Skip to Main Content

Alumni Fischer, Schuerman Honored with Datena Distinguished Forester Award

Three foresters with exemplary careers, including two Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources alumni, were recognized with the John F. Datena Distinguished Forester Award at the recent Indiana Forestry & Woodland Owners Association annual conference.

Ken Day and Burney Fischer of Bloomington and Joe Schuerman Jr. of Versailles were recognized for their leadership in forestry and support for Indiana woodland owners. The award was named after former state forester John F. Datena to honor his commitment to Indiana forestry.Ken Day with his John F. Datena Distinguished Forester Award

Ken Day retired after nearly 40 years working with the USDA Forest Service, with 17 years as the Hoosier National Forest supervisor. He served in various national, regional and state leadership positions, with a focus on using science to improve our forests. Day has won many awards for his efforts, including a Distinguished Hoosier Award by former governor Mitch Daniels.

Fischer, who earned his bachelor’s in forestry (1969), master’s (1971) and PhD (1974) at Purdue, spent 15 years as a forestry professor and extension forester at his alma mater before being called to serve as the state forester in the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry. He finished his career as the first forester atBurney Fischer with his John F. Datena Distinguished Forester Award Indiana University’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Fischer’s passion is urban forestry, where helped create and lead the Indiana Urban Forest Council and established urban forestry classes at IU. Fischer has earned national awards for his forest policy and urban efforts.

After a 17-year career with the Indiana DNR Division of Forestry, 1970 forestry alum Joe Schuerman Jr. pivoted to a private consulting forestry business, providing assistance to private woodland owners in 20 counties. In his career, Schuerman has planted over 1 million tree seedlings. He hosts an annual regional Timber Industry Appreciation dinner and was instrumental in republishing Charles Deam’s “Trees of Indiana and “Shrubs of Indiana.”Joe Schuerman Jr. with his John F. Datena Distinguished Forester Award

“These three honorees have devoted decades of work to the betterment of Indiana forestry, and we can’t thank them enough for their commitment,” IFWOA executive director Liz Jackson said summing up the conservation ethic of the awardees. “Our woodlands are better off due to their efforts.”

The awardees were selected by the Indiana Hardwoods Lumbermen’s Association, Indiana Association of Consulting Foresters, Indiana Society of American Foresters, and Indiana Forestry & Woodland Owners Association.

Featured Stories

Jingjing Liang stands tall in front of a wall of monitors showing pictures of different forests.
Scientists from dozens of countries coming to Purdue for forestry collaboration in Science-i Bridging Worlds Workshop

In the spirit of building a community to manage and protect the world’s forests, Liang and...

Read More
A landscape photo of a pond and the surrounding forest area at the Southeastern Purdue Agricultural Center where Dr. Bryan Pijanowski's lab has set up sensors and microphones to monitor wildlife before, during and after the solar eclipse.
Center for Global Soundscapes Study Will Record How Animals Respond to Solar Eclipse

The upcoming solar eclipse on April 8 has drawn the attention of scientists and the general...

Read More
Team SoySilk members holding the first-place prize check at the 2024 competition ceremony.
Purdue celebrates three decades of soybean innovation

From winning products like soy-based candles and styrofoam to chewing gum, for 30 years the...

Read More
The Milnes Family Farm - photos of the forest and the agricultural space with a barn
Purdue Alumni Couple Funds Forestry Internship Program

Vince Milnes grew up spending time on the family farm in Brown County, Indiana, owned by his...

Read More
Jarred Brooke gives a presentation on forest management for deer
Ohio River Valley Woodlands and Wildlife Workshop Offers Chance to Learn From Extension Specialists

Do you want to learn how to get the most out of your property? Make plans to attend the 2024 Ohio...

Read More
Forest Canopy
Complex tree canopies help forests recover from moderate disturbances

Extreme events wipe out entire forests, dramatically eliminating complex ecosystems as well as...

Read More
To Top