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School of Environment and Natural Resources


SENR News Highlights

March 23, 2021
SENR News Highlights image with a microphone

SENR News Highlights

Late March 2021 News Highlights for the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University.

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

You're Invited to Take Flight! on April 21

Ohio State’s Environmental Professionals Network is proud to host Take Flight! our annual (and eighth) signature Earth Day event with the School of Environment and Natural Resources in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. This year’s event is in partnership with TEDxOhioStateUniversitySalon and Monarch Joint Venture. 

On behalf of the EPN and our partners, we hope you can join us and take a moment to share with others this opportunity!

Register Now

Take Flight on April 21, 2021

Take Flight! is an Earth Day celebration of local and global efforts to protect and restore the monarch butterfly. The monarch is an icon of our planet’s biodiversity. Its population in Ohio and globally borders on extinction* though there is hope in sight!  The monarch has a remarkable migration story cycling between Mexico to Canada across the United States. The U.S. Midwest region serves as a vital corridor in this journey. Ohio produces and nurtures multiple generations of monarchs each year and serves as the origin of most monarchs that migrate to Mexico. Monarch populations have declined by over 70% in North America, and a global conservation effort is required to restore them. Individuals can truly make a difference and this program focuses on solutions providing tangible resources for all to contribute, including landscape planning by public and private landowners.

Join New York Times bestselling author, Dr. Doug Tallamy and Jane Breckinridge, director, Euchee Butterfly Farm, and an enrolled citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, as they teach us how to build monarch habitat in our yards and communities and share inspirational cultural stories on the connections we have to this iconic butterfly.  Dr. Tallamy and Ms. Breckinridge will share the virtual stage with Ohioans taking action to protect pollinator habitat and show us how individuals and communities can engage locally to make a difference in this global conservation movement. 

*The US Fish and Wildlife Service concluded that listing the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act is “warranted but precluded” on December 15, 2020. 

Featured News

Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science Rattan LalDistinguished University Professor of Soil Science Rattan Lal, winner of the 2020 World Food Prize for developing and mainstreaming a soil-centric approach to increasing food production that restores and conserves natural resources and mitigates climate change is a keynote speaker at the virtual 2021 Universities Fighting World Hunger Summit. The theme of the summit is One Health, One Planet and brings together current and future leaders to see a world without hunger. Students, administrators, faculty, staff, and community partners will network and share ideas that lead to actions and impact at the campus, community, and global levels.

Dr. Lal will present the Keynote: Agriculture, Climate Change, Food Security on Thursday, March 25.
Learn more about this year's summit here.

Lecturer Jason Parker and graduate student Kayla Alvis presented, “Labor Management Decision-Making, Practices & Challenges" - one of four sessions in the new Labor Management on Small and Medium Sized Farms: An Online Seminar Series. The series was co-hosted by M. Peabody and B. Holtzman (University of Vermont), J. Hendrickson (University of Wisconsin), S. Wilner (University of New Hampshire), K. Liang (North Carolina Agricultural & Technical University), and R. Armstrong (Farm Commons) and held March 9-11, 2021.  

Find out more and access the recording of the talks here.

Recent Funding Awards

Congratulations to the following SENR graduate students, who received funding awards through the CFAES Internal Grants Program. 

Vicky Abou-Ghalioum, who was awarded CFAES Internal Grants Program funding for "Examining Race and Place: Centering Social Justice in the Mainstream Environmental Movement."

Image shows bulletin board note of congratulations to Vicky Abou-Ghalioum for funding award.

Kelsey Ryan-Simkins, who was awarded CFAES Internal Grants Program funding for "Connecting the dots: An Investigation of how motivations influence urban agriculture practices and outcomes in Ohio."

Image shows bulletin board note of congratulations to Kelsey Ryan-Simkins for funding award.

Research support provided by state and federal funds appropriated to The Ohio State University, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

On Social

The Knowledge Exchange (KX) featured faculty member Steve Culman as part of their “Quick! Answer This” on Twitter.  Check it out! Learn a bit more about other SENR faculty featured, on KX's YouTube channel

The Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) at Ohio State was featured on the Society for Ecological Restoration's Twitter! There is a linked "Members in Action" interview and video with students about their organization and engagement in ecological restoration.

Did you know? The School of Environment and Natural Resources is now on YouTube!

SENR is now on YouTube. View Now.
Share the opportunity to subscribe and learn about the research, teaching and outreach of SENR faculty, staff and graduate students via our new YouTube channel currently featuring several playlists.

New to the SENR YouTube channel is a video exploring the Ohio Farm Poll, a survey of farmers conducted in Ohio by SENR faculty Doug Jackson-Smith, Shoshanah Inwood and Andrea Rissing, a post-doctoral researcher in SENR to understand how the challenges in 2019 impacted their farm households and businesses and to help shape and inform strategies to manage these challenges in the future. The video was produced by the CFAES Knowledge Exchange (KX).


Up Next and Recaps:  Virtual Events / Webinars / Programs

Seminar Series - Save the Date

This week on March 25, the SENR Seminar Series welcomes Professor Nancy M. Wells, professor of design and environmental analysis in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University who will present, "The natural environment and community health: school gardens, human resilience, and health equity." Information on how to join the seminar and upcoming seminar dates and topics can be found here.  Flyer for the 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!

Share with others the opportunity to relax, learn and Escape to the Forest!  Join the Ohio Woodland Stewards (OWS) Program for one or both of these upcoming programs!

April 16: Exploring the Diversity of Wonderful Woodland Macrofungi. Register here.
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Spend the morning with OSU Extension's Curtis Young to explore the wonderful world of woodland macrofungi by looking at the corals, jellies, conks, bolete, brackets, parchments, cups and more. These fungi delight the senses with color, size, shape, texture, scent and flavor. 

May 7: Can My Woodlot be a Solution to Climate Change?  Register here.
10:00am to 12:00pm
Join SENR faculty member Roger Williams, who will explore the role of forests in the carbon cycle, how they sequester carbon, how forest management affects sequestration and the types of forest related activities that may qualify for carbon credit projects. Brent Sohngen, a professor in Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics and SENR's Sayeed Mehmood will join the Q&A session. Join OWS for this important conversation and bring your questions!

Escape to the Forest Recap: 

Recap 1: It's syrup season!  From Tree to Table: Ohio Maple Syrup - a webinar on March 12 with Les Ober, Geauga County Extension, and SENR’s Gabe Karns and Kathy Smith shared how to make your own syrup and how tree sap becomes a tasty treat. The webinar also explores turning your woods into a sugarbush as an income opportunity.

Learn more about maple's versatility, the history and trends associated with maple syrup production and detailed information with visuals on tapping trees in the video below or on SENR's YouTube channel.


Faculty member Sayeed Mehmood is presenting "The Value of Your Woodlands" at this year's Ohio River Valley Woodlands and Wildlife Workshop on March 27. Find out more here about the workshop and agenda.

Environmental Professionals Network

You're invited to join the School of Environment and Natural Resources and the Environmental Professionals Network on April 21 for our annual Earth Day program!

This year our program will focus on local and global efforts to protect and restore the monarch butterfly. Register here to join the celebration!

Environmental Professionals Network Recap:

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. 

The edited recording of the March EPN program is available below with a guide to help identify where each presenter's talk begins. 

Minute 15:58 Crystal M.C. Davis (vice president of policy and strategic engagement, Alliance for the Great Lakes) shares research on attitudes towards water issues by diverse communities of color in Cleveland and policies developed for water affordability in the region.

Minute 29:39 Constance Haqq (chief administrative officer, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District) discusses water affordability challenges and solutions from a utility’s perspective.

Minute 40:25 Betsy Taylor, PhD (founding director and cultural anthropologist, Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network) overviews her collaboration-based frameworks for water infrastructure advocacy in Appalachian communities.