2020 Pennsylvania Forestry Association Annual Symposium

Monday, October 26, 2020 - Friday, October 30, 2020

Video recordings from each day are now available.


The Pennsylvania Forestry Association is excited to roll-out its 134th Annual Symposium in Virtual Form during the last week of October 2020. We look forward to connecting with our members and friends in a new, safe, and easily accessible way!

Please be aware that you are able to get SAF credits for tuning into the Annual Symposium! At the end of the meeting, the moderator will ask for your Name and SAF CF# to be typed into the chat box.

Fix your lunch, pull up a chair, and join in!  Each day from 12pm-1pm, we will offer a presentation expanding on the topic, "Exploring Change in Penn's Woods."

Don't know how to login to Zoom? No problem! We have resources to help! Rather just call in and listen? We'll offer a number for just that!

Register here

View this year's schedule (PDF)

Sponsorship Information (PDF)

Join us virtually on Zoom (12pm-1pm each day)

Zoom meeting details will be provided after registration.

Meeting link






Human actions have dominated the complex history of forests over recent centuries and even earlier, and will continue to dominate in the future.  Decisions about energy have been especially important for trees—the deforestation that led to Joseph Rothrock’s “Pennsylvania desert” was often for fuel, including charcoal making for iron furnaces.  The widespread switch to fossil fuels allowed forest regrowth, but now threatens major changes to those forests because of climate impacts.  Paths exist to a sustainable energy future with a healthy forested landscape. 

Dr. Richard Alley (PhD 1987, Geology, Wisconsin) is Evan Pugh University Professor of Geosciences at Penn State.  He studies the great ice sheets to help predict future changes in climate and sea level, and has made four trips to Antarctica, nine to Greenland, and more to Alaska and elsewhere.  He has been honored for research (including election to the US National Academy of Sciences and Foreign Membership in the Royal Society), teaching, and service.  Dr. Alley participated in the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize), and has provided requested advice to numerous government officials in multiple administrations including a US Vice President, Presidential Science Advisors, and committees and individual members of the US Senate and House of Representatives.  He has authored or coauthored over 300 refereed scientific papers.  He was presenter for the PBS TV miniseries on climate and energy Earth: The Operators’ Manual, and author of the book.  His popular account of climate change and ice cores, The Two-Mile Time Machine, was Phi Beta Kappa’s science book of the year.  Dr. Alley is happily married with two grown daughters, a stay-at-home cat, a bicycle, and a pair of soccer cleats.




This presentation will look at the current and projected impacts of climate change on our native species and forests, the challenges and opportunities conservationists face in helping to ensure their survival, and how Pennsylvania’s State Parks and State Forests are adapting to climate change.

Greg Czarnecki III is the Director of Applied Climate Science, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, where he has worked since 2016 to coordinate DCNR’s focus on Climate Change and Research.

From 2006 to 2011 Czarnecki managed this the PA Natural Heritage Program, a multi-agency partnership which inventories and works to protect the state’s rare and endangered species and their habitats.  Overlapping his tenure with the PNHP and extending his work until 2016, he became the Executive Director of the PA Wild Resources Conservation Program where he managed a million dollar grant fund, raising money for research and education projects, setting research and conservation priorities, and facilitating interactions between the research, conservation, and education communities.

He previously directed The Nature Conservancy’s Natural Heritage Program, which inventoried and monitored rare and exemplary habitats and species and managed multi-faceted, environmental communication and education projects for federal and non-profit clients at ERG.

A writer and photographer for 33 years, Czarnecki has written for newspapers, magazines, and web sites on a variety of topics, focusing primarily on the environment, wildlife, and climate change. Greg holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Gannon University and an MS in Biology from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. As an adjunct instructor at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, Lebanon Valley College, and at Penn State, he has taught a number of courses including Global Climate Change - Impacts and Solutions.



The Ruffed Grouse Society/American Woodcock Society strives to preserve our sporting traditions by creating healthy forests for ruffed grouse and American woodcock. RGS biologists work with private landowners and state and federal agencies to improve lands for grouse, woodcock, and other wildlife.

Dr. Benjamin C. Jones is President and CEO of the Ruffed Grouse Society and American Woodcock Society.Established in 1961, the Ruffed Grouse Society and American Woodcock Society are North America’s foremost conservation organizations dedicated to preserving our sporting traditions by creating healthy forest habitat for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and other wildlife. RGS and AWS work with landowners and government agencies to develop critical habitat utilizing scientific management practices.

Ben earned a bachelor’s degree in wildlife and fisheries science with a forest science minor from Penn State, a master’s degree in wildlife ecology from Mississippi State, and a Ph.D. in natural resources from the University of Tennessee. Upon graduating from Penn State, Ben left his native Pennsylvania to explore forest management and prescribed fire in Mississippi, then to western North Carolina to engage with the U.S. Forest Service on ruffed grouse biology and habitat as part of the Appalachian Cooperative Grouse Research Project. In 2005, he joined the Pennsylvania Game Commission as their Public Lands Section Chief and in 2010 became the agency’s Habitat Division Chief where he oversaw public and private lands, GIS and wildland fire programs. He’s also been active in helping woodland owners with sustainable timber harvests.   

Dr. Jones resides near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with his wife Michelle, three children and the family’s English setter. He is an avid outdoorsman, hunting at every available opportunity, with a passion for introducing the next generation of hunters to our sporting traditions. 



What is the impact of COVID-19 on the Forest Products Industry?  Who knows the future?  Following the impact of the US tariff trade war with China, and then the pandemic, the always resilient forest products industry will survive, but what will the industry and markets look like this fall.  This presentation will give you the latest information on the industry, markets, and opportunities for Pennsylvania’s forest products industry in the domestic and international markets.

Jonathan Geyer received a BS in Environmental Science with a secondary emphasis in GIS from Juniata College. Upon graduation he began working for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Hardwoods Development Council (HDC) as the WoodMobile Coordinator. Jon traveled across the commonwealth to school fairs and festivals educating the public on the forest products industry, sustainable forestry, and invasive insects. After one season with the WoodMobile Program he was promoted to his current position as the Hardwoods Development Specialist. In this position Jon oversees the WoodMobile program, educates on the importance of choosing wood at various building and architecture trade shows across the US, and promotes Pennsylvania’s hardwood industry to both domestic and international markets.

Jon is an outdoor enthusiast and enjoys spending his free time hunting, fishing, kayaking, and hiking. He resides in Duncannon with his wife Michaela and his beagle named Oak.



Pennsylvania forests play can play a critical role in helping mitigate climate change! Trees take carbon dioxide from the air, store part of the carbon in the wood, and release oxygen.  Landowners can manage their forests to store more carbon while also improving wildlife habitat and growing more timber.  Landowners can also enroll in programs such as the Family Forest Carbon Program (FFCP) that pay them to implement certain practices that improve forest carbon storage.  The FFCP is a new way to unleash globally significant climate change mitigation through America’s family forests. The American Forest Foundation (AFF) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) are working with leading U.S. businesses, state and federal agencies, other non-profits, and America’s 21 million family forest owners to capture and store more carbon to meet climate goals.

As the Conservation Forester for the PA Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, Kevin Yoder promotes sustainable forest management through TNC’s Working Woodlands Program.  His career has revolved around the integration of wildlife management and forestry, with an emphasis on sustainably managing privately-owned forestland.  Kevin is interested helping landowners manage their land sustainably and developing tools and programs that help fund conservation on private lands.



PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn and State Forester Ellen Shultzabarger will discuss the importance of adaptations in managing, conserving and recreating in Pennsylvania’s forests. Today, there are many changes and challenges facing the forests and DCNR’s work.  The link between land management, conservation, clean water, and connecting young people to the outdoors is critical to solving today’s environmental issues.

Cindy Adams Dunn is the Secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), returning to the agency where she worked under three governors in multiple positions over the last two decades. Dunn served as DCNR’s Deputy Secretary of Conservation and Technical Services from 2007-2013, where she led DCNR's conservation landscape program and oversaw the community conservation partnerships grant program, which provides $30-$60 million annually for conservation and recreation throughout the commonwealth. Dunn's other leadership posts at DCNR include director of the Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, as well as director of the Office of Education, Communications and Partnerships. For two years in the mid ‘90s, Dunn joined DCNR for the first time as director of community relations and environmental education.

Dunn's other leadership roles include serving as the executive director of Audubon Pennsylvania from 1997-2003 and as the Pennsylvania program director for the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay for 10 years. From November 2013 to June of 2015, Dunn served as the president and chief executive officer of PennFuture, a statewide environmental advocacy organization.

Dunn has been recognized with numerous awards for her leadership in conservation including:

  • The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay’s Frances E. Flanigan Environmental Leadership Award
  • Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs and Pennsylvania Wildlife Federation Conservationist of the Year
  • Cumberland County Conservation District Conservationist of the Year
  • The Appalachian Audubon Society Conservationist of the Year

Dunn holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in biology from Shippensburg University. She and her husband, Craig, reside in Cumberland County. When not championing the efforts of DCNR, Dunn enjoys the natural and recreation resources the agency works hard to protect and promote through hobbies that include birding, canoeing, fishing, and hiking.

As the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s State Forester, Ellen Shultzabarger, oversees the 2.2 million acres the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Bureau of Forestry manages, conserving native plants, promoting timber yields and protecting clean water, plant and wildlife biodiversity. Previously she worked on oil and gas management, restoration, wildlife management and recreation planning as the Bureau’s Chief of Conservation Science and Ecological Resources. Prior to joining the Bureau of Forestry 15 years ago, Ellen worked for the Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife, Tufts University and the National Wildlife Federation. She earned a graduate certification in urban environmental planning and policy from Tufts University and holds a bachelor’s degree in natural resources from Ohio State University.