CANR names Roloff to lead Department of Fisheries and Wildlife

Gary Roloff, Ph.D., named chairperson for the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, effective Jan. 1, 2021.

Gary Roloff 2020Gary Roloff, Ph.D., has been named chairperson for the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University. The appointment is for two years. Fisheries and Wildlife offers joint academic programs in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR).

Roloff has been a member of the Fisheries and Wildlife faculty since 2005. Prior to that, he was a wildlife applications manager at Boise Cascade Corporation and Boise Cascade LLC.

During his career, Roloff has established a reputation for inclusive teaching and management, earning recognition both from CANR and MSU. He is a fellow of the Wildlife Society, which recognizes individuals for exceptional service to the wildlife profession.

Roloff’s research focuses broadly on wildlife responses to disturbances. He specializes in the effects of forest management on wildlife and methods for mitigating negative human-wildlife interactions. Roloff has expertise in experimental design, integrating wildlife conservation into forest management, wildlife habitat relationships, sustainable forestry certification and landscape ecology.

“Gary’s understanding of our teaching, research and outreach missions are exemplified through his work in Michigan, and his field of study” said CANR Dean Ron Hendrick, Ph.D. “His success to date in managing people, research and relationships will serve him well in this role.”

A professor and co-lead for the Center for Cooperative Ecological Resilience, Roloff has advised many graduate students whose work is impacting communities and wildlife all over the globe.

Roloff has built a strong relationship with the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, most recently on a collaboration to prepare tribal members to join fisheries and wildlife management through a graduate program at MSU.

He has worked with state and federal agencies on wildlife-human interactions, including with the Michigan Departments of Natural Resources and Transportation, the United States Fish and Wildlife Services, National Council for Air and Stream Improvement and the California Forest Foundation.

Roloff has led and co-led studies on increasing the sustainability and diversity of Michigan’s northern hardwood forests and worked with researchers at the University of Michigan-Flint on assessing the impact of feral swine on the state.

He was recently recognized as an inaugural You Belong Here Champion by CANR’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for his outstanding efforts to bring a sense of inclusion to the classroom and beyond.

Roloff takes over for Scott Loveridge, Ph.D., who served the department as interim chair since 2018.

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