Professor’s Passion Leads To State Recognition
For more than 25 years, Horton Hobbs,
professor of biology, has inspired students
to delve beneath the surface – literally – and the result has been life-changing, not only for students, but for the state of Ohio overall.
“Harboring clues to the state’s geologic past,
and providing habitat to some of our most unique wildlife species, Dr. Hobbs has almost single-handedly resurrected cave research in Ohio,” noted the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), which presented him with its prestigious Cardinal Award for conservation achievement, Nov. 6.
The award honors individua l s and organizations demonstrating exceptional awareness and concern for the ideals reflected in the department’s mission statement: to ensure a balance between the wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all.
A limnologist with a strong caving background, Hobbs founded the Wittenberg University Speleological Society in 1980. Since then, the number of documented Ohio caves has increased from 27 to more than 120. His efforts also led to the discovery of new cave-adapted species and adoption of the Ohio Cave Protection Act. Hobbs, who is considered to be one of the nation’s top biospeleology experts, is currently working with the Division of Natural Areas & Preserves to document the plants, animals and microbes living within Ohio’s caves.