Robert Thomas Lackey received a B.S. (fisheries) from Humboldt State University (California) in 1967. He then entered the Zoology graduate program at the University of Maine to study “Seasonal abundance and availability of forage fishes and their utilization by landlocked Atlantic salmon and brook trout in Echo Lake, Mount Desert Island, Maine“ under the advisement of Professor W. Harry Everhart. After obtaining an M.S. (Zoology) in 1968, Lackey enrolled in the graduate program at Colorado State University to pursue a doctorate. His research on the “Effects of artificial destratification on a lake ecosystem“ was also supervised by Professor Everhart who had recently left the University of Maine to become head of the fisheries program at Colorado State University. In 1971, Lackey was awarded a PhD (Fisheries and Wildlife) and was hired immediately by Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, Virginia) as an assistant professor of fisheries. In 1973, he was promoted to Associate Professor at Virginia Tech. In 1976-77, he spent a sabbatical year in Washington, D.C., working with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Environment Program as the national program coordinator. In 1977, he returned to Virginia Tech and resumed teaching and research. He left Virginia Tech in 1979 to assume leadership of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Water Resources Analysis Group located in Leetown, West Virginia. In 1981, he accepted a job as senior biologist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency research laboratory in Corvallis, Oregon. In 1982, he became Courtesy Professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University, a position that he continues to hold. Lackey’s career with the EPA laboratory in Corvallis included a variety of senior leadership posts, including Deputy Director, a position he held from 1989 to 2000. In 1999, Lackey was awarded a senior Fulbright Fellowship and spend his tenure at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George. Lackey retired from the Environmental Protection Agency in 2008 to work at Oregon State University.
Lackey career evolved from his early focus on solving practical fisheries problems (improving fish yields using various novel habitat enhancement techniques) to his more recent efforts to better define the appropriate role of scientific information and scientists in natural resource policy. Lackey’s leadership in developing policy options to restore wild salmon to the west coast of the United States is well known and controversial. It has been criticized for being overly pessimistic, but is regarded by others as a blunt assessor of reality. In 2005, he completed a 4-year collaborative effort, the Salmon 2100 Project. This project mobilized three dozen senior scientists and policy exports to develop practical policy options that, if implemented, would restore wild salmon runs in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and southern British Columbia. The book of the same title was published in 2006. He lectures widely advocating the view that scientists should be vigilant about keeping their personal policy preferences out of their scientific activities. He is also a proponent of the view that the pervasive use of normative science is undermining the credibility of the scientific enterprise. His current work focuses on education, especially developing online graduate courses in ecological and natural resource policy.
Lackey, Robert T. 1974. Introductory Fisheries Science. Sea Grant, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, 280 pp. http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/lackey/files/2017/08/Intro-Fisheries-Science.pdf
Lackey, Robert T., and Wayne A. Hubert. Editors. 1978. Analysis of Exploited Fish Populations. Sea Grant, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, 97 pp. http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/lackey/files/2017/07/Analysis-of-Exploited-Fish-Populations.pdf
Lackey, Robert T., and Larry A. Nielsen. Editors. 1980. Fisheries Management. John Wiley & Sons, New York, New York, 422 pp. http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/lackey/files/2017/07/14.-Fisheries-Management.pdf
Mazaika, Rosemary, Robert T. Lackey, and Stephen L. Friant. Editors. 1995. Ecological Risk Assessment: Use, Abuse, and Alternatives. Amherst Scientific Publishers, Amherst, Massachusetts. http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/lackey/files/2017/07/13.-Ecological-Risk-Assessment-Use-Abuse-and-Alternatives.pdf
Lackey, Robert T., Denise H. Lach, and Sally L. Duncan. Editors. 2006. Salmon 2100: The Future of Wild Pacific Salmon. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland, 629 pp. http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/lackey/files/2017/07/The-Future-of-Wild-Pacific-Salmon.pdf
Lackey, Robert T. 1998. Seven pillars of ecosystem management. Landscape and Urban Planning. 40(1-3): 21-30. http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/lackey/files/2017/07/37.-Seven-Pillars-of-Ecosystem-Management.pdf
Lackey, Robert T. 2003. Pacific Northwest salmon: forecasting their status in 2100. Reviews in Fisheries Science. 11(1): 35-88. http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/lackey/files/2017/08/Salmon-Forecasting-to-2100.pdf
Lackey, Robert T. 2006. Axioms of ecological policy. Fisheries. 31(6): 286-290. http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/lackey/files/2017/07/Axioms-of-Ecological-Policy.-.pdf
Lackey, Robert T. 2007. Science, scientists, and policy advocacy. Conservation Biology. 21(1): 12-17. http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/lackey/files/2017/07/2007a-Science-Scientists-and-Policy-Advocacy-Reprint-Lackey-1.pdf
Lackey, Robert T. 2009. Challenges to sustaining diadromous fishes through 2100: lessons learned from western North America. pp. 609–617. In: Haro, A., et al., editors. Challenges for Diadromous Fishes in a Dynamic Global Environment, American Fisheries Society. http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/lackey/files/2017/07/Challenges-to-Sustaining-Diadromous-Fishes-Through-2100.-.pdf