Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ronald Stuckey inducted into Natural Resources Hall of Fame

Dr. Ronald L. Stuckey, flanked by Sean Logan, Director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (L), and Ohio Governor Ted Strickland.

Last Thursday, inductees to Ohio's Natural Resources Hall of Fame were honored in a ceremony at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources's Columbus headquarters.

The Hall of Fame was established in 1966, and includes some of Ohio's most famous residents: Bob Evans, John Wesley Powell, Louis Bromfield, Lucy Braun and many more. Even that legendary pioneer disperser of non-native plants, Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman) is in there.

This year, when the call came for nominees, an omission leapt out at me: Dr. Ronald L. Stuckey. I filed the necessary paperwork, and was, along with many others, immensely pleased when Ron was accepted.

I'm sure that some people who will read this know Stuckey, and probably had him as a professor at Ohio State University, where Ron taught for several decades. During his tenure, Ron taught hundreds of students about aquatic plants alone, which is one of his specialties. Indeed, Stuckey's reputation as an expert on aquatic plants transcends Ohio; he is known worldwide as an authority on the subject.

Ron has authored or co-authored numerous books covering many subjects: plants, people and history, even bluegrass music, one of his passions. Not even birds escaped Stuckey's focus, and he was instrumental in seeing Birds of Western Lake Erie get into print; an invaluable synopsis of observations of legendary Ohio ornithologist Milton B. Trautman.

After Ron's words of acceptance, DNR Director Sean Logan asked for a show of hands of people in the audience - well over 100 - who had had Stuckey as a professor. Dozens of arms were thrust skyward, a living legacy of lives that he's touched. Many of those people have gone on to distinguished careers of their own in natural resources.

Congratulations on an award well deserved, Dr. Stuckey!

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