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American chestnut the topic of DuBois lecture

Posted: April 14, 2010

Bryan Burhans, president and CEO of the American Chestnut Foundation and certified wildlife biologist, will present this year's Umbaugh Lecture at 12:15 p.m. on Friday, April 23, at Penn State DuBois.

Burhans presentation, "Bring Back the American Chestnut," tells the story of the groundbreaking efforts of the Chestnut Foundation to spur a rebirth of the American chestnut tree.

A rapidly spreading disease, known as the chestnut blight, attacked the American chestnut tree in the early part of the 20th century. Within a few years, the chestnut virtually disappeared from America’s forests.

Burhans is among a number of researchers working on a blight-resistant strain of the chestnut tree by crossbreeding it with the Chinese chestnut.

During Burhans' visit, he also will plant an American chestnut tree on campus at Penn State DuBois. The planting is scheduled for 9 a.m. on April 22.

Burhans received his associate degree in Wildlife Technology at Penn State DuBois, and a bachelor's degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from Penn State. He went on to earn his master's degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from Frostburg (Md.) State University.