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The country’s aviation industry is currently experiencing a substantial staffing shortage, from pilots and airport staff to mechanics and management personnel. Leaders from Auburn’s School of Aviation—James Witte, department chair, and James Birdsong, aviation program coordinator and winner of the 2020 Alumni Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award—recently discussed the state of the industry, how the situation developed and what leading national programs like Auburn are doing to help feed the pipeline with qualified professionals who are ready to make an immediate impact after graduation.


Space exploration and scientists’ quest to understand the cosmos received a major jolt earlier this month when the first images from the revolutionary James Webb Space Telescope, or JWST, were shared with the world. The $10 billion telescope is expected to provide new opportunities to scientists and deepen humankind’s understanding of the realm of space. Melissa Halford, a lecturer in Auburn University’s Department of Physics in the College of Sciences and Mathematics, or COSAM, took some time to discuss the transcendent images that recently were released to the public, how the telescope may help us understand the history of our universe and how this latest advancement in astronomy might affect educators’ curriculums going forward.


As most of the United States enters the wildfire season, Auburn University wildland fire expert Heather Alexander, associate professor of forest and fire ecology, comments on what can be expected and how landowners and managers can help reduce occurrences and damage.