Alan Knapp, Professor of Biology, Colorado State University, March 31, 2017

Each year, Colorado State University celebrates the teaching, research and service achievements of CSU students, alumni and friends, academic faculty, administrative professionals and classified staff. Click on the name of the award to see more information on this year’s teaching honorees, and scroll down to see even more outstanding members of the Ram Family honored with 2017 Celebrate! Colorado State Awards on April 18.

When it comes to the checking all of the boxes required to be named University Distinguished Professor, Alan Knapp has more than met the standard. Twice.

Knapp, a professor of Biology in the College of Natural Sciences, is part of the six-person 2017 class of UDPs being honored by Colorado State University. If that title sounds familiar next to Knapp’s name, consider that he won the same honor while a professor at Kansas State University prior to coming to CSU in 2004.

It’s difficult to imagine anyone more qualified to bear the prestigious title than Knapp. He is one of the world’s most-respected ecosystems ecologists and has compiled a noteworthy career in teaching and research that stretches more than 35 years.

Knapp came to CSU after being named Senior Ecologist for the Graduate Program in Ecology. Prior to that he had established a reputation for tireless research on grassland ecology both in the U.S. and abroad.

Knapp’s best-known work came at the National Science Foundation-funded Konza Prairie Long-Term Ecological Research program in the grasslands of northeastern Kansas. Knapp spent more than 10 years on that project while at Kansas State, helping establish Konza as one of the top LTER sites for the study of how prairie fires and bison grazing impact grasslands.

Knapp, who still maintains research projects at Konza, added grassland studies at Kruger Park in South Africa and in the vast steppes of Mongolia, providing scientists a chance to view grassland impacts in different geographical areas. He has written more than 200 peer-reviewed papers during his career, and they have been cited hundreds of times by other researchers. He was named an Elected Fellow in the Ecological Society of America in 2016, and he has been a featured speaker in more than a dozen countries.

In addition to his research, which has been supported by more than $20 million in research grants, Knapp has earned a reputation as an outstanding teacher who values student research. He has graduated 13 students with advanced degrees since arriving at CSU, and two-thirds of his published works were co-authored by students.

Congratulations to Dr. Knapp, our other award winners in the College of Natural Sciences, and all of the awardees across campus!

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