E-news for alumni, students, and friends of the department
August 2020
The Fall Semester at T.P. Cooper
As many may be aware, UK is in the process of reopening August 17 with a mix of in person lectures, on-line, and hybrid courses. Sounds simple, in practice not so much.

The Department has been extremely proactive in getting ready for the unprecedented fall semester. UK significantly reduced our classroom capacities. Our main classroom (113), now seats only 21. Rather than keep students from not being able to register for needed classes like dendrology, measurements, silviculture, we developed an overflow classroom, where students can go in the building to participate in the simulcast lectures. Which means we will be live streaming many of our classes. We have also put up sneeze shields at the lecterns and have bought high quality lapel microphones and remote speakers so that students can hear instructors that have to be behind the sneeze shield or are wearing masks. All students and staff must wear masks in shared spaces in the building. The whole thing is one giant mess, and hopefully we can stay functional until Thanksgiving, which is now the end of the semester. 

Because students are not allowed to “congregate” in the building, we have to shut down the student lounge and other student resources in T.P. Cooper. To overcome this, we are erecting two student tents with chairs in the front lawn to provide a place for them to hang out between classes (while still maintaining social distance and wearing a mask!).

Unfortunately, we had to cancel our annual fall picnic this year. However, we hope to have it again next fall.

Jeff Stringer, Chair
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources 
Forestry Students at Work This Summer
This summer our students worked across the U.S. to gain hands-on experience in forestry and related fields. These summer jobs provide valuable experience and help prepare our students to be successful forestry professionals. Below are just a few examples from our students describing their summer work.

If you have jobs available for next summer that you would like to share with our students, contact Laura Lhotka (laura.lhotka@uky.edu). She can share the job opportunities with our students and post the information to our online job board.
Megan Robertson - Trails Crew Member with the Dakota Prairie Grasslands - McKenzie Ranger District in Dickinson, ND

During this summer I’ve worked on a trails crew in Dickinson, North Dakota mainly focusing on maintaining the Maah Daah Hey Trail. On the trail, I’ve installed water bars, rerouted around sinkholes, and mowed the southern 25 miles of the trail so far. Off of the Maah Daah Hey, I’ve gotten to sweep for beetles to reduce leafy spurge, fix up some campground fences, and travel with the crew to the Sheyenne National Grassland where we helped the Lisbon office maintain their section of the North Country Trail.
Michael Rich - Intern with the Kentucky Division of Forestry in Frankfort, KY

I've been working with service foresters to assess private woodlands and offer suggestions to landowners on ways to improve their timber stands. This includes noting invasive species, obtaining data on stand composition and age, and marking trees for timber stand improvement. I have also worked with rangers who enforce best management practices on logging jobs, and have assisted with the Forest Inventory and Analysis Program that measures over 3,000 designated plots throughout Kentucky to provide information about changes in forestry cover in the state.
Kayla Marshall - Biological Sciences Technician with the Kaibab National Forest in Fredonia, AZ

This summer I’m assisting the wildlife biologists in surveying different species of birds. I help with the maintenance of constructed waters for wildlife as well as building buck and rail/barbed wire fences to keep cattle out of naturally occurring and constructed waters. I collect data on burn severity from areas of the forest that have been critically impacted by wildland fire. I also have assisted in a LIDAR project by collecting data on the ground. (DBH, crown width, crown class, tree height, basal area)
Daniel Root - Forest Health Intern with the UK Dept. of Forestry and Natural Resources in Lexington, KY

I assisted with multiple projects with Dr. Crocker and the UK Extension Forest Health Team. I worked with Megan Buland to locate and collect American chestnut leaf samples to be used by The American Chestnut Foundation. The majority of the time I was partnered with Alexandra Blevins from the Kentucky Division of Forestry. I assisted her on multiple landowner site visits throughout Kentucky. I also traveled to western Kentucky with her to conduct surveys of sassafras decline and to assist in the change out of multiple traps there to catch the redbay ambrosia beetle. I also conducted lingering ash surveys along Bluegrass Parkway and many other locations. I collected many samples that were transferred to the Plant Diagnostic Lab for identification.
Jacob Fogle - Recreation Natural Resource Specialist with the Coronado National Forest - Nogales Ranger District in Nogales, AZ

I worked directly under the Recreation Staff Officer for the Nogales Ranger District. I conducted trail condition surveys and wilderness performance measures in accordance with the Coronado annual forest management plan. I worked under the supervision of the recreation technicians to maintain the recreation areas in Madera Canyon and Pena Blanca Lake by enforcing the fire ban and fee area compliance. I also worked to build relationships with volunteer groups that help maintain the area like the Friends of Madera Canyon and the Green Valley Hiking Club.
Graduate Student Highlight - Sarah Tomke

Sarah Tomke is a second year Ph.D. student from Sussex, Wisconsin working with Dr. Steve Price. Sarah did her undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, double majoring in Genetics and Wildlife Ecology. She then completed her master's degree at Arkansas Tech University in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences. Sarah's graduate work is focused on monitoring the current distribution and population health of Eastern Hellbenders in Kentucky by using Environmental DNA and traditional sampling methods. She is the current president of the Forestry and Natural Resource Graduate Student Association. As a professional, Sarah would like to continue working in academia focusing on conservation genetics research and teaching in Wildlife Sciences.
Upcoming Events:
2020 Alumni-Student Fall Picnic has been canceled for fall 2020. 
Forestry & Natural Resources | University of Kentucky | 859-257-7596 | forestry.ca.uky.edu