Althoff awarded Excellence
in Scholarship

Associate Professor of Biology Dr.
Don Althoff.

RIO GRANDE, Ohio – Dr. Don Althoff, an associate professor of Biology at the University of Rio Grande, is the 2013 Excellence in Scholarship Award recipient.

Dr. Althoff has 28 peer-reviewed publications, 27 conference presentations, more then $2,000,000 in grant funding and multiple on-going projects. A full-time member of the Rio Grande faculty since 2006, Dr. Althoff provides unique opportunities for undergraduate research while developing a robust Wildlife & Fish Conservation & Management Program.

The Wildlife & Fish baccalaureate program, previously available through a 2+2 partnership at Hocking College, formally moves to the Rio Grande campus this fall. Rio Eco-Monitoring (REM), a significant component of the Wildlife & Fish program, was launched in fall of 2012.

“It’s a cornerstone for what we’re doing here,” Dr. Althoff said. “It’s not like watching paint dry on the wall; we’re doing a lot of cool stuff here with this discipline.”

The REM program is a series of wildlife studies, with sites already established within 20 miles of campus for southern flying squirrel nesting box grids, bluebird box trails, bat houses, paired vegetable plots (exclosure vs. non-exclosure to observe deer impacts and plant phenology), deer mineral licks and stream quality (biological, chemical and physical). Other field activities planned include radio telemetry, acoustic monitoring equipment, trail cams, cover boards, electrofishers and video probe camera technology.

Monitoring of vertebrates (mammals, birds, frogs, toads, salamanders, etc.) and invertebrates (terrestrial and aquatic), as well as plant studies also will be possible through the REM program.

“We now have more than 1,000 acres available to us because of the partnership with Bob Evans Farms and the Walker-Smith Farm,” Dr. Althoff said. “This is in a very good way snowballing.”

The intent of the REM activities is to involve students in the generation of long-term data sets. That process will foster directed studies, provide practicum opportunities and experience conducting data for analysis for students – all of which are valuable experiential, hands-on learning to complement the classroom Wildlife & Fish curriculum. Active participation by students will result in their acquiring important skills and insights valued by employers.

Dr. John Means, as assistant professor of Chemistry, was the first Excellence in Scholarship Award recipient in 2012.