Texas Academy of Science honors UTPA biology research professor
Posted: 04/19/2005
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Dr. Frank W. Judd, research professor at The University of Texas-Pan American Department of Biology, was recently awarded the 2005 Distinguished Scientist Award by the Texas Academy of Science.

Judd, who has been with UTPA for 33 years, said he was honored and surprised to receive the award because previous recipients have been in private industry or from larger universities.

- Dr. Frank W. Judd, UTPA biology research professor
"Receiving this honor brings recognition to me, the biology department, the College of Science and Engineering and UTPA. It conveys that what I do and the institution that I work for has merit," Judd said.

He received the award during the 108th Annual Meeting of the Texas Academy of Science banquet held at UTPA March 4. Judd was honored for his contributions as a member of the Texas Academy of Science and his research on various aspects of the native plant communities of the Lower Rio Grande Valley, which has been the focus of most if his research and publications since 1985 he said.

"Fortunately, I have had a fairly long time to make contributions. I published my first paper in 1967. Now, 37 years later, I have published an even 100. Also, I have served the Texas Academy of Science in several ways including a stint as editor of the Texas Journal of Science," Judd said.

He has been an active participant at annual meetings of the academy and said he also has encouraged many students to submit papers to be published in the journal.

Judd said he has been employed twice at UTPA, first when he was an instructor in September 1968. He worked for one year and then resigned to return to Texas Tech University to work on his doctorate. He was rehired in January 1972 and has been at UTPA since then. Judd retired from teaching in January 2003, but remained at UTPA after being appointed research professor. With that title, Judd was provided an office and research lab, which he shares with Dr. Robert Lonard, also a research professor in the department. Even though Judd is not paid through UTPA, he maintains the position through grants and contracts he acquires.

After retiring, Judd was the first faculty member at UTPA to be appointed as a research professor said Dr. Mohammed Farooqui, professor and chair of the Department of Biology. Farooqui said Judd deserves the award for his dedication and work in the department. The award is a great honor not only for Judd but also the department and University Farooqui said.

"Dr. Judd has been with us for over 30 years and I have known him for 21 years as an esteemed colleague who excelled in teaching, research and service to the Department of Biology, the College of Science and Engineering and the University," Farooqui said. "He is the most productive faculty member in the department with a very impressive record of publications and presentations. He continues to be very active in receiving funds for research and publishing his findings. He is well deserved of the Distinguished Scientist Award and we in the Department of Biology are proud of his achievements and accomplishments."

Judd was also instrumental in developing and introducing a number of new courses in the biology department. He developed the following courses in undergraduate study: Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, Evolution and Ecology. Graduate courses he developed include Advanced Ecology and Marine Ecology. He also introduced the following courses into the biology department: Biological Writing, Mammalogy, Herpetology and Ecological Physiology.

Judd said he is currently working on his latest research with colleagues Dr. Kenneth Rod Summy and Lonard, both from the Department of Biology and Dr. Ruben Mazariegos, from the Department of Physics and Geology. The research involves the development of predictive models for dune migration in relation to vegetation cover on South Padre Island. The work is supported by a contract from the Coastal Coordination Council of Texas.

"I hope that it (the award) will help to convince administrators at UTPA that their support of me has been well-placed and is worthy of continuance. With respect to the University, I think the recognition places the University in a favorable light as a place to establish a career," Judd said.

Overall, Judd has brought in more than $1 million in grants and contracts to the College of Science and Engineering through proposals he authored and co-authored.

He is a member of numerous professional organizations including the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, American Society of Mammalogists, Coastal Education and Research Foundation, and the Ecological Society of America. He has also been recognized by his peers with the 2003 Outstanding Naturalist Award, The Valley Nature Center; 1991 Leadership Award, Texas Agricultural Extension Service; and 1985 Annual Conservation Award, Frontera Audubon Society.

Judd received his bachelor's in biology from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas and his master's and doctoral degree from Texas Tech University in Lubbock.