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Al Dufty (1950 - 2012): a great loss to ornithology

Fern Davies

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From the Boise State Update, very sad news about Al Dufty:


The Boise State campus is mourning the death of Alfred Dufty, associate dean of the Graduate College, who passed away on Monday, April 16 at the age of 62. Following is the text of a message sent from President Bob Kustra to all faculty and staff.


It is with much sadness that I inform you that part of the fabric of Boise State University has been lost with the sudden passing of Dr. Alfred Dufty on Monday, April 16. For nearly 25 years, Al has been a fixture on our campus as a highly respected professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and as associate dean of the Graduate College.


A former college basketball player, we all recall the lanky figure striding across campus, riding his bike along the Greenbelt and certainly his distinctive voice in a meeting. Just as often, he could be found out in a field studying Northern goshawks or red-tailed hawks for his research in behavioral endocrinology. Al helped countless students on the way to their degrees and his friendly demeanor will be greatly missed by all of us.


Al graduated from Princeton University and earned a doctorate in biological sciences from SUNY-Binghamton in 1981, and held a research position at Rockefeller University before joining the Boise State biology faculty in 1988. He achieved the rank of professor in 1996, and received the Foundation Scholar Award for Research in 2000 for his contributions to behavioral endocrinology and ecology. Al was appointed associate dean of the Graduate College at Boise State in 2005.


He served in a number of roles including coordinator of the biology graduate programs, chair of the graduate student oversight committee and associate chair of the biology department during his years at Boise State. Al was among the most active thesis mentors at Boise State, and was instrumental in graduate program development, student recruiting, training of graduate teaching assistants, and monitoring student progress.


We express our deepest sympathies to his wife, Bonnie, and his daughter, Cameron, and son, Brian.

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