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Chad Bolding stands with cut trees

New Warnell professor receives national teaching award from SAF

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One of Warnell’s newest faculty members, Chad Bolding, has received the Carl Alwin Schenck Award from the Society of American Foresters.

The award recognizes outstanding performance in the field of forestry education and is presented every year at the organization’s national convention. Bolding is professor and Langdale Endowed Chair in Forest Business; he came to Warnell earlier this past summer from Virginia Tech.

Colleagues who nominated Bolding noted his strong commitment to both teaching and research, offering examples of his devotion to both. Bolding goes the extra mile to see students as colleagues and friends, empowering them to move into their careers with confidence and an understanding of what it means to be a mentor in the field.

During his 14-year tenure at Virginia Tech, Bolding taught a range of core classes for the school’s forest resources program including forest harvesting, timber procurement, and harvesting systems evaluation. He also developed and enhanced classes, including one that focused on professionalism and ethics, and field courses taught through labs outside the classroom. His professional skills course sought to enhance soft skills and prepare students to be well-rounded professionals.

“One example of how he reinforced lessons learned in the field was by having students write a summary of the lesson to someone that was not present during lab,” wrote A.J. Lang of the North Carolina Forest Service, in recommending Bolding for the award. “By emphasizing communication at multiple levels, Dr. Bolding’s students not only gain fundamental knowledge, but also learn different perspectives of stakeholders, assess ethical contemplations and simply help people solve real-life problems.”

SAF’s Carl Alwin Schenck Award is named for the founder of the first forestry education program in the United States, created in 1898 at the Biltmore forestry School. Born and educated in Germany, Schenck was one of the few academically trained foresters in the United States in the 1880s and was one of the original 15 members of SAF.

Bolding is the second Warnell professor to receive the Schenck Award in the past two years. In 2020, forestry professor Pete Bettinger received the honor, which noted his creative instructional techniques in the classroom and his ability to help students use research to make real-world connections. His recognition was the first time a Warnell professor had received the award since its start in 1988.

Bolding said he’s humbled by the award and is proud to be part of preparing the next generation of environmental stewards.

“Bringing applied research findings and practical ‘boots on the ground’ concepts into the classroom is the land-grant mission at work. This is what excites me about teaching,” said Bolding. “I desire to connect students with the reality of their future careers. Observing them mature and succeed as they solve problems for our industry and landowners motivates me to continue to work hard to be a better, more effective teacher.”

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