby.jpg Justin Schmal (Purdue B.S. 2008 in Forestry and MS in 2009) has joined the Silviculture program in the Washington State DNR.  He will be the Monitoring Program Manager for the newly combined silviculture/HCP/program implementation monitoring work.  Justin has been a Unit Forester and Pre-sales Forester in the Northwest Region for almost 4 years.  Previous to that, Justin was a Research Associate at Purdue.  This news comes to us via Ralph Johnson, a former Visiting Professor, who also works the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.  Thanks, Ralph!
  • Scotty Bruer (Purdue B.S. 1983 in Forestry) is the founder of  PeaceNow is the “world’s largest grass roots initiative for creating peace.” is a 501-3-c NGO collecting one billion signatures on a petition which supports creating infrastructures of peace.  Specifically, they “support having Peace Departments in all governments.”  In August they met with Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury, former chairperson of the Security Council and High Representative at the United Nations.  Ambassador Chowdhury will be hosting a meeting at the United Nations between PeaceNow and the four countries that have Departments of Peace once they receive signatures from all 193 countries (they currently have 98).  There is more information at their website,
  • Congratulations to Mark and Lisa Worthen Alexander, former HTIRC grad student, on the birth of their daughter, Lillian Grace Alexander on December 10.  Lillian was 6 lb. 7 oz and 19 inches long.
  • In a recent article, FNR alumna Katherine Touzinsky shared her current projects with Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. View full article, Knauss Fellowship takes Katherine Touzinsky around the world.
  • FNR alumna and TWS intern Colleen Hartel wrote article exploring wildlife policy changes, including the recent 2014 Farm Bill. View full article, Wildlife Policy: Highlights of 2014 and Impacts for 2015.



We have just learned of the passing of Otis F. Hall, former faculty member in this Department (1957-1968).  Otis was the major professor of John Moser, Professor Emeritus.  After leaving Purdue, Dr. Hall moved to the University of New Hampshire and later to Virginia Tech where he served as department head.  He was 93 years old.  He attended Oberlin College where he studied Botany and Chemistry and played on the football team.  He received his Bachelor of Arts in January 1943.  He then joined the Army Air Corps and served in the Pacific Theater during World War II.  After the war he continued his education, receiving a Master in Forestry from Yale University (1948) and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota (1954).


Upcoming Calendar Events

  • CoA Alumni Fish Fry, Saturday, February 7, Blue Ribbon Pavilion, Indiana State Fairgrounds, Indianapolis
  •  FNR Department meeting, February 20, 2:30-4:00 p.m., PFEN 120​
  • FNR Career Fair, February 25, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Pfendler Hall
  • Spring Break, March 16-21 NO CLASSES
  • FNR Department meeting, March 26, 2:30-4:00 p.m., PFEN 120
  • FNR Department meeting, April 17, 2:30-4:00 p.m., PFEN 120
  • FNR Department meeting, May 8, 2:30-4:00 p.m., PFEN 120
  • Classes end, Saturday, May 2
  • Final Exams Week, May 4-9
  • College of Agriculture commencement, Friday, May 15, 8:00 p.m., Elliott Hall of Music