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School of Environment and Natural Resources


SENR News Highlights

March 9, 2021
SENR News Highlights for early March 2021

SENR News Highlights

Early March 2021 News Highlights for the School of Environment and Natural Resources.

Find out what's new in the school, learn about recent publications, celebrate recognitions with us and plan to attend (virtually) programs offered and much more!

RecognitionYuri Lopes Zinn '05 PhD Soil Science

On March 4 the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) recognized the 2021 CFAES Alumni Award Honorees in a virtual ceremony.

Yuri Lopes Zinn ’05 PhD Soil Science was honored with the International Alumni Award, which recognizes outstanding international agriculture alumni representing, supporting, and promoting the college and The Ohio State University around the globe.

Kevin McCarthy, who serves on the ENRAS Executive Council and serves as the ENRAS liaison to the CFAES Alumni Society Board of Directors had the honor of introducing Dr. Zinn.  Please join the School of Environment and Natural Resources in congratulating Dr. Zinn! 

Watch the ceremony here.

Featured News

Findings from a 2019 survey of Ohio farmers conducted by faculty members Doug Jackson-Smith and Shoshanah Inwood are shared in a recent CFAES News article, "Health care and weather distressing farmers."

The article available here highlights the importance of understanding farm stress to help shape and inform strategies to manage these stressors for farmers in the future. A short video produced by the CFAES Knowledge Exchange is included in the article and provides an overview of the Ohio Farm Poll. 

frontiers Science News blog features new study findings published in the scientific journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution and authored by SENR postdoctoral researcher David Manning and faculty member Mažeika SullivanRead the post here highlighting their findings and find out what the conservation implications of their study findings are for insectivorous birds. 

Faculty member Robyn Wilson recently presented “Understanding Climate Adaptation Decisions in the Eastern Corn Belt” with Aaron Wilson, research scientist, Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, a webinar for the North Central Climate Collaborative (NC3). Watch the webinar via The North Central Region Water Network’s YouTube channel.

Recent Publications

Henning-Smith, Carrie, Andrew Alberth, Andrea Bjornestad, Florence Becot & Shoshanah Inwood (2021) Farmer Mental Health in the US Midwest: Key Informant Perspectives, Journal of Agromedicine, DOI: 10.1080/1059924X.2021.1893881

Manning, D.W.P., and S.M.P. Sullivan. 2021. Conservation across aquatic-terrestrial boundaries: linking continental-scale water quality to emergent aquatic insects and declining aerial insectivorous birds. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution

Powell, L.L., E.M. Ames, J.R. Wright, J. Matthiopoulos, P.P. Marra. 2021. Interspecific competition between resident and wintering birds: experimental evidence and consequences of coexistence Ecology 102(2) e03208

View more publications

Recent Funding Awards

Congratulations to the following SENR faculty, who received funding awards through the CFAES R&GE Internal Grants Program. These awards were recently featured in the March edition of the CFAES Research News.

New Researcher Incentive Program

  • Risa Pesapane and William Peterman – SENR: Predict-a-tick: A multi-scale modeling framework for predicting tick distribution and guiding surveillance
  • Rachel Gabor and Mazeika Sullivan – SENR: The Contribution of Microplastic to the Carbon Budget of Headwater Streams

Immediate Needs Program

  • Christopher Tonra and Steve Matthews – SENR: Assessing the risk to migratory birds of offshore wind on Lake Erie: prevalence and spatial distribution of lake-crossing behavior
  • Timothy McDermot – OSU Extension, Risa Pesapane – SENR: Tiny tick as giant threats: Evaluating the risk of tick-borne pathogens to humans and animals in Ohio agriculture

On Social

The Knowledge Exchange (KX) featured faculty member Robyn Wilson as part of their “Quick! Answer This” on Twitter.  Check it out!

KX also shared an interactive map of water quality research led by CFAES researchers and making an impact, which includes many faculty and staff from SENR. Explore the map here.

Up Next:  Virtual Events / Webinars / Programs

Seminar Series - Save the Date

This week on March 11, the SENR Seminar Series welcomes Carolyn Finney, Scholar-in-Residence, Environmental Affairs at Middlebury College, who will discuss what it means to work on social change from the intersection of activist/artist/academic.  Information on how to join the seminar and upcoming seminar dates and topics can be found here.  Flyer for series available on our Bulletin Board too. Join via Zoom at 4:10 p.m. 

Escape to the Forest with the Ohio Woodland Stewards (OWS) Program!

This week: Share with others the opportunity to relax, learn and Escape to the Forest!  Join the Ohio Woodland Stewards (OWS) Program for an upcoming webinar on Ohio maple syrup!

Tapping trees for maple syrup.

From Tree to Table: Ohio Maple Syrup

March 12, 2021 – 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Join Les Ober, Geauga Co. Extension, and SENR’s Gabe Karns and Kathy Smith, to learn how to make your own syrup and explore turning your woods into a sugarbush as an income opportunity. We will talk some history, tree species to tap, how to tap, boil and bottle maple sap. Bring your questions!  Continuing education credits will be available.  Register Now

Escape to the Forest Recap: 

Recap 1: Assistant Professor Matt Davies presented "Picking Pawpaw Patches - Managing Woodlands for Pawpaw Production" on February 19. Watch the recording of the talk here and learn more about the serendipitous origins of the Pawpaw research Dr. Davies and team are conducting and the findings from the collaborative research on fruiting success and yield and options for stand management.

Speaking of maple, faculty member Gabe Karns was featured in the richlandsource article, “It’s maple syrup time at The Ohio State University-Mansfield campus.” Read the story (and view the photo gallery) here and find out how Dr. Karns and the team are helping to bring a greater awareness to forest management, but also forest resources and learn more about their research to monitor sap production. 

On March 9 Ohio State’s Environmental Professionals Network (EPN), partnering with the Water Management Association of Ohio (WMAO), the School of Earth Sciences (SES), the Global Water Institute (GWI), and TerrAqua (an Ohio State student organization) hosted a virtual event on water affordability and equity strategies to support residents in marginalized communities. In addition to the featured program, attendees had the opportunity to participate in networking roundtables connecting students and water resource professionals.If you were not able to join the event, the recording will be available on EPN's YouTube channel. 

Save the Date!

The Environmental Professionals Network (EPN) at The Ohio State University is partnering with TEDxOhioStateUniversitySalon and Monarch Joint Venture, for their annual signature Earth Day celebration on April 21, 2021. Take Flight! is an Earth Day celebration of local and global efforts to protect and restore the monarch butterfly. Join this virtual celebration and find out how you can help to restore monarch habitat. To learn more about our celebration and to register, visit   

Environmental Professionals Network Earth Day Save the Date for event on April 21 - Take Flight! Image shows an illustration of a monarch butterfly and the wings of a monarch butterfly

Faculty member Christine Sprunger will present a webinar “Management Practices That Impact Soil Health and Organic Matter” on March 17, 2021 at 11 a.m. The webinar is part of the Organic Production Winter Webinar Series.  Learn more about the series here and other scheduled webinars.