Tag Archives: forestry

TSU College of Agriculture host USDA Forest Service event, pipeline for student employment and ‘R1’ status

Tennessee State University’s College of Agriculture hosted a USDA Forest Service-Southern Research Station Senior Leadership event this week, as a pipeline for employment opportunities for environmental science students.

USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station (SRS) visit this week was yet another opportunity to highlight the university’s ongoing commitment to research and becoming an “R1” designation under the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Learning.

The TSU College of Agriculture is in the final stages of formalizing a partnership with the USDA Forest Service-Southern Research Station. (Photo by Aaron Grayson)

During the event, the university and SRS determined how goals and objectives may align for mutually beneficial outcomes and discussed how to improve connectivity between TSU and SRS scientists. USDA Forest Service representatives presented information about their agency, while TSU faculty and graduate students presented their research findings, with the idea of collaborating and integrating research projects with SRS.

Dr. Chandra Reddy, Director of Research and Administrator of Extension in the College of Agriculture, said the goal is to further expand the scope of the Center of Excellence on Natural Resources, Renewable Energy, and Environment with assistance from the SRS team.

SRS Director, Dr. Toral Patel-Weynand and Director of Research and Administrator of Extension in the College of Agriculture Dr. Chandra Reddy. (Photo by Aaron Grayson)

“SRS scientists conduct deep research in all aspects of the forestry with climate change filter,” Reddy said. “As we are building our capacity in environmental sciences, we want to build a strong partnership with the SRS team in training our graduate and undergraduate students, in addressing climate change concerns, and supporting the small forest landowners. We are very excited to host the leadership of the Southern Research Station of US Forest Service.”

SRS Director, Dr. Toral Patel-Weynand, highlighted their vision for increased collaboration. “We are working hard to make sure our workforce is inclusive and representative of the public we serve, a place where individuals can thrive and contribute to our collective success. We see places where TSU students can contribute to and gain experience from our research studies.”

HBCU Program Manager and Coordination Lead for SRS, Dr. Johnny Grace, said the Station, which is part of the nation’s largest forest research organization, is searching for ways to more effectively partner with TSU.

HBCU Program Manager and Coordination Lead for SRS, Dr. Johnny Grace (Photo by Aaron Grayson)

“We are attempting to connect with TSU students and faculty to develop a pipeline into our science programs and workforce,” Grace said.

While TSU scientists presented their lab work, a few graduate students studying agriculture presented their research as well.

Maria Schutte, a Dayton, Ohio native who is receiving her master’s degree from the environmental sciences program, said this opportunity will have more people involved in the forestry industry as the department of agricultural and environmental sciences is working towards being accredited for a forestry program.

“I think anything that helps us for research in a timely manner will help us get to R1,” Schutte said. “Having access to scientists through an established partnership to be able to set up projects will be great. It’s helping with our environmental sciences program, and I think this partnership will help us flush out environmental sciences as a major here.”

Maria Schutte (Photo by Aaron Grayson)

Robert Lee, former Deputy Program Manager for the SRS Forest Inventory and Analysis Program, said building positive relationships to enhance and sustain their nation’s forest ecosystems is one of the most important obligations to have. “This obligation also extends to promoting a diverse and inclusive workforce which are mutual goals of TSU and the Southern Research Station,” Lee said.

The TSU College of Agriculture is in the final stages of formalizing a partnership with the USDA Forest Service-Southern Research Station.

About USDA Forest Service

The Forest Service is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that administers the nation’s 154 national forests and 20 national grasslands. The Forest Service manages 193 million acres of land.

TSU Professor Helps Provide Solutions to Future Challenges of Natural Resources

Researcher Coauthors Roadmap to Guide Nation’s Research, Education and Policy Decisions


Dr. Dalia Abbas
Dr. Dalia Abbas

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A professor from the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences at Tennessee State University has coauthored a report that helps outline solutions to the challenges facing natural resources in the U.S. with a “roadmap” to help guide policymakers over the next 10 years.

Dr. Dalia Abbas, assistant professor of Forestry, coauthored the report, Science, Education and Outreach Roadmap for Natural Resources released by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities on May 1. The report outlines six “grand challenges” facing the U.S. in the areas of sustainability, water, climate change, agriculture, energy and education, and recommends a series of research, education and outreach activities to help meet those challenges.

“This is a unique project in that it deals with natural resources as an integrated network,” Abbas said. “Many of the existing strategic plans focus on specific disciplines, neglecting their interrelation and function as a whole.”

Part of a 35-scientist team who authored the roadmap after receiving feedback from more than 130 scientists at public and land-grant institutions across the country, Abbas worked specifically on the sustainability portion of the roadmap due to her forestry expertise.

“There’s an extraordinary opportunity to improve the sustainability of our forest ecosystem,” she said. “For instance, a more balanced approach to forest ecosystems could help compensate for decades of high-grading practices and respond to an emerging market for lower quality wood.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture sponsored the report through a grant to Oregon State University, which then partnered with APLU.

“Scientists at our public and land-grant universities have developed this report to more clearly identify the challenges we face and prioritize our research, education and outreach efforts,” APLU President Peter McPherson said. “It provides a needed framework and should help guide policy decisions in the coming years.”

Founded in 1887, the APLU is a research, policy and advocacy organization representing 235 research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems and affiliated organization, with member institutions in all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, four U.S. territories, Canada and Mexico.




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About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.