2016 Award Recipients
The following awards were presented at the TWS-WS Banquet on Wednesday February 24, 2016 by TWS-WS President Don Yasuda.
The Raymond F. Dasmann Award for the Professional of the Year went to Dr. Ralph “Rocky” Gutierrez. Rocky has published more than 150 papers and co-authored several books and technical reports. His collective body of work has advanced many aspects of avian conservation, but especially our understanding of the ecology of spotted owls and ruffed grouse. Rocky holds numerous honors for his distinguished research and service to wildlife biology, notably being recognized as a Fellow of both the American Ornithologists’ Union and The Wildlife Society (2014). He has received special commendations from the US Department of Agriculture and the US Forest Service for his research contributions. In 2015, Rocky received The Wildlife Society’s Caesar Kleberg Award which recognizes sustained excellence in research.
Rocky has served on the National Academy of Science’s wolf and grizzly bear management committee, The Nature Conservancy’s National Board of Directors, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Spotted Owl Recovery Team and was a Trustee of the Tall Timbers Research Station. Rocky has played a major role in shaping the future of wildlife management and conservation by training 44 MS and PhD students who now hold leadership positions in the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state natural resource agencies, conservation organizations and academia.
The Conservationist of the Year Award – The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy was established by the California State Legislature in 1980 to preserve, protect, and create public parkland in the Santa Monica Mountains Zone, which includes the Santa Monica Mountains and the Rim of the Valley Trail Corridor, in the second largest metropolitan area in the United States.
Its mission is to strategically buy back, preserve, protect, restore, and enhance treasured pieces of Southern California to form an interlinking system of urban, rural and river parks, open space, trails, and wildlife habitats that are easily accessible to the general public. Its goals include maintaining ecologically functioning, linked habitat blocs that will ensure that wildlife can persist in the Santa Monica Mountains and adjoining mountain ranges, even as urban populations grow.
The Conservancy has helped to create more than 73,000 acres of permanently protected public parkland, opened more than 300 parks, and established well over 100 miles of new trails, as well as granted funds for educational and interpretation programs that serve hundreds of thousands of children, seniors, and other park visitors each year.
The Chapter of the Year Award went to the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. 2015 marks another outstanding year for the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. In addition to their many events, the SFBA Chapter also grew the Board with the inclusion of Tammy Lim (President Elect), Catherine Yasuda (Newsletter Editor), Janine Payne-Schneir (Professional Development), Jeanne Chin (Conservation Affairs), Scott Lindemann (Historian), and Kristin Tremain (Public Outreach). In addition to their stable GoogleGroup listserv, the Chapter also rebuilt their website to include a calendar of upcoming events, highlights from past events, outlets to sell chapter-themed merchandise and for members to renew their annual membership, and the capacity to independently manage registration for workshops and events.
The Chapter continued to provide low-cost training and workshops for their membership, as exemplified in the Advanced Camera Trapping Workshop, Large Branchiopods Workshop, Birding by Ear Workshop, Similarly, The SFBA Chapter took pride in their ongoing initiative to engage wildlife biology students and student chapters in workshops and professional development opportunities through scholarships, volunteer opportunities, and student chapter outreach and support.
The James D. Yoakum Award went to Kenneth E. Mayer. Ken’s contributions to Western Section are well known — Ken became a member of the Sacramento Chapter of the Wildlife Society and the Western Section shortly after graduation from Humboldt State University. His service to both units was extensive — as the Sacramento Chapter Representative in 1986, 1987, and 1994, as Western Section Secretary-Treasurer in 1984, and Transactions Associate Editor from 1987-89.
Ken was a session chair at three (3) TWS-WS Annual Conferences, Fresno (1987); Hilo, HI (1988); and San Diego (1997), and annual meeting keynote speaker in 2014. Ken coordinated/ran the TWS-WS raffle at the awards banquet for many years and also coordinated the TWS Reno raffle in 2001.
In 2014, Ken stepped up to resurrect the Nevada Chapter, serving as Chapter President. As the Nevada Department of Wildlife Director, he strongly urged NDOW biologists and colleagues from other agencies to join TWS. Under his leadership, they resumed annual meetings and conferences to become a thriving, active Chapter. He remains active in the Nevada Chapter and continues to play a pivotal role in its success.
The TWSWS Distinguished Service Award went to Dr. Jon Hooper. TWS recognizes Jon Hooper citing over 40 years of Western Section service. Jon has been a long-standing member of the Western Section, since 1973, Communication Workshop Chairman since 1983, and a member of the Continuing Wildlife Education Committee since 1983. Additionally, Jon has served as a reviewer for the TWS-WS Transactions since 1989. Jon became a Certified Wildlife Biologist in 1979 and received the Raymond F. Dasmann Award in 2002.
Jon has led a Natural Resources Communication Workshop for the Section since 1978, instructing valuable information and tips for presenting research work to peers. For the Annual Meeting, he conducts an outstanding workshop on how NOT to give an effective scientific presentation.
Jon continues to remain a tremendous resource to the Section and attends the TWS-WS annual conference each year.
|The Raymond F. Dasmann Award for the Professional of the Year went to Dr. Ralph “Rocky” Gutierrez.|
|The TWSWS Distinguished Service Award went to Dr. Jon Hooper.|
|The Conservationist of the Year Award went to The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.|
|The Chapter of the Year Award went to the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter.|
|The James D. Yoakum Award was bestowed upon Kenneth E. Mayer.|
Congratulations to the winners of the Student Presentation Contest for Best Poster and Best Oral Presentation!
- 1st Place – Jennifer Gansberg, University of Nevada, Reno, “GENETIC DIVERSITY AND POPULATION STRUCTURE OF THE RIPARIAN BRUSH RABBIT (SYLVILAGUS BACHMANI RIPARIUS)”
- 2nd Place – Rachel Chock, UCLA, “EXPLOITATION, INTERFERENCE, AND NICHE PARTITIONING: COMPETITION AND COEXISTENCE IN A RODENT COMMUNITY”
- 3rd Place – Courtney Silver, California State University, Chico, “LEXICON OF LOVE: VOCALIZATIONS IN MULTIPLE POPULATIONS OF RANA BOYLII”
- 1st Place – Shannon Murphy, Humboldt State University, “PARENTAL CARE BEHAVIORS IN BRANDT’S CORMORANT (PHALACROCORAX PENICILLATUS): EFFECTS ON REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS AND USE AS INDICATORS OF THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT”
- 2nd Place – Jade Keehn, University of Nevada, Reno, “PREDATION ECOLOGY OF VERTEBRATES AT A CALIFORNIA WIND FARM”
- 3rd Place – Carly Creley, California State University, Los Angeles, “CHANGES IN THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE EASTERN GRAY SQUIRREL, SCIURUS CAROLINENSIS, IN CALIFORNIA FROM 1900-2015 WITH PROJECTIONS FOR ITS POTENTIAL FUTURE RANGE”