Forestry Professor Begins Two-Year Term as Council Chairman
A professor of forestry at Pennsylvania College of Technology recently began a two-year term as chairman of the Council of Eastern Forest Technician Schools, which will hold its 2005 annual meeting at the College's Schneebeli Earth Science Center near Allenwood.
Dr. Dennis F. Ringling said the group, which represents schools offering two-year Forest Technology majors "from the Mississippi River to the coast, and from Florida to Newfoundland," will convene at the Earth Science Center in early August 2005. (This year's annual get-together will be held in October at Southeastern Community College in Whiteville, N.C.)
"We meet at one of the member institutions each year to check out the programs, discuss changes in technology and because each of our forests is different to get the 'lay of the land,'" he said. The council's members represent the lush woodlands of the deep south to the sparseness of northern forests, where the growing season is half of Pennsylvania's.
As he touts the renowned and unique programs in Penn College's School of Natural Resources Management, the new chairman also looks forward to showcasing the area during next year's three-day event.
Given Pennsylvania's 17 million acres of woodlands, "there aren't many other places that can boast of being a half-hour maximum from a state park," he said.
The 358.4-acre Earth Science Center campus itself offers a living laboratory, including abundant nature trails for visitors' enrichment. Other possible excursions on the group's schedule are a trip on the Hiawatha Paddlewheel Riverboat, from which visitors can view "Penn's Woods," and a visit to the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon in Wellsboro.
Among the likely business items on the agenda, Dr. Ringling said, is a discussion of moving from recognition by the Society of American Foresters to full accreditation.
Penn College's Forest Technology Program long has been recognized by SAF, but the organization currently accredits only baccalaureate forestry programs (such as those at The Pennsylvania State University). The chairman said one of the goals during his tenure is to work toward inclusion of two-year programs in that process.
More information about CEFTS, including its varied scholarship programs, is available online .