Larry Nielsen is Professor of Natural Resources at North Carolina State University. In May 2009, he stepped down as Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, a position he held since January 2005. As Provost, he was responsible for all academic matters at NC State, the largest university in North Carolina with nearly 33,000 students. Previously he was Dean of the College of Natural Resources at NC State (2001-2004), Director of the School of Forest Resources at The Pennsylvania State University (1994-2001) and a faculty member and later head of the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences at Virginia Tech (1977-1994).
Larry was born in 1948 in Chicago. He holds degrees from the University of Illinois (B.S., 1970), University of Missouri (M.S., 1974), and Cornell University (Ph.D., 1978). He served the U.S. Army (1970-1972) in Vietnam as a military policeman and laboratory technician.
His current scholarly interests are higher education administration and sustainable resource management. He was appointed to the National Advisory Committee for FIPSE, U.S. Department of Education, in 2008. He served during 1998-1999 on the USDA Committee of Scientists, charged with recommending new approaches to land and resource management planning in the U.S. Forest Service. In recognition of the world's population passing six billion people in October 1999, he conceived and organized a month-long series of educational and cultural events for the Penn State and central Pennsylvania communities. He serves on the Board of Directors of the National Council for Science and the Environment, and the World Forestry Center in Portland, Oregon. As Provost, he held directorships in various educational groups in the Research Triangle Park region.
Larry is committed to natural resource education. He has taught 16 different courses in his career, and continued to teach an honors seminar on special topics while serving as Provost. Among more than 100 publications, he has co-edited/authored three textbooks on fisheries management. He is co-author, with three others, of “Ecosystem Management,” an innovative textbook published in 2002 by Island Press. He received two Certificates of Teaching Excellence and The Diggs Teaching Scholar Award from Virginia Tech. He teaches short courses annually for the U.S. Forest Service on communication skills.
He was President of the National Association of University Fisheries and Wildlife Programs during 1993-1995 and President of the American Fisheries Society during 1990-1991. He co-chaired the First World Fisheries Congress, May 1992, in Athens, Greece. He was a Kellogg National Fellow (1981-1984). He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Fisheries Research Biologists, and Honorary Member of the American Fisheries Society. In 1998, he received Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences Diversity Award. He is an elder in the Presbyterian Church.
Larry and his wife, Sharon, have been married since 1970. Their older daughter, Jennifer, is Curator of the Fort Bliss Museum, El Paso, Texas. Their younger daughter, Amanda, is a budget analyst for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency; in July 2002, she married James Basuel and lives in Silver Spring, Maryland; their son, Wade, was born in November, 2007. Larry is a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan.