Louis Helfrich of Blacksburg, professor of fisheries and wildlife science in the College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech, was conferred with the title, "professor emeritus" by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors during the board's quarterly meeting March 26.
The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians, and exceptional staff members who have given exemplary service to the university and who are specially recommended to the board of visitors by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board of visitors receive an emeritus certificate from the university.
A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1976, Helfrich had served for a while as interim head of the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences. He provided leadership and technical advice to enhance the economic feasibility, profitability, and competitiveness of the Virginia aquaculture industry.
Helfrich made several significant contributions in research in natural resources, writing 54 peer-reviewed journal articles, 16 reports on research, two books, three book reviews, 45 Virginia Cooperative Extension publications, 18 popular articles, and five educational videos. He was well known for the outstanding fisheries posters he produced for educational and conservation purposes.
He served on numerous university, state, national, and internal societies and committees, including consultant and technical advisor with U.S. AID/AED for the government of Sri Lanka.
Helfrich received the Carnegie Mellon Film Institute Video Selection Award in 2000 and the Outdoor Writers Association of America Broadcast Video Award in 1999. He was named Fellow of the American Institute of Fisheries Research Biology in 1983, as well as received three Education Publication Merit award, the American Fisheries Society Best Research Paper and Presentation award, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Certificate of Recognition.
He received his bachelor’s degree at Clarion University, a master’s degree from Pennsylvania State University, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Michigan State University.
The College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech consistently ranks among the top five programs of its kind in the nation. Faculty members stress both the technical and human elements of natural resources and instill in students a sense of stewardship and land-use ethics. Areas of studies include environmental resource management, fisheries and wildlife sciences, forestry, geospatial and environmental analysis, natural resource recreation, urban forestry, wood science and forest products, geography, and international development. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.