News about Forestry

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.

‘Natural’ Habitat Flourishes at Children’s Learning Center

Tepee begins to take shape Poles are tied together Grapevine-shrouded tepee offers shadeAdding to the natural area outside the Children’s Learning Center, members of the Horticulture Club recently built a tepee to provide shade for children at play. Instructor and club adviser Carl J. Bower Jr. said plans are to grow vines on it to create more of a garden getaway, in line with the center’s desire to connect children to natural objects and materials comparably more wood, stone, sand, grass and plants than manufactured playground equipment. The tepee was created from sweet birch and grapevine that was cut by forest technology students in Penn College’s School of Natural Resources Management. Students in instructor Jack E. Fisher’s Forest Products class also cut a water trough (a hollowed-out log that is meant to catch rainwater for sandbox play) and a balance beam for the children. This isn’t the first time that horticulture students have been a part of the construction of the garden. The students in Bower’s Landscape Operation class laid sod and planted shrubs and trees in the fall, while students in Michael A. Dincher’s Landscape Construction class are building a paver patio and chime fence in the garden. Arboriculture students of Dincher, an assistant professor of horticulture, cabled and braced one of the large oak trees in the area to make it safer. Photos by Carl J. Bower Jr.

Secondary Students Visit ESC, Compete in ‘Forestry Field Day’

Students return from the Forest Mensuration competition Faculty member Eric C. Easton points out a red oak, as part of the Dendrology competition Instructor Jack E. Fisher greets students and outlines the day's events Students compete in the Lumber and Log Scaling category Lab assistant Erich R. Doebler (off camera) points out to interested students a harkberry logForestry Field Day was held Monday at the Schneebeli Earth Science Center near Allenwood, giving 15 students from three schools the opportunity to see the nature-trail system, log yard and sawmill. The students representing Wellsboro and Bald Eagle high schools and West Branch Christian Academy also competed in Dendrology, Forest Mensuration, a Forestry Quiz Bowl, and Lumber and Log Scaling. Ribbons were awarded to top-scoring students, and the overall winning school will receive recognition for its outstanding forestry knowledge. “It was a good day for the students,” said forestry instructor Jack E. Fisher, who spearheaded the event. “They had fun, enjoyed the campus and, hopefully, they will remember being here and experiencing all we have to offer at the Earth Science campus.” All of the School of Natural Resources Management’s other forest technology faculty were involved: Dennis F. Ringling, professor; Andrew Bartholomay, assistant professor; and Eric C. Easton, instructor, as well as Erich R. Doebler, lab assistant. Forest technology students Dustin S. Beane, of Kane,and Kyle M. Troutman, of Jonestown, assisted with the day’s activities.
Photos by Carol A. Lugg, coordinator of matriculation and retention, School of Natural Resources Management

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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