News about Forestry

Forestry Students Attend Association Meeting as Invited Guests

From left, students Riggle, Knable and Becker lend an ear.

DCNR Secretary Ferretti

Wiest and Metcalf

Five second-year forest technology students attended the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association annual meeting at Toftrees Resort and Conference Center in State College on Tuesday night. Joining Andrew Bartholomay, assistant professor of forest technology, as invited guests were Kenneth A. Riggle, of Blanchard; Seth K. Knable, of McVeytown; Alec K. Becker, of Port Matilda; Mark J. Wiest, of Montgomery; and Shelby K. Metcalf, of Benton. The group heard guest  speaker Ellen M. Ferretti, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, discuss the current and future health of the commonwealth’s forest industry.
Photos provided

Environmental Grant to Fund Wetlands/Trailhead Project at ESC

The state Department of Environmental Protection has awarded $2,996 to Pennsylvania College of Technology for revitalization of wetlands and related nature-trail work at the Schneebeli Earth Science Center near Allenwood.

The Environmental Education Grant will be used to continue planting a wetland meadow that was begun in Fall 2013 by students in Carl J. Bower Jr.’s Sustainable Landscape Procedures and Practices class.

“We have an area that drains very poorly, and we planted it with more than 1,000 native wetland perennials,” said Bower, a horticulture instructor in the college’s School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies. “We will continue planting wetland perennials in this area, which will lead to a set of steps into the woods.”

Those wooden steps – which are in poor condition and will be replaced with a more natural look – are at the head of the nature-trail system that winds through the ESC’s 400-plus-acre campus, where invasive plants will be removed and replaced with native species.

Read more

Two Awarded Peggy Madigan Memorial Leadership Scholarships

From left, state Sen. Gene Yaw, chairman of the Penn College Board of Directors; Peggy Madigan Memorial Leadership Scholarship recipients Caleb J. Maenza, of Sayre, and Jessica M. Stevens, of Milan; and Robb Dietrich, executive director of the Penn College Foundation.

Students from Sayre and Milan were presented with 2014-15 Peggy Madigan Memorial Leadership Scholarships on Thursday at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Caleb J. Maenza, of Sayre, a student at North Rome Christian School, will enroll in the pre-occupational therapy major this fall at Penn College.

Jessica M. Stevens, of Milan, a senior at Athens Area High School, will enroll in the forest technology major for Fall 2014.

The scholarship – named in memory of the late wife of former state Sen. Roger A. Madigan, who represented the 23rd District – may be used to help defray the costs of tuition, fees, books, tools and other required supplies. Applicants are required to write an essay describing the community service they have performed and the value that service has added to the community.

Read more

Industry Scholarship Awarded to Penn College Forestry Student

Heather E. Hinshaw, right, of Cogan Station, a Penn College forest technology major who recently received $1,000 from the Richard P. Lauchle Scholarship Fund, is congratulated by Lauchle’s widow, Eileen.

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

Heather E. Hinshaw, of Cogan Station, received the $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 recent annual membership dinner, held at The Watson Inn in Watsontown.

Read more

Forestry Students Share What They’ve Learned for Young ESC Audience

A boy signals his satisfaction at sitting aboard heavy equipment at the college's ESC.

Shane C. Somerville, of Centerville, who will graduate next month with a degree in forest technology, leads a sawmill tour.

An ESC visitor finds shelter from the storm on a piece of Caterpillar machinery.

Another soon-to-be graduate in forest technology, Nathan C. Pysher, of Bangor, explains the tools of the trade.

Scores of youngsters from the Montgomery Area School District braved April showers Tuesday for a field trip to Penn College’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center. Although the rain prompted consolidation and abbreviation of some of the planned activities, the young visitors, teachers and chaperones were treated to woodland-related presentations from undaunted forest technology students under the supervision of retiring Professor Dennis F. Ringling.
Photos by Pamela A. Mix, secretary to the ESC executive director and assistant dean of transportation and natural resources technologies

Alumni Help Contain Subarctic Wildfire

The call to battle fire in Alaska was the first out-of-state assignment for Samuel J. Raisch, ’10, a Tiadaghton State Forest specialist.

Angela M. Poleto, ’11, is among six Tiadaghton State Forest specialists – and two Penn College forest technology alumni – who helped contain the Stuart Creek 2 wildfire.

Firefighters work to tame the blaze on steep Alaskan terrain.

From the Spring 2014 One College Avenue magazine: Forest technology alumni Angela M. Poleto, ’11, and Samuel J. Raisch, ’10, take on a frontier firefight as they battle flames in the mountains of Alaska.

Forestry Grads Find Job Satisfaction in Great Outdoors

Forestry professor Dennis F. Ringling is joined by alumni – three who returned to the Schneebeli Earth Science Center on Friday and two who joined the Penn College faculty after graduation. From left are Paul M Reier, Class of 1977; Samuel J. Raisch, 2010; Damen R. Wheeland, 2000; Ringling; and 2001 graduates Eric C. Easton, forestry instructor; and Erich R. Doebler, forest technology laboratory assistant.

Alumni of the forest technology major returned to the classroom Friday to talk with Penn College students about postgraduate employment, the rewards and expectations of working in the field, and how their hands-on education gave them a leg up in the job market. Alumni Relations arranged the visit and forestry professor Dennis F. Ringling facilitated the discussion with Samuel J. Raisch, a 2010 graduate now working as technician in the Tiadaghton State Forest; Damen R. Wheeland, co-owner of Wheeland Lumber Co. Inc. in Liberty, who earned an associate degree in forest technology (2000) and a bachelor’s in technology management (2002); and Paul M. Reier, who turned a 1977 Williamsport Area Community College diploma into a 34-year career with the Virginia Department of Forestry.

Students Tour Pennsylvania WoodMobile During Campus Stop

The 34-foot trailer awaits visitors outside the Carl Building Technologies Center on Monday morning.

D. Wayne Bender talks with students about sustainability in forest management.

The exhibit includes an identification quiz about Pennsylvania hardwoods, with answers hidden beneath blocks fashioned from each of the species.

Robert E. Jacques shares some of the knowledge gained as an educator and cabinetmaker.

Students in two Sustainable Materials classes taught by Robert A. Wozniak, associate professor of architectural technology, were among those touring the Pennsylvania WoodMobile as it stopped on campus Monday morning. The walk-through trailer provided students with a hands-on feel for the prevalent hardwoods in the commonwealth, the presence of forest products in common household items and the threat posed to Penn’s Woods by invasive insects. Accompanying the well-traveled exhibit were the state Department of Agriculture’s D. Wayne Bender, a hardwood development specialist who also joined students in class, and Robert E. Jacques, a woodworker and adjunct faculty member at Harrisburg Area Community College. The WoodMobile – which has also been shared with forestry students at Penn College over the years – is jointly sponsored by the Pennsylvania Hardwoods Development Council, Deer Park Lumber and the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association.

Forest Technology Students to Benefit From Ringling Family’s Gift

Scholarship donors Dennis F. and Patricia A. Ringling, on one of the nature trails at the Schneebeli Earth Science Center.

Dennis F. and Patricia A. Ringling, a longtime forestry professor and his alumna spouse, plan to establish a scholarship at Pennsylvania College of Technology through a bequest.

“We’re extremely grateful for Dennis and Patricia’s thoughtfulness in establishing this scholarship and including the college in their wills,” said Robb Dietrich, executive director of the Penn College Foundation. “A planned gift is a great way to participate in the Penn College Scholarship Campaign while providing for the future of the college.”

Dennis, who was honored in 2010 with the Veronica M. Muzic Master Teacher Award, has been a faculty member since 1972. His wife, a 1991 graduate of Penn College’s occupational therapy assistant major, was employed for 10 years with the Children’s Development Center.

Read more

High School FFA Contestants Prepare for Nationals at Earth Science Center

Eric C. Easton demonstrates the use of a compass.

Erich R. Doebler discusses wood products in the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies' sawmill.

Students from Oley Valley, Athens Area and Wellsboro Area high schools – along with four FFA advisers – spent Tuesday at the Schneebeli Earth Science Center to get ready for competitions this fall in Massachusetts and Kentucky. Cliff Day, FFA facilitator for the Pennsylvania Department of Education, also participated as Penn College faculty and staff prepped the students. “These are some of the brightest high school students in the state in terms of their forestry knowledge, and it’s nice to be able to help polish their skills to prepare them for their national competition,” said horticulture instructor Carl J. Bower Jr., who also provided photos. Students worked with Bower, forestry instructor Eric C. Easton and forest technology laboratory assistant Erich R. Doebler to learn about topics such as tree disorders, compass use, wood products, tree measurements and identification, and timber-stand improvements to better prepare them for their contests.

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.

Read more

‘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

Pennsylvania College of Technology is a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University