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Jason Karl Hired as Endowed Chair in Rangeland Ecology

June 15, 2017

The University of Idaho College of Natural Resources (CNR) has hired Jason Karl as the first Harold F. and Ruth M. Heady Endowed Chair of Rangeland Ecology. Karl earned his bachelor’s degree in wildlife resources and his master’s degree in environmental science from UI before pursuing his doctorate from Michigan State University, which he completed in 2009. He is currently a rangeland scientist at the USDA Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) Jornada Experimental Range in New Mexico, where he was named USDA-ARS Early Career Scientist of the Year for 2016.

Harold and Ruth Heady established the Harold F. and Ruth M. Heady Rangeland Ecology Endowment in 1994 to advance the understanding of rangeland ecology and to support UI in leading the most important research on this topic. According to the terms of the endowment, once the principal reached $1 million, it would support the hiring of a full-time faculty position within CNR to enhance research and teaching in rangeland ecology. The endowment reached the $1 million milestone at the end of 2016.

Originally from Buhl, Harold Heady received his bachelor’s in forestry from UI in 1938, a master’s from the New York State College of Forestry in 1940 and his doctorate in plant ecology from the University of Nebraska in 1949. Heady, who died in 2011, spent the bulk of his distinguished career as a faculty member at University of California, Berkeley. He authored 125 publications, including 11 books, over his career. His lifelong dedication to education and understanding rangeland ecology paired nicely with his wife Ruth’s love of the prairie, botany and birdwatching. Together, they funded the endowment to support their mutual passions. Ruth died in 2001.

Karl has a strong research background in rangeland ecosystems, fish and wildlife, GIS, and data analysis for monitoring and assessment.

“Ever since attending as an undergraduate in CNR, Idaho has felt like home to me,” Karl said. “I think this position offers a great opportunity for me to re-engage with private and public stakeholders for sustainable management of Idaho’s rangelands. In a time when the diversity of rangeland uses has greatly increased and threats like wildland fire and invasive species are greater than ever before, it’s crucial that we take an integrative, multi-disciplinary approach to rangeland management. I’m excited to get to work with the outstanding faculty and students at UI to help make this happen.” Karl will join the CNR faculty for fall semester 2017.

Media Contact
Kim Jackson
Marketing and Communications Manager, College of Natural Resources

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, a research and Extension center in Twin Falls, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to more than 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference and Sun Belt Conference. Learn more: