Got Nature? Blog

2020 HTIRC Annual Report Cover PhotoThe Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center (HTIRC) was conceived in 1998 to address a perceived void in hardwood tree improvement research in the Central Hardwood Forest Region (CHFR) and is committed to enhancing the productivity and quality of CHFR trees and forests for the economic and environmental benefits they provide. Scientists at the HTIRC are using conventional tree improvement breeding as well as molecular and genetic technologies to improve the wood quality, growth characteristics, and insect and disease resistance of trees like black walnut, black cherry, red and white oaks, butternut and American chestnut. Research in tree breeding, tree nursery practices, tree plantation establishment and management, and Central Hardwoods silvicultural systems is aimed at increasing the regeneration success rate for high-quality hardwood trees and forests.

In this 2020 HTIRC Annual Report you will find current research happenings that include:

  • Integrated Digital Forestry Initiative (IDIF) – advancements in digital technology have revolutionized society and daily life. Smartphones today put more computing power in our pockets than the computer onboard with the Apollo Mission. Yet studying and managing forest resources still primarily relies on antiquated, imprecise, and tedious tools like sticks and tape measures.
  • Understanding and Manipulating Plant-soil Feedbacks To Manage The Invasive Shrub Lonicera Maackii – the overall objective of this research project is to determine the role of pathogens and AM fungi in driving or inhibiting Lonicera invasion in hardwood forests.
  • Precise Quantification of Forest Disturbances with UAS (IDIF) – the main goal of this research is to address how UAS can be properly utilized as an inventory mechanism prior to and after planned disturbance events.
  • Developing of Micropropagation and Regeneration System for Black Walnut – project objectives included: establishing sterile cultures of selected cultivars of black walnut; shoot multiplication and growth of healthy shoots; rooting and establishing plants in vitro; and successful transfer to soil and acclimation to ex-vitro conditions, including establishment in greenhouse.
  • A New, Faster, Cheaper, and Easier Way to Measure HTIRC Plantations (IDIF)- to develop and demonstrate a portable device capable of real-time tree measurements of tree diameters at regular height intervals. Although the data processing of terrestrial stereoscopic photogrammetry is much faster than for the popular SfM photogrammetry, it cannot yet provide “real-time” output, which we consider essential.

You will also find the Operational Tree Improvement Report and highlights of outreach events. Contact Wes Schempf, wschempf@purdue.edu, for further details on how you can partner with  HTIRC.

Resources:
HTIRC 2020 Annual Report
Hardwood Tree Improvement & Regeneration Center (HTIRC)
Tropical Hardwood Tree Improvement & Regeneration Center (tropHTIRC)
Partners, Purdue Forestry & Natural Resources

Weston Schempf, Research & Communications Director
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

 


photo5 photo4 photo1

Have you taken an Indiana Master Naturalist course and want to learn more about engaging youth with nature? The Indiana Department of Natural Resources and Purdue Extension are partnering to offer seven separate trainings this summer to gain experience and the necessary tools to host their own Nature of Teaching Workshops to better engage youth with nature. This will include sessions on health and wellness, food waste, and wildlife engagement.
Cost: $10 (take-home kit included)

Registration: https://bit.ly/3vT9Cjh
Contact: Laurynn Thieme at ljthieme@purdue.edu

Sessions (Each workshop will be held from 1-5 PM ET/12-4 PM CT):
Friday, May 21 Purdue ExtensionLake County 2293 North Main Street Crown Point, IN 46307
Saturday, May 22 Environmental Resources Center- PFW 2101 E Coliseum Blvd. Fort Wayne, IN 46805
Tuesday, June 1 Purdue ExtensionHarrison County 247 Atwood Street Corydon, IN 47112
Wednesday, June 30 John S. Wright Forestry Center 1007 N 725 W, West Lafayette, IN 47906
Sunday, July 11 Munsee Woods 5701 S 475 E Selma, IN 47383
Friday, July 30 Karst Farm Park 2450 South Endwright Road Bloomington, IN 47403
Saturday, July 31 Mesker Park Zoo 1545 Mesker Park Drive Evansville, IN 47720

For more information, please view the The Nature of Teaching & Indiana Master Naturalist Training Flyer (pdf).

Resources
Purdue Nature of Teaching
Purdue Nature of Teaching YouTube channel
Transporting Food Waste, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Resourceful Animal Relationships, The Education Store
Benefits of Connecting with Nature, The Education Store

Laurynn Thieme, Extension Educator & Nature of Teaching Program Coordinator
Purdue Extension – Delaware County

Rod Williams, Professor of Wildlife Science
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


PurdueExt2020ImpactReportPurdue Extension: Purdue Extension is your educational partner for life. The 2020 Impact Report shows how Extension delivers practical, research-based information and events for Indiana’s residents in agriculture and natural resources, health and human sciences, and community development, and trains tomorrow’s leaders through Indiana 4-H Youth Development.

Check out the Purdue Extension-Forestry & Natural Resource highlights on the following programs and extension specialists:

  • Keeping our forests healthy, pg. 5. Program: Forest Management for the Private Woodland Owner taught by Ron Rathfon, Purdue Extension Forester at the Southern Indiana Purdue Agricultural Center. For the northern counties Lenny Farlee, sustaining hardwood extension specialist with Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources, teaches the Management for the Private Woodland Owner Course.
  • A comprehensive approach to community development, pg. 43. Program: Enhancing the Value of Public Spaces, Kara Salazar, program leader and extension specialist for sustainable communities, and Dan Walker, community planning extension specialist, both with Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources.
  • Actively managing natural resources, pg. 52. Programs in partnership with Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG): Tipping Point Planner, Conservation Through Community Leadership and Sustainable Communities, Kara Salazar, program leader and extension specialist for sustainable communities.

Resources
Woodland Stewardship for Landowners, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube channel
A Woodland Management Moment, FNR – Ext Playlist
Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment – Wildlife Responses to Timber Harvesting, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store
Community Planning, FNR -Ext Playlist
Enhancing the Value of Public Spaces: Creating Healthy Communities, The Education Store
Community Planning for Agriculture and Natural Resources: A Guide for Local Government, The Education Store
Tipping Point Planner, Website
Tipping Point Planner, The Education Store

Purdue Extension

Ron Rathfon, Regional Extension Forester
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Lenny Farlee, Sustaining Hardwood Extension Specialist
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Kara Salazar, Assistant Program Leader and Extension Specialist for Sustainable Communities
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Dan Walker, Community Planning Extension Specialist
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Posted on February 26th, 2021 in How To, Land Use, Natural Resource Planning, Plants | No Comments »

tpp_bannerThe Tipping Point Planner project, a joint effort by Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and Purdue Extension, has been selected as a 2020 recipient of the Purdue College of Agriculture’s TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) Award.

“The TPP program stands out because of its value and impact in assisting local communities in the Great Lakes Region,” Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources department chair Bob Wagner said in his nomination. “The program is unique in that it is composed of community activities dovetailed with a decision support system (DSS) that is based on user needs assessment. The TPP program has been in existence for nearly 10 years and has demonstrated outstanding innotpp1vation and impact. As an example, Esri recently showcased TPP as a model system that uses Esri technology to assist communities in important ways. This program highlights the success that both research and extension efforts can have when working closely together.”

The program was also recognized for its accomplishments in the Sustainable Use and Stewardship of Ocean and Coastal Resources segment of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 2019 Science Report, released in March.

The Tipping Point Planner was created to assist community leaders throughout the Great Lakes Basin in making long-term management decisions that affect environmental health of local resources and a community’s quality of life. The program, which includes a web-based decision support system, helps identify the status of watershed health by exploring land use, natural resources and environmental concerns, before determining the impacts of land-use decisions and management practices and, in turn, enables communities keep coastal ecosystems from reaching critical environmental limits, or tipping points, and becoming unstable.

tpp2In 2019, the Tipping Point Planner team worked with communities in Au Gres, Michigan; and Perrysburg, Ohio, to create action plans regarding conservation and ecological resource management. All told, more than 100 people in these areas utilized the Tipping Point Planner and collaborated in making the community decisions.

The science supporting TPP stems from multidisciplinary, collaborative work across several Big Ten universities and their associated Sea Grant and Extension offices. Lead researchers came from Purdue University, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, the University of Illinois-Chicago, the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory.

Team members secured more than $14 million in extramural funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Great Lakes Fishery Trust, EPA’s Science to Achieve Results Program, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), United States Geological Survey (USGS) Climate Change Program, Wege Foundation, and the Kellogg Foundation to enable the necessary data collection, modeling, survey work, and stakeholder interviews. The project also was funded as part of Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources’ (FNR) Signature Areas (2005-2011), which supported five FNR students working on various aspects of the project.

tpp3Dr. Bryan Pijanowski, professor of landscape and soundscape ecology; Kara Salazar, assistant program leader and extension specialist for sustainable communities; Lydia Utley, data analyst; and Daniel Walker, community planning extension specialist, are the project leaders for the Tipping Point Planner.

The project also includes representatives from Purdue Agricultural and Biological Engineering, NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory and the Michigan State University Hydrogeology Lab. Other collaborators include the Eureka Aquatic Research, LLC; Michigan State University Center for Water Sciences, Michigan State College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Michigan School for the Environment and Sustainability, the University of Albany College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the University of Minnesota Duluth Natural Resource Research Institute and the U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center.

The full Tipping Point Planner Team consists of:
NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory

  • Dr. Edward Rutherford – Research Fishery Biologist

Purdue University Human-Environment Modeling & Analysis Laboratory

  • Dr. Bryan Pijanowski – Professor
  • Dr. Kristen Bellisario – Post-Doctoral Research Associate
  • Dr. Kimberly Robinson – Former Graduate Student
  • NahNah Kim, JD – Former Graduate Student

Purdue University Agricultural & Biological Engineering

  • Dr. Bernard Engel – Professor and Department Head
  • Dr. Larry Theller – Research Associate (Retired)
  • Dr. Yaoze Liu – Postdoctoral Research Assistant
  • Dr. Jingqiu Chen – Postdoctoral Research Associate

Michigan State University Hydrogeology Lab

  • Dr. David Hyndman – Professor and Department Chair
  • Dr. Anthony Kendall – Research Assistant Professor
  • Dr. Sherry Martin – Research Associate
  • Emily Luscz – Former Graduate Student
  • Quercus Hamlin – Graduate Student
  • Luwen Wan – Graduate Student

Michigan State University Center for Water Sciences

  • Dr. R. Jan Stevenson – Professor and Co-Director of CWS

Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability

  • Dr. Mike Wiley – Professor (Retired)
  • Dr. Catherine Riseng – Professor

Eureka Aquatic Research LLC

  • Dr. Hongyan Zhang – Aquatic Ecologist

USGS Great Lakes Science Center

  • Dr. Yu-Chun Kao – Research Associate

University of Minnesota Duluth Natural Resource Research Institute

  • Dr. Lucinda Johnson –Associate Director for Water

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant

  • Dr. Brian Miller – Director (Retired) and Project Manager
  • Kara Salazar – Assistant Program Leader and Extension Specialist for Sustainable Communities
  • Dan Walker – Community Planning Extension Specialist
  • Lydia Utley – Data Analyst
  • Ben Wegleitner – Former Outreach Assistant

Resources
Tipping Point Planner
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Tipping Point Planner
With GIS, Communities See How Land-Use Changes May Affect Local Water Quality
Tipping Point Planner curriculum available from Purdue Extension Education Store
Tipping Point Planner Online course
Tipping Points: What are they? Why are they important?
Tipping Point Planner

Kara Salazar, Assistant Program Leader and Extension Specialist for Sustainable Communities
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Posted on February 22nd, 2021 in How To, Land Use, Plants, Woodlands | No Comments »

In this episode of FNR Ask the Expert, Purdue Extension wildlife specialist Jarred Brooke and Dr. Mike Saunders, associate Professor of Ecology and Natural Resources, talk about prescribed fire and how you can use this technique to manage your fields and woodlands.

If you have any questions regarding trees, forests, wildlife, wood products or other natural resource topics, feel free to contact us by using our Ask an Expert web page.

Resources
Ask An Expert, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube channel
Wildlife Habitat Hint: Prescribed Fire Techniques – Backing Fire, Purdue Extension – FNR Video
Wildlife Habitat Hint: Prescribed Fire Techniques – Flanking Fire, Purdue Extension – FNR Video
Wildlife Habitat Hint: Prescribed Fire Techniques – Strip Head Fire, Purdue Extension – FNR Video
Wildlife Habitat Hint: Prescribed Fire Techniques – Spot Fire, Purdue Extension – FNR Video
Wildlife Habitat Hint: Prescribed Fire Techniques – Ring Fire, Purdue Extension – FNR Video
Wildlife Habitat Hint: Late Growing Season Prescribed Fire, Video
Renovating Native Warm-Season Grass Stands for Wildlife: A Land Manager’s Guide, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Prescribed fire: 6 things to consider before you ignite, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
Indiana Prescribed Fire Council

Jarred Brooke, Wildlife Extension Specialist
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resource

Mike Saunders, Associate Professor of Ecology and Natural Resources
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Posted on February 2nd, 2021 in How To, Land Use, Safety, Wildlife, Woodlands | No Comments »

Browsing by deer on planted and naturally regenerated hardwood seedlings is one of the greatest obstacles to seedling establishment in many parts of the central hardwood region. In this Woodland Stewardship For Landowners, Purdue Wildlife Extension Specialist Brian MacGowan talks about different types of deer damage and how landowners could mitigate the damage.

If you have any questions regarding wildlife, trees, forest management, wood products, natural resource planning or other natural resource topics, feel free to contact us by using our Ask an Expert web page.

Resources
Woodland Stewardship For Landowners, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube Channel
Woodland Management Moment, Purdue Extension – FNR Playlist
A Woodland Management Moment – Deer Fencing, Purdue Extension – FNR Video
Wildlife Habitat Hint: Exclusion Cage, Purdue Extension – FNR Video
How to Build a Plastic Mesh Deer Exclusion Fence, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store
Finding help from a professional forester, Indiana Forestry & Woodland Owners Association

Brian MacGowan, Wildlife Extension Specialist & Extension Coordinator
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Join Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee and extension wildlife specialist Brian MacGowan with another new video added to the Ask an Expert YouTube Playlist. This episode of Ask an Expert covers everything from the change in fall foliage to invasive species identification and control, fall foods for humans and wildlife, habitat prep and management and planning ahead for spring plantings.

If you have any questions regarding trees, forest management, wildlife, wood products or other natural resource topics, feel free to contact us by using our Ask an Expert web page.

Resources
Ask An Expert, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) Youtube channel
A Woodland Management Moment, FNR Playlist
Woodland Stewardship for Landowners, FNR Playlist
Invasive Species, FNR Playlist
Fall Color Pigments, FNR Video
Wildlife Habitat Education Program – Teaching and Learning Wildlife Management Practices, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
What Nurseries Need to Know About the Invasive Species Regulation, The Education Store
Invasive plants: impact on environment and people, The Education Store

Lenny Farlee, Sustaining Hardwood Extension Specialist
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resource

Brian MacGowan, Extension Wildlife Specialist
Department of Forestry & Natural Resources, Purdue University


NOTAwardBannerCalling all teachers and parents: Do you need some new ideas on how to get students out in nature or teach them science lessons?

We’ve got you covered with our Nature of Teaching program. We’ve created more than 40 sneak peek videos that introduce you to our lesson plans, offering a quick way for teachers and other K-12 leaders to view the lessons as well as the related activities.

Many of the lesson plans meet state specifications for Next Generation Science Standards and/or Core Standards, while also offering informal curriculum items and fun activities for all K-12 leaders.

Sneak Peek Video Set Up on Web

The Nature of Teaching program offers three areas of formal and informal activity-based curricula centered around getting youth outside: wildlife, health and wellness, and food waste.

Sneak Peeks videos include topics ranging from producers, consumers and natural resources and food waste from farm to fork, to exploring nature with your senses and emotional vocabulary exploration, to trees of the Midwest and healthy water/happy home.

Subscribe to the Nature of Teaching YouTube Channel for more Wildlife, Food Waste, and Health and Wellness information.

Resources
Nature of Teaching Website
Nature of Teaching Youtube Channel
Nature of Teaching Program Receives Environmental Education Award, College of Agriculture, Purdue University
Resourceful Animal Relationships, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
The Nature of Teaching: Food Waste Solutions, The Education Store
Benefits of Connecting with Nature, The Education Store

Rod N Williams, Professor of Wildlife Science
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


NOTAwardBannerThe Nature of Teaching, a Purdue Extension signature program, was honored as the third place finisher in the central region for the Environmental Education Award presented by the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Science (NEAFCS).
The Environmental Education Award recognizes NEAFCS members for outstanding educational programs conducted for families and/or communities on various environmental issues/concerns.
The Nature of Teaching includes formal standards-base curricula and informal activity-based curricula centered around getting youth outside. The program curricula is focused on three areas: Wildlife, Health and Wellness, and Food Waste. Classroom ready lesson plans for grades kindergarten through 12 are available as are professional development workshops for teachers, focused on science, the environment and getting students connected with nature.
“I’m very happy to have the Nature of Teaching team recognized by our professional association as many team members are also members of the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences,” health and human sciences extension educator Kelsie Jo Muller said. “The Nature of Teaching team has developed over multiple years and added different discipline areas all working together. It’s great to see all of the hard work recognized.”

NOTTeamThe Nature of Teaching team includes:

  • Deb Arseneau, HHS Educator, Newton County
  • Jarred Brooke, extension wildlife specialist
  • Jay Christiansen, health and human sciences extension educator for Vigo County
  • Robert Cordes, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) wildlife special projects coordinator
  • Molly Hoag, health and human sciences extension educator for Wells County
  • Molly Hunt, health and human sciences extension educator for Delaware County
  • Rebecca Koetz, urban ag/home horticulture extension educator for Lake County
  • Tami Mosier, 4-H youth development extension educator
  • Kelsie Muller, health and human sciences extension educator for Benton County
  • Dr. Rod Williams, professor and extension wildlife specialist
  • Brad Zitscke, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) assistant regional wildlife biologist
All of the NEAFCS awards will be presented in September as part of the NEAFCS Virtual Annual Session.
Resources
Nature of Teaching
Nature of Teaching YouTube Channel
Transporting Food Waste, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Resourceful Animal Relationships, The Education Store
Benefits of Connecting with Nature, The Education Store

Nature of Teaching


Wildlife extension specialist Jarred Brooke explains why the shelterwood technique is one of his favorite ways to create food and cover in woodlands for wildlife. The benefits of creating this type of food source and cover increases a variety of wildlife species along with aiding the forest area with a healthy ground cover.

If you have any questions regarding wildlife, trees, forest management, wood products, natural resource planning or other natural resource topics, feel free to contact us by using our Ask an Expert web page.

Resources
Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment – Wildlife Responses to Timber Harvesting, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment – Sustaining Our Oak-Hickory Forests, The Education Store
Wildlife Habitat Hint, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resouces
Invasive Species, Playlist
A Woodland Management Moment, Playlist
Woodland Stewardship for Landowners, Playlist

Jarred Brooke, Wildlife Extension Specialist
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Got Nature?

Recent Posts

Archives