Biology professor named Leopold Leadership Fellow

A Colorado State University professor has been named a 2015 Leopold Leadership Fellow and will spend the next two years learning to communicate his research to policymakers, the media and others.Chris Funk

Chris Funk, an associate professor in the Department of Biology in the College of Natural Sciences, is one of 20 researchers from across North America selected for the Leopold Leadership Program, which is based at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.

Funk is also the Chair of the Biodiversity Working Group at CSU’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability and on the School’s Executive Council. The Biodiversity Working Group  brings researchers together from across campus to work on projects around the world.

He is the 10th CSU professor to participate in the prestigious program.

“I’m honored to be selected as a Leopold Fellow, many of whom are national and international leaders in conservation biology and environmental science,” said Funk.

About the program

The goal of the Leopold Leadership Program  is to provide “outstanding academic researchers with the skills, approaches, and theoretical frameworks for translating their knowledge to action and for catalyzing change to address the world’s most pressing sustainability challenges.”

Leopold Fellows attend a week-long intensive leadership and communications training, practice their skills over the next year, and then meet again at the end of the practice year.

Funk, who specializes in evolutionary and conservation biology, said he applied to the program to learn new skills that will help him make a difference in environmental and conservation policy.

“If we don’t get our research out there, it’s not as useful to people,” he said. “I strongly believe it’s our responsibility as scientists to communicate with the public and provide accurate information so we as a society can make better decisions.”