Dr. Les Safranyik, recently retired research scientist at the Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre, was awarded the 2001 Western Forest Insect Work Conference (WFIWC) Founders' Award.
Having worked for over 35 years with the Canadian Forest Service, Dr. Safranyik is respected internationally for his knowledge and extensive research in bark beetle biology, population dynamics and management. As a research scientist in entomology at the Pacific Forestry Centre, Dr. Safranyik has an outstanding record of service to western forest entomology. He has authored or co-authored over 170 publications on a variety of science topics which have been widely cited by colleagues world-wide.
"Dr. Safranyik has shown consistently high standards in his personal conduct and in his contributions to the field of forest entomology," says Peter Hall, provincial forest entomologist with the BC Ministry of Forests. "He has provided inspiration to many who now work actively in managing bark beetle situations; his research and his perspectives have provided the basis of many management activities that would not otherwise have been possible. Dr. Safranyik is widely acknowledged as one of the world experts on bark beetles."
Adds Dr. David Wood, professor emeritus of entomology and professor of the graduate school, University of California at Berkley, "His research on bark beetles, in particular, stands out as Dr. Safranyik's most significant contribution to science. His studies on the population dynamics of the mountain pine beetle, the most destructive bark beetle in North America, include a great diversity of topics. Dr. Safranyik is held in highest esteem by his colleagues throughout our world-wide forest entomology community."
During his career, Dr. Safranyik received numerous honours and awards from a variety of organizations including the Entomological Society of BC, the Entomological Society of Canada, and the Entomological Society of America. He has been greatly admired for his outstanding contributions to professional organizations as well as for his generosity in sharing his expertise among colleagues and the scientific community.
"Dr. Safranyik has served on the supervisory committee of many of my graduate students," says Dr. John Borden, professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University. "Through sharing his knowledge and insight, he has greatly enriched their development as researchers, and through his encouragement he has helped them to reach their full potential. He commands my profound respect."
Dr. Safranyik says that in his retirement he will continue working with bark beetles and related problems because he finds the work interesting and stimulating. "I had a fulfilling career working on an important and highly challenging problem. At the end, most of us will conserve only what we love, love what we understand and understand what we are taught."
Adapted from an article published in Information Forestry - August 2002 (Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre).