Out of the Classroom and Into the Fire

At NC State University, our students Think And Do.  Nowhere is that more evident than at the College of Natural Resources’ Forestry Summer Camp during Fire Week.

Students in Forestry 265 participated in a controlled burn in G.W. Hill Demonstration Forest as a step towards becoming certified firefighters.

The operational burn was for instructional purposes and included 23 students and eight professionals from the State Forest Service, the Park Service and the Nature Conservancy.

Sustainable Forestry Teachers’ Academy Garnering High Praise

The Sustainable Forestry Teachers’ Academy is just wrapping up another year and it is already getting fantastic reviews from its students — the teachers.

The Academy is a four-day residential program that focuses on the social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainable forestry in North Carolina. This annual program is chock-full of learning experiences for the teachers who are prepared to return to their own classrooms with new knowledge and materials to share with their students.

In a recent North Carolina Forestry Association News Update, the Academy is described in this way:

Source: North Carolina Forestry Association, June 20, 2014, email News Update

“Just Fabulous”

Academy Leaders

Sustainable Forestry Teachers’ Academy Leaders Susan Moore (left), Renee Strnad, and Jennifer Grantham

That is what one teacher expressed to NCFA Executive Vice President Pryor Gibson at the conclusion of the tour of Parton Lumber Company.  The teacher stopped Gibson just before she boarded the bus that was bound for the group’s next stop.

“I want to thank you and the NCFA for this opportunity.  It is just fabulous. I have learned so much and everyone has just been so great at all of our visits.  And these three ladies are just awesome.”

The teacher was referring to Susan Moore, Renee Strnad and Jennifer Grantham of N.C. State University Extension Forestry who organize and guide the Academies.

Needless to say, the Sustainable Teachers’ Academy had another successful week of educating teachers on forestry and the forest products industry in Asheville this past week.  In addition tours of facilities, the teachers participated in workshops and PLT programs.

The coastal version of this program runs next week in New Bern.

Teachers learn about the Longleaf pine ecosystem at the Croatan National Forest

Teachers learn about the Longleaf pine ecosystem at the Croatan National Forest

These residential programs designed for teachers feature visits to several forest products facilities in the Asheville (mountain) and New Bern (coastal) areas in addition to workshops and visits to educational forests.

The NCFA appreciates its membership hosting the teachers at their facilities in what has become an extremely popular program with teachers.



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>>

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!

Program Pilots New Path to Forestry & Environmental Resources Degrees

The Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources(FER) at North Carolina State University is excited to launch a new pilot program, CONNECT, beginning the summer of 2014.  For a select group of students who do not receive admission offers for the freshman class in fall 2014, the CONNECT program offers an alternate path to becoming a student in one of the degree programs within the department.  The degree programs include: Forest Management, Natural Resources (Ecosystem Assessment or Policy & Administration), Environmental Technology & Management, and Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology.

Block of 4 photos of students in forestry & environmental resources degree programs at NC State UniversityCONNECT begins during the summer by offering these students the opportunity to explore life as a student at NC State.  Once accepted into the Connect program, the students live on campus and take two courses during Summer Session II.  This offers students the chance to learn about a variety of on-campus resources, meet faculty and students, and participate in hands-on field experiences.

At the end of the summer, these students then spend the subsequent fall and spring semesters attending the 2 or 4-year institution of their choice while receiving academic advising from the FER undergraduate program coordinator, Christi Standley.  The students will then return to NC State the next summer to take additional courses.

Students who earn an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher will be offered guaranteed admission into the degree programs in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources without reapplying to NC State University.  If a student does not earn an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher, they can apply as a transfer student.

Through the CONNECT program, students can effectively use their time and money in their first year of studies and be well prepared to enter our programs as a sophomore.  The goal is to ensure that these students have accurate information about courses to take so they are eligible to transfer to NC State and be on track with credits that will count toward their specific major of interest within the department.

The FER department is excited to offer this alternate path to students who show strong qualities on their applications, so these students will be able to demonstrate their dedication and academic success, access these challenging degree programs, and achieve exciting natural resources careers.

Learn More About Connect>>

Watch a Video About Our Majors>>