Rusch Memorial Game Bird Research Scholarship

Ringnecked Pheasant

Image Credit: Dave Menke, USFWS

The Donald H. Rusch Memorial Game Bird Scholarship was established to honor the memory of Don Rusch, who died unexpectedly in 1999, and to continue his legacy by contributing to studies of game bird biology. The award is presented annually to a graduate student studying any aspect of upland game bird or waterfowl biology and management.

Dr. Donald H. Rusch was an avid hunter and angler, with a keen interest in all aspects of game bird biology and conservation. His career in the wildlife profession included research on game birds in Canada, the United States, and South America, and contributed greatly to our understanding of ruffed grouse and Canada goose population ecology in particular.

As a teacher, Don imparted great enthusiasm to his students, encouraged them to think critically, and always maintained an open mind toward new ideas.

As a scientist, Don believed in the value of long-term research over the entire geographic range of a species to provide comprehensive understanding of population ecology.

As a manager, he advocated the wise use of our wildlife resources, and emphasized the importance of scientific research to improve our understanding of wildlife populations and their conservation.

The first scholarship of $2,000 was announced during The Wildlife Society’s 7th Annual Conference in 2000.

Award Nomination Process and Criteria

To nominate an individual for consideration, click here to learn about the criteria and the nomination process. Nomination forms must be submitted by May 1, 2018 at 11:59 PM EST.

Donald H. Rusch Memorial Game Bird Research Scholarship

2017
Andrew Olsen, Northwest Nazarene University

2016
Victoria Simonsen, University of Nebraska

2015
John P. Severson, University of Idaho

2014
Katrina Alger, State University of New York

2013
Aaron Robinson, Brigham Young University

2012
Stephanie Graham, Utah State University

2011
Erik Blomberg, University of Nevada–Reno

2010
Meadow J. Kouffeld, University of Minnesota–Twin Cities

2009
Lance McNew, Kansas State University

2008
Brian Hess, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

2007
David A. Miller, Iowa State University

2006
Dominic Bachman, Humboldt State University

2005
Kevin E. Doherty, University of Montana

2004
Jed Meunier, University of Wisconsin, Madison

2003
Guthrie S. Zimmerman, University of Minnesota

2002
Patrick Devers, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

2001
Michael A. Gregg,  Oregon State University

2000
Ben C. West,  Utah State University