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Foreign visitors learn about SRS research and forest management


Alabama A&M University graduate student Iwo Gross shows proper snake handling techniques to a group of faculty and students from Nanjing Forestry University, China Forest Service photo by Dan Dey.

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Faculty and students from Nanjing Forestry University in China got an up-close look at ongoing research in the Southern forests from SRS researchers, National Forest staff and faculty from the Confucius Institute at Alabama A&M University.

Their first stop was on the Bankhead National Forest where the group went on a field tour of a long-term thinning and prescribed burning study. Callie Schweitzer, research forester, located in Huntsville, AL led the tour. AAMU graduate student Iwo Gross presented an overview of his research on reptiles and their response to various treatments. He had several large snakes and a few turtles available for the Chinese visitors to view and photograph.  

The group also traveled to Coweeta Hydrological Lab and Bent Creek Experimental Forest, two of the oldest experimental forests maintained by the Southern Research Station.  Coweeta’s research emphasis is on watershed management; and measurements of rainfall, streamflow, climate, and forest growth. Bent Creek’s research on fire, insects, diseases, timber, wildlife, and water is being applied all over the Southern Appalachians.

The group led by Dr. Kozma Naka, associate professor, AAMU College of Agricultural, Life and Natural Sciences, ended their tour in Washington, DC.


Callie Schweitzer and Ryan Sisk (yellow hard hats) lead tour to research sites on the Bankhead National Forest, AL with a group of faculty and students from Nanjing Forestry University, China. Forest Service photo by Dan Dey.

Students and Faculty from Nanjing Forestry University, China with Alabama A&M University Professor, Kozma Naka, Ph.D., Associate Professor (third from right) and David Cox (far right) visit Bent Creek Experimental Forest. Forest Service photo by Henry McNab.