A West Virginia University professor got a pleasant surprise when colleagues and peers presented him with an award this month.

Bob Whitmore, professor of wildlife and fisheries resources in WVU’s Division of Forestry and Natural Resources, received the Mountaineer Award from the West Virginia Chapter of The Wildlife Society.

“The Mountaineer Award came as a complete surprise to me and I am extremely grateful,” Whitmore said.

Jim Anderson, also a member of WVU’s wildlife faculty, noted that Whitmore “has influenced tens of thousands of students through his multiple classes that he has taught through the years.”

“He is very deserving of the Mountaineer Award and has spent his career researching wildlife issues within West Virginia and training the next generation of wildlife professionals,” Anderson added.

Whitmore has published extensively in both peer-reviewed journals and proceedings. His work on effects of gypsy moths and gypsy moth management on birds and their prey items are widely cited. He has done some of the earliest published work on grassland songbird use of reclaimed mine lands in the region. He also has published on bats and rodent communities.

“I came to WVU in 1975 thinking of the position as a stopover on my way to another university,” Whitmore admitted.

But he and his family fell in love with the Mountain State and were reluctant to leave, even though other opportunities arose.

“No other place seemed as well-suited for someone who respects the rural nature of this beautifully forested and biologically diverse state,” Whitmore said. “I have primarily studied birds here and can think of no better place in the United States to do so.”

During his 38-year career at WVU, he has seen the wildlife program triple in size and become a peak of excellence for the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design. This growth makes him ambivalent about retiring, which he will do this spring.

“I believe that I have the best job in the world and have mixed emotions about retiring,” he said. “I have been lucky enough to have served the students of WVU, and it is a grand place.”

The Wildlife Society represents and serves the professional community of scientists, managers, educators, technicians, planners, and others who work actively to study, manage, and conserve wildlife and habitats worldwide.

The members of The Wildlife Society manage, conserve, and study wildlife populations and habitats. They actively manage forests, conserve wetlands, restore endangered species, conserve wildlife on private and public lands, resolve wildlife damage and disease problems, and enhance biological diversity. Society members are active across the United States, Canada, and Mexico, as well as internationally.



CONTACT: David Welsh, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design
304-293-2394, david.welsh@mail.wvu.edu

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