Laurel Kays Joins Extension Forestry Team

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Laurel Kays, NCSU Extension Forestry’s newest Extension Assistant, will be focusing on prescribed fire issues.

NC State University Extension Forestry would like to welcome Laurel Kays to the group. Laurel is the new Extension Assistant working on prescribed fire outreach with Jennifer Evans Fawcett. Laurel previously worked as the Forestry Project Manager for the Southwestern North Carolina Resource Conservation and Development Association, a non-profit based in Waynesville, NC. With this organization, Laurel worked on grant-based projects with organizational partners and landowners to reduce wildfire risk. She has also worked in forestry and conservation outreach for organizations including the National Park Service, as well as in Washington, DC, on technology policy issues.

This is actually more of a “welcome back!” for Laurel, as she is no stranger to the Extension Forestry group. After earning her undergraduate degree in Government & Politics from the University of Maryland, she came to NC State University to complete her Master of Science in Forestry. Her co-advisors were Drs. Robert Bardon and Dennis Hazel, and her masters project focused on Western North Carolina economic development potentials from the forest-sector, including wood energy. Laurel can be reached at, and is based on the 4th floor of Jordan Hall Addition on NC State’s campus.