Society for Range Management honors Porensky
Dr. Lauren M. Porensky of Fort Collins, Colorado, received an Outstanding Young Range Professional Award at the Society for Range Management’s (SRM) 71st Annual Meeting, Technical Training, and Trade Show in Sparks, Nevada which concluded earlier this month. The Outstanding Young Range Professional Award recognizes SRM members who exhibit superior performance and leadership potential in any range-related area.
Dr. Lauren Porensky epitomizes the desired qualities of the SRM Outstanding Young Range Professional Award: 1) a highly successful, cutting-edge, multi-disciplinary, and cross-continental-scale research program addressing the interactive effects of multiple drivers on complex shrubland-grassland ecotones; 2) incorporation of numerous stakeholders and customers in social-ecological systems research encompassing adaptive management strategies, ecosystem restoration, habitat management for species of concern, and innovative approaches to simultaneously manage for livestock production, wildlife conservation and rangeland sustainability; 3) mentorship of a diverse suite of fellow scientists, post-docs, graduate students and undergraduates; and 4) leadership in the development of new statistical, experimental and conceptual approaches for spatially and temporally complex rangeland data.
Lauren has answered long-standing questions about the relationships between pastoralist livestock management and biodiversity conservation in East African rangelands, and disentangled multiple potential mechanisms that fostered the persistence of forage hotspots in these ecosystems. In the western US, Lauren developed new approaches for successfully establishing plants in dry and degraded environments by melding basic concepts from community assembly theory, species coexistence theory, and agricultural sciences, resulting in new planting methodologies for restoration practitioners. Her synthetic results of multiple decades of grazing experimental research in semiarid rangelands shows that vegetation community responses to livestock grazing occur very slowly, but are predictable, and demonstrate the long-term sustainability of livestock grazing. Lauren’s scientific findings are already significantly impacting management of both private and public lands and her continued contributions will be vital to sustainable management of working ranch operations.
For her accomplishments, Dr. Lauren M. Porensky is most deserving of this 2018 Society for Range Management Outstanding Young Range Professional Award.
–Society for Range Management