Professor Dean Stauffer arrived at Virginia Tech in 1983 and remained a Hokie until he retired in June. He served as a faculty member and associate head of the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, and also helped lead the college during a five-year term as associate dean of academic programs.

Stauffer’s research interests centered on wildlife-habitat relationships. He was especially interested in analyzing the nature of the link between wild animals and their habits, working primarily with upland game birds and songbird communities. During his career at Virginia Tech, Stauffer garnered more than $3.3 million in sponsored research grants.

Although Stauffer began his career with the intention of becoming a research biologist, he changed his mind after discovering a love of teaching while filling in as a teaching assistant for another graduate student. In addition to a career spent teaching Hokies, Stauffer has also educated wildlife professionals while teaching workshops on wildlife habitat evaluation, population management, and population estimation in the U.S., Kenya, and Mexico. 

Stauffer’s dedication to the teaching profession and his students is evidenced by his involvement with students and the numerous advising and teaching awards he has received over the course of his career. Stauffer mentored 28 graduate students and served on 107 graduate student committees. He has been honored with the Wildlife Society’s Excellence in Wildlife Education Award, the Virginia Tech W.E. Wine Teaching Award, and the college’s Outstanding Advisor Award.

“It’s been a privilege to be a part of and contribute to the growth of the department and college over the years,” Stauffer said. “I particularly appreciate the wonderful colleagues and students I’ve had the pleasure of working with. It’s the fond memories of the people that I’ll take with me as I pursue new activities.”

Was Dean Stauffer your teacher, advisor, or mentor? Please consider a gift to the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation in his name. To discuss possibilities, contact Andrew Ickes, assistant dean of advancement, at