The research is funded by a $1.05 million federal appropriation to the U.S. Forest Service, an agency of the USDA. These funds will be allocated to four Auburn research teams led by faculty members Sole Peresin, assistant professor of forest biomaterials; Tom Gallagher, the Regions Professor of Forest Operations; Brian Via, the Regions Professor of Forest Products; and Yucheng Peng, assistant professor of sustainable packaging systems. Each researcher will work with a Forest Service representative.
Graeme Lockaby, the Clinton-McClure Professor in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, said the idea began as he spoke to landowners who were facing the ravages of Hurricane Michael, a Category 5 tropical cyclone that made landfall Oct. 10, 2018, and obliterated hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of timber in the Southeast.
Landowners had just 30 days to extract downed timber because the region’s hot, wet climate