A Fond Farewell to Two Beloved Faculty
Steven Daley-Laursen and Penny Morgan started graduate school together at the University of Idaho, and after full careers and many accomplishments, they also retired together this spring from the College of Natural Resources. More than a hundred colleagues, friends and students honored Penny and Steven at the CNR Awards Banquet in April and again at a special joint retirement party in May.
They are both CNR alumni and served decades at the university, and as Lee Vierling, department head of Natural Resources & Society quipped: “Together they represent 258 years of service to the University of Idaho.”
Steven Daley-Laursen has been a professor, dean of CNR and interim president of U of I. He earned both an M.S. in forest resources and a Ph.D. in forest science from the University of Idaho and went on to serve over 40 years at three land grant institutions in a range of positions from lab tech to faculty to executive administrator.
During his time as a CNR professor, Steven taught classes in natural resources and society, served as the faculty advisor to the Conservation and Environment Club and advised many undergraduate and graduate students in a variety of majors. His scholarly work included modeling of forest systems, forest entomology, urban forestry and leadership development in environmental and higher education. He has also worked in academic partnerships in several countries around the world including China, Spain, Nicaragua and Thailand. Steven and his wife Dianne are preparing to join the Peace Corps while maintaining a home base in Moscow.
“His council, his wisdom -- and positive attitude and smile will be missed,” said CNR Dean Dennis Becker.
Penny Morgan is retiring after more than 30 years at the U of I. She started her career here as a graduate student earning her Ph.D. in 1984. Fire science is Penny’s passion. She helped develop the country’s first bachelor and master’s program in fire ecology and management. The online courses she developed are taught in more than 35 states and five countries.
“There is a reason CNR’s fire program is the best in the country. It’s because of Penny’s tireless dedication, keen sense of observation and love of students,” Becker said.
Penny’s research focused on how, why, when and where fires burn severely and their implications. She has mentored more than 40 graduate students and 150 undergraduates –and authored numerous papers and reports. In 2017, she was awarded the Harold Biswell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Fire Ecology for her many contributions to the field. In retirement, she is looking forward to more hiking in the mountains and wilderness, sharing time with family and friends, gardening and traveling.
Article by Staff, College of Natural Resources
Published June 2019, CNR Alumni News