Environment and Natural Resources Institute honors three

November 24, 2008

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Environment and Natural Resources Institute in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has honored two faculty members and a graduate student for outstanding achievements.

Ottar Bjornstad, professor of entomology, was named this year’s recipient of the institute’s Early Career Award. This award recognizes faculty, extension educators and staff in the College of Agricultural Sciences who, early in their careers, show exceptional potential for discovery and leadership at the frontiers of knowledge in the environmental and natural resource sciences.
Bjornstad is one of the leading statistical ecologists in the world and has developed an outstanding reputation in the area of spatial/temporal modeling of animal and disease populations. Based on his application of statistical modeling combined with ecological theory and observations, Bjornstad has published numerous papers in the top scientific journals. He also has been cited frequently in the professional and public press with more than 2,900 citations in the ISI citation index analysis.
Donald Davis, professor of plant pathology, was named the 2008 recipient of the Career Award. This award recognizes faculty, extension educators and staff in the college who have had a distinguished career in the environmental and natural resources field for 10 or more years. Davis was honored for sustained excellence in teaching, research and outreach as both an individual and as a team member.
Davis has been a member of the Penn State community for nearly 44 years, starting as an undergraduate student and continuing as a member of the faculty in the Department of Plant Pathology, focusing on the health of Northeastern hardwood forests. He has studied susceptibility of forest plants to ozone, temporal and spatial trends of mercury accumulation in the forest, biocontrol of artillery fungi using spent mushroom compost and biocontrol of the invasive species, tree-of-heaven.
Andy Wilson, a doctoral candidate in the Ecology intercollege graduate degree program, was named the recipient of the 2008 Outstanding Graduate Student Award. This award recognizes the academic achievement, professional potential and disciplinary contribution of graduate students within the College of Agricultural Sciences whose scholarship focuses on issues related to the environment and natural resources.
Wilson’s dissertation research examining the effects of the federal Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program on birds is aimed at discovering ways to improve farmland habitat for a range of bird species that have suffered declines throughout their ranges. Wilson has been part of a team that has traveled across the state to present workshops on the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program for biologists and managers with the Natural Resource Conservation Service and the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
The Environment and Natural Resources Institute's mission is to improve the understanding and management of living systems, landscapes and human-environment interactions with the objective of sustaining and enhancing ecosystem services and human well-being. To learn more, visit the institute online at http://enri.cas.psu.edu.

Last Updated March 19, 2009