The ACES – Forestry, Wildlife, and Natural Resources, or FWNR, team participated in its annual In-Service Training in southern Alabama this August 1 – 4. The in-service gave the team opportunity to learn more about the university’s research, the state’s diverse species and ecosystems and to engage in field-training and planning exercises.
During the three-day trip, the FWNR Team, comprised of specialists, regional extension agents, county extension coordinators and staff toured the Auburn University Shellfish Lab, located on Dauphin Island with facility staff, Glen Chaplin and Rusty Grice, who provided an in-depth look at their oyster research.
The team also took an excursion through the Mobile-Tensaw Delta – known as the “American Amazon” and visited with the City of Mobile’s urban forester, Peter Toler, who discussed the challenges of urban forest management.
The team also learned about emerging practices and technologies for tree risk assessments with Extension specialist, Beau Brodbeck, and commercial arborist, Chris Francis, who demonstrated sonic tomography and resistance drilling techniques.
Wrapping up their training in Mobile, the team migrated north to the Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center, where they toured prescribed fire demonstration areas, pitcher plant bogs, sinkholes and freshwater springs. The team also learned more about the wildlife of the Conecuh National Forest during a field outing to search for the elusive Pine Barrens Frog and the Red-cockaded Woodpecker with the Center’s director, Joel Martin, and herpetologist Jimmy Stiles.
The final day was spent receiving training on forest measurement techniques and discussing needed programming and future in-service training with Becky Barlow, associate dean and assistant director of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Extension, and
Mark Smith, FWNR team coordinator.
(Written by Jamie Anderson)