Nominations for the 2016 Distinguished Service Award will be accepted through May 1. Click on the link above to visit the Distinguished Service Award webpage, or visit wildlife.org/awards to learn more about all TWS awards.
Chapter presidents, section representatives and all-around hard workers are highlighted for the 2015 recipients of the Distinguished Service Award of The Wildlife Society. The award was designed to honor TWS members who have demonstrated long-term commitment and service to the Society.
A short description of the winners and reasons behind their nominations are shown below.
Randy Spencer, Southeastern Section
Spencer, of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, has been a TWS member since 1979 and the Mississippi Chapter and Southeastern Section since 1980 and 1982, respectively. He has served a variety of roles in the Mississippi Chapter such as president, executive board member, president-elect and Council representative for the Southeastern Section. “Randy is indeed an outstanding wildlife biologist, mentor and educator, whose clear leadership as a natural resources professional and as a longtime member of The Wildlife Society merits serious consideration of him for this award,” said Bruce Leopold, a past TWS president, in a nomination letter.
“It affirms the appreciation of my peers for consistent contributions throughout a career,” Spencer said, “Whether as an officer or, most often, in some behind the scenes support capacity. This recognition validates, for me, a concept from which young professionals in any field may benefit. You do not necessarily have to be in a leadership position to be a leader.”
Jon Hooper, Western Section
Hooper, a professor at California State Univesrity, Chico, has been a member of the Western Section since 1973 and has long held the position of Communications Workshop Chairman and been a member of the Continuing Wildlife Education Committee.
“Serving The Wildlife Society primarily by teaching the Western Section of The Wildlife Society’s Natural Resources Communication Workshop for over 40 years has been an awesome experience,” Hooper said. “I have gained a great deal professionally by rubbing shoulders with so many great natural resources management professionals.”
Justin Vreeland, Northeast Section
Vreeland, Regional Wildlife Management Supervisor of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, served in leadership roles in the Pennsylvania Chapter and as secretary of the Northeast Section, during which time he created a membership survey that helps the TWS Executive Board to serve and engage members.
“Tremendous numbers of people at all levels of our organization contribute so much time and effort to making this Society and this profession great,” Vreeland said, “None does so for recognition, because, like I tell students and aspiring biologists, service [to the profession] is the reward, especially when that service ultimately results in more effective wildlife conservation.”
Lu Carbyn, Canadian Section
Carbyn, an adjunct professor in the Renewable Resources Department of the University of Alberta was a huge support to the Alberta Chapter of the Wildlife Society, particularly on the TWS Certification Committee, which he joined in 2010. “His advocacy of the program has helped raise awareness of the TWS and certification in Canada, and through that discussion, has fostered a broader appreciation of the knowledge, skills and obligations of wildlife professionals,” said D. L. Patriquin, a past president of the Alberta Chapter, in a nomination letter.
“Wildlife science and management is rapidly changing,” Carbyn said, “Therefore it so important to provide continuity in our profession by mentoring young professionals. It pays dividends by keeping a perspective over time and looking at the big picture by ‘thinking big’ and ‘working small.'”
Warren Aney, Northwest Section
Aney, a consulting senior wildlife ecologist, has been a key member of the Oregon Chapter’s legislative and conservation affairs committees for the past 20 years. He was instrumental in working to organize the national TWS conferences in Portland in 1995 and 2012 and has worked extensively on wildlife legislation issues.