Forestry students win awards at state meet

Louisiana Tech was well-represented at the recent 2019 Louisiana Society of American Foresters Meeting in Pineville and came home with two of the inaugural competitions’ three Best Undergraduate Research awards.

Nathan Bolner was the LaTech Undergraduate Forestry Student of the year.

Nathan Bolner (center) receives the award as the Louisiana Tech Undergraduate Forestry Student of the Year.

Nathan Bolner of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, won first place and Morgan Thigpen of Franklinton won third; they presented research posters based on work they’d pursued as class projects.

“We took five people down; we were happy to be able to take that many students,” said Dr. Joshua Adams, associate professor in Tech’s School of Agriculture and Forestry in the College of Applied and Natural Sciences. “It’s the first year we’d ever done a poster contest; these students volunteered to turn their projects into posters on their own time.”

“We were competing against LSU and Southern University; they have more funding and more professors who are dedicated strictly to research,” Adams said. “But we still won two of the top spots; I’d say we represented very well.”

Other students who competed in the poster competition were Conner Killian of New Orleans, Theresa Hadwin of Pineville, and Conner Gay, a geographic information science major from Ruston.

Pictured are (from left)  Conner Killian, Morgan Thigpen, Teresa Hadwin Conner Gay, and Nathan Bolner.

Pictured are (from left) Conner Killian, Morgan Thigpen, Teresa Hadwin, Conner Gay, and Nathan Bolner.

Bolner also presented a talk at the University Research Symposium and won third place there. He was chosen Tech’s Forestry Student of the Year.

“Every year we vote as a faculty on who best represents our school,” Adams said. “It’s a combination between leadership and academics. Out of all the wonderful students we have to choose from, this year Nathan exemplifies that best overall.”

Research presentations included:

  • Killian – Invasive Species Along the Rock Island Greenway
  • Bolner – Sowing Practices that Increase Longleaf Pine Germination Rates
  • Thigpen – Soil Enhancement Effects on Growth and Development of Bell Pepper Plants.
  • Hadwin – Evaluation of white tailed deer preference among commercial food plot mixes
  • Gay – An evaluation of incremental streamside management zone recruitment