News about Forestry

Campers Visit College for Hands-On Intro to Potential Marcellus Careers

A camper gets a rare opportunity behind the controls of earth-moving machinery at Penn College's riverside heavy equipment training site.

Mansfield University’s second annual Marcellus Camp, a weeklong primer on the natural gas industry and the career and educational opportunities available after high school, included a recent visit to Penn College. The campers – from grades 10 through 12 – explored heavy construction equipment and forest technology majors in the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies near Allenwood and toured the nearby Energy Technology Education Center along Route 15. (Among those assisting students were Dennis F. Ringling,  forestry professor; Ryan W. Peck, instructor of diesel equipment technology; and Seth J. Welshans, laboratory assistant for diesel equipment technology.) The July 14-19 camp also offered a visit to a Chesapeake Energy wellfield, as well as sessions on geology, drilling techniques, emergency response, microbiology, job-site safety, Geographic Information System mapping and water quality. The camp is sponsored by The Marcellus Institute at Mansfield University and the Shale Training & Education Center at Penn College.
Photo provided by  the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies

Forestry Alumnus Nationally Acclaimed for Wildfire-Prevention Education

Paul M. Reier

One of the country’s highest honors for wildfire prevention − named for one of its most recognizable public figures − has been presented to Paul M. Reier, a 34-year veteran of the Virginia Department of Forestry and a 1977 forest technology graduate of Pennsylvania College of Technology predecessor Williamsport Area Community College.

Reier, of Toano, Va., earned the Bronze Smokey Bear Award, acknowledging  the “energy, dedication and commitment” he has demonstrated in countless education programs on fire prevention.

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‘SMART Girls’ Find Silver Lining Through ESC Lab Activities

Ryan W. Peck, instructor of diesel equipment technology, prepares his guests for operation of heavy construction equipment.

Two muddy SMART girls return from the heavy equipment operations site for a lunch break.

Forestry professor Dennis F. Ringling shows how to measure woodland acreage.

Ken Bashista, laboratory assistant for diesel equipment technology, provides instruction on tearing down an engine.

Undeterred by clouds and May showers, area middle schoolers took part in SMART (Science and Math Applications in Real-world Technologies) Girls workshops at Penn College’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center on Tuesday. In its 13th year, SMART Girls – coordinated by the Outreach for K-12 office – is designed to encourage a strong foundation in high school math and sciences and to expose participants to career options in emerging technologies. The visitors to the Allenwood area campus experienced a variety of majors offered through the college’s School of Natural Resources Management, including heavy construction equipment technology and forest technology.
Photos by Carol A. Lugg, coordinator of matriculation and retention, School of Natural Resources Management

Knowledgeable Forestry Students Renew ‘Earth Day’ Tradition

Jason C. Thompson (left), of Lawrenceville, and Darcy D. Litzelman III, of Liberty, demonstrate equipment used in lumbering.

From a fitting vantage in a pondside pavilion, schoolchildren get a fishing lesson from Dustin S. Beane, of Kane, who was joined off-camera by Jenna H. Weston, of Altoona.

Kyle A. Gibson (left), of Jersey Shore, and Michael A. Kocjancic, of Kane, discuss log-scaling and tree measurement.

A two-and-a-half-month-old, a potential member of the Penn College Class of 20??, joins her parents and big brother for the Earth Day celebration.

Wade S. Truitt, of McAllisterville, and Zachary L. Yetter, of Thompsontown (not shown), walk students through the sawmilling process.

More than 50 fifth-graders from the Montgomery Area School District traveled Wednesday to the nearby Schneebeli Earth Science Center, where Penn College students were waiting to enlighten (as well as entertain questions from) their consistently inquisitive visitors. “I’m going to be taking more steps today than I usually do,” predicted one youngster, embarking on his Earth Day-themed adventure in the School of Natural Resources Management’s 400-plus acres of scenic woodland. “I’m going to be seeing trees, birdhouses, eagles and wildlife,” another offered. “Can’t wait!” Forestry professor Dennis F. Ringling, who annually coordinates the interactive event, maintains that his students should have sufficient command of their subject matter to share it with others – a responsibility not lost on the forest technology majors who staffed a series of information stations throughout the ESC campus. “It made me feel good to be complimented by one of the elementary teachers on my knowledge and teaching skill,” said Jonathan M. Huey, of Woodward. “I enjoyed passing along what I’ve learned these past two years, and it was a good experience working with young and energetic students.”
Photos by Carol A. Lugg, coordinator of matriculation and retention, School of Natural Resources Management

Falconer Acquaints Forestry Students With Centuries-Old ‘Passion’

Student Wade S. Truitt adds "hawk-holding" to his list of college experiences.

Instructor Jack E. Fisher, with students in his Wildlife Management class

Master Falconer Cheri Heimbach works with Michael A. Kocjancic, a forest technology major from Kane (and Alice).

Forest technology student  Darcy D. Litzelman III, of Liberty, gives "hands-on" education a new meaning.

Master Falconer Cheri Heimbach returned to Penn College’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center on Wednesday, introducing students in instructor Jack E. Fisher’s Wildlife Management class to varied birds of prey. “I believe in the education of young people, as they are our future,” said Heimbach, one of about 150 falconers in Pennsylvania. “This is a 4,000-year-old  hunting technique and I enjoy passing along my passion, as well as demonstrating this ancient sport.” She brought along Alice, a 5-year-old Harris’s Hawk; a Gyrfalcon, Peregrine Falcon and American Kestrel. “I’ve never had a hawk on my arm before!” noted Wade S. Truitt, a forest technology student from McAlisterville. “I was surprised how heavy those two pounds felt; this was certainly a new and different experience.”
Photos by Carol A. Lugg, coordinator of matriculation and retention, School of Natural Resources Management

Education, Fun Intersect in Great Outdoors of ESC

Visiting students hone their lumber-estimation skills near the ESC sawmill.

Tools in hand, a student adds up the clues to identify a tree.

Forestry Field Day participants measure one of the countless trees within the ESC's spacious natural surroundings.

Students from Line Mountain and Wellsboro high schools engaged in tree measurement, tree identification, log-scaling and lumber estimation during a Forestry Field Day at the Schneebeli Earth Science Center on Wednesday. “I’m used to identifying trees with leaves,” one Line Mountain student said. “Today was a challenge as we had to identify trees without leaves. It certainly challenged me to apply my knowledge in a hands-on setting.” The teens also enjoyed lunch on campus, and ended their day with a tour of the Allenwood area facility and an overview of the School of Natural Resources Management’s forest technology major. “We don’t get to do this kind of work in our daily classroom,” another student added. “This was more hands-on and I like that.”
Photos by Carol A. Lugg, coordinator of matriculation and retention, School of Natural Resources Management

Commission Helps Forestry Program Control Invasive Japanese Barberry

Mowing down a woodland invader

Aaron Ayres from the Pennsylvania Game Commission this week helped Penn College’s School of Natural Resources Management control a large invasion of Japanese barberry that has gradually crept into the Schneebeli Earth Science Center’s outdoor natural laboratory over the years. “This was an excellent opportunity for our students to see and experience the process used in removing invasive vegetation that plagues natural forest regeneration in central Pennsylvania,” said Erich R. Doebler, laboratory assistant for forest technology at the college (who also provided the photo at left). Japanese Barberry poses many ecological threats, such as altered pH, displaced native vegetation and a severe loss of natural wildlife habitat, he explained. Japanese Barberry also provides a thriving home for deer ticks, which are known to carry the bacteria commonly associated with Lyme disease. Through mechanical mowing, the Japanese Barberry was removed, allowing sunlight to reach the forest floor and native hardwood species – such as oak, hickory, maple and poplar – to germinate.

Forest Technology Student Among Industry Scholarship Recipients

Scholarship recipient Garrett A. Krout, of McClure, is presented with a check by Steve Nagy, a recruiter and trainer at Davey Tree Expert Co., left, and Penn College forestry professor Dennis F. Ringling.

A Pennsylvania College of Technology student has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship from The Davey Tree Expert Co.

Garrett A. Krout, of McClure, in his second year toward an associate degree in forest technology, was presented with the Davey Arbor Grant Scholarship at the college’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center by company representative Steve Nagy.

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WoodMobile, ESC Tours Expose Secondary Students to Forestry Opportunities

Nathan C. Pysher points out some of the skills needed to be a hands-on forester.

Brandon J. Novakoski handles with ease a student's questions on the differences between native and ornamental trees.

Professor Dennis F. Ringling shares with Athens High School  students the outstanding hardwood forests in Pennsylvania.

Inside the WoodMobile

The WoodMobile staff captures students' attention as they are introduced to "Penn's Woods" and the importance of the wood industry to the commonwealth.

Nearly 50 secondary students, teachers and chaperones visited Penn College’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center on Wednesday, enjoying a day outdoors in spite of the rain. High school students from Athens, as well as middle schoolers from Walnut Street Christian School and the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, enjoyed a variety of activities that included a look inside the state Department of Agriculture’s traveling WoodMobile exhibit. Students toured hiking trails and forestry lab areas, led by Dr. Dennis F. Ringling, forestry professor, and forest technology students Brandon J. Novakoski, of Nanticoke, and Nathan C. Pysher, of Bangor. The middle school group was also treated to a wildlife presentation by forestry instructor Jack E. Fisher at the ESC pavilion.
Photos by Carol A. Lugg, coordinator of matriculation and retention, School of Natural Resources Management

Team Arby’s Takes NRM Golf Invitational Crown

A near-perfect day of weather greeted the 41 golfers in last week’s School of Natural Resources Management Scholarship Golf Invitational.

The fairways of White Deer Golf Course were an excellent venue for the July 11 scholarship fundraiser, at which 13 golfers displayed their Wildcat pride as Pennsylvania College of Technology employees.

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Campers’ Visit Amplifies College Responsiveness to Industry

Instructor Dave R. Cotner opens his guests' eyes to employment opportunities and high earning potential for welders.

With some of the college's fleet of construction vehicles as a backdrop, Seth J. Welshans, laboratory assistant for diesel equipment technology, walks the group through the riverside heavy equipment training site.

Guided by Carol A. Lugg, coordinator of matriculation and retention for the School of Natural Resources Management, campers find leafy shade in the "Idea Garden" on their way to a sawmill tour.

Jacqueline M. Stash, assistant director of MSETC workforce training, explains the variety of careers within the gas industry – many of them related to Penn College majors.

Gathering around a wellhead used in simulated emergencies, students hear Craig Konkle, of the Lycoming County Department of Public Safety, explain the ETEC's value in training responders.

Penn College’s role in workforce preparation for the oil and natural gas industry, from noncredit training to degree programs, was the daylong focus for participants in Mansfield University’s Marcellus Camp on Tuesday. As a wrap-up to their three-day exploration of gas-related careers, about 20 participants and their counselors visited main campus in Williamsport and the Schneebeli Earth Science Center near Allenwood. The youths – mainly Tioga County high schoolers (along with students from Indiana, Clarion and Potter counties, as well as New York state) – began the day at the college’s Marcellus Shale Education & Training Center, heard a presentation from the Admissions Office and toured welding labs in the Avco-Lycoming Metal Trades Center. They then boarded southbound vans for a trip to the heavy equipment training site, got a look at diesel and forestry majors in the School of Natural Resources Management, and ended their day at the nearby Energy Technology Education Center along Route 15. The camp, offered for the first time this year by Mansfield’s Marcellus Institute, also included a visit to a Chesapeake Energy wellfield.

New Path Opens for Forestry Students Seeking Four-Year Degrees

Graduates of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s associate-degree major in forest technology now have an additional option for pursuing a Bachelor of Science in their chosen career field.

Paul Smith’s College and Penn College’s School of Natural Resources Management recently signed an articulation agreement allowing students to follow a streamlined path toward obtaining a baccalaureate degree in forestry.

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Industry Scholarship Awarded to Forest Technology Student

Scholarship recipient Griffin B. Welch, center, is joined by, from left, George Greig, Pennsylvania’s agriculture secretary; Dennis F. Ringling, forestry professor at Pennsylvania College of Technology; and his parents, Tina and Steve Welch.

A first-year forest technology student at Pennsylvania College of Technology has received the latest scholarship from a fund that memorializes a longtime regional leader in the lumber industry.

Griffin B. Welch, of Spring Mills, a recent graduate of Penns Valley Junior-Senior High School who will enter the two-year college major this fall, received a $1,000 award from the Richard P. Lauchle Scholarship Fund administered by the Keystone Wood Products Association. The check was presented during the association’s annual membership dinner, held at Penn College’s Thompson Professional Development Center.

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Forest Technology Student Makes Recruitment Trip to Alma Mater

Penn College forest technology student Dustin S. Beane reunites with former teacher Jack Detrick at Kane High SchoolForest technology student Dustin S. Beane and Carol A. Lugg, coordinator of matriculation and retention for the School of Natural Resources Management, visited students enrolled in the forestry program at Kane Area High School on Thursday to discuss opportunities in Penn College’s forest technology major. Beane shared his college experience with more than 40 high school students throughout the day, and had the opportunity to catch up with his former teacher, Jack Detrick, who commented, “It is always nice to see former students, especially when they are successful.” Beane, who graduated from Kane in 2008, said, “I enjoyed sharing my Penn College experience with students at Kane High School. I’m back home … working a summer job at a forestry consulting business, so I didn’t mind heading to the high school and talking about the forest technology program at Penn College.”
Photo by Carol A. Lugg

Pupils Delight in Nature’s Variety During ESC Visit

Andrew S. Wickard, of Williamsport (left), and Michael J. Walker Jr., of Loganton, offer a trapping demonstration as part of their wildlife exhibit With a shoot of silky dogwood from the surrounding forest, Luke R. Waltman, of Milton, shares his knowledge of trees in a dendrology presentation 
Cole M. Cerra, of Warren, sparks a campfire with flint, steel  and a convenient pocketful of dryer lint Amazingly maintaining a fire in occasionally heavy wind along a hiking trail, Brent R. Davison, of Clarion, brews an herbal tea made from tree bark As the pupils' visit winds down, Tyler D. Scott, of Montoursville, explains the various procedures and equipment involved in sawmill operation In an Earth Day tradition (and on a typically unpredictable April day that saw traces of all four seasons), about 90 fifth-graders visited Penn College’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center to celebrate the great outdoors. Moving among hands-on information stations staffed by forest technology students organized by professor Dennis F. Ringling, the schoolchildren were exposed to topics including the history of logging and the importance of soil. The Allenwood-area campus is home to the college’s School of Natural Resources Management, which, weather permitting, annually hosts students from the Montgomery Area School District.