Dr. Richard “Rick” Brian Hall, 69, longtime Cyclone fan and Natural Resource Ecology and Management Professor, died Wednesday, September 21, 2016 of acute myeloid leukemia.
Rick graduated from Iowa State University with a B.S. in Forestry Management in 1969, during which he attended his first of many Forestry Camps. After receiving his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding/Plant Genetics (Forestry) from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 1974, he joined the faculty of Iowa State’s Forestry department (now Natural Resource Ecology and Management). He was enthusiastic about his research as well as about teaching and leading many undergraduate students at the several Forestry Camps he lead throughout his 42 years at Iowa State.
Throughout his work, Rick traveled extensively. He visited over 20 countries including spending a 6-month sabbatical in Italy in 1998. He was always kind enough to send the department a post card from his travels highlighting the trees he saw and the new friends he made.
Rick was passionate about the outdoors, enjoying camping, canoeing (so much so he proudly displayed his “ICANU” license plates with his canoe usually still attached to the roof) and spending time with his daughters and grandchildren. He was also a proud member of the Friends of Ada Hayden Heritage Park, as well as a supporter of the Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees program.
The Natural Resource Ecology and Management department has been significantly impacted by Rick’s departmental leadership and his many contributions to his research and teaching programs. His internationally known poplar research program earned him Society of American Foresters Fellow in 2014 in recognition of his contributions to genetic improvements in poplars for the bioenergy industry.
He is survived by his wife, Bev; his daughters, Janelle Lynn (George) Hall-Skank of Streamwood, Ill. and Christine Renee (Leah) Hall of Des Moines; three grandchildren, Emmalie Grace Hall-Skank, Nicholas Evan Hall-Skank, and Benjamin Kyler Hall-Skank, all of Streamwood; two sisters, Norma Jean Shapiro of Livingston, Mont. and Lois Marie Guthrie of Olympia, Wash.; one brother, Robert Eugene Hall of St. Petersburg, Fla.; and also several nieces and nephews.