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About Neil E. West

Neil grew up on a cattle and sheep ranch in southern Oregon. He went to Oregon State University with the intention of becoming a chemist. His career was irrevocably changed, however, when he learned, in an introductory zoology class,about the outdoor orientation of the then esoteric science of ecology. He attained a B.S. in general science and continued directly into a Ph.D. program in plant ecology at OSU. His doctoral work focused on the effects of fire exclusion on ponderosa pine forests in central Oregon. After a short assignment at the Oregon Forest Research Lab in Corvallis, West decided to relocate to the drier terrain of Utah. West has been at Utah State University, Logan, most of the time since 1964. L.A. Stoddart and C.W. Cook were important early mentors. He has tried to overcome his western biases by spending a semester or more at the University of Georgia; Yale University; Adelaide University, South Australia; and Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel. West has chosen the difficult and often unappreciated professional task of attempting to keep up with the output of theoretical synecologists and translating the applicable portions to the improvement of rangeland management. His efforts focus on the scientific underpinnings of sustainability, desertification, monitoring of trend and interpretation of rangeland condition. JRM 1993(46):2


Present Emeritus Professor, Department of Wildland Resources, Quinney College of Natural Resources, Utah State University Quinney College of Natural Resources, Wildland Resources


Honors and Awards

  • SRM Chaplin Award, 1991

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