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K-State Today

November 4, 2019

Park management and conservation associate professor wins academic leadership award

Submitted by Ryan L. Sharp

Ryan Sharp, associate professor in the park management and conservation program, a part of the horticulture and natural resources department, was recently honored with the Benton H. Box Award by the Clemson University Institute for Parks in recognition of his academic and instructional leadership in the environmental field.

The institute presents the annual awards program, which is named for George B. Hartzog Jr., the seventh director of the National Park Service, to showcase leading figures in the field of conservation. Specific awards were named after visionary leaders that Hartzog respected and admired. Award recipients are following in Hartzog's footsteps by making significant contributions to the management of parks and preservation of our natural, historical, and cultural heritage.

The Benton H. Box Award recognizes academic professionals that exemplify Box's distinguished career as an educator and administrator. Sharp shared this year's award with Stephen C. Trombulak, professor emeritus of biology and biosphere studies at Middlebury College, for leadership in preserving our natural environment and inspiring in students the quest for knowledge and the development of an environmental ethic.

Matt Brownlee, associate professor of parks, recreation and tourism management at Clemson University, presented the award to Sharp at a ceremony on Oct. 22. According to Brownlee, Sharp's focus on finding solutions to complicated and multifaceted management research problems in American parks, coupled with his ability to connect with park managers, is unmatched.

"I've had the great privilege of collaborating on a number of different research endeavors with Dr. Sharp, working in parks from Alaska to Georgia," Brownlee said. "His ability to translate complicated academic theory and research approaches into pragmatic solutions is unrivaled in the research community." 

"Ryan needs parks and, respectfully, parks need Ryan," continued Brownlee. 

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