The Western Section recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations that have gone above and beyond to make contributions toward the Western Section’s goals. Five awards are presented at the Western Section’s Annual Meeting awards banquet and officers on the executive board are recognized for volunteering their time and efforts to sustain and strengthen the Western Section.

How to make your nominations:
Please support your nomination with a summary of the nominee’s professional history, a narrative of the special program(s) for which the nomination is being made, and any other pertinent supportive materials (letters of recommendation, C.V., etc.). Mail or email (preferred) your nomination with supporting materials by December 31 to:
Richard Burg
California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
3883 Ruffin Rd
San Diego, CA 92123
phone: (858) 467-4209

Expect to receive a confirmation that your nomination has been received. Please let me know if you do not receive a confirmation.

Please see below for details about these awards.

Annual Awards

Raymond F. Dasmann Award for the Professional of the Year

The “Dasmann Award” is presented by the Western Section to Professionals who have made an outstanding contribution to wildlife resources management and understanding in California, Nevada, Hawaii or Guam.
Qualifications of Nominee: The nominee can be any member(s) of the Wildlife Society-Western Section, who develops, applies, administers or completes an especially significant program of management, education, research or communications that results in an outstanding contribution to wildlife resources in the Western Section geographic area.

The Conservationist of the Year Award

The Conservationist of the Year Award is presented by the Western Section to a person or group, engaged in wildlife conservation either as a profession or as an avocation, who has made an outstanding contribution to wildlife conservation in California, Nevada, Hawaii or Guam.
Qualifications of Nominee: The nominee can be any individual or group who has demonstrated an active concern for wildlife conservation by accomplishing projects or programs that have significantly enhanced wildlife resource conservation within the Western Section geographical area.

The James D. Yoakum Award for Outstanding Service and Commitment to The Western Section of The Wildlife Society

The “James D. Yoakum Award” is intended to recognize individuals who have provided outstanding, long-term service, support, and commitment to the Western Section of The Wildlife Society.
Qualifications of Nominee: The nominee must be a member of The Wildlife Society and of The Western Section and must have dedicated a substantial amount of time, energy, and personal sacrifice to furthering the Section’s goals and facilitating its programs and operations. The Award recognizes service to the organization rather than contributions to wildlife management and conservation, which are recognized by the Section’s two other major awards, the “Raymond F. Dasmann Award for Professional of the Year” and the “Conservationist of the Year Award.”

The Chapter of the Year Award

The Chapter of the Year Award is awarded to the Chapter and its members that achieved the most toward promoting wildlife conservation and responsible wildlife management in the Western Section region.
Qualifications of Nominee: The nominee must be a Chapter of The Western Section whose members as a whole contributed towards achieving the goals of The Western Section. This can include hosting wildlife training workshops to promote professional development, supporting wildlife students, or initiating and supporting conservation projects.

Barrett A. Garrison “Outstanding Mentor Award”

The “Barrett A. Garrison Outstanding Mentor Award” is bestowed to a professional within California, Nevada, Hawaii, and Guam who has contributed to our profession by assisting the continued development of students and/or young professionals. Qualifications of Nominee: The responsibility of a mentor is extraordinary. A mentor helps to shape and promote a young career. The nominee can be any member(s) of the Wildlife Society-Western Section, who is responsible for mentoring young professionals over their career in the Western Section geographic area.

TWS Distinguished Service Award

TWS Distinguished Service is designed to recognize TWS members who have made a long-term commitment to the Society based on membership longevity and TWS service. The member is someone who is/was “always there” and could be counted on to serve the chapter, section, or international organization. The award recognizes individuals who have worked throughout their careers in a variety of ways to further the mission of the Society.

Past Award Winners

James D Yoakum Award for Outstanding Service

2023 Janine Payne
2022 Dr. Marshall White and Dr. Reginald Barrett
2021 Kent Smith
2020 John McNerney
2019 Richard Burg and Cynthia Perrine
2017 Don Armentrout
2016 Kenneth E. Mayer
2015 Rhys M. Evans
2014 Donald A. Klebenow
2013 Not Presented
2012 Don Yasuda
2011 Not Presented
2010 Not Presented
2009 Bill Standley
2008 Marti Kie
2007 Not Presented
2006 Michael T. Chapel
2005 Brad Valentine
2004 Not Presented
2003 Not Presented
2002 Not Presented
2001 Not Presented
2000 Rick Williams
1999 Bill Clark
1998 Jim Yoakum

Raymond F. Dasmann Professional of the Year

2023 Kathryn Purcell
2022 Dr. Kelley Stewart
2021 Dr. Geoffrey Geupel
2020 Dr. Deanna Clifford
2019 David J. Germano
2018 Kevin Hunting
2017 Dr. Richard T. Golightly
2016 Dr. Ralph “Rocky” Gutierrez
2015 Howard O. Clark
2014 Shawn Espinosa
2013 Dr. Brian Cypher
2012 Dr. Scott Osborn
2011 Dr. Philip Leitner
2010 Esther Burkett
2009 Dr. Richard Botzler
2008 Dr. Bill Zielinski
2007 Daniel Pearson
2006 Dr. Archie S. Mossman
2005 Peter H. Bloom
2004 C. John Ralph, Robert C. Stebbins
2003 Jared Verner
2002 Jon Hooper
2001 Ron Jurek
2000 Richard Anderson
1999 Ken Mayer
1998 Brad Valentine
1997 Walter Howard
1996 Don Delong
1995 Larry Saslaw
1994 John J. Kie
1993 Gordon I. Gould, Jr.
1992 Ronald D. Rempel
1991 William F. Laudenslayer, Jr.
1990 Michael T. Chapel, Terry M. Mansfield
1989 Reginald H. Barrett
1988 David Woodhouse
1987 James Jeffres
1986 James Yoakum
1985 Vernon C. Bleich
1984 Not Presented
1983 Richard A. Weaver
1982 William Longhurst
1981 Richard Teague
1980 Eldridge G. Hunt
1979 Robert Nelson

Conservationist of the Year

2023 Beth Pratt
2022 Ducks Unlimited-Western Region
2021 Biologists Without Borders
2020 Save The Redwoods League
2019 Yosemite Conservancy
2018 Endangered Species Recovery Program (ESRP)
2017 Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA)
2016 The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
2015 The Nature Conservancy
2014 California Nevada Bighorn Unlimited
2013 California Wildlife Conservation Board
2012 The Trust for Public Land
2011 Mojave Desert Land Trust
2010 Point Reyes Bird Observatory
2009 Dixie Pierson, Bill Rainey, Pat Brown, Bill Berry
2008 Conservation Biology Institute
2007 Yolo Basin Foundation
2006 California Waterfowl Association
2005 David F. DeSante
2004 Desert Tortoise Council
2003 Riparian Brush Rabbit Recovery Team
2002 John R. Mount
2001 Daniel Williams
2000 Center for Natural Lands Management
1999 Stephen Gaddes
1998 Elsie Dupree
1997 John Anderson
1996 Larry Johnson
1995 Amigos De Bolsa Chica
1994 Fern Duvall, Gary Sprinkle
1993 Rick Hewett
1992 Susan Baughman
1991 Brian Walton
1990 Felix Smith, Dan Chapin
1989 William Grenfell
1988 Kelvin Taketa
1987 Hank Doddridge
1986 Marvin Wood
1985 William McIntyre
1984 Not Presented
1983 Roy and Marion Conway
1982 David Gaines
1981 Glenn W. Sudmeier
1980 David Chapin
1979 Vern Smith

Barrett A. Garrison “Mentor of the Year”

2023 Dr. Melissa Price
2022 Wendell Gilgert
2021 Jeff Lincer
2020 Jeffrey Wilcox
2018 Dr. Benjamin Sacks
2017 Barbara Peters
2014 Dr. Jim Sedinger
2013 Dr. Mark Colwell
2012 Dave Wyatt
2011 Jeff Alvarez
2010 Dr. Lowell Diller
2009 Lee Fitzhugh
2008 Barrett A. Garrison

Outstanding Contributions to Wildlife

1978 Robert Nelson, Vern Smith
1977 Peg Frankel
1976 Dan Anderson, Edwin Z’Berg
1975 Not Presented
1974 A. Starker Leopold
1973 Unknown
1972 Howard Leach
1971 Gene Kridler
1970 Pauline Davis
1969 William Dasmann
1968 Jim Yoakum
1967 Walter Putnam
1966 J. Harold Severaid
1965 Raymond Dassmann, Eugene McAteer
1956 Seth Gordon
1955 F.P. Cronemiller