James A. Burger of Blacksburg, the Garland Gray Professor of Forestry in the College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech, was conferred the "professor emeritus" title by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors during the board's quarterly meeting on Nov. 3.
The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians, and exceptional staff members who have given exemplary service to the university and who are specially recommended to the board of visitors by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board of visitors receive an emeritus certificate from the university.
A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1979, Burger conducted research on and contributed significantly to the knowledge of forest soil productivity and restoration ecology, publishing numerous research papers, reviews, and book chapters on those subjects. He also contributed to the outreach and engagement mission of the university by publishing many Virginia Cooperative Extension articles that resulted in new guidelines and regulations in several Appalachian states that greatly improved the restoration of drastically disturbed forest land.
Burger was active in the Soil Science Society of America, where he was elected fellow. He also was active in the Society of Mining and Reclamation, where he served as president and was awarded the William T. Plass Award for career-long contributions to reclamation science.
He received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Purdue University and a Ph.D. from the University of Florida.