AU Environmental Lecture Series to Feature Natural Resources Specialist

AU Environmental Lecture Series to Feature Natural Resources Specialist

2/22/17 ASHLAND, Ohio – The third event in the 2016-2017 Ashland University Environmental Lecture Series, with a theme of “In Our Own Backyard, Year 2,” will be a presentation by David Apsley, natural resources specialist with the Ohio State University Extension in Jackson, Ohio.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held Thursday, March 2, at 7:30 p.m. in the Ronk Lecture Hall in the Dwight Schar College of Education. Apsley will speak on “Ohio's Eastern Hemlock Forests and the Threat of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid.”

This presentation will provide an overview of the ecological and economic importance of Ohio’s Hemlock forest. It will cover the characteristics that allow eastern hemlock to become established, dominate and persist for centuries on sites with limited light and nutrient availability. Additionally, Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA), an invasive pest that threatens the existence of hemlock in Ohio and the eastern United States, will be discussed. Updates on the current status of HWA in Ohio and the collaborative efforts being employed to manage its impact will be provided.

Dr. Patricia Saunders, director of the Environmental Science Program, says that the idea for this presentation was motivated partly by interest in the mature eastern hemlock forest along Clear Fork Gorge in Mohican State Park. ”Southern Ashland County was at the edge of the last Ice-Age glacier and Clear Fork Gorge was carved by meltwater. The hemlocks there represent a sort of island off the western edge of their range. The trees are really lovely and graceful, and this habitat takes us back in time in a way. These forests are native and have long attracted migratory birds, as well as the birders hoping to see them.”

Apsley is associate professor for Ohio State University Extension where he has served as a natural resources specialist since December of 2000. He focuses most of his energy on educational and applied research efforts aimed at improving forest management on private lands. Some of the programs he has helped to develop since joining OSU Extension include: Call Before You Cut ( and the Ohio Woodland Stewards program (

Apsley holds a bachelor's degree in Forest Management from Purdue University (1985) and a master's degree in Forest Resources from the University of Georgia (1987). He has more than 25 years of professional experience in forestry and natural resources education, management and research. Prior to joining Ohio State University Extension in December of 2000, he taught for six years in the Forest Management Technology at Hocking College. Other positions he has held include forester and supervisory forester for the Department of Army at Fort Knox, Ky.; and research technician and research coordinator in the School of Forest Resources at the University of Georgia. He is a past chair of the Ohio Society of American Foresters and is a certified forester. He lives on a certified tree farm in Jackson County, Ohio.

The Environmental Lecture Series was established at Ashland University after the Environmental Science program was implemented in 1991-92. Now in its 25th year, the lecture series was designed to support the Environmental Science program by allowing students, faculty and members of North Central Ohio communities to interact with leaders in environmental science and policy. Over the years, the lecture series has generated significant campus and community involvement and support. Current support for the lecture series is provided by a grant from the Lubrizol Foundation, the National Science Foundation, individual donations and additional support from Ashland University. Past series have been supported by AU and grants from the GTE Foundation and the Fran and Warren Rupp Foundation.

For information about the spring series events and any updates on the lecture series, visit the website at:

Ashland University, ranked in the top tier of colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2017, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( deeply values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.

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