|College of Natural Resources
NC State University
Annual Report, 2009-2010
Changes in the Service Environment: The economic downturn has caused a continued depression in placement opportunities for many of our students, hampered our fund-raising efforts, and, through state and Foundation budget cuts, decreased our ability to deliver academic and Extension programs. Nonetheless, the mid- to long-term job prospects for our students remain strong, given the many upcoming retirements in private industry and government agencies. Our enrollment continues to grow with a 7% increase in 09-10 and an equal increase expected in 10-11. Our extramural grant support continues to increase, and new technology has allowed our Extension Specialists to reach larger audiences with less expense. We continue to be active in conservation of land and natural resources with the U.S. military and our relationships with Camp LeJeune offer the potential of significant income streams for the College in the next 3-10 years.
Compact Plan: No Compact Plan positions were filled this year. We continue to use our Compact and Strategic Plans when deciding how to fill positions that come open.
Diversity: College-wide, our total enrollment was 1,459 in Fall ’09, with 28% female students and 11.5% ethnic minorities. The undergraduate enrollment in Fall 2009 was 1,203 students, with 25% female students and 11.7% ethnic minorities. Our graduate enrollment was 256 with 46% females and 10.5% ethnic minorities. The percentage of ethnic minorities increased by about 2% in each category over the previous year, while the percentage of females stayed about the same. Our Community for Diversity (CFD) office, headed by Thomas Easley, has been particularly successful at retention, in that we lost only one minority student this year, and he simply transferred to another college at NC State. Our CFD office participates in multiple recruiting efforts, campus diversity programs, and teaching USC 110 classes. They developed a new Diversity Newsletter this year and hosted a visitation by undergraduates from Shaw University. Our EnvironMentors participant numbers increased from 20 to 25 and one won a $500 scholarship at the National EnvironMentor Science Fair. We are also engaged in a Memorandum of Agreement with Tuskegee University by which a student comes to CNR in their senior year. Our CFD submitted two proposals (pending) and assisted with 10 faculty-led proposals.
Instructional Program Advances: The college's service-learning offerings continue around the
Wake Nature Preserves Partnership project, which involves community partners along with
students and faculty in Forestry & Environmental Resources (FER) and in Parks, Recreation &
Tourism Management (PRTM). In addition, service learning assignments in Forest Biomaterials
Department (FB) were developed for Wood Products students in partnership with Habitat for
Humanity. Three new distance education masters programs have been approved in
Environmental Assessment (joint with Biology), Geospatial Information Science and
Technology (intercollegiate) and Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management.
Two new dual degree programs have been established with international partners through the support of Atlantis projects from the U.S. Department of Education: a dual master’s degree program in Forestry with universities in Sweden and Finland, and a dual bachelor’s degree program in Paper Science with universities in Finland and Germany. CNR faculty offered study abroad trips to New Zealand, Chili, Ghana, South Africa, Turkey, Namibia, and Nicaragua. A total of 55 students (28 CNR) participated in CNR sponsored trips, and 36 CNR students participated in individual study abroad experiences in 09-10.
CNR increased seating capacity in 2 laboratory classrooms to accommodate growing enrollments in Environmental Technology and Fisheries and Wildlife courses. Camtasia Relay classroom capture software has been placed in all CNR classrooms. Faculty have been experimenting with classroom response systems, collaborative student web development, the Moodle course management system, in-class use of IT with Netbooks, and the use of Elluminate Live for synchronous learning management. CNR has also invested in several areas for students to gather for individual and small group work outside of the classroom.
Research: The college received approximately $9.9 million in new sponsored awards during
the period June 1, 2009 to May 31, 2010. This was a 29% increase in new funds received over
the same period in the prior year. The total number of proposals submitted grew by 9% to 152,
with the proposed value increasing by 38% to $21.9 million. Of the $9.9 million in awards,
about 87% was for research, 9% for public service and extension, and 4% for training. The
sources of these funds were about 87% federal (about two-thirds of the federal funds from NSF
and USDA), 9% from state sources, and the remainder from NGOs and private sources. Also
during this period, CNR received an additional ca. $1.9 million in funding through our industrial co-op units.
CNR strategic funds were key to the award of an NSF funded “ULTRA” (Urban Long Term Ecological Research) planning grant with multiple regional partners, an EPA funded national needs discussion, and a federal Joint Fire Science project with University of Florida, among others. We’ve taken leadership roles in two NSF I/UCRC centers: the Center for Advanced Forestry Systems, which includes 7 universities and 80 agency and industry members, and the Center for Biomass Processing Research and Development, comprised of 4 universities and 20 agency and industry members. CNR’s research in the areas of sustainable woody biomass productivity and management, and wood conversion to bioenergy and co-products, place the college as a preeminent national leader in these fields, among others.
Extension: In 2009-10, CNR’s extension and outreach programs accomplished the following: supported 3 of North Carolina’s top industries – forestry, wood & paper products, and tourism; responded to thousands of requests for information and consultation from individuals, communities, state & local governments, and businesses; developed and delivered lifelong learning offerings, including distance education, certificate programs, webinars, workshops and short courses to more than 3,000 natural resource professionals; worked with over 100 county extension agents coordinating delivery of tourism programming; provided materials on natural resources to approximately 700 K-12 educators through a network of over 80 facilitators; delivered crucial leadership in biomaterials, energy, and the environment; provided research and guidance to more than 2,000 Christmas tree growers.
Faculty Awards: Aram Attarian, CNR Alumni Distinguished Undergrad. Professor Award Nominee; Mark Megalos, Academy of Outstanding Faculty Engaged in Extension; Jason Bocarro, CNR Outstanding Teacher, NCSU Outstanding Teacher Award and Member of NC State Academy of Outstanding Teachers; Robert Brown, Fellow of The Wildlife Society and Colo. State Univ. Ag. Sciences Honor Alumnus Award; Hou-min Chang, Watauga Medal and Univ. of Washington Pulp & Paper Fdn. Outstanding Alumni Award; Myron Floyd, Univ. of South Australia Distinguished Researcher Travel Award; Candace Goode-Vick, NCSU Faculty Advisor Award and NCSU Rep./Nat’l. Acad. Advising Assoc. Certificate of Merit; Kathy Gore, Cheerleading Campus Connections Faculty Honoree; Heidi Grappendorf, NCSU Equity Award and Natl. Assn. of Girls & Women in Sport Presidential Serv. Award; Karla Henderson, National Rec. and Park Assn.’s Excellence in Teaching Award; Martin Hubbe, Technical Assn. of Pulp and Paper Industries Fellow Award; Hasan Jameel, CNR Board of Governor's College Award for Excellence in Teaching; Robert Jetton, Roger F. Anderson Memorial Outstanding Grad Student Award; Janell Moretz, CNR Award for Excellence; Joseph Roise, APSAF Distinguished Serv. to Forestry Award; Erin Sills, NCSU Alumni Distinguished Grad.
Professor Nominee; Renee Strnad, Environmental Educators of NC Outstanding Service Award; Stacy Tomas, NC Assoc. of Coop. Exten. Special Specialist Award; Richard Venditti, Assoc. for the Concerns of African American Grad. Students Advocacy Award; Barry Goldfarb, Oregon State Univ. College of Forestry Outstanding Alumni Award.
Student Awards: Inductions into national honor societies: 42 Xi Sigma Pi, 10 Rho Phi Lamdba, 6 Phi Kappa Phi, 3 Phi Beta Kappa, and 16 Hofmann Forest Grad. Fellowships. CNR Honors Program Graduates: Preston Boyles and James Zuravly; University Honors Program Grads: Haoyu Jin, Peter McAnulty, Tara Lynn Mercurio; University Scholars Program Grad: Sarah Elizabeth Watts; Research Experience for Undergrads. Fellowship: Laura Johnson; Emerging Conservation Leader Award, Assn. for the Concerns of African Americans Grad. Students Research Award and Academic Excellence Award, Nyeema Harris; Environ. Educators of NC Outstanding Service Award, Shelby Gull Lai; 2009 Natl. Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship, Chris Wood; 2010 Thomas L. Quay Wildl. & Nat. Resources Undergrad. Experiential Learning Award, Asia Murphy; The Ken Wilson Memorial Award, M.C. Chitwood.
Fund Raising: Annual giving increased by $251,698 or 36.5% over the previous year and exceeded our goal. Nonetheless, 60% of our endowments are under water, and we were not able to give $311,000 in scholarships and fellowships this year. Some of our shortfalls were offset by cash contributions by endowment donors, the dean, and a number of faculty members. In addition, income from our Hofmann and other forests has declined by nearly 50%, and will remain at about $ 1.3 million for the next several years. Our Development Office has added two volunteers in addition to our 3 paid employees, and we are adding a paid office assistant position. New initiatives include PRTM’s “5 by 15” scholarship program, CNR’s “200,000 by 2020” land acquisition program, and Nature is Calling, our new development strategy. We are reorganizing in line with NCSU’s Advancement Office’s plan for the next Capital Campaign.
Administration: Dr. April James, Forest Hydrology, left to take a position in her native Canada; she will replaced by Dr. Ryan Emanual. Dr. Dick Lancia, Wildlife Biology, will complete his phased retirement this year, and will be replaced by Dr. Beth Gardner next January. Dr. Larry Gutske, Tourism, retired and is being replaced by Dr. Duarte Morais, an Assoc. Prof. from Penn State. Dr. Beth Wilson, PRTM, has completed her phased retirement and will not be replaced. Dr. Mike Kocurek, Paper Science and Engineering, is retiring and will not be replaced. Dr. Judy Peel, Sport Mgmt. NTT, retired and has been replaced by Dr. Kimberly Bush. Aparicio Clifton, our Technology Support Specialist, left to pursue an advanced degree at Duke; Dustin Duckwall, a recent ECU graduate was hired to take his place. Vonda Easterling, Director of Enrollment Management, left to work at NCCU; her position will be filled. JoAnne Urbanksi, Student Services Asst. in Academic Affairs, retired at the end of May; her position will be filled.
Concerns for the Future: Funding remains the primary concern. To date, although the forestry industry sector is particularly hard hit (being tied to construction), industrial support for our research programs has remained surprisingly strong as has our extramural grant support in all units. We are facing several years of reduced funding from our NC State Natural Resources Foundation, due to both a down economy and the fact that the Hofmann Forest managers did not plant new trees for a 5-6 year period about 25 years ago. Our enrollment continues to grow, especially at the undergraduate and master’s level. With fewer faculty, staff support, scholarship and fellowship support, and TA support for classes, we are concerned about the increased work load on those remaining and the quality of the curricula we deliver.
Examples of the University’s Five Focus Areas:
Producing leaders for the state, nation and the world:
According to the 03-06 Alumni Survey, CNR has the highest percentage of students doing internships (62.6%) at NC State. A total of 271 CNR undergraduates did either an internship or co-op this past year. We continued to grow our service-learning experiences for students, including revising our introductory course (NR 100, Introduction to Natural Resources). We continued to support study abroad experiences for our students, with multiple targeted study tours.
Creating educational innovation:
We implemented the Atlantis grant obtained last year from the US Dept. of Education to pursue dual master’s degrees with Michigan Tech University, the Swedish Agricultural University and the University of Helsinki. We developed three new distance education masters degrees. Stacy Tomas and Samantha Rich are using D.E. technology to train county field faculty in tourism and have co-developed and delivered the East Coast Agritourism Webinar Series.
Improving health and well being:
Investigating Places for Active Recreation in Community (IPARC) is a research initiative sponsored by PRTM. PRTM is a member of NC State’s Health and Well-Being University Advisory Board, the North Carolina Eat Smart, Move More research team and the Board of Directors of North Carolina Senior Games. Dave Tilotta manages our Resilient Home program, a partnership with DOE National Labs, academia and the Army Corp of Engineers to speed the return of residents to homes affected by natural disasters.
Fueling economic development:
CNR led efforts to model the availability of woody biomass for new energy and fuel facilities in NC and the region, provided services to companies and agencies looking for geographically explicit information about the availability of woody biomass and developed new equipment for harvesting, chipping and collection of material from small diameter, low-quality woody material. We also developed and delivered new extension programming for landowners on what emerging biomass markets mean for them. Drs. Joe Denig and Phil Mitchell with Wood Product Extension are engaging manufacturers, installers, and inspectors in improving the wood flooring industry, a $2.6 billion industry in the United States.
Driving innovation in energy and the environment:
CNR faculty established new plantations to optimize genetics and cropping systems for woody biomass crops. We are establishing criteria for assessing measurable criteria in ecological restoration projects. We showed how phytoremediation with trees can clean up brownfields. We began a program to explore methods of conservation around military bases, and collaborated with USFS scientists to monitor water and carbon fluxes in eastern NC. CNR faculty obtained a competitive USDA-AFRI grant to study the effects of residual biomass harvesting on wildlife habitat.