News: Forestry

Master Falconer Enlightens in Return Visit to ESC

A display of mantling  how a bird conceals its kill from another predator  with student Christian J. Falvo, of Warren A Harris's Hawk eyes the photographer during Cheri Heimbach's classroom visit The gloved hand of student Zachary C. Shaffer, Montoursville, awaits the return of the Harris's Hawk The Master Falconer displays an Eagle Owl for forest technology students A Harris's Hawk perches on student Kyle A. Seyler, of Loganton, outside the Schneebeli Earth Science CenterAbout 25 students in forestry instructor Jack E. Fisher’s Wildlife Management class got hands-on exposure to birds of prey, as Master Falconer Cheri Heimbach returned to the School of Natural Resources Management this week. One of about 150 falconers in Pennsylvania, Heimbach brought along a Barbary Falcon, a Red-tailed Hawk, an Eagle Owl and a Harris’s Hawk. In addition to learning about the 4,000-year-old art of falconry, students heard details of each bird’s characteristics including flight speed and the power of its beak and talons. Photos by Erich R. Doebler, laboratory assistant for forest technology

Game Commission Shows Students How It Traps, Bands Wild Turkeys

Tony Ross, Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife biologist A turkey trap is prepared for detonation A net is loaded into the turkey trap by Matt Wall, gameland supervisor, and Tony Ross; forestry instructor Jack E. Fisher is at left The Pennsylvania Game Commission’s process of trapping and banding turkeys was demonstrated for about 15 students in forestry instructor Jack E. Fisher’s Wildlife Management laboratory on Wednesday. On State Game Lands 252, near Penn College’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center, Tony Ross, a wildlife biologist with the commission, showed students how turkeys are trapped in the wild and banded to determine survival rates. Bands are placed on gobblers’ legs and, if the turkey is found or harvested, a hunter can call a toll-free number on the band and collect a $100 reward. “This has been a slower year to trap turkeys due to the exceptionally mild winter, where a lot of natural food is available,” explained Erich R. Doebler, a laboratory assistant for forest technology in the college’s School of Natural Resources Management (who provided the photos above). “Snow normally limits turkeys’ ability to feed on natural food sources and forces them to use food placed by humans.”

Penn College Winter Commencement Set for Dec. 17

Nearly 370 students have petitioned to graduate at the conclusion of the Fall 2011 semester at Pennsylvania College of Technology, which will hold a commencement ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 17.

The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. in the Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St., Williamsport.

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Forestry Instructor Conducts Library Forum on Woodland Management

Eric C. Easton shares a map of Pennsylvania nature trails, among the benefits of astute timber management Forestry instructor Eric C. Easton offered a then-and-now assessment of timber management in Pennsylvania during Tuesday’s Fall 2011 Madigan Library Forum in the second-floor reading loft. Easton, a faculty member in Penn College’s School of Natural Resources Management, led his audience on a historical journey from the days of widespread deforestation mainly to provide charcoal to fire the state’s iron-smelting furnaces and supply wood for railroad ties to today’s more-balanced management of woodlands to include recreation and aesthetics.

Forestry Students, Alumnus Honored for Academic Achievement

A recent forest technology graduate of Pennsylvania College of Technology and a current student in the same major in the School of Natural Resources Management have been awarded scholarships from the Council of Eastern Forest Technician Schools for their 4.0 GPAs.

May 2011 graduate Lance E. Armstrong, of Muncy, and Matthew R. Crosbie, of Cogan Station, were among the scholarship recipients chosen from CEFTS member institutions, which include dozens of schools with forest technology programs.

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Timber Management Subject of Nov. 15 Library Forum at College

Eric C. EastonThe role of timber management in maintaining Penn’s Woods will be discussed by Eric C. Easton, a forestry instructor at Pennsylvania College of Technology, during the Fall 2011 Madigan Library Forum.

The free public forum, “Timber Now and Then: The History of Timber Management in Pennsylvania,” will be held from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, in the library’s second-floor reading loft. Light refreshments will be served.

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Master Falconer Visits Wildlife Class at ESC

Cheri Heimbach gives students a closeup view of a gyrfalcon in the classroom ... ... and in the ESC back yard A European owl obliges the photographer with a direct gaze Master Falconer Cheri Heimbach, of Lewisburg, visited forestry instructor Jack E. Fisher’s Wildlife Management class in the School of Natural Resources Management on Tuesday. She displayed a gyrfalcon, Harris’s Hawk and a European owl during her classroom visit, and provided some flight demonstrations outside the Schneebeli Earth Science Center. Photos by Erich R. Doebler, laboratory assistant for forest technology

Wildlife Class Assists in Invasive Plant Control

Using a hatchet to clear the bark for herbicide application is Kenneth J. Kane, of Kane.Invasive species such as autumn olive, exotic honeysuckle and ailanthus know no boundaries as where to take root. Thanks to a combined effort by the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and Pennsylvania College of Technology forestry students, fewer invasives are likely to survive on State Game Lands #252 near the Schneebeli Earth Science Center.

Dustyn W. Gabel, of Fredericksburg, sprays herbicide on the girdled area.On March 28 and 30, the Game Commission; Melissa Bravo, a botanist/weed scientist from the Department of Agriculture; and 34 forestry students engaged in basal application to reduce the population of the invasive species.

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Penn College Team Places Third in Regional Woodsman’s Meet

Pennsylvania College of Technology student Sandra M. Angstadt, of Kutztown, competes in the Women%E2%80%99s Speed Chop during the Mid-Atlantic Woodsman%E2%80%99s Meet. She placed second in the event and third in two others. Ty M. Buffington, of Lykens, finished first in the Men's Chain Saw category. Penn College finished third overall.Pennsylvania College of Technology finished third overall, and 10 of its students placed in their respective events during the Mid-Atlantic Woodsman’s Meet at Penn State Mont Alto.

“It was definitely an opportunity that the students will never forget,” said Erich R. Doebler, laboratory assistant for forest technology in the college’s School of Natural Resources Management. “The weather Saturday (April 16) was not in our favor, but all the teams competing persevered and worked together to make the best of a soggy situation.”

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Forest Technology Students Open ‘Living Lab’ to Young Earth Day Visitors

Fresh from learning about frogs and such, schoolchildren scan a forest creek for signs of life Amy L. Moyer, Sunbury, and Randy J. Albertson, Riverside, discuss the impact of whitetail deer on Penn's Woods With the down-to-earth help of Ian D. Copenhaver, McClure, Colin R. Grube, Trucksville, seems to float during a tree-climbing demonstration Mensuration tools, from 'old school' methods to the Allegro handheld field computer, are demonstrated by, from left, Michelle C. Goodling, Renovo; Brian M. Smith, Coudersport; and Travis M. Neal, Canton Students Lance E. Armstrong, Muncy (closest to tree) and Ryan E. Malone, Schuylkill Haven, explain the damage from invasive pests such as hemlock scale, the emerald ash borer and wooly adelgid Fifth-graders from Montgomery Elementary School convened in a classroom “as big as all outdoors” on Tuesday, visiting the Schneebeli Earth Science Center for an environmentally themed field trip timed to this month’s Earth Day observance. As they have for a number of years, forest technology students at Penn College (marshaled by Dennis A. Ringling, professor of forestry) staffed a dozen stations to educate rotating groups of pupils on a variety of woodland topics.

Forest Technology Students Conduct Annual Cleanup of ‘Bat Condo’

Jack E. Fisher (in green) and Donald Nibert relate the bat-house back story Students Angela M. Poleto and Corey J. Randall don hazmat suits for their afternoon cleanup assignment Students sweep inch-thick bat guano into buckets for weighing Classmates collect droppings that fell onto a ground tarp during the broom-out A Game Commission employee displays some of the guano harvested from the 'bat condo' “When you signed up for my class, I bet you never thought you’d be doing this,” forestry instructor Jack E. Fisher told two Penn College students, while they gamely swept bat droppings into buckets Monday. Yet it was not an unexpected exercise, given the institution’s hands-on hallmark, as students across the college’s eight academic schools routinely engage in practical application of classroom learning. Protectively clad to prevent inhalation and other exposure, the forest technology students in Fisher’s Wildlife Management course Angela M. Poleto,of Lock Haven, and Corey J. Randall, of Muncy cleared 53 pounds of guano from a bat house erected in 2002 to relocate a colony that had infested the nearby Maple Hill United Methodist Church in Brady Township. The house was built in the School of Natural Resources Management under the supervision of now-retired faculty member Donald Nibert, on hand for this week’s on-site maintenance. From the latest total, down from the 58.6 pounds collected a year ago, Nibert extrapolated that 3,000 bats occupied the “condo” last season. The guano will be sent to the Pennsylvania Game Commission in Harrisburg, where researchers are studying the cause of the White Nose Syndrome that is decimating hibernating colonies of little brown bats throughout the Northeast. “This is not a great reduction in our numbers,” Nibert noted. “But White Nose Syndrome has been confirmed in Lycoming County and it’s bound to have an effect.” Wildlife officials are concerned about the biodiversity imbalance wrought by a widespread death of bats, which can consume nearly their own weight in insects nightly.

Mini Excavator Donated to Penn College’s Earth Science Center

On hand for the donation of a mini excavator are, from left, Claude T. Witts, instructor of diesel equipment technology at Pennsylvania College of Technology%3B Milt Whiteside, retired Case New Holland service manager%3B Jon Hume, CNH product specialist%3B Brett A. Reasner, assistant dean of natural resources management%3B and Mary A. Sullivan, dean of natural resources management.The recent donation of a mini excavator will benefit a variety of academic majors within Pennsylvania College of Technology’s School of Natural Resources Management.

Jon Hume, the Case New Holland product specialist who arranged for the donation, delivered a 2007 E27B mini excavator and an Isuzu engine to the college’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center near Allenwood. The E27B is a low-time, rubber-tracked machine featuring a Yanmar Tier IV engine compliant with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emission regulations and a hydraulic “thumb” that enables it to move and stack material.

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Penn College Construction Students Visit ESC Lumber Mill

Forestry instructor conducts a crosscurricular tour of the lumber yard Inside the millSeven students in the Penn College Construction Association recently visited the Schneebeli Earth Science Center for a tour of the lumber mill. Forestry instructor Jack Fisher provided a thorough tour of the mill, lumber yard and dry kiln for the students. He discussed topicsthat are emphasized in his Forest Products class that relate to the construction industry, such as hardwood lumber grades, lumber manufacturing (sawing) and kiln drying. Some of the lumber produced at the Earth Science Center, both hardwood and softwood, is used in the School of Construction and Design Technologies’ classes on the main campus. Photos by Melissa M. Stocum, coordinator of matriculation and retention for the School of Natural Resources Management

Forestry Professor Links Outdoor Recreation, Inner Benefit

Dennis F. Ringling, at a library forum on nature's healthful benefits The speaker, in an appropriately green shirt, facilitates a discussion among members of a breakout group Just inside windows that fittingly looked out on foothills hugging a springlike fall day, a Penn College forestry professor urged his audience to examine the connections between their lives and theriches that surround them. “Nature can be a favorite shade tree in your back yard or that little plaza outside this building. It can be Brandon Park or Central Park or those mountains out there,” Dennis F. Ringling said. “But however you define it, it’s an observable fact: The more vegetation you have around you, the more you’ll benefit.” Rather than strictly lecturethe Madigan Library gathering, Ringling who drew inspiration from Richard Louv’s “The Last Child in the Woods” encouraged attendees to form small groups and share their personal, beneficial experiences with outdoor recreation. “Let Nature Nurture Your Health,” the Fall 2010 Madigan Library Forum, was held from 3:30-4:30Thursday afternoonin the second-floor reading loft.

Outdoor Recreation Topic for Nov. 11 Library Forum at Penn College

Dennis F. RinglingThe healthful benefits of outdoor recreation will be shared by Dennis F. Ringling, a forestry professor at Pennsylvania College of Technology, during the Fall 2010 Madigan Library Forum.

The free, public forum, “Let Nature Nurture Your Health,” will be held from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, in the second-floor reading loft. Light refreshments will be served.

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