Friday, August 31, 2007

Forestry Students Enjoy Keystone Chapter SAF Steak Fry

Eleven forestry students joined the members of the Society of American Foresters PA Keystone Chapter for a steak fry and meeting at the Glatco Lodge in Hanover yesterday evening.

Retired Mont Alto professor Ken Swisher (right) watches his steak.

Mark Brown and Andrew Baker


Tiffany Roddy, Chance Yeackley, Loggan Droppa, and Craig Houghton


Chairman Mike Kusko. The business portion of the evening was to discuss plans for the upcoming Allegheny SAF regional meeting in February.

Logan Droppa and all the students introduce themselves to the group.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Greek Wildfire Catastrophe

The news all weekend has been full of the Greek wildfire story. Even the site of the birth of the Olympic games is threatened. Both the New York Times and The Washington Post have carried a story by John F. L. Ross with this quote:

Forest fires are common during Greece's hot, dry summers _ but nothing has approached the scale of the last three days. Arson is often suspected, mostly to clear land for development. No construction is allowed in Greece in areas designated as forest land, and fires are sometimes set to circumvent the law.

It shows that even in forest ecosystems prone to fire, their number and severity are strongly influenced by social considerations. The politics and economics of land ownership count a lot. This has been true every place I have worked, from Pennsylvania to Burkina Faso. The toll of human suffering from these fires is unimaginable. I hope they are put under control soon.

Here is a link to a photoset from a Greek photographer on Flickr.
Here is a link to the NASA image shown here.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Class of 2009

Originally uploaded by P_Linehan.

The new forest technology students at Penn State Mont Alto gathered for new student orientation today. Even though the heat was intense, everyone stayed awake for the whole session! They can't wait to start field labs with hard hats next week!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Forestry Technology Instructors Meeting

Originally uploaded by P_Linehan.

Forest technology is constantly evolving. Every year instructors gather for CEFTS (Council of Eastern Forest Technician Schools) meetings. We share teaching ideas and discuss issues such as new student recruitment, student retention, and accreditation. This year's meeting was held in Fort Kent, Me and sponsored by the University of Maine at Fort Kent. Everyone looks forward to the field visits and technical sessions. Among these were: the uses of GIS and GPS in timber harvesting, muskellenge fish migration on the Fish River, intensive silviculture in the spruce forests on Irving Co. forests, state forest lands management to protect wildlife habitat, and use conflicts along the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. We also visited the Tenth Mountain Ski Center, a world class biathlon facility. Check out the meeting highlights page here.

The photo shows the group at the Moose Point Camps near Portage.