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John Aber Awarded University Professorship

April 22, 2009

John Aber, Courtesy Photo
Courtesy photo

Internationally known environmentalist and professor of natural resources John Aber was recently named a University Professor, the university’s highest form of recognition for excellence in teaching, scholarship and engagement.

Recipients of University Professorships have attained international stature in their discipline because of their significant contributions to the advancement of knowledge or aesthetic understandings. They will have received other widely recognized honors such as international prizes, fellowships, or appointments. Currently Kevin Short is also a University Professor. University Professorships are supported through the generosity of the UNH Foundation. The position is held as long as the individual is employed by the university.  

“John truly reflects the most essential features of UNH – the pursuit of knowledge, the joy of discovery and the responsibility of teaching others,” said Bruce Mallory, UNH provost and executive vice president. “Not only is he known around the world for his scholarship on nitrogen cycling and the effect of acid rain on forests, but he founded and directed a PhD program in natural resources and is currently directing a research program at UNH’s first-in-the-nation commercial-scale Organic Dairy Research Farm.”

Aber wrote the basic text in his field, Terrestrial Ecosystems, and is co-editor of Forests in Time: The Environmental Consequences of 100 years of Change in New England.  He is also an author and co-editor of the forthcoming book The Sustainable Learning Community: One University’s Journey to the Future, a presentation of the breadth and depth of sustainability activities at UNH. He has co-authored more than 200 scientific papers, and in 2003 was listed by the Institute for Scientific Information as one of the top 10 scientists internationally in terms of publication impact in the field of Ecology and Environmental Science. Aber served as the university vice president for research for four years, during which time he led the effort to bring an EPSCoR grant to New Hampshire and established the Energy Task Force.

“For me this award underscores what a great place UNH is to work,” said Aber. “We are so fortunate to be at an institution where the boundaries between topics, disciplines and people are so ephemeral, and where groups of enthusiastic faculty, students and staff can make just about anything happen. It’s been a privilege to work with great colleagues and students all across campus, and to be part of an institution so deeply and genuinely dedicated to making the world a better place. When talking with prospective students and their parents, I have to warn them that I am not an unbiased source of information about UNH, because I love it here.”

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