ORONO, Maine — A University of Maine professor in the areas of soil science and forest resources has been named the 2008 Maine Professor of the Year.
Ivan Fernandez, a faculty member since 1983, won the award from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. The award was announced Thursday in Washington, D.C.
“I am humbled and honored to receive this recognition,” Fernandez said in a statement. “It is incredibly rewarding to work every day with our exceptional faculty, staff and students in the classroom, laboratory and field sites. A benefit of doing this work for many years is also to watch our students go on to play critical roles in society in Maine and elsewhere, and to share the joy of their accomplishments with them.”
Fernandez, who earned master’s and doctoral degrees from UMaine, has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, eight chapters and one book. He has received more than $10 million from federal agencies and private industry for his work on how the changing chemical and physical climate has affected forest ecosystems.
Fernandez recently helped coordinate UMaine’s recent conference “Climate Change 21: Choices for the 21st Century” and is working with other faculty and partners to organize a Maine Climate Change Assessment with a report soon to be delivered to Gov. John Baldacci.
Additionally, Fernandez has been a member of the UMaine Faculty Senate, served as a faculty representative to the University of Maine system board of trustees, and was a department head for 10 years.
Todd Saucier, the president and executive director of the University of Maine Alumni Association, nominated Fernandez for the Carnegie award.
“Professor Fernandez represents the best characteristics of the University of Maine …” Saucier said. “His work exemplifies the university’s ideals and its land-grant mission because it has a direct impact on Maine citizens and our precious way of life.”