Honorary Professorships

Wouter Helmer

Honorary professor Forestry and Nature Management

On september 8th, 2009, Wouter Helmer became an honorary professor at Van Hall Larenstein.

In 1989 Wouter Helmer founded Stroming BV and Stichting Ark, with two other founders. Since 2002 he has been the chairman of Ark Natuurontwikkeling. In 2007 he received the Nature Award of Stichting Edgar Doncker Fonds, for his special achievements in nature conservation and nature development in the Netherlands.

The Stichting Ark represents vast dynamic and robust nature reserves with space for man and nature. There lies the opportunity for Students of Forestry and Nature Management. 'Nature Managers of the future need to have vision and be enterprising. Van Hall Larenstein has to make it their business to see to that,' Helmer says in his inaugural speech.

In 2011 Wouter Helmer became co-president of the new foundation Rewilding Europe, that was founded by ARK, World Wildlife Fund, Wild Wonders of Europe and Conservation Capital. Around that time Judith Jobse, tutor at Forestry and nature Management, raised money for knowledge distribution and educational innovations with the KIGO project European Nature Entrepreneur. The inspiration for this project came from Wouter Helmers appointment as an honorary professor. The KIGO project is a cooperation between Van Hall Larenstein, Wageningen University, Helicon Opleidingen, ARK and Rewilding Europe. One of the first accomplishments of the project was the conference 'What Europe can learn from Africa'.

In 2015 Wouter Helmer was awarded the Groeneveldprijs for his devotion to the debate on green space. 

Urban green

How does the growth of cities affect nature? How will future nature managers go about their work and what should they know to be able to do so? What kind of tips do alumni of Van Hall Larenstein have for future students? This video of honorary professor Wouter Helmer about urban nature and European wilderness will answer those questions.

Gerrit Braks (1933 – 2017)

Honorary professor Forestry and Nature Management

Gerrit Braks† , former Secretary of Agriculture, was an honorary professor at Van Hall Larenstein since September 3rd, 2003.

Gerrit Braks graduated from the Agricultural University of Wageningen in 1965. From 1980 till 1981 he was the Secretary of Agriculture and Fisheries. After a year he returned to that position en stayed there till 1989. During his administration Nature Management was added tot the department. He was knighted 'in de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw' and 'in de orde van Oranje-Nassau'. He was also awarded an honorary medal from Wageningen University.