AUBURN UNIVERSITY — Following a national search, Janaki Alavalapati, head of the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech, has been named dean of Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, effective May 27.
“Dr. Alavalapati has an outstanding record of accomplishments in a range of disciplines, including forest resources, the environment and new energy solutions, as well as a wealth of experience with national and international governmental agencies,” said Auburn University Provost Timothy Boosinger. “We look forward to working with him as we continue to build the academic, research and outreach programs of our School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences.”
Alavalapati has served as a professor and department head in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment since 2008. Previously, he was a faculty member in the University of Florida’s School of Forest Resources and Conservation from 1998 to 2008.
“I am delighted and honored to have been chosen as the dean of the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences,” Alavalapati said. “With world class faculty, staff and students, and the significance of forests, wildlife and natural resources to the economic and employment fabric of Alabama, and unwavering support of stakeholders and alumni, the school has a great potential to grow. I look forward to dedicating my efforts to building upon the strong programs that already exist in the school.”
Alavalapati succeeds interim Dean Graeme Lockaby, who will resume his position of associate dean of research in the school.
Alavalapati has a doctorate in forest resource economics and a master’s degree in rural sociology, both from the University of Alberta, Canada, and he earned master’s degrees in botany and forestry from universities in India. He has published more than 200 publications and made more than 145 professional presentations relating to forests and natural resources.
His awards include University of Florida Research Foundation Professorship, Superior Honor Award from the U.S. Department of State in 2008 and International Union of Forest Research Organization’s Scientific Achievement Award in 2010.
Alavalapati serves as an editorial board member of “Forest Policy and Economics” and “Outdoor Recreation and Tourism” journals and as the policy chair for the National Association of University Forest Resource Programs. As the chair or co-chair, Alavalapati has advised 28 graduate students.
Since 2011, as a senior fellow of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas at the U.S. Department of State, Alavalapati has helped Belize, Guyana and Brazil with issues relating to sustainable forestry and natural resources management. In 2007-2008, as a Jefferson Science Fellow, he served as a senior advisor for International Energy Affairs in the U.S. Department of State, Washington D.C.