Following Theo Dillaha’s departure as program director at the end of this year, Dr. J Michael Kelly will begin as SANREM’s interim program director effective January 1, 2011.
Kelly was the dean of the College of Natural Resources (now College of Natural Resources and Environment) at Virginia Tech from 2004-2009, and continues to work with the college as dean emeritus. During his time as dean, the number of new students in the college doubled and external research funds increased by over 60 percent.
Prior to working at Virginia Tech, Kelly taught and served as chair for the newly-formed Natural Resource and Ecology Management Department and previously as chair for the Department of Forestry at Iowa State University. He also spent 20 years with the Tennessee Valley Authority and worked as a Senior Environmental Scientist/Team Leader in their Atmospheric Sciences Division. Kelly holds a PhD in Forest Ecology/Forest Soils and a MS in Plant and Soil Science, both from the University of Tennessee. His BS in Biology is from East Tennessee State University. He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society of Agronomy, the Society of American Foresters, and the Soil Science Society of America.
His international activities have most recently involved developing research relationships with universities in Chile. As a strong advocate for international education for undergraduates, he and his wife funded an endowment to provide annual scholarships to students studying abroad.
Kelly enjoys sport aviation and the construction of experimental aircraft and is a certified pilot. He also enjoys woodworking and crafting furniture for his family and friends.
“If anyone doubts that we live in a truly flat world, he/she need only look at the numerous interconnections between the developed and developing world created by our current economic and environmental difficulties. Programs such as the SANREM CRSP will play an increasingly important role as we seek to strengthen our ability to address the needs of the people of both the developing and developed world.”