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Frank Day, PhD '74, named Eminent Scholar and Professor Emeritus at Old Dominion University

Frank P. Day, Ph.D. '74, was awarded the title of Eminent Scholar Emeritus and Professor Emeritus upon his retirement after 42 years in the Department of Biological Sciences at Old Dominion University. Frank is a Fellow of the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) and served as President of SWS in 2002-2003. He was awarded the 2016 Commitment to Human Diversity Award by the Ecological Society of America.

While in his graduate programs (MS and PhD) at UGA his research was conducted at Coweeta Hydrologic Lab in North Carolina. At that time it was an International Biological Program (IBP) Site.
His primary research interests relate to ecosystem processes (nutrient cycling and organic matter dynamics) in forested wetlands and coastal ecosystems with particular focus on belowground dynamics (root growth and turnover) using minirhizotron technology and ground-penetrating radar, with projects on the barrier islands of the Virginia Coast Reserve LTER site and Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Major research projects involved the influence of hydrology on forested wetlands, the effects of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide on a coastal scrub ecosystems, long-term ecological research on coastal barrier islands, and advancing the use of new technology, such as ground-penetrating radar, in the study of belowground systems.

His primary teaching responsibilities have been Plant Ecology and Ecosystems Ecology.

He still retains an office at Old Dominion University and is currently working on manuscripts based on recent projects. He plans to continue his activities associated with diversity programs that he has been involved with for many years. He and his wife of 49 years also plan to travel.

He was presented the 2016 Commitment to Human Diversity Award at the annual meeting of the Ecological of Society of America in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This is one of ESA’s major awards presented at the Scientific Plenary and Awards Session the first day of the meeting. He was honored for his human diversity efforts over the past several decades, including establishing Diversity Committees for two major professional societies, developing and directing the highly successful undergraduate mentoring program for Society of Wetland Scientists for 11 years, and serving on the LTER Diversity Committee.


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