Filling priority positions for the future of ESSM is the driver of our planning process. With several positions recently turning over we have an opportunity to redefine our future with the colleagues we hire. Thanks for all of the support in the planning process. We need to bring our discussions across the finish line on potential positions and start the hiring process.
We wish Robert Washington-Allen the very best as he plans to initiate his transition to the University of Tennessee in January. His efforts to make this a smooth transition with grants, students and colleagues is greatly appreciated.
Society of American Foresters met last week in Washington. Thanks to all of those that represented us at the meetings, and a special thanks to Jianbang Gan for representing me there as it was in direct conflict with my duties as Program Chair for CSSA. ESSM students in attendance included Dan Gaskins and Oakland Hoffman. Also noteworthy, Dr. Gan met with Joann Meyer Cox, a former forestry student, President-elect, of SAF.
There have been many activities since our last newsletter, including discussions on a potential Interdisciplinary degree in Evolutionary Biology, development of stronger international collaborations in Brazil and Africa and working to smoothly transition our collaborative efforts with Ukilima.
Welcome aboard to our new student workers for Extension Ashwin Vinod, Information Technology Cody Mays, and Shannon Blankenship with Dr. Srinivasan.
Social events are a big part of camaraderie with our colleagues, staff and students. After being cancelled due to the weather, the rescheduled fall picnic at Hensel Park for students, faculty, and staff was a huge success. Additionally, my wife and I plan to host an open house on December 7 for the department. More details to come but plan to be there Friday evening with your families.
A big thanks to all of those that have pitched in to make the department go. We have had some great debates, hard work to make things happen, and a bright future. A faculty meeting will be scheduled before Thanksgiving, so please plan to participate as we finalize our discussions on the new hires.
-- Dr. David Baltensperger