Society of American Foresters Holds Meeting at GSC
Mon Apr 10, 2017


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Drone Demo SAF meeting attendees and GSC students watch as a drone (upper right-hand corner) takes flight outside the Waco Center

GLENVILLE, WV - Glenville State College recently hosted a two-day meeting of the West Virginia Division of the Society of American Foresters (SAF). The West Virginia group is part of the Allegheny Chapter, which also includes members from Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The Allegheny Chapter has around 1,100 professional foresters as members in those five states. The theme of the meeting was technology.

As part of the schedule, the meeting included a field trip for participants where timber sale preparation, stiltgrass control, and non-timber forest products were discussed. Presentations on various forest technology applications and research findings were conducted. The group also learned about activities that have been taking place throughout the West Virginia Division. Glenville State College’s Forestry Program was highlighted as well.

Members in attendance were able to view a drone flight demonstration. In forestry applications, drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles are used for ultra-high resolution aerial photography. These aerial photos improve all aspects of forest management and can be integrated into a geographic information system. Drones are being used in experiments to estimate forest volumes and can also monitor forest health and detect insect and disease damage. Faculty members in GSC’s Land Resources Department are working to acquire drone technology.

“The Waco Center at Glenville State College was a great place to hold the meeting since it has a large meeting room and ample parking. Of course, Glenville is also centrally located in the state. Current students and faculty were able to connect and network with alumni, foresters, researchers, and other attendees. Many alumni had not been on campus since the completion of the Waco Center and they were pleased with the new facility,” said GSC Associate Professor of Forestry and meeting host Dr. Brian Perkins.

Attendees were eligible to earn Continuing Forestry Education credits through the SAF’s Certified Forester program that encourages lifelong learning and professional development.

Since 1900, the Society of American Foresters has provided access to information and networking opportunities to prepare members for the challenges and the changes that face natural resource professionals. The mission of the Society of American Foresters is to advance the science, education, technology, and practice of forestry; to enhance the competency of its members; to establish professional excellence; and, to use the knowledge, skills, and conservation ethic of the profession to ensure the continued health and use of forest ecosystems and the present and future availability of forest resources to benefit society.

GSC last hosted the meeting in 2013.