Robert M. Shaffer honored with emeritus status

Robert M. Shaffer

Robert M. Shaffer

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 4, 2008 – Robert M. Shaffer of Dublin, Va., the Charles Nettleton Professor of Forest Operations in the College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech, was conferred with the title of "professor emeritus" by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors during the board's quarterly meeting March 31.

The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians, and exceptional staff members who have given exemplary service to the university and who are specially recommended to the board of visitors by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board of visitors receive an emeritus certificate from the university.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1982, Shaffer was instrumental in improving the efficiency, safety, and environmental impact of logging practices in Virginia and throughout the Southeast United States. He was a national leader in timber harvesting safety research, which resulted in a documented 50 percent reduction in logging injuries and fatalities in the South over the past 15 years.

In addition, he was a state and regional leader in the development and implementation of forestry best management practices which resulted in documented improvement in forest water quality protection from logging operations. He also contributed to the success of the Forestry Department’s Industrial Forestry Operations Research Cooperative by helping more than 20 graduate students with their research projects.

Shaffer was a leader in the Virginia Forestry Association, serving several terms on the organization’s board of directors and one as its president. He was recognized as the organization’s “Man of the Year” in 1994.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Auburn University, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Missouri.

The College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech consistently ranks among the top five programs of its kind in the nation. Faculty members stress both the technical and human elements of natural resources and instill in students a sense of stewardship and land-use ethics. Areas of studies include environmental resource management, fisheries and wildlife sciences, forestry, geospatial and environmental analysis, natural resource recreation, urban forestry, wood science and forest products, geography, and international development. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.