Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dr. Laura Huenneke is Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. She came to the university as Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and Professor of Biological Sciences in 2003, and then served three years as Dean of Engineering & Natural Sciences before becoming Vice President for Research.  In July 2012 she became Provost and chief academic officer for the institution.

Before coming to NAU, Laura spent 16 years on the faculty at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, where she became Regents’ Professor and served five years as department chair in Biology. She served as Lead Investigator/Project Director for the NSF-funded Jornada Basin Long-Term Ecological Research Program, a consortium of multiple universities and federal agencies focused on desert ecosystem structure and function.  She is currently Lead Investigator for the Partnership for Native American Cancer Prevention, a $15.7 million NIH investment to build NAU's research and training capacity.

Laura earned her Ph.D. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University. Her research interests pertain to the influence of biological diversity on ecosystem structure and function. She is also committed to the effective communication of scientific and ecological understanding to the public, to K-12 educators and students, and to policy-makers. In 1999 she was selected as one of the initial cohort of Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellows, a program promoting the development of communication and leadership skills among environmental scientists. In 2012 she was named a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America, in recognition of distinguished contributions to the discipline.

Laura has served on the boards of the Las Cruces Natural History Museum, the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park, the Arboretum at Flagstaff, the Arizona Bioscience Industry Organization, and the University of Arizona’s Biosphere II. She has served on several editorial boards for ecological research journals and on NSF and other review panels, and has been elected twice to the governing board of the Ecological Society of America (most recently as Vice President for Public Affairs). Laura has been a member of the Steering Committee for the Arizona Bioscience Roadmap, the Board of Directors for the Northern Arizona Sustainable Economic Development Initiative, and the Advisory Committee for the Economic Collaborative of Northern Arizona.  Currently she is a member of the Board of Trustees for The Nature Conservancy’s Arizona Chapter.



Read Dr. Huenneke's guest blogs from Inside NAU, a weekly newsletter published by the Office of Public Affairs: