Sustainable Solution Is Changing Lives

Tyson Huffman, a junior studying paper science and engineering at NC State UniversityForest Biomaterials  junior and former Marine Tyson Huffman in NC State University’s College of Natural Resources, is working in Rwanda with Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE).  The work he is doing is changing lives.

In the developing world, the absence of affordable sanitary pads is more than a health and hygiene issue — it’s an economic and educational problem, too.

The solution to that problem is a cheap, sustainable, locally sourced sanitary pad that could be a game-changer for Rwandan girls and women.

“This guy went over there and did what I don’t think any other faculty member or student could have done,” said Med Byrd, associate professor of paper science and engineering at NC State. “In the space of about three months, with no tools, he took them from two machines in the middle of a parking lot to a dedicated crew making fluff pulp.”

Read more and watch the video>>

Noted Quantitative Population Ecologist to Deliver Global Environmental Change Lecture at NC State

Dr. Barry BrookDr. Barry Brook, the Australian Research Council Future Fellow III, Sir Hubert Wilkins Chair of Climate Change, and Director of Climate Science for The Environment Institute at the University of Adelaide in South Australia will deliver the inaugural Global Environmental Change Lecture at NC State University -“Power to save nature? The role of nuclear energy and ‘techno-fixes’ in conserving climate and ecosystems.” 

The lecture will be held at the David Clark Labs on the NC State campus on April 8, 2014 from 4-5pm. (parking in the Dan Allen deck) and is open to the public.


Fossil fuels have supplied most of society’s energy demand for over two centuries. Yet, with the mounting problems of climate change, pollution, security and dwindling supplies, we now face the need for a near-total transformation of the world’s energy systems.

The talk will provide a critical overview of the challenges in—and potential solutions for—completely ‘decarbonzing’ our energy supplies, while also meeting the growing need for increased prosperity in the developing world.

It will be argued that of the options available, it is next-generation nuclear power and related technologies, based on modular systems with full fuel recycling and inherent safety, that offer the best chance of curing our fossil-fuel addiction.

Solving the ‘energy problem’ will not just help in mitigating climate change. It will also avoid destructive use of natural and agricultural landscapes for biofuels and diffuse energy generation, and allow societies to reduce their ‘footprint’ by sparing land and resources for biodiversity conservation

About Dr. Brook:

An innovative quantitative population ecologist, began his career studying how genetic variability affects the persistence of small populations.  Since then his efforts have proliferated in many directions, with novel applications of simulation and statistical modeling to understand synergistic impacts on the biosphere.   Read his blog>>

The NC State Global Environmental Change Lecture Series is organized by NC State College of Natural Resources professor L. Scott Mills and co-sponsored by the Southeast Climate Science Center.

Learn more about the NC State Global Change Forum>>


Dr. Brooks will also deliver  the weekly Forestry & Environmental Resources Seminar on April 7, 2014 from 3:30-4:30pm in Room 434 of Daniels Hall at NC State.
The topic is “Tipping Points and Metamodels: Forecasting and Abating Aggregate Human Impacts on Biodiversity”

Professor Seeks Help to Make “Woods from the Land of Lemurs” a Reality

Please support "Woods from the Land of Lemurs"
When a retired colleague asked Dr. Elisabeth Wheeler,  an NC State University professor emeritus in the Department of Forest Biomaterials, to add his collection of 1200 photomicrographs showing the wood anatomy of 400 Madagascar tree species to her InsideWood collection, she knew she had to find a way to get it done.

Dr. Wheeler's at the exhibit featuring ehr work in the visitor center at the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument in Colorado.

Dr. Wheeler’s work is featured in an exhibit in the visitor center at the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument in Colorado.

Why?  Once added to the InsideWood collection in the NC State Libraries, the micrographs will
– be an invaluable resource for archaeologists and paleontologists who are studying the environmental and cultural history of Madagascar – one of the world’s “biodiversity hotspots.”

– help with enforcing trade regulations that apply to Madagascar woods and hopefully contribute in some way to stopping illegal logging

–  provide data useful to understanding how the flora of Madagascar evolved and provide insight into the relationships between environment and wood anatomy.

Her goal: To conserve and make freely available digital versions of a unique decades old collection of photomicrographs of Madagascar woods.

Her Solution: Creative – Use Kickstarter, the world’s largest crowdfunding platform to raise the funds needed to pay a student for the hundreds of hours required to properly digitize the photos and upload them.

Interested In Helping Dr. Wheeler?     VisitWoods From the Land of Lemurs”

 Wood cells



CAMCORE Demonstrates the Role of Industry in Conservation of At-Risk Forest Species

Camcore seed collection

Camcore and its host members often collect seed in remote areas

“International extension agents”— that’s how CAMCORE director Bill Dvorak sometimes refers to the people who work for CAMCORE (the Central America and Mexico Coniferous Resources Cooperative), a nonprofit international tree-breeding organization headquartered at North Carolina State University (NCSU).

Although formally launched in 1980, Dvorak said the organization’s origins date back to the 1970s. “In the late 1970s there were some foresters from the United States—professor Bruce Zobel here at NCSU, and [Carl Gallegos] from International Paper company, and several other folks who went down to Guatemala and saw that many of the pine forests were being destroyed by woodcutters,” he said. “Forty percent of all the pine species in the world occur in Mexico and Central America, so it’s kind of a center of genetic diversity for the pines and, since Zobel had a lot of experience working with industrial cooperatives, and industrial, private sector members, he said, ‘Why can’t we form a industrial cooperative to conserve the genetic material of pines from Central America and Mexico in other, more protected, places?’”

This, generally speaking, is what CAMCORE does today. CAMCORE personnel travel to a threatened forest stand to collect the seed of a particular species. Some of the seeds may be put into longterm storage, while others are planted on members’ land in more protected areas in genetic field trials (or progeny tests) and conservation areas (referred to as “ex situ conservation banks”) in countries around the world with similar climates. Then the CAMCORE staff based at NCSU analyzes the data from the trials and produces annual summaries to help members decide what to grow in what location.

Read the complete article >>

An excerpt from The Forestry Source – January 2014, Vol. 19, No. 1
Article author – Joseph M. Smith, The Forestry Source Managing Editor,

Tropical Forest Foundation Elects Dr. Erin Sills to Its Board of Directors

Dr. Erin Sills

Dr. Erin Sills

Washington, D.C. (November 12, 2013) Dr. Erin Sills, professor and director of international programs, Department of Forestry & Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University, has been elected to the Tropical Forest Foundation (TFF) Board of Directors for a term that begins January 1, 2014. Sills joins a group of new directors that demonstrate TFF’s founding tradition to provide a forum for industry, conservation, and academia to join forces to encourage the adoption of sustainable forestry practices in the tropical regions of the world.

“Erin understands and is committed to TFF’s mission of conserving the tropical forests by maintaining their economic value. As we improve the skills and knowledge of local forest communities, she will provide valuable counsel and relationships that can advance our work,” said Bob Johnston, TFF executive director. “Each new member of the Board of Directors was carefully selected for his or her innovative thinking and ability to contribute to TFF’s ongoing efforts of encouraging sustainable forest management. We look forward to utilizing their experiences and ideas to further enhance the practices and programs currently in place.”

Currently a professor of forest economics at North Carolina State University, Sills is well known in the environmental economics community. She began her teaching career at NCSU in 1998 when she earned her Ph.D. in natural resources and environmental economics at Duke University. Sills’ work has been recognized and published in several industry journals and books, and she was awarded the Outstanding Global Engagement Award for her international efforts at NCSU.

Additional new Board of Directors include:

  • Kerry Cesareo, Managing Director, Forests, World Wildlife Fund
  • Sara Gutterman, Co-Founder and CEO, Green Builder Media
  • Kenneth MacDicken, Senior Forestry Officer/Team Leader, Global Forest Resources Assessment, Food & Agricultural Organization of the United Nations
  • Hank Menke, Jr., President and CEO, OFS Brands, Inc.
  • Lenny Shibley, President, Inter-Continental Hardwoods, LLC
  • Kevin Thieneman, President, Caterpillar Forest Products

About the Tropical Forest Foundation

The Tropical Forest Foundation (TFF) is an international, non-profit, educational institution committed to advancing environmental stewardship, economic prosperity, and social responsibility through sustainable forest management (SFM). TFF regional programs in Asia Pacific, Africa and South America have become synonymous with the promotion and training of Reduced Impact Logging (RIL). For 20 years, TFF has fostered dialogue and alliances among industry, government, and academia, as well as the research and conservation communities to improve tropical forest management around the world and increase the economic value of these forests for those who depend upon its bounty for their livelihood. To learn more about the Tropical Forest Foundation, visit