Past president of TWS Pennsylvania chapter recognized

By Dana Kobilinsky

Emily Thomas is a board member for the Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology.
©Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology

Emily Thomas, a past president of the Pennsylvania Chapter of The Wildlife Society, was recently recognized with the Outstanding Recent Alumni Award from the Pennsylvania State University Forest Resources Alumni Group for her engagement in the wildlife field.

The award, which was initiated in 2001, recognizes outstanding alumni that have shown professional achievement, excellence, impact and recognition as well as service to the profession, to the department and to the community. Recipients also demonstrate high personal and professional standards.

As president of the Pennsylvania Chapter, Thomas launched the now popular Fall Field Days program. She was also selected to participate in the TWS Leadership Institute in 2015.

Thomas is also active in other organizations. She’s a board member of the Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology and for the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. She also participates in Christmas Bird Counts and manages bird banding demonstrations for the public at the Jamestown Audubon Sanctuary.

Thomas day job is a lecturer in the Wildlife Technology program at Penn State Dubois, where she has taught since she was an undergraduate. She earned an associate’s degree at Penn State Dubois in wildlife technology in 2007 and then a bachelor’s of science in wildlife and fisheries science in 2009 at the university. She then went on to earn a master’s in wildlife and fisheries science in 2011, writing her thesis on the effects of conventional oil and gas development on forest birds. She presented her findings at a shale gas symposium at the 2018 annual TWS conference.

As an instructor at Penn State Dubois since 2012, Thomas teaches six courses, advises around 30 students and leads the university’s student chapter of The Wildlife Society. She was nominated by her students.

This is not her first time receiving an award. As an undergraduate, Thomas earned the Orpha Kelly Rapp and Jesse Rossiter Rapp ’15 Prize for Academic Excellence, which goes to seniors in the School of Forest Resources with the highest grade-point average. She also received the Best Student Presentation Award from the Pennsylvania chapter of TWS for her paper on her graduate research.

Dana KobilinskyDana Kobilinsky is associate editor at The Wildlife Society. Contact her at dkobilinsky@wildlife.org with any questions or comments about her article. You can follow her on Twitter at @DanaKobi.

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