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Forest Service IT Specialist Excels for Northern Research Station

Jim Lootens-White, an information technology specialist for the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Research Station, is featured in a recent online profile. He shares his interests in web development projects to explain the Station’s research results. (Forest Service photo)

Jim Lootens-White, an information technology specialist for the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Research Station, is featured in a recent online profile. He shares his interests in web development projects to explain the Station’s research results. (Forest Service photo)

Jim Lootens-White, an information technology specialist for the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Research Station, has a keen interest in interpreting scientific data and developing web projects to highlight the compelling research accomplishments of the station’s scientists.

As an IT specialist for the web, Lootens-White says the work is constantly changing. Read more »

A Community Rallies to Save its Historic Theater

The 1911-built Scenic Theater in Lisbon, N.D. With support from USDA, the theater, a focal point for the community, will continue to operate. USDA photo.

The 1911-built Scenic Theater in Lisbon, N.D. With support from USDA, the theater, a focal point for the community, will continue to operate. USDA photo.

The Scenic Theater in Lisbon, North Dakota, like many small-town theaters, was struggling with the high cost to convert from a film to digital format. Film had been an industry standard for more than a hundred years, but Hollywood studios will stop printing on actual film by the end of the year.

Established in 1911, the Scenic is the oldest, continually operating theater in the United States. Due to the digital upgrade, theater owners, Al and Betty Michels, were worried that it would be forced to go dark for the first time. To make the transition, all new equipment would have to be purchased and installed, which would cost close to $100,000. With this daunting number, the community rallied to help preserve the historic theater. Read more »

Play Ball! Forest Service Research Cracks Major League Baseball Problem

Testing and analyzing thousands of shattered Major League bats, U.S. Forest Service researchers at the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) developed changes in manufacturing that decreased the rate of shattered maple bats by more than 50 percent since 2008. While the popularity of maple bats is greater today than ever before, the number of shattered bats continues to decline. Photo Courtesy of MLB Advanced Media.

Testing and analyzing thousands of shattered Major League bats, U.S. Forest Service researchers at the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) developed changes in manufacturing that decreased the rate of shattered maple bats by more than 50 percent since 2008. While the popularity of maple bats is greater today than ever before, the number of shattered bats continues to decline. Photo Courtesy of MLB Advanced Media.

Rate of shattered maple bats down 50 percent.

In 2008, Major League Baseball (MLB) came to the U.S. Forest Service, asking our Forest Products Laboratory to investigate why baseball bats were increasingly shattering into multiple pieces on contact.

The Forest Service team, led by David Kretschmann, dug in, swung for the fences and scored big time! Read more »