ODU BIOLOGY

The department has teaching and research interests in many aspects of Biology from the cellular and molecular level to organismal to global ecological and conservation issues

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Congratulations Dr Frank Day - Fellow of the Society of Wetland Scientists

Dr. Frank Day, professor and eminent scholar in the Department of Biological Sciences at ODU, was honored as a Fellow of the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) in an awards ceremony on July 5th at the SWS annual meeting in Prague, Czech Republic. His nominators indicated his most significant scientific contributions were in the area of forested wetland ecology, specifically ecosystem productivity with a focus on belowground processes and litter dynamics. His research helped identify forested wetlands as important ecosystems for processing nutrients and sequestering carbon. Through Dr. Day's research efforts, and those of his students and collaborators, the field of wetland science has been enriched greatly. Rarely does a forested wetland paper pass the desk of an editor without a citation of Dr. Day's research.
Dr. Day served as President of SWS from 2002 to 2003. As President, Dr. Day formally acknowledged the paucity of diversity among wetland scientists and the fact that many of the ethnic groups that are most dependent on wetland ecosystem services do not have a voice in the wetland science enterprise. In typical fashion, Dr. Day acted decisively by establishing the Human Diversity Committee of SWS and facilitating three successful proposals for grants from the National Science Foundation to support an undergraduate mentoring program for students from underrepresented groups. The program has been very successful under Dr. Day's leadership; awards have been presented to 57 students from 38 different colleges or universities.
Dr. Day was elected as a Fellow of SWS because of his significant contributions to science, leadership in teaching, and service to the Society of Wetland Scientists. Dr. Day has established a strong, internationally recognized wetland research program and has influenced over three and a half decades of students; many of whom are now professional scientists, resource managers, and teachers. Dr. Day's vision while President of SWS established a society focus on diversity.
Letters in support of Dr. Day’s nomination attest to his contributions to the field and more generally to science and society. One nominator wrote “I have known Frank for many years, first as a scientist, then as president of the society, and finally as a significant promoter of diversity in our profession. He embodies all the qualities expected of a Fellow. As a scientist, Frank Day recognized early the need to understand the structure and function of forested wetlands. In particular, he was one of the first wetland ecologists to explore root dynamics in a forested wetland. He has a distinguished research and publication record that by itself would merit his being designated as Fellow. Frank Day is just as deserving of recognition for the service he has provided to the Society of Wetland Scientists. The President’s Service Award in 2006 reflected his substantial efforts to standardize the way in which the society operates. Frank assumed a responsibility at which he has excelled and should lead to a profound change in the membership in SWS. An NSF award was granted to SWS to increase diversity in the society's membership. In spite of the significant time Frank Day had already spent on SWS business, he agreed to take on this additional responsibility. His kind and gentle manner with students, combined with his trademark thoroughness and patience, has built a structured program that helps these students learn about wetlands ecology and management. Frank Day is an excellent scientist, he has gone well above and beyond the call of duty in serving SWS, and he is a promoter of general good will.”
Another nominator stated that “Dr. Frank Day has an exemplary record of service to SWS. I think Frank's greatest contribution to SWS is his work to establish human diversity initiatives within the Society. The SWS Undergraduate Mentoring Program has excelled for the past 8 years under Dr. Day's leadership. Dr. Frank Day exemplifies the very best of our profession. His personal and scientific achievements alone would qualify him to be an SWS Fellow. Few have Dr. Day's record of service to SWS and its members.” A third nominator felt that “his leadership in spreading knowledge and opportunity to young students and in promoting multicultural diversity among wetland scientists makes him a perfect candidate for this recognition. His enthusiasm and communication skills allow him to connect with a younger generation, providing confidence and inspiration. His persistence and passion for increasing diversity in the wetland sciences transcends all of ecology, and his interactions with me and others have not onIy exposed us to a range of opportunities, but have created a model for us to emulate.”

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