The leader behind what will become Oregon’s first accredited school of public health and a terrestrial ecologist who identified a new paradigm in wildlife research have been named 2014 recipients of the Distinguished Professor Award by Oregon State University.
Marie Harvey, a professor in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences, and William Ripple, a professor in the College of Forestry, will receive their awards this spring and give public lectures on campus.
The Distinguished Professor title is the highest designation Oregon State gives to its faculty.
Sabah Randhawa, OSU provost and executive vice president, said the two faculty members chosen for the honor share similar traits of innovative leadership, internationally recognized scholarship and service to the university and their respective fields.
“Marie Harvey and Bill Ripple exemplify what we hope all of our faculty will strive to become as they develop their careers,” Randhawa said. “They both have revolutionized their fields, drawing respect and admiration not only from their colleagues on campus, but from around the world.”
Harvey is widely known for her pioneering work in reproductive and sexual health, shifting the research from an exclusive focus on women to one that examines the relationship dynamics of couples as it applies to both pregnancy and disease prevention. That shift, along with Harvey’s work in diversity and equity, prompted the American Public Health Association to present her with its Lifetime Achievement Award.
“I am very pleased that Marie Harvey is being honored with the Distinguished Professor title,” said Tammy Bray, dean of OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences. “In addition to her scholarly contributions to the field of public health, I most appreciate her leadership and partnership with me in the effort to transform our college to become the first accredited school of public health in Oregon.”
Harvey has been a faculty member at OSU since 2003 and associate dean of the college since 2011. Her title is Distinguished Professor of Public Health.
Ripple began his career studying old-growth forests and spotted owls and evolved his research to look at the impact of predators. His work led to a new field called “trophic cascades” – or how large predators exert powerful influences on ecosystem structure and function. Examples include the influence of wolves in Yellowstone Park on everything from the composition of hardwood forests to streamside erosion.
His prominence as an ecologist has led to consulting efforts with the National Academy of Sciences, The White House, President Clinton’s Forest Summit, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and others. Ripple will be Distinguished Professor of Ecology.
“Bill Ripple has been a fantastic teacher and researcher in the College of Forestry and well deserves being named a Distinguished Professor,” said Thomas Maness, dean of the college. “He is an internationally known leader in the ecology of top predators and his studies on the impact of gray wolves in Yellowstone, along with co-author (OSU professor emeritus) Robert Beschta, have been featured in numerous scientific journals and in popular media. They have directly impacted conservation research and policies.”