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Burkhart named forestry department head in CFWR

By Lynn Davis

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 13 - November 16, 1995

A 26-year veteran of Virginia Tech's College of Forestry and Wildlife Resources, Harold E. Burkhart, is the new head of the college's Department of Forestry. Burkhart, who had been the interim head since Bill Hyde stepped down in early 1995, also had served an earlier term as interim head.

In making the announcement, college Dean Greg N. Brown said "Dr. Burkhart is the consummate professor who not only teaches superbly, but engages in world-class research and reaches out to communities with the significant impact of his work."

Burkhart, who will serve a five-year term as department head, was named the Thomas M. Brooks professor in 1981 in honor of his outstanding contributions to the field of forestry biometrics. His career started when he came to Virginia Tech in 1969 as an assistant professor. Since then he has brought more than $2.7 million in research grants to Virginia Tech and supervised 26 M.S. and 24 Ph.D. students.

Some of his awards include the J. Shelton Horsley Research Award from the Virginia Academy of Science, the Virginia Tech Alumni Award for Research Excellence, the Gamma Sigma Delta Teaching Award, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award, the Distinguished Service to Forestry Award, the Distinguished Statistical Ecologist Award, and election as a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Society of American Foresters.

He earned his B.S. in forestry from the Oklahoma State University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in forest biometrics from the University of Georgia. In 1977 he took a sabbatical leave to serve as senior research fellow at the Forest Research Institute in Rotorua, New Zealand.

Burkhart, who is editor of Forest Science and Southern Journal of Applied Forestry, has held every office in the Blue Ridge Chapter of the Society of American Foresters. He leads the growth-and-yield group of the International Union of Forestry Research Organizations and has chaired several meetings of the union.

The forestry scholar also has chaired the Virginia Academy of Science, served as national president of the National Forestry Honor Society, and published two books, eight book chapters, 98 refereed journal articles, and 63 technical bulletins and reports.