Fernández-Giménez Wins Distinguished Service Award and SOGES Resident Fellowship

Professor María Fernández-Giménez has been selected as a School of Global Environmental Sustainability Resident Fellow (‘15) and has won Colorado State University’s Distinguished Service Award for her work to internationalize CSU.
 
The Distinguished Service Award, given by the Office of International Programs, recognizes Fernández-Giménez’s work both internationally and at CSU’s main campus mentoring international students and creating a welcoming atmosphere at the Warner College of Natural Resources for visiting scholars and international students.
 
“Maria has been actively engaged internationally for over 20 years now, primarily in Mongolia, and CSU reaps the benefits of her experience on so many levels,” said Jim Cooney, Vice Provost for International Affairs. “Her efforts have not only forged strong research links between CSU and our Mongolian partners, but also developed numerous Education Abroad opportunities for CSU students and Mongolian students wanting to study and conduct research in the U.S.”
 
Fernández-Giménez’s work in Mongolia focuses on herder communities’ relationships with rangelands. In 2014, the Mongolian government recognized her with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry’s highest honor, when she was named the “Honorable Champion of Agriculture and Food Industry of Mongolia,” a distinction few foreigners have received.
 
This work has strong linkages to her domestic research program on rangelands on Colorado’s Western Slope, the Learning from the Land Program.
 
Fernández-Giménez has also been the Chair of the WCNR International Affairs Committee since 2012, helping to track and promote the College’s international activities, expose US students to international experiences, and ensure that visiting international students and scholars are warmly welcomed to the WCNR community and get the most out of their time at CSU. 
 
“Natural resources challenges are planetary challenges,” Fernández-Giménez said. “We need to be sure that our research and education transcends boundaries so that we are working globally to address issues and find solutions to environmental challenges around the world.”
 
Fernández-Giménez is expanding her research through a recently awarded SOGES Resident Fellowship. She intends to explore how art and ecology intersect by using poetry to analyze her interviews with herders from rangelands around the world.  
 
Through this innovative approach she hopes to reveal new dimensions of herdsmen’s traditional ecological knowledge and improve understanding of the relationships between pastoral cultures and landscapes as they undergo social and environmental changes.
 
Fernández-Giménez has created a set of poems based on an interview with one herdsman from the Spanish Pyrenees, and gained additional insights into his  place in this mountain landscape. “It was completely revealing to me. I gained a depth of understanding that I didn’t have previously about this individual and the place he knows so well.” These connections are personal for Fernández-Giménez, whose father was from Spain and also a poet.
 
Fernández-Giménez has shared this first set of poems in several classes, seminars and a research conference to test their value as a means of analyzing qualitative data and communicating research results.
 
She plans to use her fellowship to continue creating poems from her interviews with ranchers and pastoralists in Colorado, Spain and Mongolia; create a network of researchers using poetry, music and art  to advance their research; and bring international scholars with similar interests to campus. 
 
 
 

SAF Convention Highlights

Warner College of Natural Resources faculty, staff and students proudly represented CSU at the joint International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) World Congress and Society of American Foresters (SAF) National Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah in October.

The IUFRO World Congress takes place once every 5 years and has not been hosted in the United States since 1971. The joint convention provided a great opportunity for the College to gain knowledge on industry issues, share research, and network with thousands of forestry scientists and professionals from around the world. Here are some of the highlights:

SAF Alpha Student Chapter Named Best in the Nation
 
The SAF Alpha Student Chapter won the award for Outstanding Student Chapter of SAF for its exceptional club engagement and outreach efforts and its dedication to upholding the traditions of land stewardship and natural resource management. 

“CSU SAF has many incredibly involved members who dedicate countless hours to fundraising, whether it’s our local firewood fundraiser or our sustainable harvested Christmas tree sale,” said Ryan Davy, the past CSU SAF chapter chair. “Being able to keep this momentum and participation up throughout the semester speaks volumes about our officers and members and their dedication to enriching our community.”

The CSU chapter was the first Society of American Foresters student chapter established in the nation and now has 22 members. Members of the chapter also presented at the convention on topics ranging from the human side of ecological restoration, to understanding historical forest structure. 

Read more about the club’s award win here: http://col.st/L3URi

Students on Pathways to Success
Also a highlight of the SAF convention, five students in CSU’s Forest and Rangeland Stewardship Department were awarded positions in the U.S. Forest Service Pathways Student Hiring Program. Over 1,000 students from around the world attended the convention, 59 students were interviewed, and 26 were hired as Pathways Interns in forest management and natural resources management trainee positions.

Congratulations to Zach Wehr, Katelynn Martinez, Tyrell Mares, Brian Sugg, and Austin Lunn-Rhue who all secured pathway positions!  

Tyrell Mares is a sophomore forestry major with a concentration in forest management and a minor in rangeland ecology.  He earned a Pathways position as a natural resource specialist with USFS Region 3 Regional Office inAlbuquerque, New Mexico.

Katelynn Martinez is a senior forestry major specializing in forest management. She earned a USFS Pathways Position as a timber stand improvement technician at Boise National Forest in Idaho.

Austin Lunn-Rhue is a forestry major concentrating in forest business and planning to graduate in May 2015. He secured a USFS Pathways position as a planning forester in Libby, Montana.

Brian Sugg is a sophomore forestry major with concentrations in forest fire science and forest management and a minor in spatial information management. He secured a position as a sale administration forester with the USFS Washington Office Forest Management unit detached office in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Zach Wehr is a forestry major with a focus on forestry business with an expected graduation date of May 2015. He was selected for a biometrician position with the USFS detached Washington Office in Fort Collins, Colorado.

“Thanks to Jamie Dahl and our Colorado – Wyoming SAF State Society Mentors who prepared students for the interview process, and to our faculty who do such a great job in teaching our students!”  said Department Head Skip Smith. “Our program is clearly a top school in the country for student competitiveness in the job market.”

Faculty Presentations
CSU’s Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship faculty, research associates and graduate students were also well represented at the scientific and technical session of IOUFRO and SAF with several presentations highlighting their research.
  • “Achieving ‘Groupy-Clumpy’ In Restoration Projects: Innovative Silviculture And Monitoring In The Front Range Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Project”
  • “Wildland Fire Risk Assessment For Structures: A National Park Service Case Study”
  • “Effects Of Canopy Cover And Browsing Damage On Aspen Regeneration Following MPB-Caused Lodgepole Pine Mortality Across North-Central Colorado, USA”
  • “The First Four Years Of A Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Project On Colorado’s Front Range: Successes And Lessons Learned”
Faculty and staff members representing CSU included John Hayes, Skip Smith, Tony Cheng, Jamie Dahl, Seth Ex, Kurt Mackes, Kristen Pelz, Doug Rideout, and Courtney Schultz.

Alumni Reunion
The Forest and Rangeland Stewardship Department enjoyed connecting with more than 100 alumni and friends who attended the CSU alumni reception at SAF. The reunion was kicked off with a welcome from Dean John Hayes and Department Head Skip Smith. Thank you to everyone who came and we look forward to seeing more alumni at the next convention. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Best In The Nation - CSU Society Of American Foresters Alpha Student Chapter Wins Award

FORT COLLINS - Colorado State University’s Society of American Foresters Alpha Student Chapter has been selected by the national Society of American Foresters organization as the winner of the Outstanding Student Chapter Award for 2013-2014. The SAF will formally present the national award to the student club during the 2014 SAF National Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah this October.

The CSU SAF Alpha Student Chapter won the award for its outstanding club engagement and outreach efforts and its dedication to upholding the traditions of land stewardship and natural resource management.  CSU SAF was the first Society of American Foresters student chapter established in the nation and currently has 21 members.

As part of the Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship in CSU’s Warner College of Natural Resources , CSU SAF hosts events and fundraisers throughout the year to engage the community, raise awareness about forestry and natural resource management, and build education and career opportunities for CSU students. In addition to academic seminars, the student club hosts annual Christmas tree sales, firewood fundraisers, tree pruning workshops, and plantings.

“CSU SAF has many incredibly involved members who dedicate countless hours to fundraising, whether it’s our local firewood fundraiser or our sustainable harvested Christmas tree sale,” said Ryan Davy, the past CSU SAF chapter chair. “Being able to keep this momentum and participation up throughout the semester speaks volumes about our officers and members and their dedication to enriching our community.”

Davy graduated from CSU with a degree in forest management in 2013 and is currently pursuing his M.S. in forest science.

CSU SAF also partners with other natural resource organizations and collaborates on events, such as Natural Resource Days, CSU’s Tree Campus USA and Arbor Day Foundation tree planting, the Colorado State Forest Service’s Forestry Fair, and Collaborative Colorado. Members also assist with forestry related projects on university lands, such as CSU’s mountain campus at Pingree Park.

“CSU SAF provides an opportunity for students to gain hands-on forestry experience, make an impact on the community, and promote the advancement of the forestry field at both the local and national level,” said Jamie Dahl, Colorado State Forest Service education and outreach specialist and CSU SAF faculty advisor. 

Davy led the effort to compile the winning application and was part of a group of students who represented CSU SAF at the 2013 Society of American Foresters National Convention in North Charleston, SC.

 “Having the opportunity to interact with professionals is extremely beneficial and helps bridge the gap between what we learn in a classroom and how to apply those skills in the working world,” remarked Davy.  “Being involved with SAF has helped me build personal and professional connections that will last a lifetime, and have already benefited me in countless ways.”

For more information about CSU’s Society of American Foresters Alpha Student Chapter, visit http://warnercnr.colostate.edu/saf-asc-home