Changing the way the South recognizes and prepares for wildfire, a 17-year Texas A&M Forest Service employee was honored Tuesday with the Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence for Public Service in Forestry.

Geospatial Systems Coordinator Curt Stripling received the award during the annual Texas A&M AgriLife Conference held at Texas A&M University’s flagship campus in College Station.

The Award in Excellence for Public Service in Forestry is one of 17 awards presented each year by the Vice Chancellor for Agriculture and Life Sciences as a way to recognize and celebrate the commitment and contributions made by those working under the umbrella of Texas A&M Agrilife.

The forestry award, in particular, is presented each year to someone who consistently goes above and beyond, making exceptional contributions and displaying exceptional commitment to the agency’s mission.

“Texas A&M Forest Service is recognized nationally as a leader in the development of wildfire risk assessments thanks in large part to the work and expertise of Curt Stripling. He is very deserving of this award,” Tom Spencer, department head of Predictive Services said.

Stripling’s most recent project helped take the highly complex nature of wildfire risk assessment and deliver it in an easy to use format designed to increase public awareness and understanding of the dangers of wildfire across the state of Texas and the South. Stripling continues to set a high bar in applying his training in forestry and geospatial sciences to produce and deliver state of the art products that help increase public awareness of wildfire risk.

Stripling earned a Bachelor in Science in forestry from Stephen F. Austin State University and has been a member of the Society of American Foresters since 1996.

“I’m elated to receive this award. It is always a good feeling when others wish to publicly recognize your efforts, especially with a prestigious award like this one. I’m extremely grateful to everyone who assisted with my nomination,” Stripling said.