A Wisconsin native and UWSP alumnus who is one the country’s leading experts in waterfowl management has been named as the first person to hold the Kennedy-Grohne Endowed Chair in Waterfowl and Wetlands Conservation. This new faculty position is in the College of Natural Resources.
Jacob Straub, an assistant professor at the State University of York-Plattsburgh’s Center for Earth and Environmental Science, will start his new position in August 2016.
Straub has taught avian ecology and other conservation courses at SUNY since 2013. He is already an active and respected participant in waterfowl and wetlands research and issues at the national level.
The position will significantly enhance opportunities in waterfowl and wetlands research, outreach, and education, according to Christine Thomas, dean of the College of Natural Resources. It will help secure the future of healthy waterfowl populations, especially along the northern section of the Mississippi Flyway.
Straub, originally from Appleton, graduated from UWSP in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources Management. He went on to earn a master’s in Wildlife Science from Ohio State University, and completed a PhD in Forest Resources from Mississippi State University in 2012.
The endowed chair was created with gifts totaling $2 million to the UWSP Foundation from James C. Kennedy of Atlanta, Georgia, and David F. Grohne of Wilmington, Illinois. Both men are devoted conservationists and active with Duck Unlimited, Inc., the world’s largest private, nonprofit waterfowl and wetlands conservation organization.
Earnings generated from the endowment will support collaborative research, outreach and related student-faculty activities of the chair. UWSP will provide the base salary and fringe benefits for the professor.
The College of Natural Resources is one of only three places in the nation that will have this level of education and research. The others are Mississippi State University and Clemson University.