The UConn Board of Trustees appointed Robert Fahey, assistant professor of forest ecology and management, to the George F. Cloutier Professorship in Forestry. Fahey is the first faculty member to hold this position.
The Cloutier Professorship in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment in the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources (CAHNR) was established through a gift from the late George F. Cloutier to the UConn Foundation.
“We are grateful for the generosity of Mr. Cloutier, who was a valued and active member of the CAHNR community for over 70 years,” says CAHNR Dean Indrajeet Chaubey. “I am confident that Dr. Fahey’s dedication to innovative research and steadfast stewardship will support Mr. Cloutier’s vision for this gift.”
Cloutier, who passed away in 2013, received his bachelor’s degree in forestry from UConn in 1949. Cloutier worked for the Connecticut Park and Forestry Department for 28 years. After retiring, he ran a small forestry consulting business and taught dendrology at UConn as an adjunct instructor. Cloutier also established a student scholarship through the UConn Foundation. The Cloutier scholarship is one of the largest in the department and supports meritorious students interested in forestry and wildlife.
As part of the professorship, Fahey will also serve as the director of the UConn Forest and chair of the UConn Forest Committee. Fahey will coordinate and organize important stewardship activities of the 2,100-acre forest by engaging the committee, the community, and other stakeholders.
“I am humbled by this honor and excited for this position and the opportunity that it represents to further advance the stewardship of the UConn Forest and the forests of the State of Connecticut as a whole. I look forward to building on the legacy of forest research and stewardship at UConn in which Mr. Cloutier has played an important role through his gifts to the University community.”
I look forward to building on the legacy of forest research and stewardship at UConn in which Mr. Cloutier has played an important role through his gifts to the University community. — Robert Fahey
The professorship will support a 10-hour graduate student assistantship and additional discretionary funds to further Fahey’s research program and professional development. Fahey will hold the inaugural professorship for three years.
Fahey holds a Ph.D. in forest ecology and management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has had 37 publications since joining UConn in 2016. Fahey has been associated with nearly $3 million in grant funding in the past five years, and he was awarded the 2020 UConn American Association of University Professors Excellence in Research Early Career Award.
Fahey’s research focuses on the links between composition, structure, and functioning of forest ecosystems and their resilience to a variety of stressors. His research strives to help forests become more resilient to the manifold threats of climate change, the introduction of exotic pests and pathogens, and urban and suburban development.
Fahey currently serves as associate director of UConn Eversource Energy Center. He is a research fellow at the Center for Tree Science at The Morton Arboretum and is a member of the Connecticut Urban Forest Council.
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