News Story

Senior MSU forest resources faculty member honored, promoted

Posted on 3/3/2009 by Karen Brasher

Richard M. Kaminski is being named holder of the James C. Kennedy Endowed Chair in Waterfowl and Wetlands Conservation in Mississippi State's College of Forest Resources.

Kaminski, a 25-year faculty veteran at the university, also is being promoted to associate college dean. He is a professor of wildlife and a nationally recognized North American waterfowl and wetlands scientist.

"Dr. Kaminski has spent his career studying waterfowl, their habitats and educating future professionals," said Dean George M. Hopper in making the announcement. "He has mentored and graduated more than 40 graduate students and authored nearly 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications."

Last year, Kaminski was included on Outdoor Life magazine's list of 25 individuals making major contributions to hunting, fishing and other outdoor sports. He was among the first U.S. scientists in the 1970s to conduct wetland management experiments examining waterfowl use and aquatic invertebrate responses to various wetland management situations.

Over his career, the Manitowoc, Wis. native has received campus and other honors, including the MSU Alumni Association Graduate-level Teaching and John Grisham Faculty Excellence awards. He also holds the Mississippi Wildlife Federation Wildlife Conservationist of the Year and Ducks Unlimited Wetlands Conservation Lifetime Achievement awards.

In addition to teaching and research, Kaminski has assisted the College of Forest Resources in securing major private gifts, including the Scenic Homes-Dr. Richard M. Kaminski Scholarship in Waterfowl and Wetlands Conservation that was given in his honor.

Hopper said one of Kaminski's passions "is recruiting the next generation of waterfowl conservationists through the organization of youth hunts, summer camps, and classroom and field settings." Research by Kaminski determined that university-based programs focused on waterfowl and wetlands are declining in number throughout the U. S. and Canada, he added.

In addition to overseeing the college's academic affairs, Kaminski currently supervises nine graduate students working in various areas of waterfowl and wetland ecology and management.

The Kennedy Chair is a first for the MSU college and among the largest endowed professorships at the land-grant institution. "The endowment was established by James C. Kennedy, chairman of Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises Inc., and is a very significant achievement for the university," Hopper said. (For more, see www.cfr.msstate.edu/kennedychair.)

Kaminski holds a bachelor's degree in wildlife management and biology from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and master's and doctoral degrees in wildlife ecology from Michigan State University. Prior to coming to Mississippi, he was a research biologist for Ducks Unlimited-Canada.

He is a Fellow of The Wildlife Society and associate editor for the international organization's professional journals, "Wildlife Society Bulletin" and "Journal of Wildlife Management."