An esteemed scholar, an environmental biologist and director of the University’s reputable Center for Environmental Analysis, Carlos Robles is the recipient of this year’s Cal State L.A. President’s Distinguished Professor Award.
He and five other faculty members were recently honored on campus during the University’s 2012 Fall Faculty Day. Presented with Outstanding Professor Awards were Ramani Durvasula; Steve McGuire; Stephen Rothman; and Hengchun Ye. This year’s Outstanding Lecturer Award was presented to Susan Saul.
At Cal State L.A., the President’s Distinguished Professor Award recognizes superlative teaching and exceptional commitment to students as well as professional accomplishments and services.
PRESIDENT’S DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR:
Carlos Robles, Professor of Biological Sciences – College of Natural and Social Sciences
Honored as this year’s President’s Distinguished Professor, Carlos Robles (La Crescenta resident) is a respected scholar in the fields of marine biology and environmental sciences.
Robles received his bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Barbara and his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. Since joining the CSULA faculty in 1979, he has held several positions at Cal State L.A., including acting associate dean of graduate studies and research, and both associate and acting chair for the then Department of Biology and Microbiology. He has published numerous articles on the dynamics of predation in seashore communities of California and British Columbia. His innovative work on predator-prey relationships has been featured in textbooks and in an interactive display at the California Science Center in Exposition Park.
Having received over $17 million in research and research training grants, Dr. Robles’ efforts support innovative training in environmental research, including classroom exercises, special field experiences at remote field stations, and internships with government agencies concerned with the environment. Robles co-directed the Luis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation/ Bridges to the Doctorate Program, which provided fellowship support to students from underrepresented backgrounds. He is currently on the Executive Committee of the Cooperative Institute on Marine Ecosystems and Climate (CIMEC), a new research institute established by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to study the impacts of global climate change.
For 11 years, Robles served as director of Cal State L.A.’s Center for Environmental Analysis (CEA-CREST), funded by the National Science Foundation. Under Robles’ direction, CEA-CREST became a nationally-recognized model for diversity-centered environmental education, reaching out to pre-college students and placing numerous graduates from underrepresented groups in Ph.D. programs and government agency positions.
One of his students wrote: “Great professor, very encouraging and allows for student development. Very inspirational.” Another student commented: “Dr. Robles is a great teacher, filled with insight and experience. He genuinely cares about education and does a great job teaching both the conceptual and practical aspects of … the course. His methods are effective but require lots of work on both sides.”
Robles has served as an expert technical adviser to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Damage Assessment Office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He is currently serving as a campus representative for the CSU Council on Ocean Affairs, Science, and Technology and for the Southern California Ocean Observation System.
His accolades include the 2000 CSU Bautzer Faculty Advancement Award and the 2001 Undergraduate Institution Faculty Mentor Award, presented by the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science. He was also recognized as a Featured Minority Scientist Profile by the National Science Foundation. He received the University’s Outstanding Professor Award in 2004. In 2006, he received the Giants in Science Award from the Quality Education for Minorities Network, a nonprofit organization in Washington, DC. That same year, he was a featured profile in “Pioneers Among Us” published in the Journal of the Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers.