This March, the Institute of Forest Resources awarded four grants through the McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry Research program, totaling $374,877 in funding. After final approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, these projects will begin during the 2016 Fall Quarter and last two years, wrapping up by September 30, 2018.
Read more about the funded projects below!
1. Sustainable Development of Nanosorbents by Catalytic Graphitization of Woody Biomass for Water Remediation
PI: Professor Anthony Dichiara, SEFS
Co-PI: Professor Renata Bura, SEFS
The present research proposes the development of a simple, sustainable and scalable method to produce high-value carbon nanomaterials from woody biomass. As-prepared carbon products will be employed as adsorbents of large capacity and high binding affinity to remove pesticides from hydrological environments. This project will (i) help mitigate forest fires by limiting the accumulation of dry residues in forest lands, (ii) create new market opportunities to transform the wood manufacturing industry and reinvigorate rural communities, and (iii) minimize potential exposure to hazardous contaminants.
Award total: $109,869
2. Trophic Relationships of Reintroduced Fishers in the South Cascades
PI: Professor Laura Prugh, SEFS
In 2015, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) began reintroducing fishers (Pekania pennanti) to the South Cascades. The west coast fisher population has been proposed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (decision due by April 2016), and fisher recovery is thus a high priority in Washington. Fisher habitat use has been studied with respect to denning and rest site characteristics, but effects of forest management and stand characteristics on establishment success of reintroduced fishers remains unknown. In collaboration with agency partners, we propose to study how forest structure and management impact prey availability, competitor abundance and fisher establishment in the South Cascades.
Award total: $99,679
3. High-value Chemicals and Gasoline Additives from Pyrolysis and Upgrade of Beetle-killed Trees
PI: Professor Fernando Resende, SEFS
Co-PI: Professor Anthony Dichiara, SEFS
In this project, we will convert beetle-killed lodgepole pine into fuel additives and valuable chemicals (hydrocarbons) using a technique called ablative pyrolysis combined with an upgrading step. We developed a novel and unique system for pyrolysis of wood that has the capability of converting entire wood chips into bio-oil. This characteristic is important for mobile pyrolysis units, because it eliminates the need of grinding wood chips prior to pyrolysis.
Award total: $109,861
4. Bigleaf Maple Decline in Western Washington
PI: Professor Patrick Tobin, SEFS
Co-PI: Professor Greg Ettl, SEFS
We propose to investigate the extent and severity of a recently reported decline in bigleaf maple, Acer macrophyllum, in the urban and suburban forests of Western Washington, and to differentiate between possible abiotic and biotic drivers of the decline. Specifically, we propose to (1) survey the spatial extent of bigleaf maple decline (BLMD) and record associated environmental, anthropogenic, and weather conditions that are associated with BLMD presence and absence; (2) use dendrochronological techniques to analyze and compare growth rates of healthy and symptomatic trees to further differentiate the potential roles of abiotic and biotic drivers of the decline; and (3) to link the data collected under Objectives 1 and 2 with previous records of BLMD collected by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources to ascertain the spatial-temporal pattern associated with BLMD in Western Washington.