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FNR 2020 Year in Review: The People

Chosen to Serve
Urban forester Lindsey Purcell was appointed to the City of Lafayette Tree Board for the Mayor. He alsoUrban forester Lindsey Purcell inspects a tree was named as an editorial board member for the Tree Cree Industry Association and as a state liaison for Urban and Community Forestry for the United States Forest Service.

Dr. Jeff Dukes and Melissa Widhalm from the Purdue Climate Change Research Center were part of a group that put together the Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment. Dukes was a member of the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission, Climate- Related Market Risk Subcommittee of the Market Risk Assessment Committee.
Dr. Paul Brown was appointed to the Board of Governors and Research Director for the Aquaponics Association.
Dr. Mike Saunders was appointed to a 3-year term on the Society of American Foresters’ committee on accreditation, which critically reviews and grants accreditation to most forestry, urban forestry and natural resource and ecosystem management programs in the United States.
Purdue Landscape Report received an Outstanding Blog award from the American Society of Horticultural Science for Extension Education Materials.

Nature of Teaching was honored as the third-place finisher in the central region for the Environmental Education Award presented by the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Science (NEAFCS).Dr. Liz Flaherty Murphy Award presentation slide

Dr. Elizabeth Flaherty, associate professor of wildlife ecology and habitat management was named as one of two national recipients of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Excellence in College and University Teaching Award for Food and Agricultural Sciences. Flaherty also was tabbed as The Wildlife Society Student Chapter Advisor of the Year and received the Murphy Award, Purdue’s highest undergraduate teaching honor.

Dr. Songlin Fei garnered Purdue’s Agricultural Research Award, given to faculty members for excellence in applying scientific principles to solve important research problems.

Brady Hardiman - Kohl's Outstanding Early Career Teaching Award honoreeDr. Brady Hardiman, assistant professor of forest and urban ecology, was named as the 2020-21 recipient of the Richard L. Kohls Outstanding Early Career Teaching Award this week.

Dr. Jeff Dukes was elected to the rank of Fellow by the Council of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Dr. Rob Swihart received an Outstanding Reviewer Award from Natural Sciences Education.

Urban forester Lindsey Purcell received the 2020 Meritorious Award from the Indiana Arborist Association.

Administrative manager of the Office of Student Services and academic advisor Julie Pluimer was honored with the Learning Community Instructor Advocate Award by Purdue University Residences.
Dr. Linda Prokopy was named the new department head for Purdue Horticulture and Landscape Architecture.

Megan Gunn - PK-12 Award for Staff Excellence honoreeAquatic ecology lab manager and undergraduate recruiting specialist Megan Gunn was honored with the College of AG PK-12 Award for Staff Excellence.

The Tipping Point Planner Team, a collaborative effort between Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and Purdue Extension, received the 2020 College of Agriculture TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) Award.  The team also was recognized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in its 2019 Science Report. Dr. Bryan Pijanowski, professor of landscape and soundscape ecology; Kara Salazar, assistant program leader and extension specialist for sustainable communities; Lydia Utley, data analyst; and Daniel Walker, community planning extension specialist, are the project leaders for the Tipping Point Planner. Postdoctoral research associate Dr. Kristen Bellisario and former graduate students Dr. Kimberly Robinson and Nah Nah Kim JD alongside Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant's retired director Dr. Brian Miller and former outreach assistant Ben Wegleitner are also listed among the Tipping Point Planner Team members. 
The Purdue Rainscaping Education program was highlighted among the top programs in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) annual report for 2019.

Dr. Jason Hoverman received the Seed for Success Award for securing an externally sponsored award in excess of $1 million.
Student Awards

Senior Kamryn Dehn received the Tyler Trent Courage and Resilience Award. Dehn was also featured on the Full Steam Ahead podcast.

FNR also named its 2020 student award honorees, including leadership and academic merit awards. Margo Taylor was tabbed as Outstanding Freshman; Emilie Washer was named Outstanding Sophomore; Brandon Sosa was honored as Outstanding Junior and Alex Verdeja-Perez garnered the Outstanding Senior award.

Ph.D. student Geoffrey Williams received a grant offer from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, through which he will investigate the potential role of bark and wood-feeding beetles to forest mortality events.

American Fisheries Society receives most active student subunit award at Midwest Fish and Wildlife ConferenceUndergraduate student Peyton Clark was one of two students that recently won the 2020 Indiana Soybean Alliance Student Soybean Innovation Competition.

The Purdue student chapter of the American Fisheries Society was named the most active student subunit of AFS as presented by the North-Central Division of AFS at the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference.
College/Department Awards
In November, four individuals were honored by FNR for their service.
  • Dr. Mike Jenkins received the William L. Hoover Faculty Service Award.
  • Graduate research assistant Lizz Allmon was tabbed with the Exemplary Graduate Student Service Award.
  • Account clerk Jennifer Spitznagle in the FNR business office garnered the Outstanding Clerical/Service Staff Member Award.
  • Fisheries and aquatics lab manager Matt Hamilton was named Outstanding Administration/Professional Staff Member.
In 2020, 40 students received 2020 FNR scholarships.

Dr. Songlin Fei pictured with a droneDr. Songlin Fei was named the Dean’s Chair for Remote Sensing.

Drs. Eva Haviarova and Zhao Ma were promoted to the rank of full professor in Forestry and Natural Resources Ma also was named as a University Faculty Scholar.
Dr. Mark Christie was promoted to the rank of associate professor with tenure in the Department of biological sciences.

Dr. Anna ConradPurdue FNR hired Dr. Anna Conrad as a research plant pathologist for the Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center (HTIRC) and NRS-14 of the United States Forest Service Northern Research Station.

Maria Leatherwood joined the FNR staff as an academic advisor and graduate program coordinator in the office of student services. She comes to Purdue from Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University where she was a student success advisor. Maria, who boasts a master’s degree in educational leadership and a P.S. in Psychology, also was an academic advisor at Purdue Fort Wayne.

Scott Allaire, who joined the Integrated Deer Management Project in February as lead predator technician, has been named as the IDMP’s new field coordinator, joining the staff full-time.
Facility Improvements
In October, the Purdue University Board of Trustees granted approval to plan, finance, construct, and award construction contracts for the Wildlife Area Animal Care Building.
Alumni Honors
Three outstanding individuals were selected as FNR alumni award honorees for 2020. Mary Beth Adams received the Lifetime Achievement Award, Amanda Wuestefeld was been named Distinguished Alumnus, and Benjamin Knapp was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award.

Alumna Brianne Lowe earned a national biologist award from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.Alumna Brianne Lowe earned one of four national biologist awards from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Alumnus Steve Backs was the recipient of the 2020 Chase S. Osborn Award in wildlife conservation.

Alumna Nadia FernandezDeWoody Lab alumna Nadia Fernandez received an Honorable Mention designation for her Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship application and also was awarded a Gillam Fellowship from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Alumna and Ph.D. Emeritus Paula Pijut, who is retired from the United State Forest Service, had her work published in a book released in June: Biotechnology of Fruit and Nut Crops, 2nd Edition.

Alumnus Hank Stelzer (PhD 1986) was named as the 2020 recipient of the Karkhagne Award from the Missouri Society of American Foresters.

Dr. L. Kristen Page received the 2020 Distinguished Ag Alumni Award from the Purdue College of Agriculture.

The Purdue Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society recognized Chris Anchor as the first recipient of its Exemplary Service Award.The Purdue Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society recognized Chris Anchor as the first recipient of its Exemplary Service Award.

1975 and 1977 alumnus Brad Smith received the Purdue Ag Alumni Association Certificate of Distinction Award.
The department also made an impact on the global community by sending 80 graduates out into the world, conferring 61 undergraduate degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and seven doctoral degrees.

Fall 2020 – 21 graduates; 15 undergraduates, 6 graduate students (4 master’s, 2 Ph.D.)
Summer 2020 – 9 graduates; 2 undergraduates, 7 graduate students (4 master’s, 3 Ph.D.s)
Spring 2020 – 50 graduates; 44 undergraduates, 6 graduate students (4 master’s, 2 Ph.D.)

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