Dr. Fred Provenza – December 2010

Fred Provenza is originally from Colorado where he worked on a ranch near Salida while earning a B.S. Degree in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University. Upon receiving a B.S. degree in 1973 he became ranch manager. In total, he and his wife Sue spent 7 years working on the ranch.

He and Sue left the ranch in Colorado in 1975 so he could work as a research assistant and technician at Utah State University, where he earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Range Science. He was a faculty member in the Department of Range Science from 1982 to 2009. He is currently Professor Emeritus in the Department of Wildland Resources at Utah State University.

For the past 30 years, his group has produced ground-breaking research that laid the foundations for what is now known as behavior-based management of landscapes. That work inspired researchers in disciplines as diverse as chemical ecology, ruminant nutrition, human nutrition and biopsychology, animal welfare, landscape restoration ecology, wildlife damage management, pasture and rangeland science and management, and rural sociology and eco-development. Along with colleagues and graduate students, he has been author or co-author of 250 publications in peer-reviewed journals and books, and he has been an invited speaker at over 325 international meetings.

Their efforts led to the formation in 2001 of an international network of scientists and land managers from five continents. That consortium, known as BEHAVE (Behavioral Education for Human, Animal, Vegetation and Ecosystem Management www.behave.net), is committed to integrating behavioral principles and processes with local knowledge to enhance ecological, economic and social values of rural and urban communities and landscapes.

They seek to inspire and enable people to understand behavior, ours and other creatures, to fashion environmentally friendly solutions that reconcile differences of opinion about how to manage landscapes. In this process, everyone involved is a student attempting to better understand behavior at all levels from genes to landscapes and to use understanding of behavior to help people learn to appreciate that our differences are our collective strength in sustaining communities and landscapes that integrate diverse ecological, economic and social values and services.

He received numerous awards for research, teaching, and mentoring. These awards represent the productivity that flowed from warm professional and personal relationships with over 75 graduate students, post-doctoral students, visiting scientists, and colleagues he worked with during the past 35 years. In 1994 he received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Society for Range Management, and in 1999 he received the W.R. Chapline Research Award, the most prestigious award given by the Society for Range Managements for achievements in research. He was named professor of the year for the College of Natural Resources at Utah State University in 1989 and 2003. He received the two most prestigious awards given by Utah State University: in 1999, the Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award for his work with graduate students; and in 2008, the D. Wynne Thorne Award for outstanding lifetime achievements in research.

He and his wife Sue have recently returned to live once again in the mountains of Colorado.

Dr. Provenza has had many speaking engagements over the years. In this video presentation he talks about the Web of Life, a 51 minute video presentation. You will enjoy seeing Dr. Provenza and hearing his insights into the Web of Life, how human health is tied to the health of the land.

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