OSU Rangeland Researcher Honored by DaVinci InstituteWed, 27 Mar 2013 15:41:26 CDT
Sam Fuhlendorf does not need anything else on his résumé, or any more plaques on the wall. But if he did, the Sarkeys professor of natural resource ecology and management at Oklahoma State University could use his recent selection as a DaVinci Fellows award recipient.
“The DaVinci Fellows award for faculty is based on the premise that creative thought and insight are fundamental components of extraordinary scholarship, leadership and teaching across all academic disciples,” said DaVinci Institute President, Dex Marble.
The DaVinci Institute is a private partnership of leaders in higher education across the state with the vision of improving the quality of education in the state to help Oklahomans carry their creative talents into the world.
“Sam challenged traditional management techniques used on rangelands for the last 60 years. He and his colleagues developed a combination of prescribed fire and grazing that mimics the historic patterns of bison movements on the Great Plains,” said Keith Owens, NREM department head. “This management system is being implemented on varied rangeland ecosystems in North America and Africa with great success.”
Fuhlendorf was nominated by his colleagues at OSU.
“I nominated Sam because he is the most creative research scientist I’ve known in my career, and because his creative approach to problem solving is changing my profession,” said Dave Engle, Regents professor and director of the Water Research and Extension Center. “What sets Sam apart from his peers is his ability and willingness to look at things differently, to try new things and to question everything. He sees the world through a different lens that takes in a remarkable field of view.”
He seemed like the perfect choice for nomination for Craig Davis, NREM associate professor, as his work has major implications for years to come.
“His research certainly has been transformative,” said Davis. “In fact, it’s not an exaggeration to say that Sam's research will be having an impact not only on these disciplines, but on how we manage rangelands for decades to come.”
As the only recipient from OSU, receiving the award humbled Fuhlendorf.
“Obviously I’m honored,” he said. “This award recognizes the creativity of our research team. I am proud we have been able to move the science of our discipline ahead.”
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