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Chapman Named
Arts & Sciences Dean

Brian Chapman Brian R. Chapman, a Texas native who is now professor and graduate coordinator in the School of Forest Resources at the University of Georgia, has been named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Sam Houston State University, effective July 1.

Chapman will replace Christopher Baldwin, who has served as dean since August, 1994.

"We are delighted to have Brian join the Sam Houston State University family," said David Payne, vice president for academic affairs, in announcing Chapman's appointment.

"He has outstanding credentials as a scholar and administrator and will provide strong and effective leadership for the college. His experience in obtaining research funding, foundation support, and international consultancies will be a real asset to the College of Arts and Sciences."

Chapman, 54, was born in Corpus Christi and earned three degrees in Texas including his bachelor's at Texas A&M - Kingsville and master's and Ph. D. at Texas Tech. He also taught at Texas A&M - Corpus Christi before going to the University of Oklahoma and then University of Georgia.

"I am looking forward to getting 'home' to Texas and I am delighted to be associated with Sam Houston State University," said Chapman.

An eminent ornithologist and mammalogist, his research has been extensive in vertebrate ecology and management of endangered species with emphasis on birds, bats, and rare or protected species, animal distributions, habitat use and animal behavior.

Some of his research subjects have included colonial waterbirds, roseate spoonbills, the spotted ground squirrel, cliff swallows, Loring's kangaroo rat, the loggerhead shrike, Merriam's pocket mouse, the greater flamingo, buffleheads, black-crowned night herons, American oystercatchers, great egrets, white pelicans, the American burying beetle, hooded warblers, Kentucky warblers, red-shouldered hawks, red-footed boobies, and others.

He and his graduate students were among the first to use miniature radio transmitters and ultrasonic sound detectors to demonstrate how bats are affected by certain forest management activities.

"We showed that some types of forest harvest methods, such as group selection harvests, actually increased bat foraging habitats in dense forests." he said.

He and his graduate students were also among the first to determine that prescribed burning to reduce forest undergrowth actually increased the diversity and abundance of bird species in forests, and that burning is less disruptive in the summer than in winter, as is often done.

Chapman said that with his new duties he will not be able to continue research at the same level as in the past, but hopes to sponsor thesis graduate students as a major professor or committee member, work cooperatively with faculty members engaged in research, and teach a class as time permits.

As for his administrative plans, he was complimentary of Sam Houston State University and the College of Arts and Sciences, saying that "Sam Houston State University is already a great institution."

He will work to encourage a greater involvement in research, creative and scholarly activity among faculty and graduate students, and strengthen relationships between colleges on campus by promoting new and improved cross-disciplinary academic programs, he said.

Chapman and a colleague have a new book, "A Land Managers Guide to the Mammals of the South," which is being published by the Nature Conservancy and the U. S. Forest Service. He has also edited books, contributed to books, and authored numerous monographs and journal articles.

He has administered numerous grants and contracts, served on many university committees, held offices in several professional organizations, served as editor and referee on several professional journals and contributed to a number of community service positions relating to biology and wildlife issues.

He has traveled extensively, studying birds and bats in China and Costa Rica and deer in Tasmania.

His interests include railroad history, wildlife and scenic photography, and painting, and he has exhibited photographs and watercolor and acrylic paintings.

- END -

SHSU Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak
March 20, 2000
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