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Leah Rathbun

Asst Professor

Jordan Hall 3123


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Date: 08/20/21 - 6/30/24
Amount: $70,000.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service

This study directly addresses Forest Restoration and, more specifically, shortleaf pine restoration in support of the Shortleaf Pine Initiative; a priority research topic identified by both SRS and R8. This study will continue to build upon and refine our knowledge related to the ecology and management of southern yellow pine communities across the South. This study takes advantage of the widespread distribution of shortleaf pine across the EFR Network and builds upon current EFR-related projects specific to shortleaf pine, including a study assessing current and future shortleaf pine habitat and population trends and a study examining the genetic diversity/hybridization of shortleaf pine. The primary goal associated with this study is to improve our understanding of the ecology and management of shortleaf pine and, more broadly, southern yellow pine ecosystems across the southern region. Specific objectives include: 1) Quantify the shortleaf pine/southern yellow pine resource on key experimental forests within the eastern SRS’s EFR network using LiDAR and field data/NAIP imagery. 2) Quantify the spatial arrangement of the existing shortleaf/southern yellow pine overstory and understory within the selected EFRs. 3) Identify environmental factors influencing the spatial distribution of shortleaf/southern yellow pine (overstory and understory) within and among selected EFRs. Factors may include edaphic conditions, disturbance history, distance to seed sources, and various topographic variables (slope, aspect, solar radiation load, etc.).

Date: 03/12/21 - 3/11/22
Amount: $1,300.00
Funding Agencies: Society of American Foresters

Over the last year university classrooms have made a shift from in person to online teaching. This has been especially challenging for disciplines that normally use a hands-on approach to teaching, such as forestry. Those teaching forest measurements and biometrics courses, which communicate methods for measuring and sampling information, have a unique challenge as much of the equipment used is new and less intuitive to the student (e.g. clinometer). Good quality videos which clearly and accurately demonstrate how to use these types of equipment as well as communicate the geometry/math used are difficult to create. This project seeks to work with academic forestry schools to create a repository of videos which can be used for instruction in classrooms or workshops, as resources for forest landowners, for those studying for their SAF certified forester exam, and anyone who has an interest in forest measurements and/or biometrics. All videos will have the SAF logo in the bottom right corner of the video. The repository of videos will be housed on an official SAF YouTube account with public access. In addition, opportunities for developing a series of TikTok videos will be explored. All videos will be developed with the intent to ensure a diverse cast.

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