Steve Johnson earns 2023 Excellence in Wildlife Education Award

Two scholarships recognize work with game birds and public policy

Steve Johnson, a professor of wildlife ecology and conservation at the University of Florida, has been awarded TWS’ 2023 Excellence in Wildlife Education Award.

The award honors those who have demonstrated excellence in all areas of education, including teaching, advising, scholarships, program development and leadership. 

During his tenure, Johnson has developed courses in natural resource ecology, Florida wildlife, invasive species and amphibian and reptile conservation. He has also developed two study abroad courses in Australia.

His work at the university has earned him numerous awards, including the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Innovation in Teaching and Undergraduate Teacher of the Year awards, the Educator Award from the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture, and the USDA Excellence in College and University Teaching in Food and Agricultural Science Regional Award. He has received his department’s undergraduate faculty of the year award—an award voted on by students—five times since 2012.

Steve Johnson

Johnson has also delivered over 175 public presentations and maintains a popular website, with online guides to snakes and frogs, as well as information on invasive vertebrates.

Johnson has chaired and served on dozens graduate committees, has been as an advisor and mentor on numerous undergraduate research and honor projects and served as his department’s undergraduate coordinator.

He regularly attends his college’s annual Teaching Enhancement Symposium and was a member of the college’s Roche Teaching Scholars Program, where he developed and facilitated a “teachers’ bootcamp” workshop.

Scholarship recipients

Cailey Isaacson was selected for the TWS 2023 Donald H. Rusch Memorial Game Bird Research Scholarship. Her area of research in the ecology and management of wild turkeys in North Dakota was selected based on her participation in the design of the project, significance of the management application, and inclusion of landowner perspectives.

Cailey Isaacson

Hannah Henry was selected as the 2023 Labisky Fellowship awardee, which supports students committed to furthering wildlife policy. During her master’s work at Auburn University, Henry has been involved public engagement with the state fish and wildlife agency and with student chapters of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and The Wildlife Society.

Her work with diverse stakeholders “made me realize that the most important work I needed to do in my career was to translate the science of wildlife ecology into sound policy that was understood and supported by the public,” she said.

Hannah Henry

Header Image: Credit: Everglades National Park