Sunday, April 29, 2007

Arboretum Ceremony

The Penn State Mont Alto Arboretum ceremony was held today to recognize memorial tree recipients and donors.

Forest Technology students, and some alumni now at University Park, led tours of the arboretum and guided donors to their tree.

Chancellor David Gnage starts the proceedings

Adam Ryan (right) shows alumnus George Siehl and his wife Nancy his giant sequioa memorial tree.

Darren Krebs and Matt Groves enjoyed the forestry alumni pig roast.
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Arbor Day Beauty

In honor of Arbor Day, here is a gallery of blooming trees on the Penn State Mont Alto campus. The blooms only last for a short time, which can be shortend by rain and wind. But it's great while it lasts.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Mont Alto Academic Fair

At yesterday's campus academic there were several forestry entries.
-- Cristie Shull, Deer census transects (1st place)
-- Mike McCormick, GIS map of the Mont Alto Arboretum (2nd place)
-- Cristie Shull and Derick Nye, Botanical drawings (Honorable Mention)
-- Angela Kellert, Forest soil suitability mapping of Franklin County
-- Mark Colwell, Timber harvest mapping on the Waynesboro Watershed
-- Rich Briggs, Prescribed burn planning and mapping on the Waynesboro Watershed
-- Matt Reitzel, Fir tree mapping and species identification on the Mont Alto Arboretum

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Tree Risk Assessment Workshop




Arborists from Bartlett Tree Experts led a tree risk assessment seminar at Mont Alto this past Wednesday, April 18. About twenty park managers from Pennsylvania DCNR and thirty forestry students attended. As part of the workshop trees around campus were evaluated for health and safety.
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Tree Removal at Mont Alto

Old trees may be our friends, especially on a college
campus. But when the trees are weakened by disease
and age they become a hazard to all. Here is an example
of a removal of two trees on the Penn State Mont Alto

Unlike a forest where the logger can fell a tree with a
chainsaw and yell "Timber!", an arborist needs to take
a tree apart branch by branch to prevent damage to
surrounding buildings and the landscape.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Woodsmen Team Victorious

Originally uploaded by P_Linehan.

The Penn State Mont Alto Woodsmen Team handily won the Mid-Atlantic meet held Saturday, April 14 at the Dabney S. Lancaster Community College in Clifton Forge, VA. against five other collegiate teams.

All fourteen competitors placed or ribboned in one or more events. Events included axe throw, archery, bolt split, pole climb, pole fell, chainsaw speed cut, and crosscut.

It was a cold and rainy day, but everyone had a great time. all the competitors showed great sportsmanship and no one was hurt. Thanks to the folds at Dabney S. Lancaster for hosting the event!

Bolt Split

Originally uploaded by P_Linehan.

Sara Merrill competes in the bolt split event.


Originally uploaded by P_Linehan.

Chris Peiffer and Glenn Werner on crosscut.

Stihl Timbesports Collegiate Competition

Tom Oliver competed as Mont Alto's representative to the Stihl Timbersports Collegiate Series competition at the Mid-Atlantic Woodsmen's meet at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College in Clifton Forge, VA. Tom came in second overall in a field of five.

Tom was interviewed for ESPN-U cable channel. They are planning a show on the collegiate competitions in July.

Congratulations, Tom!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Russia Challenges the U.S. Monopoly on Satellite Navigation
Published: April 4, 2007
Russia plans to launch eight navigation satellites to compete with the Global Positioning System operated by the U.S.

This New York Times article describes the Russian effort to complete its own GPS system, called GLONASS, by launching eight more satellites. This would make it operational over the Russian land mass and nearby countries. The network is seen as a competitor to the US system and an effort to bolster Russia's prestige. Many countries fear reliance on an American system in case of problems in international relations. The article says that the European system, Galileo, is stalled over fears of unprofitability. The Chinese are also planning a system.

Conceivably a GPS receiver that could use multiple systems would be more accurate. It could also work even when one system or the other was unavailable. Even at the best of times the US system may work intermittently, although it is much better now than previously.

It would be great if the countries working on GPS could develop a universal system. Since that seems unlikely, they should at least cooperate on standards to benefit all users.

For now the systems we have work well in the forest, but every improvement is welcome.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Forest Inventory in Florida

Penn State Mont Alto forest technology alumnus Chris McGarvey (06) sends in this picture of himself working on a forest inventory plot in Florida. Chris writes:
"I was working with our state QA guy (Jay Frost with the USFS) who took the picture. We were chaining out to one of the subplots on an FIA permanent plot in western Washington county in the Florida panhandle. Plot center was about maybe 75 feet from a creek (tributary to the Choctahatchee Rvr) which has overspilled its banks onto the immediate floodplain (not sure why since it has been very dry state-wide here). We got about waist-deep in pretty quick moving water (was a warm day but the water was a bit chilly - photo was taken in mid March). A cottonmouth was sunning him/herself on one of our tally was a bit remote (owned by the NW FLA water mgmt district) and required a mile or so hike to get to it. "
Thanks for the picture Chris. Be careful with the snakes!