Hall of Fame Member Biographies

Dr. Gary D. Schnell

For four decades the University of Oklahoma has been blessed with the research, teaching, and administrative talents of Dr. Gary D. Schnell, a biologist instrumental in enhancing our understanding of the state’s natural environment.  After receiving a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas, Dr. Schnell arrived at OU in 1970 to become a faculty member in the Department of Zoology and Curator of Birds at the Stovall Museum.  Over a long career he has published nearly 100 scientific studies on animal life, especially birds and mammals.  1978 was a particularly important year, as he was then made Director of the Oklahoma Biological Survey.  During his 21-year tenure as Director, the Survey grew from a 3-person operation to one that now includes several dozen researchers.  Garnering almost $11 million in external funds, he has provided important support for research and especially for students.  Dr. Schnell has mentored over 40 graduate students, and the Zoological Association of Graduate Students recognized his contributions to students by an award for Excellence in Graduate Education.  In 1999 he was appointed Associate Director for Collections and Research at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.  His work has been fundamental in preserving the biological heritage of Oklahoma, and his advice on conservation matters has been sought by scientific and governmental agencies.  As early as 1982, OU acknowledged his stellar accomplishments by bestowing a Regents Award for Superior Accomplishment in Professional and University Service.  We proudly welcome Dr. Gary D. Schnell to the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame.