In 2021, SRS employees and their collaborators were recognized for outstanding accomplishments.
USDA Forest Service Chief’s Award
Zanethia Barnett and Craig Roghair received a Chief’s Award for their role in bringing people of color to the Ocala, George Washington & Jefferson, Monongahela, and Cherokee National Forests for snorkeling and other activities. 185 participants joined the adventure, seeing their forest as a fish would. The event was organized through Get Black Outside, a national non-profit program. Partners included See You at the Top, Tennessee Aquatics Program, and the National Association of Black Scuba Divers. In addition to the Chief’s Award, the project also won a Regional Forester’s Honor Award.
Regional Forester’s Honor Awards
A Regional Forester’s Honor Award was also given to the team that includes John Kilgo and James Garabedian. Kilgo, Garabedian, and their colleagues were recognized for their research on wild pigs at the Savannah River Site. This research is showing how wild pigs can be managed effectively. Wild pigs are the largest invasive species in the U.S. and do a tremendous amount of damage to forests and natural areas, as well as crops, golf courses, and lawns.
Another award from the Regional Forester went to the Landscape Level Integration and Shared Stewardship team, with more than 80 members from the Southern Region and SRS. The LLISS team includes Stephanie Laseter, Danny Lee, and Lars Pomara. This team developed a decision framework to help land managers meet shared goals, actively manage landscapes, and align workforce and budget initiatives.
Helen Mohr, Gregg Chapman, and partners on the Sumter National Forest, at Clemson University, and with the Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers received a Regional Forester’s Honor Award for Fire Tigers, a program which trains Clemson students to be wildland firefighters.
Station Director’s Awards
Director’s Awards were given in several categories by the SRS acting director, Rob Harper.
- Scott Goodrick received the Distinguished Scientist Award for world-class contributions to fire behavior modeling. His leadership brings partners together to apply research to real-world fire experiments and scenario planning. Goodrick and his team developed QUIC-Fire, a predictive model that is inspiring new research on smoke, fuels, and fire effects.
- Lars Pomara received the Science Delivery Award for his work with the Southern Region of the Forest Service. Pomara and his colleagues developed the Landscape Level Integration and Shared Stewardship, which helps decision-makers effectively use assessment and planning tools. The project is helping integrate science and management across the Southern Region.
- David Chandler was awarded the Business Operations Support Award for outstanding support and exceptional performance above and beyond normal duties that enabled the effective execution of the Station’s budget during a time of significant change as well as short staffing.
- Jacob Floyd received the Research Technician Award for his “cultivation of team enthusiasm and pride during field research activities resulting in conservation of resources and high-quality research outcomes,” as the awards committee said.
- The members of the Experimental Forest Network team won the Research Professional Support Award. The core Network team is made up of Stephanie Laseter, Johnny Boggs, Chuck Burdine, and Bryan Mudder. Each team member is supporting the Network in addition to their other job duties. Over the past year the team has worked with Forest Inventory and Analysis to add plots to experimental forests as well as oversee research proposals that span the Network.
- Kathy Ricker received the Customer Service Award. “Ricker is a behind-the-scenes heroine, tackling the most complex tasks to ensure her co-workers and the Southern Research Station are successful,” says the awards committee.
- Employees in the Center for Forest Disturbance Science (RWU-4156) received the Partnership Award. Members of RWU-4156 conduct cutting edge research on fire behavior, management, and ecology, and have built partnerships to share this knowledge with practitioners and advance prescribed fire management.
Congratulations to each recipient! Their work reflects the agency’s core values of service to others, interdependence, and commitment to conservation, diversity, and safety.