Devine Receives CESU National Network Award

Dr Hugh Devine, NC State UniversityCongratulations to Dr. Hugh Devine who has been awarded the 2014 Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units (CESU) National Network Award. This prestigious award is presented biannually to recognize individuals who have contributed substantially to the development, implementation or accomplishments of the CESU Network.

Dr. Devine is an Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor in the Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management and the Associate Director of the Center for Geospatial Analytics in the NC State University College of Natural Resources.

The CESU Network is a national consortium of federal agencies, tribes, academic institutions, state and local governments, nongovernmental conservation organizations, and other partners working together to support informed public trust resource stewardship. The CESU Network includes 354 partners, including 14 federal agencies, in seventeen CESUs representing biogeographic regions encompassing all 50 states and U.S. territories.

Dr. Hess’s Teaching Award Spotlighted in Eastern Wake News

NC State University Chancellor Randy Woodson (left) congratulates Dr. George Hess on winning the Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching.

NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson (left) congratulates Dr. George Hess(right) on winning the Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching.

A focus on sustainability and hands-on activities for students are what Knightdale Land Use Review Board member George Hess considers some of the reasons he was chosen to receive North Carolina State University’s Board of Governor’s award at the university’s commencement exercises earlier this month.

When Hess isn’t making recommendations to Knightdale Town Council about land ordinances, he is a professor in the College of Natural Resources at N.C. State, a position he’s held since 1996.

Read the complete article in the Eastern Wake News>>

Opinion – Insurance Industry Behind The Curve In Addressing Wildfire Danger

Firefighters douse final hotspots at David and Sherri Roberts home that was destroyed by fire 24-hours earlier on a hilltop in Escondido (LA Times)

Firefighters douse final hotspots at David and Sherri Roberts home that was destroyed by fire 24-hours earlier on a hilltop in Escondido (LA Times)

Dr. Toddi Steelman, co-director of the Fire Chasers Project at North Carolina State University’s Department of Forestry & Environmental Resources and executive director of the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Saskatchewan, asserted in a Los Angeles Times Op-ed that while wildfires are inevitable, wildfire disasters are not; and that while we can’t control the natural world, we can control the built environment and the economic incentives that put us at risk.

Of great concern? That when it comes to wildfires, the insurance industry is behind the curve.

Read the complete article in the LA Times>>

Dr. George Hess Honored with NC State’s Top Teaching Award for 2014

On April 23, 2014 at 7:45pm,  NC State University will turn the campus belltower red in honor of Dr. George Hess.

George Hess and Barry Goldfarb

Department Head Barry Goldfarb (r) congratulates Dr. George Hess (l) on his award.

Hess, an Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor of Conservation and Ecology in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources is North Carolina State University’s recipient of the 2014 Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching.

About the Award
In 1993 the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina system reaffirmed that teaching is the primary responsibility of each of the 17 constituent institutions of the University. To underscore the importance of teaching and to encourage, identify, recognize, reward, and support good teaching within the University, the Board created annual systemwide teaching awards with monetary stipends which are designated “Board of Governors Awards for Excellence in Teaching.”

The College of Natural Resources is very proud that a member of our faculty has received this highly prestigious award.

About Dr. George Hess
Holding research and teaching positions at North Carolina State University since 1989, Dr. Hess joined the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources in 1996.

Studying conservation planning for wildlife in suburbanizing areas and broader issues of open space conservation, Dr. Hess’s research has evolved from a strictly science-based focus to a collaborative combination of science and policy inquiry. Self-described as “…an unrepentant addict, craving the controlled chaos of engaged learning,” Dr. Hess challenges students to independently solve problems on projects in a collaborative environment using technical, communication, critical thinking, and organizational skills. He works to combine his teaching, research, and service activities at the undergraduate and graduate levels, creating exciting learning opportunities for his students and himself alike.

Dr. Hess’s activities comprise three major themes and are integrated across teaching, research, and engagement: participation in the scholarship of teaching and learning that supports the active engagement of faculty and students with community partners to address regional conservation challenges; improvement of the breadth and quality of ecologically-based information available to land use planners; and development of approaches to incorporating scientific findings about conservation into local planning activities by engaging with community partners.

As a teacher, Dr. Hess focuses on finding and developing approaches such as inquiry-guided learning, service-learning, and collaborative research that engage students in topical problems with the organizations and people who are working to solve them. Using these techniques, students respond positively to authentic learning environments.

His students have provided written support of his successful teaching methods:

“Dr. Hess introduces a realistic model of problems and solutions….”

“His classroom is a forum of active thought where students think critically to solve qualitative and quantitative problems….”

“Everything is interactive, hands-on, and designed so that students leave with a level of understanding and confidence…. ”

“… his instruction methods removed the barriers between class work and ‘real-world’ work.”

Civically active, Dr. Hess has served on the Board of Directors for Triangle Land Conservancy, the Town of Knightdale’s Land Use Review Board, and several committees focusing on land use and planning issues.

Dr. Gary Blank, Director of Undergraduate Programs in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at North Carolina State University, writes in support of Dr. Hess’s outreach efforts, “Dr. Hess is instrumental in projects like WakeNature Preserve Partnership… he is the person who asserts the pedagogical perspective amid the sometimes too prevalent focus on just getting the ‘job’ done.”

Dr. Hess earned a BA in Biology from Columbia College (1978), a BS in Computer Science from Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science (1979), a MS in Computer Science from the Stevens Institute of Technology (1981) and a PhD in Biomathematics and Ecology from North Carolina State University (1994).
Visit Dr. Hess’s Website>>

Dr. Hess will be honored at NC State’s Spring commencement ceremony by a member of the Board of Governors, will receive a  $12,500 stipend and a bronze medallion, and lifetime bragging rights.

Congratulations on this well-deserved honor, Dr. Hess!

People First Tourism is subject of WCOM radio program

NC State tourism professsor Duarte Morais discusses the People Firest Tourism program on WCOM radio
NC State Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management professor Duarte Morais and two of People First Tourism’s micro-entrepreneurs were guests on WCOM-FM 103.5  (Chapel-Hill-Carboro Public Radio).

In the interview, broadcast on March 26, 2014, the guests discussed with host Lee Anne McClymont the evolution and impact of this innovative program.   P1T uses web to cell technology to empower entrepreneurs to shape their future and creates dignified and sustainable livelihoods Glocally.

Listen to the WCOM podcast>>   The interview starts at 2:44.

Learn more about People First Tourism   P1T Website>>   P1T Facebook>>