Cellulose Nanocomposites Workshop: From Raw Materials to Applications

Are you interested in learning about the exciting opportunities that lignocellulosic nanomaterials and nanocomposites offer? If so, we invite you to attend a workshop at the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) to hear from some of the most experienced people in the field and tour the Lab’s cellulose nanomaterials pilot facility.

“Cellulose Nanocomposites Workshop: From Raw Materials to Applications”
Tuesday, May 16th – 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, WI Continue reading

An Old Tale is New Again: Lindbergh Kidnapping Case Still Fascinates

Of all the stories we tell about happenings at the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL), the story of the famed 1932 Lindbergh kidnapping and our scientist’s involvement in solving the case just never gets old.

The so-called "Lindy Baby Ladder," which Forest Products Laboratory Botanist Arthur Koehler used to convict Bruno Hauptmann.

The so-called “Lindy Baby Ladder,” which Forest Products Laboratory Botanist Arthur Koehler studied and was used to help convict Bruno Hauptmann in the infamous kidnapping.

Adam Schrager, a journalist at WISC-TV in Madison and the author of The Sixteenth Rail: The Evidence, the Scientist, and the Lindbergh Kidnapping, recently penned another fascinating article on the case for the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s alumni magazine, On Wisconsin.

Forensic work is still alive and well at FPL in our Center for Wood Anatomy research, and you can learn more about our modern-day wood sleuths in these recent LabNotes offerings.

Let’s Celebrate! It’s National Forest Products Week!

At the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL), we’re constantly focusing on the many ways forests provide for society. But for most people, it’s easy to overlook the significant role wood, paper, and other forest products play in their daily lives.

We’re honored that each October, the President of the United States gives the public a gentle reminder of the generosity of forests by proclaiming a National Forest Products Week. You can read this year’s official proclamation in its entirety below and then look around with gratitude at the forest products surrounding you.

Happy National Forest Products Week from all of us at FPL!



– – – – – – –



Filtering the air we breathe and the water we drink, and providing the habitats that are home to diverse species of fish and wildlife, forests are an essential part of our planet. Across America, they offer a wide range of cultural and recreational activities that have sustained and entertained people since long before our Nation’s founding. Today, forests provide products we use each day, including paper, wood, and building and packaging materials. During National Forest Products Week, we express our appreciation for the incredible bounty forests provide and we renew our commitment to ensuring the next generation can enjoy their irreplaceable resources.

Our forests are at increasing risk from catastrophic wildfires, erosion, drought, and climate change. That is why my Administration is working alongside State and local leaders, landowners, and businesses to develop solutions to preserve our forests — because we must respond to challenges that threaten these important spaces. America’s forests play an important role in addressing climate change by absorbing carbon pollution. It is critical that we protect and restore our forests, and through the Climate Action Plan, Federal agencies are coming together to strengthen the resilience of our forests and enhance their ability to absorb even more carbon pollution.

The health and well-being of our forests and our communities go hand in hand. With the Department of Agriculture, we are working to strengthen markets for forest products. By allocating millions of dollars to help expand technologies that encourage the use of wood in innovative ways, we are also striving to improve forest health and generate rural jobs. And we are exploring ways to help forestland owners respond to climate change — earlier this year, we released a roadmap for implementing key building blocks to achieve this goal, such as private forest growth and retention, stewardship of Federal forests, and promotion of wood products.

Forests generate billions of dollars in economic growth, sustaining local economies and enhancing communities across our country. We rely on them in so many aspects of our national life, and throughout this week, we must continue working to protect the precious resources our forests hold so they can continue enriching our world and supporting our way of life.

To recognize the importance of products from our forests, the Congress, by Public Law 86-753 (36 U.S.C. 123), as amended, has designated the week beginning on the third Sunday in October of each year as “National Forest Products Week” and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 16 through October 22, 2016, as National Forest Products Week. I call on the people of the United States to join me in recognizing the dedicated individuals who are responsible for the stewardship of our forests and for the preservation, management, and use of these precious natural resources for the benefit of the American people.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.


(The proclamation can be found on the White House website here.)

FPL Researcher’s Article Gets Professional Nod

Joseph Jakes, research materials engineer at the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL), is the lead author for the Editor’s Choice selection of the September 2016 issue of JOM, the flagship technical journal of The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS).

Cover courtesy of TMS.

Cover courtesy of TMS.

Fewer than five percent of the papers accepted for publication in JOM receive the Editor’s Choice designation, with all Editor’s Choice selections opened for public access in recognition of their excellence and broad community interest in their topics. Jakes’ article “Not Just Lumber—Using Wood in the Sustainable Future of Materials, Chemicals, and Fuels” is available for free download.

The article provides an overview of wood structure and chemical composition, while also highlighting current topics in forest products research. The article concludes with a discussion of the sustainability of wood as a renewable forest resource.

Jakes shares this honor with the following co-authors, all serving in various capacities at FPL: Xavier Arzola, Christopher Hunt, Mandla Tshabalala, Rick Bergman, Alex C. Wiedenhoeft, and Samuel L. Zelinka. Peter Ciesielski, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Nima Rahbar, Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

The article is contained within the September 2016 JOM technical topic, Recent Advances in Forest Products Research and Development, which Jakes curated as a guest editor.

Tall Wood 101: Teaching Design Professionals About Wood in Building

Although steel and concrete skyscrapers typically fill modern city skylines, architects and engineers are beginning to reconsider the benefits of using wood as a material for tall  buildings.

The Finlandia Prize-winning Puukuokka apartment building was built with prefabricated modules of CLT.

The Finlandia Prize-winning Puukuokka apartment building is an example of wood construction instead of steel and concrete.

But in order for society to reap those benefits, building design and construction professionals need to get smart on how to make tall wood buildings a reality.

A new factsheet published by the USDA Forest Service, titled Teaching Design Professionals About Wood In Building, presents two brief case studies of organizations providing such education–Michael Green Architecture and WoodWorks.

The work being done here at the Forest Products Laboratory is also key to making these sky-high efforts a success.

Take a look to learn more about the efforts of these organizations and USDA to promote the use of wood, along with a few fast facts and links to additional resources.