Dr. Christopher Comer, professor of forest wildlife management in the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, will recieve the 2015 Faculty Achievement Award for Research at the 27th annual SFA Gala held Dec. 12, in the Grand Ballroom of the Baker Pattillo Student Center.
Comer has been at SFA since 2005 and teaches multiple courses in wildlife and forest resource management as well as field ecology, field techniques and management of diseases in wild animals. His research emphases include rare bats, black bears, wild turkeys, songbirds, predator ecology and white-tailed deer.
He is a member of the East Texas Black Bear Task Force and served as chair from 2009-2014. Additionally, he is a member of the Black Bear Conservation Coalition, The Wildlife Society, the American Society of Mammalogists, Southeastern Bat Diversity Network and the Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society.
Comer's awards include the 2011 Teaching Excellence Award for the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture at SFA, 2012 Educator of the Year for the Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society and the Distinguished Grant Award for a senior faculty member at SFA in 2014.
Since his arrival at SFA, Comer has procured more than $3.6 million in external funds for research from a diverse set of public and private partners, including Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of Defense and the USDA Forest Service.
His record of publications supports his varied research interests. Comer has been an author or co-author on 17 published papers and has been involved with dozens of professional presentations at state, regional and national venues. He also has supervised 12 graduate student's theses with 11 more in process. Comer or his students have presented research results in more than 40 oral and poster presentations at scientific meetings during the past five years.
"The most challenging part of the research process is taking our findings and presenting them in peer-reviewed literature. The peer-review process can be a real grind, but seeing your work published and then cited by other researchers is very rewarding," Comer said.
Comer received his bachelor's degree in biology and economics from Carleton College. He earned his master's degree in environmental pollution control from Pennsylvania State University and his doctoral degree in forest resources from the University of Georgia.
"Dr. Comer communicates his research to undergraduate and graduate students through mentoring and coursework," said Dr. Hans Williams, interim dean of the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture. "He is dedicated to the field of wildlife management and has developed a strong reputation in the region and nation for his work on a variety of topics."
Williams said several of Comer's research projects have been highlighted by the news media, including Texas Wildlife magazine, the Dallas Morning News and the Associated Press. "In particular, his black bear research was the subject of a Texas Parks & Wildlife television program in 2012 titled 'Black Bears Returning to East Texas,'" Williams said.
The Gala cocktail reception begins at 6 p.m. and will be followed by a candlelight dinner at 7 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by Blind Date, featuring seven of Austin's most accomplished musicians whose repertoire consist of everything from dance music to jazz, rock, country and hip hop.
Tickets are $175 for orchestra seating and $125 for ballroom seating. Proceeds from the Gala help build a permanent endowment created by the SFASU Foundation to honor faculty achievement. For more information or to purchase tickets, call April Smith at (936) 468-5406.
Printed with permission from SFA Marketing Communications