TWS recognizes longtime members for service

By Julia John

Robert E. Jones accepts the Distinguished Service Award at the 2017 Annual Conference. ©TWS

Two wildlife professionals with decades of involvement with The Wildlife Society received the Distinguished Service Award lapel pin and certificate at this year’s Annual Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The honor highlights the commitment of those who have actively served TWS’ mission through at least 20 years of membership.

A 60-year TWS member, Robert E. Jones won the Canadian Section’s Distinguished Service Award. Now retired, Jones worked as an endangered species specialist with Manitoba Conservation from 1991 to 1996. Before that, he was manager of the Delta Marsh restoration project and director of the Delta Waterfowl Research Station along the south shore of Lake Manitoba. In earlier years, he taught and conducted research at the University of Delaware.

Jerry R. Longcore poses for a professional shot in 2010. ©Joni Dunne

In 1974, Jones helped establish the Manitoba Chapter — one of the first in Canada — and later became its president. He also edited the Central Mountains and Plains Section newsletter.

“I’ve been a member of The Wildlife Society for a good long time,” Jones said. “I’ve gained quite a bit in terms of knowing different people and getting my jobs done.”

Jerry R. Longcore was the Northeast Section’s 2017 pick for the Distinguished Service Award. Prior to retirement in 2004, he headed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Maine Field Office, where he collected field data to support changes in harvest regulations to reduce the decline of the American black duck (Anas rubripes). He previously worked in the USFWS’ Division of Wildlife Research in Washington after spending nine years at the Patuxent Research Center in Maryland, where he contributed to research on how the pesticide DDT affected eggshells. He was also part of an effort to test proposed nontoxic shot, which successfully paved the way for the conversion from lead shot.

Longcore joined TWS while in college over 55 years ago and has taken on a variety of roles in the organization. He chaired the TWS committee that prepared a white paper on the effects of acid rain on wildlife and habitats, and he has reviewed many papers for publications of The Wildlife Society. He edited and raised funds for the Northeast Section’s Wildlife Report publication. Longcore also completed two terms as president of the Maine Chapter of TWS and is still active in the Chapter.

“If you’re a professional wildlife biologist, TWS is what you should be supporting,” he said. “You gain the friendship of a lot of good professionals because you are associating with them at various levels. It makes you a better professional because you keep aware of change in the field over time.”

Being selected for the award meant a great deal to him, Longcore said, because many of his mentors were prominent TWS figures.

“You never do it alone,” he said. “Nobody’s an island. I realize how many people have helped me throughout my career, so I have to give credit where it’s due.”

Julia John is a science writer at The Wildlife Society. Contact her at jjohn@wildlife.org with any questions or comments about her article.

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