2023 Award of Professional Excellence: Dr. Robert Summerfelt
The 2023 Award of Professional Excellence was presented to Dr. Robert Summerfelt.
Our next award is the Award of Professional Excellence, a career-level award meant to recognize significant, long-enduring positive impacts on fisheries. This year, we are proud to give this Award of Professional Excellence to Dr. Bob Summerfelt.
Dr. Summerfelt started his fisheries education at University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point and ended up finishing at Duke with a National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship. He began as an assistant professor in 1964 at Kansas State, then joined the Coop Unit at Oklahoma State. He moved to Iowa State in 1976 and served as Department Chair as well as continuing his work with graduate students to develop and improve Walleye culture techniques. His work not only culminated in his editorship of the Walleye Culture Manual, but also guided much of Iowa DNR’s walleye culture and transportation methods. He can be directly attributed for Iowa’s reputation as a leader in Walleye culture. Despite retirement, he has continued to contribute to the science, resulting in 187 publications including editing or co-editing three books.
Dr. Summerfelt has been a leader in AFS since helping charter and serve as the first President of the Oklahoma Chapter. He joined the Iowa Chapter in 1976 and served as its President in 2000. He has served on many committees, planned many symposia, and served 3 years as an AE for Progressive Fish-Culturist. He was inducted into the AFS Fish Culture Hall of Fame in 2001, and received the Sportfish Restoration Award from the AFS Fisheries Administration Section. He also received the Faculty Excellence Award from the Iowa Board of Regents. He oversaw over 500 undergraduate students during his time at Iowa State, and he advised 34 Masters and 8 PhD students.