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News: 2011


UT Forensic Academy Training Session

Before Car Bomb Training SessionBefore and after pictures of a late model Ford Explorer show the destructive power that car bombs can inflict when rigged by professionals (good guys and bad guys).

After Car Bomb Training Session

The UT Forest Resources Research and Education Center - Oak Ridge Forest unit was the site for a car bomb training session on November 9, 2011. The session focused on detonating various explosive devices and post-bomb crime scene investigation techniques which are part of the National Forensic Academy's (NFA) 10-week training program. Professional bomb squad officers from the Knoxville Police Department acted as instructors for the class which included over 30 law enforcement professionals from around the country. Read more about the National Forensic Academy and UT's role in this program.


Oak Ridge Forest Controlled Burn

Oak Ridge Forest Controlled Burn TeamThe Forest Resources Research and Education staff works as a team during the recent controlled burn on the Arboretum.

Oak Ridge Forest Controlled Burn DemonstrationPrescribed fire is used as a demonstration tool to perpetuate a unique plant community within the UT Arboretum.

The UT AgResearch Forest Resources Research and Education Center - Oak Ridge Forest Unit completed a controlled burn on November 8th, 2011. Prescribed fire was used as a management tool to perpetuate a unique native grass and forb dominated plant community established within the Arboretum in 1996. This type of plant community is a favored habitat for many bird, insect, and mammal species. This demonstration site, although only two and one-half acres in size, contributes significantly to the diversity of habitats found within the Arboretum. Controlled burning is repeated in late fall or early winter on a one to three year cycle.


Holly Task Force Work Day

Holly Task Force Work DayHolly Task Force members begin the work day at the Elmore Holly Collection Monument.

The UT Arboretum Society - Holly Task Force completed their work day project on November 12th, 2011. Dennis Supercynski, Holly Task Force Chairman, coordinated the work day with the 18 volunteers who participated in the event. Over 20 assorted Holly varieties were planted during the event, as well as, general plant collection maintenance. A group lunch was held after the event to celebrate the completion of the planned activities. The Task Force has additional planned work days in 2012 for April 7th, July 14th, and November 17th.


Viburnum Project Work Day

Viburnum Project PlantingLynne Carlson (center) discusses the Viburnum project with Bob Reed as Norm Dobbs digs a hole for one of the plants.

The UT Arboretum Society - Plant Collections Committee initiated phase 1 of the Viburnum project on November 3rd, 2011. Lynn Carlson, Committee Chairman, coordinated the work day with Society volunteers and the AgResearch Forest Resources Research and Education Center staff. Over 15 assorted Viburnums were planted as part of phase 1. The committee hopes to have phase 2 completed before Thanksgiving.


Fire Ant Study

Soil Loading into B25 ContainersFRREC employees Bo Duncan and Mike Trammel begin the soil loading into the B25 containers as Karen Vail looks on.

Ants Are Placed Into the B25 ContainersCups of fire ants are placed into the B25 soil containers by UT Entomology & Plant Pathology scientists for loading into the climate controlled refrigerated unit.

The UT AgResearch Forest Resources Research and Education Center (FRREC) recently co-operated with UT Professor and Extension Urban Entomologist Karen Vail, the Rogers Group Oak Ridge Quarry site, City-State LLC, and USDA-APHIS-PPQ on a Fire Ant research project. The study is focused on exposing the ants to extreme cold temperatures within soil containers to learn more about the cold tolerance of this pest.


Arboretum Society Participates in Ag Day 2011

Ag Day Exhibit 2011Tom Row (left), UT Arboretum Society President, greets a visitor to the Arboretum Society's Ag Day Booth.

The UT Arboretum Society (UTAS) and the Forest Resources Research and Education Center (FRREC) worked together at this year's Ag Day celebration on the Institute of Agriculture campus prior to the UT - South Carolina football game. UTAS members Tom Row and Stacey Fuller, along with FRREC staff members Lynne Lucas, Yvonne Hitchcock, and Kevin Hoyt greeted visitors and handed out information about the Center. Fantastic fall weather, planned activities, and seasonal food samples were available for the hundreds of Volunteer fans who attended the annual event.


Highland Rim Forest Hosts Controlled Burn Training Exercise

Tractor Plow Constructs Fire LinesA Tennessee Division of Forestry tractor plow unit constructs fire lines in advance of the Highland Rim Forest controlled burn.

Highland Rim Forest Controlled BurnRichard Evans inspects the controlled burn area as UT Forestry Students stand by for further instructions.

The UT AgResearch Forest Resources Research and Education Center - Highland Rim Forest Unit in Tullahoma, TN recently held a controlled burn training exercise with the Tennessee Division of Forestry (TDF) and UT Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries students. The operation was a cooperative effort aimed at completing a prescribed burn on the unit's forestland property, while also providing a targeted training exercise for TDF personnel and Associate Professor Jennifer Franklin's UT forest fire management class.


UT Arboretum Society Sponsors "Owl Prowl 2011"

UTAS Owl Prowl 2011Katie Cottrell, Kathy Strunk, and Kris Brantley with the Clinch River Raptor Center led an informative question and answer session with over 180 Owl Prowl participants before the "prowl" on the Arboretum grounds.

The UT Arboretum Society sponsored another highly successful "Owl Prowl", held on October 22, 2011, and again included an "up close and personal" visit by several live owls. Katie Cottrell, Kathy Strunk, and Kris Brantley from the Clinch River Raptor Center led an engaging question and answer session for a full capacity crowd of over 180 people, which included a large contingent of smiling and attentive children. After the Q & A session John Byrd and Kathy Strunk led two large groups on an after dark "prowl" on the Arboretum grounds in hopes of hearing the calls of the Forest Resources Research and Education Center's resident owl population.


UT Arboretum Society Sponsors Fall Plant Sale

Fall 2011 Plant Sale Entrance DecorationA glorious fall day and a wide variety of quality plants provided by area vendors plus hundreds of attendees made the 2011 Fall Plant Sale a very successful event.

Fall 2011 Plant Sale at the Program Shelter

A "seasonally" decorated entrance sign coupled with a glorious fall day welcomed hundreds of guests to the UT Arboretum Society Fall Plant Sale on Saturday, October 8, at the AgResearch Forest Resources Research and Education Center in Oak Ridge. Beaver Creek Nursery, East Fork Nursery, Riverdale Nursery, and Sunlight Gardens were among the vendors providing a quality selection of fall plants, while Razzleberry's of Oak Ridge provided lunch specials for this year's attendees. Several Arboretum Society members donated plants and other garden supplies for the event.


Richard Evans Receives Forestry Award

Richard Evans Forestry AwardRichard Evans (shown here with his wife Carol), former Director of the UT Forest Resources Research and Education Center, was honored with an award by the Tennessee Forestry Association at their Annual Meeting in Nashville, TN on September 29th, 2011. Richard's award recognition was for his life-long service to the association and his retirement from The University of Tennessee - AgResearch.


Field Tour

BioBaler Demonstration

The UT AgResearch Forest Resources Research and Education Center (FRREC) recently hosted a field tour for the Oak Ridge National Lab on September 28th, 2011. The tour focused on a biobaler field demonstration site completed earlier this past summer on the FRREC - Oak Ridge Forest Unit property. Richard Evans (seen here - green plaid jacket) leads a discussion on the biobaler machine operations, bale storage, and related landowner management options. Over 40 professionals representing industry, state and federal, and UTIA personnel attended the event. Read more about the summer BioBaler demonstration.


Forestry Field Day

Forestry Field Day

A foggy backdrop was the early morning setting for this UT AgResearch Forest Resources Research and Education Center - Oak Ridge Forest Unit hosted field day for practicing foresters. Bright sunshine prevailed for the remainder of the event, held on September 27th, 2011, which focused on silvicultural practices and reforestation research projects conducted by UT Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries faculty. Over 50 natural resource professionals representing industry, state and federal, and University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) personnel attended the event.

Tribute to Richard Evans Carol Evans was in attendance at the Forestry Field Day tribute to her husband, retiring Center Director Richard Evans. The group prresented Richard with the traditional axe mounted plaque.

A working lunch was also scheduled at the Field Day which featured the center's long-term box turtle research by the Clinch River Environmental Organization (CRESO), and a retirement tribute to Richard Evans, former Center Director.


Forensic Training Session

Mock Homicide CSI Scene Pictured at left is a mock homicide scene being investigated by forensic students. Read about the AgResearch Forest Resources Research and Education Center's role in The National Forensic Academy program at UT.

The UT Arboretum parking lot area at the AgResearch Forest Resources Research and Education Center was the setting for a night photography training session on September 21, 2011. The session focused on criminal evidence identification, collection, and preservation which are part of the National Forensic Academy's (NFA) 10-week training program. As part of the training requirements, a team of students investigated a mock homicide scene at the center on September 22. The unique program is administered through the University of Tennessee Law Enforcement Innovation Center and is funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Over 30 law enforcement professionals from around the country were in attendance for the event.


Fall Wildflower Walk

Fall Wildflower WalkA pleasant late-summer day with hints of fall football weather provided the backdrop for the "Fall Wildflower Walk" led by Kris Light.

UTAS Fall Wildflower Walk The UT AgResearch Forest Resources Research and Education Center - Oak Ridge Forest Unit and Arboretum recently hosted a "Fall Wildflower Walk" on September 17th, 2011. The event, sponsored by the UT Arboretum Society, featured two interpretive wildflower walks - one at 10 am and a second at 2 pm. - led by Kris Light (center - blue jacket), Naturalist and Photographer. Over 25 attendees from Oak Ridge and the surrounding East Tennessee region gained insight about the diversity of fall flowering plants growing on the Arboretum.


UT Geography Class Field Study

UT Geography Class at UT Arboretum

Dr. Sally Horn, UT Geography Department, led a geography field lab on September 11, 2011, for her students at the UT AgResearch Forest Resources Research and Education Center. The students collected soil borings and tree increment cores near the Tulip Poplar Trail as part of her Dendrochronology course project. The students will analyze the data to investigate land-use change over time.


CRESO Turtle Project Presentation

CRESO Turtle Project Presentation Read about how the AgResearch Forest Resources Research and Education Center and Arboretum provides opportunities for the CRESO educational organization.

Dr. Matt Allender, University of Illinois researcher and veterinarian, presented a program on September 11, 2011, on the Clinch River Environmental Studies Organization's (CRESO) long-term box turtle research project. The talk focused on the population dynamics of the UT AgResearch Forest Resources Research and Education Center's resident box turtle population. CRESO area high school students and Middle Tennessee State University students were among the 25 people in attendance.


BioBaler Demonstration at the AgResearch Forest Resources Center

BioBaler DemonstrationPictured at left is the Anderson company's BioBaler harvesting equipment comprised of a heavy-duty tractor that pushes the woody material into the baler where it is cut, compacted, and bound into bales.

BioBaler DemonstrationOver 40 state, federal, and private industry representatives attended the Anderson company's BioBaler demonstration hosted by the AgResearch Forest Resources Research and Education Center.

The AgResearch Forest Resources Research and Education Center hosted an Oak Ridge National Laboratory-sponsored demonstration of a new biomass harvesting concept. This event held on August 10, 2011, was attended by over 40 state, federal, and private industry representatives interested in economical ways of converting woody products into biomass fuel. The demonstration was presented by the Anderson Group company of Chesterville, Quebec, Canada, manufacturer of the "BioBaler" harvesting system. According to the Anderson company, the "BioBaler harvesting system is a simple concept. In a single pass, with only one operator, the BioBaler cut and compact biomass into a dense round bale." The bales can then be transported to a power plant or other facility where they are used as fuel. Areas where the BioBaler concept is best suited include roadside clearing, power line right-of-ways, short rotation woody crops, pine plantation/natural forest understory control, and wildlife habitat manipulation.


Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative Workshop

Martin Shubert and Richard EvansPictured at left are Martin Shubert, Cumberland Forest Unit Manager, and Richard Evans, FRREC Post Retirement Director, leading a discussion on the background history of the strip mine operations and the post-stripmining research projects.

Early Stripmine Research - 1958 Stripmine site in 2005

The photo at left above shows a view of the early strip mine research conducted on the Morgan County site in 1958 and at right a view of the reforestation in 2005.

The UT AgResearch Forest Resources Research and Education Center (FRREC) hosted a workshop August 4th, 2011, at the UT Cumberland Forest Unit in Morgan County, TN for the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative. The event focused on over 50 years of strip mine reclamation research and reforestation projects conducted by FRREC and the UT Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries. Over 40 researchers, state and federal natural resource professionals, and UT Institute of Agriculture personnel attended the event.


Rehabilitated Hawk Released at Arboretum

Hawk Release at UT Arboretum

Pictured from left to right, Katie Cottrell, Clinch River Raptors Center; Kevin P. Hoyt, Forest Resources Center Director; David Mercker, UT Extension Forester; Broadwinged Hawk; and Keith Belli, UT Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries Department Head.

On August 2, 2011, the Clinch River Raptors Center in Anderson County, TN, released a rescued broadwinged hawk at the UT Arboretum. Raptors Center volunteer members had rehabilitated the hawk after it was found at too early an age to survive in the wild on its own. The Clinch River Raptor Center is a project of the Clinch River Environmental Studies Organization (CRESO). To learn more about the organization, visit the Forestry Resources Center CRESO web page or the organizations official web site www.cresosnake.com.


Introducing...

Kevin P. Hoyt, Director

Kevin P. Hoyt is the new director of the UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center and Arboretum. Dr. Hoyt began his new position on July 5 upon the retirement of Richard Evans who served as director for 39 years.

Dr. Hoyt received his Bachelor of Science in Forest Management, Master of Science in Forestry and a Ph.D. in Natural Resources all from the University of Tennessee. He has also been an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries. His most recent experience is wiith Huber Engineered Woods, LLC, in Spring City, TN

Among the honors Dr. Hoyt has received is the prestigious Tennessee Wildlife Federation Forest Conservationist Award presented in April, 2011, for his his efforts in sustainable forest management and the Tennessee Forestry Association Award of Merit. He is a long-serving member of the Tennessee Forestry Association board and was named board member of the year in 2004. Other organizational memberships include the Forest Resources Association (FRA) and the Society of American Foresters (SAF). He is also a certified forester.

"Being named as new Director is truly an honor and fulfills my lifelong goal of working in public outreach, education and for the advancement of natural resources research at my alma mater. Following Richard Evans in this position is truly a humbling experience given his long tenure in the position. I hope to build on his foundation and legacy in sustaining the Center's future programas and initiatives," Dr. Hoyt said.

Richard Evans was honored with a retirement reception sponsored by the UT Arboretum Society in late June. Many university officials, community leaders, Society members, and local business representatives spoke in praise for his outstanding service to the University, the Center, and the area. Tom Beehan, Mayor of Oak Ridge, presented him with the Key to the City. He will serve on a part-time basis as Director, Retired, at the Center until December, 2011 to help with the transition. He is pleased to have Dr. Hoyt as the new director. "I think Kevin's experience and talents will represent the University well, and I am looking forward to working with him through the transition," he said. "And I plan to spend a little more time fishing and with the grandchildren", he added!


UT Retirees' Association Meeting

UT Retirees' Meeting at the Arboretum Beautiful spring weather greeted members of the UT Retirees' Association at the UT Arboretum on Thursday, May 12, 2011. The event was held at the Program Shelter. For more information about the association visit the UT Retirees' Association web site.


Holly Work Day

The UT Arboretum Society Holly Task Force held the first of four work days scheduled for 2011 on January 29. Volunteers Barry Shupe, Ken Farrell, Fran Scheidt, and Dennis Superczynski installed over twenty new deer fences around recently planted hollies in the Elmore Holly Collection.


"Landscaping Maintenance - Tools and Ideas" Workshop

Landscape - Tool Workshop Led by Norm Dobbs On Saturday, February 19, UT Arboretum Society Board Member and Horticulturist, Debbie Roberts, provided participants at the Lawn Maintenance - Tools workshop with techniques for proper pruning of landscape plants. In addition, she demonstrated some of these techniques in the Elmore Holly garden. The workshop was led by Norm Dobbs and Jeff Holt.


"A Review of Local Earthquakes" Lecture

Dr. Robert Hatcher, UT Geologist, presented a lecture on local earthquakes on February 21, in the Roane State Community College, Oak Ridge Branch City Room to an overflowing crowd. (This event was postponed from the original January date because of inclement weather.) Dr. Hatcher is a Distinguished Scientist and Professor, Tectonics and Structural Geology, at the University of Tennessee. In addition to teaching, he has authored and co-authored over 200 scientific publications including nine books.


Father-Daughter Hike

Previous Father-Daughter Hike Jeff Holt led this fun hike again this year at the UT Arboretum on March 19. Hikers enjoyed a beautiful warm early spring day for this popular event.


The Sides Contribution of Azaleas Recognized

Huey Sides with the New Sign The Arboretum has erected a new sign on the hillside area near the Visitors Center where azaleas donated by Huey and Barbara Sides have been planted. The UT Arboretum Society, in the newsletter, Branches, described their contribution as one that will "...enhance the experience of everyone who visits the Arboretum".


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University of Tennessee - Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center
901 South Illinois Avenue, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830 · Telephone: 865-483-3571 · Email: UTforest@utk.edu