Conservation education covers a wide diversity of activity.
It encompasses particular works of great merit and also programs representing sustained effort that can achieve great significance over the years. This award gives recognition to an important kind of professional endeavor not covered by other honors of the Society. It had been evident for many years that important compilations and other education works did not fulfill criteria for the technical publications awards. Also, there was no way to cite outstanding films or other efforts in a field widely regarded as critical to the success of conservation programs.

This award is aimed primarily at the work of individuals. Institutions such as publishing houses and units of government being more properly qualified under the Group Achievement Award.

The Conservation Education Award is given in each of the following categories on a three-year-rotation basis:

Authors, editors, or publishers of books, a series of articles, or other written material which effectively conveys sound conservation concepts to the public.

A TWS member and a journalist who have collaborated on a media report (print, radio, television, or website) that epitomizes excellence in wildlife stewardship through science and education. This award may also be given to artists, photographers, lecturers, radio commentators, songwriters, film producers, computer programmers, or other creative workers whose accomplishments are outstanding in the dissemination of conservation knowledge to the public.

People involved in long-term, continuing efforts that support conservation education. These individuals are typically, but not exclusively, supported by either public or private organizations promoting a broad framework of goals and objectives.

This award is aimed primarily at the work of individuals.
Institutions such as publishing houses and units of government are usually recognized under the Group Achievement Award.


Conservation education covers a wide diversity of activity. It encompasses particular works of great merit and also programs representing sustained effort that can achieve great significance over the years. Presumably, any kind of effort that influences public opinion in a constructive manner might be honored in this way. The award encompasses the broad field of renewable resources conservation and management, but wildlife is expected to be the focus of nominated works.

Through this award, The Wildlife Society recognizes three types of candidate material. The award is given in each one of the following categories on a three-year-rotating basis. The category for nominations for the 2024 Conservation Education Award will be given in the PROGRAMS category.

Programs include people involved in long-term, continuing efforts that support conservation education. These individuals are typically, but not exclusively, supported by either public or private organizations promoting a broad framework of goals and objectives.


  • Nomination narrative describing the conservation education program.
  • Up to three support letters
  • Examples of content, activities, or efforts.

Nomination materials must be submitted via the online nominations system by May 1 at 11:59 PM ET.

For questions related to TWS Awards please email,


2023No recipients
2022(Writing) Sue Tidwell, Cries of the Savanna
2021(Programs) Dennis Ferraro
2020(Media and Audio-Visual Works) Emily Thoroski, “Why Do Wildlife Matter”
2019(Writing) Michelle M. Haggerty, Texas Master Naturalist Manual
(Writing) Delwin E. Benson, Environmental Consideration and Peace
2018Wells Reserve at Laudholm
2017No recipients
2016No recipients
2015(Writing, Book) Adam T. Rohnke and James L. Cummins
(Writing, Article Series) Mississippi State University Staff
2014Houston Zoo’s Collegiate Conservation Program
2013(Media) Samuel Koltinsky and Marvo Entertainment Group for “America’s Darling: The Story of Jay N. ‘Ding’ Darling”
2012(Audio-Visual) Kenton Vaughan, Mark Caswell, Margus Jukkum, and Travis Livieri for “Return of the Prairie Bandit”
2011(Writing, Article) Nevada Department of Wildlife. 2007-2010. “Southern Nevada Wild. Vol. (issue)1(1) – 4(4)”
(Writing, Book) Council for Environmental Education’s Flying WILD: An Educator’s Guide to Celebrating Birds
2010AFWA’s North American Conservation Education Strategy and Conservation Leaders of Tomorrow
2009No recipients
2008No recipients
2007(Writing)  Milton Friend and Dale Rollins
2006(Program) John VanNeil and William Dean for Bureau of Land Management’s publication, “The Wildlife Investigator Series, Volume 1.” The authors have developed educational materials to help wildlife biologists and others give presentations on various wildlife topics. These presentations are provided for students from kindergarten through high school
2005(Media) Christine Dorsey and Doug Inkley for the media work, organized by Ms. Dorsey with Dr. Inkley as lead spokesperson, that resulted in widespread and outstanding media coverage for The Wildlife Society’s “Global Climate Change and Wildlife in North America” Technical Review
2004(Audio-Visual) Michael Forsberg is being recognized for his outstanding achievements in the area of public education. He is a freelance writer who has contributed stories to NEBRASKAland Magazine, Natural Geographic, and Nature
2003(Writing, Book) “Feeding Wildlife…Just Say No!” by Scot J. Williamson of the Wildlife Management Institute
2002(Program) “Fur Hunting and Trapping Education Program” of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and “Project HOME: Home for Wildlife on School Grounds” of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department
2001(Audio-visual) “Living with Urban White-tailed Deer-An Educator’s Guide to Involving Students in Urban Deer Management,” by Wade Nolan, Dan Bertalan, and Gary Beaton. This educational product helps students learn to think for themselves in addressing a challenging current wildlife issue
(Writing, Article) “Environmental Education for Kids” a Wisconsin DNR electronic magazine, developed and edited by Carrie Morgan
2000(Writing, Book) “Wildlife Stewardship and Recreation on Private Lands” by Texas A&M University Press, 1999
1999(Program) NEBRASKAland’s Trail Tales Magazine
1998(Audio-visual) “Missouri Department of Conservation for Habitactics,” a computer conservation game
(Writing, Articles/Brochures) “Wildlife and Your Land” by the Bureau of Wildlife Management of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
1997(Writing, Book) “Eastern Deciduous Forest Ecology and Wildlife Conservation” by Richard H. Yahner
1996(Program) National 4-H Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program
1995(Audio-visual) Glenn D. Chambers for a lifetime of artistic achievement across several media, including films, video, still photos, and paintings
1994(Writing) “About Mammals and How They Live” by Charles and Elizabeth Schwartz, published by the Missouri Department of Conservation, 1993
1993(Program) “Chesapeake Bay Public Awareness Program,” U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, for engendering a land and water ethic in the people of the Chesapeake Bay area
1992(Audio-visual) “California’s Tule Elk,” by the California Department of Fish and Game, a video about how the Tule elk were nearly extirpated by the gold rush and the ensuing race to develop California’s natural resources
1991(Writing) “America’s Neighborhood Bats,” by Merlin D. Tuttle, published by University of Texas Press, 1988
1990(Program) “Teach About Geese,” by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, an educational program that addresses the decline in geese populations in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in Western Alaska
“Restless Ribbons of Sand,” by Ken Varden, a booklet on the function and importance of coastal barrier ecosystems
1989(Audio-visual) “Sagebrush Country,” by Jim and Elaine Larison, a video on the need for balanced solutions to provide healthy rangelands for wildlife
1988(Writing) “Bay Country”, by Tom Horton, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987
1987(Program) The Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Conservation Education Program for their educational effort, despite cultural and language differences, on behalf of Arctic Geese
1986(Audio-visual) “Home Free: Return of the Bald Eagle,” by Christopher G. Knight. The film chronicles 12 months of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife’s bald eagle restoration effort, with an emphasis on raising and releasing young birds to the wild
1985(Writing) The Nature Conservancy News, November/December 1983 issue entitled “What’s a Species Worth”
1984(Program) Project WILD, a joint project of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the Western Regional Environmental Education Council, an interdisciplinary, supplementary environmental and conservation education program, emphasizing wildlife, for educators of kindergarten through high school age students
1983(Audio-visual) “Colorado Wildlife,” by Art Shomo and the Colorado Chapter of The Wildlife Society, a slide show accompanied by a tape recorded narrative and lesson plans for teachers in the Colorado school system
1982(Writing) Tracks Magazine, edited by Catherine Mullhaupt Rustem, printed monthly by the Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Lansing, Mich., distributed to grade schools
1981(Program) Delwin E. Benson, Department of Fishery and Wildlife Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Co., for outstanding achievement in hunter, wildlife, and conservation education
1980(Audio-Visual) Parks Canada, Department of the Environment, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, for their film, “Bears and Man”
1979Oscar “Ozz” Warbach of Haslett, Michigan, for his book, “Mother Nature’s Michigan,” Michigan Department of Natural Resources, 1976, published by Hillsdale Educational Publishers, Inc., Hillsdale, Mich
1978William R. Hernbrode of the Arizona Game and Fish Department for continuing teacher education and volunteer conservation instructor programs in Arizona
1977Karl Maslowski and Stephen Maslowski of Cincinnati, Ohio, for their film, “Ohio’s Wild Places,” produced for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources
1976James A. Trefethen. “An American Crusade for Wildlife,” Winchester Press, New York, N.Y., 1975
University of Maine Student Chapter, The Wildlife Society, for outstanding environmental education community programs
1975California Department of Fish and Game for outstanding agency public education programs
1974Missouri Department of Conservation for its film, “Wild Chorus”
1972Bruce E. Cowgill for “The Nebraskaland Acres for Wildlife Program”
1971Glenn D. Chambers, fo his film, “The Return of the Wild Turkey”
1970David A. Munro for “A Place for Everything”
1969Raymond F. Dasmann for “Environmental Conservation,” and “A Different Kind of Country”
1968“New Mexico Wildlife Management,” by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
1967Robert Scott Ellarson
John Madson for writing “Benefiting public understanding of aims and objectives of professional wildlife management.”
1966Ernest H. Linford, for conservation editorials in a prominent newspaper.
Dr. Douglas L. Gilbert for his book, “Public Relations in Natural Resources Management”
1965Robert W. Hines, authorship and art work on booklet, “Ducks at a Distance”
1964Dr. Joseph P. Linduska and Remington Farms for their publications and fine demonstration areas
1963Rachel Carson, for “Silent Spring”
1962Ray Dale Sanders for his film “Land of the Prairie Duck” produced by Minnesota Foundation of St. Paul, Minnesota
1961Byron S. Asbaugh and Muriel Beuschlein, for “Things to do in science and conservation,” sponsored in 1960 by the Conservation Education Association in cooperation with the American Nature Association
1960Richard W. Westwood, for work of the nature study society and the establishment and growth of the International Union for the Protection of Nature (now International Union for Conservation) and as editor of Nature Magazine
1959Fred J. Schmeeckle, for developing a model conservation program at the Wisconsin State College, begun in 1945
1958David A. Arnold and Oscar Warbach, for “Red foxes of Michigan,” Michigan Department of Conservation, 48 pp., 1956
1957Michael Hudoba, for “Report from Washington,” a monthly presentation in Sports Afield
New York Sportsmen’s Conservation Workshop, Cornell University
Benjamin Draper and Earl S. Hearld, for “Science in action,” a television program produced live in California, 39 weeks of the year
1956Ralph A. MacMullan and Oscar Warbach, for “The life and times of Michigan pheasants,” Game Division, Michigan Department of Conservation, 63 pp., 1954
Durward L. Allen, for “Our Wildlife Legacy,” Funk and Wagnalls Co., N.Y., 422 pp., 1954
1955Ted S. Pettit, for “Conservation good turn,” a Boy Scout program, 1954
1954Charles Schwartz and Jack Stanford, for “Bobwhite Through the Year,” a motion picture and “Whirring Wings,” a booklet, Missouri Conservation Commission, 96 pp., 1952