BLACKSBURG, Va., June 5, 2013 – Virginia Tech’s Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation and the College of Natural Resources and Environment’s Leadership Institute presented Wayne Hubert, professor emeritus and former leader of the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Wyoming, with the Gerald E. Cross Alumni Leadership Award.
Hubert received his doctorate in fisheries and wildlife sciences from the university in 1979, after earning his bachelor’s from Illinois State University and his master’s from Southern Illinois University.
He began his career as an aquatic biologist for the Tennessee Valley Authority and then spent three years as assistant leader of the Iowa Cooperative Fisheries Research Unit at Iowa State University. He joined the University of Wyoming’s Department of Zoology and Physiology and the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit in 1982 and retired as leader of the unit in 2010.
Huber’s research focused heavily on the ecology and habitat needs of freshwater fishes, but also included fish culture, aquatic macroinvertebrates, waterfowl, and riparian bird communities. Hubert taught primarily graduate-level courses in fisheries management and served as an adjunct professor at the University of Wyoming’s Haub School for the Environment and Natural Resources.
A major component of all the courses Hubert taught was inclusion of the human dimension, an element not highly appreciated in many biologically oriented programs. He advised or co-advised 90 graduate students and published approximately 300 peer-reviewed papers, books, and chapters. He served as an editor for several books, including the first, second, and third editions of “Inland Fisheries Management in North America,” as well as the North American Journal of Fisheries Management.
Hubert has been a leader in the American Fisheries Society for many years, serving as president of the society in 2010-11; as president of the Iowa chapter, the Colorado-Wyoming chapter, and the Education Section; and in leadership roles with numerous committees and other units. The society has recognized his contributions in a number of ways, including his receipt of the Award of Excellence in Fisheries Education in 1999 and inclusion in the society’s Fisheries Management Hall of Excellence.
Since retiring, Hubert has served as president and CEO of Hubert Fisheries Consulting LLC, working primarily with federal agencies, private landowners, and nongovernmental organizations. He also is an active member of Trout Unlimited, serving on the board of directors of two chapters.
“I am extremely honored to be recognized among a wide array of highly qualified Virginia Tech alumni for this award,” Hubert said, “particularly because Dr. Jerry Cross was one of my role models.”
Professor Emeritus Gerald E. Cross, who served as the head of what was then called the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences from 1976 to 1989, significantly built up the department during his tenure, increasing the number of faculty members three-fold.
“Dr. Cross recognized early on that the strong technical skills that helped natural resource professionals move up in their organizations must be accompanied by leadership skills if they were to succeed at higher levels,” said Associate Professor Steve McMullin, director of the Leadership Institute, a two-semester leadership program for select undergraduate students in the College of Natural Resources and Environment.
Among his many accomplishments, Cross created a continuing education program focusing on leadership development for U.S. Forest Service wildlife and fisheries biologists and botanists. Approximately 1,000 natural resource professionals have participated in the program since 1988. The leadership that Cross has demonstrated inspired the creation of his namesake award, whose recipients are recognized for their dedication and outstanding achievements in leading others.
The College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech, which consistently ranks among the top three programs of its kind in the nation, advances the science of sustainability. Programs prepare the future generation of leaders to address the complex natural resources issues facing the planet. World-class faculty lead transformational research that complements the student learning experience and impacts citizens and communities across the globe on sustainability issues, especially as they pertain to water, climate, fisheries, wildlife, forestry, sustainable biomaterials, ecosystems, and geography. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.
Written by LauraBess Kenny of Richmond, Va., a junior majoring in communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.
The summer 2015 issue of the college’s quarterly newsmagazine features a rundown on the new cross-colleges water degree, a graduate student's wildlife research in Madagascar's rainforest, and much more.