COLLEGE STATION – Dr. Nova J. Silvy, wildlife and fisheries sciences associate department head for undergraduate programs at Texas A&M University, College Station, was named a 2012 Senior Faculty Fellow by Texas A&M AgriLife Research.
The honor was presented during the Texas A&M AgriLife Conference in College Station on Jan. 8.
AgriLife Research established the Faculty Fellows honor in 1998 to recognize outstanding and productive faculty who have contributed to the scholarly creation and dissemination of new knowledge through exceptional leadership and grantsmanship. Once being honored as a Faculty Fellow, individuals such as Silvy are eligible to later be nominated as a Senior Faculty Fellow to reflect continued scholarly contributions through leadership in a research program.
Silvy was nominated by Dr. Michael Masser, head of the Texas A&M wildlife and fisheries sciences department.
“Throughout his 38 years of service at Texas A&M University, Dr. Silvy has not only distinguished himself as an exceptional researcher and teacher but also has made substantial contributions to the wildlife profession though his research, undergraduate and graduate mentoring, service and international leadership,” Masser wrote.
Throughout his 40-plus year career, Silvy has presented 70 invited papers, authored more than 265 referred publications and secured more than $13 million in research funding. As a graduate mentor, he has helped 104 graduate students, 40 with doctorates and 64 with master’s, earn their degrees.
“Undoubtedly, Dr. Silvy has made an impression in the wildlife profession, however his greatest impact to our profession will be seen in the next generation of professional wildlife biologists and scientists,” Masser wrote. “He believes that both an undergraduate and graduate education is an integral part of a university research program. He also believes a quality education begins with the involvement of students in field research. His philosophy has empowered the next generation of wildlife professionals through field experiences and hands-on training.”
As testament to his success as an educator, Masser said, 30 of Silvy’s former graduate students currently work for universities across the nation and hold positions such as dean, Extension head, director of graduate studies, director of institutes and department chairs at universities including Texas A&M, Rutgers, University of Tennessee and the University of Wisconsin.
Silvy’s research has contributed to the understanding of more than 100 wildlife species, wrote Masser, and he is considered the leading authority on five endangered species, namely the Attwater’s prairie chicken, Lower Keys marsh rabbit, Key Largo wood rat, silver rice rat and the Florida Keys deer.
“Information from his research has prevented the extinction of these endangered species and goes well beyond the pages of journal articles and presentations at scientific meetings,” Masser wrote.
Silvy first joined the faculty at Texas A&M in 1974. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in zoology from Kansas State University and a doctorate also in zoology from Southern Illinois University.