2014 Awards

2014 Award Recipients

Presented by President Doug Bell, January 30, 2014

The following awards were presented at the TWS-WS Banquet on Thursday January 30, 2014.

The Raymond F. Dasmann Award for the Professional of the Year went to Shawn Espinosa with the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW). Shawn began his wildlife career over 20 years ago and over these years he has held a number of positions that prepared him for the professional challenges he faces today. Over the last decade that the Greater sage-grouse (GSG) issue has grown to become a national focus, Shawn has distinguished himself as a leader and a subject matter expert, not only in Nevada and the Great Basin, but nationally as well. Since the USFWS found the GSG “Threatened But Precluded” in 2010, Shawn not only took the lead in Nevada by developing critical information on GSG conservation and management, he has been asked to serve on critical scientific initiatives, and committees to draft the quintessential reports and biological assessments that are driving the scientific discussion critical to the GSG listing evaluation.

The Conservationist of the Year Award – This year we are very pleased to honor the Nevada Bighorn Unlimited (NBU) for their unwavering support of wildlife conservation in Nevada, through their direct financial support, volunteerism and policy and political support. NBU was formed in 1981 by a group of private sportsmen with the goal of reintroducing bighorn sheep back into their historical mountain ranges. Bighorn sheep were Nevada’s most numerous big game species when white man first entered the Great Basin. However, by 1900 they were almost extirpated due to overexploitation during settlement of the west. By forming a strong partnership with the Nevada Department of Wildlife, the reintroduction of bighorn sheep into Nevada mountain ranges has become one of the world’s greatest wildlife conservation success stories.

The Barrett A. Garrison Outstanding Mentor Award. This award was bestowed upon Dr. Jim Sedinger. Dr. Sedinger started at University of Alaska, Fairbanks in 1985 as an Assistant Professor and earned tenure in 1994. He has taught at the University of Nevada Reno since 2001 where he received the Researcher of the Year, College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources in 2012. He has encouraged many a student and helped develop outside relationships to interact with many other projects not related to their graduate work, which had the benefit to prepare them for work in the real world. Many of his students firmly believe they could not have received better mentoring from anyone else and Dr. Sedinger has been one of those mentors to many students and colleagues over the years.

The Chapter of the Year Award went to the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. 2013 had been a very busy year for the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. They have continued to offer a diversity of activities that facilitate social networking, professional development, and involvement in the broader Wildlife Society organization. In addition, they assisted students at the San Francisco State University (SFSU) and University of California at Berkeley (Cal) to establish the first two student chapters in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The James D. Yoakum Award went to Dr. Donald A. Klebenow. Because the Nevada Chapter was a relatively small group of professionals, each member had multiple responsibilities. As an example, during 1986, when Don was serving as Chapter Past President, he was also serving on the Chapter Nominations, and Resolutions and Public Statements Committees, and as Chapter historian. During the 1970s and 1980s, the NV Chapter produced position statements on lead shot, horse and livestock grazing impacts on wildlife, the sagebrush rebellion, effects of airspace use by the Navy on wildlife, inclusion of Anaho Island in the national wilderness system, wilderness as a wildlife management tool, wilderness on Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, water for the Lahontan Basin and Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, a trout fishery at Chimney Creek Reservoir on the Little Humboldt River, and the Red Rock Canyon Recreation Area. The Chapter also commented on numerous other wildlife management issues, including the draft EIS for the Lake Meade National Recreation Area. The Nevada Chapter produced the Silver Wildlife Series, which became a popular educational tool, during this period. Don and Jim Yoakum were active in nearly all of these efforts. Don’s loyalty and commitment to the Nevada Chapter and the Western Section were key to the success the Chapter and Section achieved over more than two decades.

The Raymond F. Dasmann Award for the Professional of the Year went to Shawn Espinosa.
The Conservationist of the Year Award went to California Nevada Bighorn Unlimited.
The Chapter of the Year Award went to the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. Accepting for the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter is Matthew Bettelheim.
The Barrett A. Garrison Mentor of the Year Award went to Dr. Jim Sedinger.
The James D. Yoakum Award was bestowed upon Dr. Donald A. Klebenow.

The following TWS member received a past-presidents pin for her service to the Western Section at the annual business meeting:

  • Linda Leeman, Past-President 2012

The following TWS members received plaques for their service to the Western Section at the annual business meeting:

  • Doug Bell, President 2013
  • Natasha Dvorak, President-Elect 2013
  • Laura Patterson, Sacramento-Shasta Chapter Representative 2011-2013
  • Don Yasuda, Section Representative 2007-2013
  • Linda Connolly, San Joaquin Valley Chapter Representative 2011-2013
  • Janine Payne Schneir, Secretary 2010-2014

The following students received an award at the annual banquet:
Oral Presentations:

  • 1st – Shannon Rich, California State University, Chico, “Migration Patterns of Flammulated owls (Otus flammeolus) from Four Breeding Locations Using Light-Level Geolocators”
  • 2nd – Ona Alminas, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, “Phylogeographic inference of insular mule deer divergence in the desert southwest region of Mexico”
  • 3rd – Catherine Yasuda, California State University, Chico, “Photographic analysis of scale-intersection pattern as a means of individual identification of alligator lizards (Elgaria spp.)”


  • 1st – Sarah Hegg, University of Nevada, Reno, “Abundance and habitat associations of the pale kangaroo mouse (Microdipodops pallidus) in the Lower Smoky Valley of Nevada”
  • 2nd – Julie Shaw, California State University, Chico, “Winter ecology of the northern saw-whet owl (Aegolius acadicus) in the Sierra Nevada Foothills of California”
  • 3rd – Anthony Bush, University of Nevada, Reno, “Providing water in arid environments: Effects on movement rates and home range size of mule deer in Mojave National Preserve, CA”

TWS Fellows Awards

  • Presented at the TWS Annual Meeting, October 2014, in Pittsburgh, PA

This award recognizes current TWS members who have distinguished themselves through exceptional service to the wildlife profession and have been members for at least 10 years. TWS Fellows serve as ambassadors of The Wildlife Society and are encouraged to engage in outreach and other activities that will benefit and promote both TWS and the wildlife profession. TWS Fellows are appointed for life.

Brian Cypher

Rocky Gutierrez