Ten members named TWS Fellows for 2021

Ten longtime TWS members have been named TWS Fellows for 2021. The TWS Fellows Award is given out each year to individuals who have “distinguished themselves through exceptional service” to the profession and have been members of the Society for at least 10 years.

“We congratulate our 10 newly selected TWS Fellows who are being recognized for their exceptional service to the wildlife profession,” said TWS President Carol Chambers. “Each fellow contributes in different ways, but all are inspiriting role models and ambassadors for TWS.”

Find out more about the background of these esteemed wildlifers below.

Don Barnes

Don Barnes has been a solid contributor to The Wildlife Society and wildlife management throughout his career, and he continues to make contributions that exemplify the commitment of a professional wildlife biologist and representative of The Wildlife Society. Barnes has been a member of TWS and contributed to all levels of the organization for more than 46 years. He received professional certification as a Certified Wildlife Biologist in 1999. He is a member of several TWS Working Groups and was appointed by TWS President John McDonald to the Certification Liaison Committee in 2017. He is a member and has held several officer positions in both the Canadian Section and Ontario Chapter of TWS. Barnes made important contributions to the development of the Canadian Section strategic plan in 2017. He is currently the president-elect of the Ontario Chapter and chair of the Canadian Section Certification Committee.

Patrick Magee

Pat Magee has been an active professional member of TWS since 1989. Magee and his students founded the Western Colorado University Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society in 2010, and he has served as faculty advisor since. Magee has made a point of involving student chapter officers and members in the annual meetings of the state chapter, often presenting student research, and at TWS Annual Conferences. Magee was president-elect of the Colorado TWS Chapter in 2016, and served as its president for from 2017 to 2018. As president, he challenged chapter membership to think about what they wanted the chapter to be and then work with the chapter board to make it happen. Magee was instrumental in obtaining donations for chapter endowment funds to help secure the financial future of the chapter.

Nicki Frey

Sandra Nicole Frey (Nicki) has promoted TWS and the wildlife profession. She joined TWS 25 years ago and the Utah Chapter 20 years ago, and served as president, president-elect, vice president and board member of the Central Mountains and Plains Section, president of the Conservation Education and Outreach Working Group, and secretary of the Wildlife Damage Management Working Group. She was one of the original founders of the Jack H. Berryman Institute. She organized Utah students into a state team for the National Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program (NWHEP) and led her team to first place during 2007. She served on the NWHEP National Committee for five years and hosted the national competition in Utah. She has given presentations at eight TWS Annual Conferences and numerous section and chapter meetings. An outgoing personality, she is common guest of local and national radio and TV stations.

Krysten Zummo

Krysten Zummo has a strong and diverse background that has allowed her to contribute to wildlife resources and the profession. In her most recent position as a stewardship associate for the Mississippi Valley Conservancy, she has developed conservation easements, including a portfolio of over 21,000 protected acres. She is the coordinator for the Kickapoo Bird Habitat Initiative, supervises GIS interns and does outreach and education to the public. Zummo has been a member of TWS since 2009 and has been active in the SUNY Cobleskill TWS Student Chapter, Student Development Working Group, TWS Council Diversity Committee, Early Career Professional Working Group and the New Mexico, Colorado and Wisconsin chapters. She is a Leadership Institute Alumni (2013) and mentor.

Scott Hygnstrom

Scott Hygnstrom has been a member of TWS since 1982 and is a Certified Wildlife Biologist. Hygnstrom is a professor and director at the Wisconsin Center for Wildlife, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and was previously a professor at the School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has been active in the Nebraska and Wisconsin chapters, serving on the board and as president in both. He has also served on the board of the North Central Section. As a faculty member at UW Stevens Point, Hynstrom has supported the student chapter providing extensive activities for the chapter members. He is an enthusiastic member of the Wildlife Damage Management Working Group; the Hunting, Trapping and Conservation Working Group and the Wildlife Disease Working Group, serving on the board and as chair of all three.

Krysten Schuler

Krysten Schuler has been an active TWS member beginning as a graduate student in 1998 and attending her first TWS meeting in Nashville in 2000. She is a charter member of the Wildlife Disease Working Group (2006) and is currently the chair of this working group. As chair, Schuler has innovated and implemented new methods to increase communication and return value to working group members. Schuler was a member of the Leadership Institute Class of 2008 and has mentored several other classes since then to give back to young professionals. Schuler is an assistant research professor at Cornell University and is recognized as a leader in the field of wildlife health. She has had a national impact and is frequently identified as the spokesperson for important issues, such as COVID-19, lead poisoning and chronic wasting disease in wildlife. Most notably, she was invited to testify before the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources Oversight Subcommittee on Chronic Wasting Disease in June 2019.

Christopher DePerno

Chris DePerno is a professor, fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology coordinator and liaison at North Carolina State University and has been an active member of TWS since beginning as a graduate student in 1994 at South Dakota State University. He is a Certified Wildlife Biologist and has been a member of the Honorary Membership and Special Recognition Committee. He is active in the Public Conservation Education and Extension Working Group, Wildlife Damage Management Working Group and Wildlife Disease Working Group. Additionally, DePerno was co-chair of the Program Committee for the 2016 TWS Annual Meeting held in Raleigh, North Carolina. His duties at North Carolina State University include working with faculty and staff across a complex interdisciplinary programmatic unit that reaches across four colleges and multiple disciplines, working to attract the best and brightest undergraduate and graduate students, developing enrollment branding, fostering growth of endowments and scholarships, conducting curriculum revisions and faculty searches, administering awards, supervising staff, maintaining a strong sense of community among current graduate students, faculty and external partners and serving as representative to the National Association of University Fish and Wildlife Programs.

Rachael Urbanek

Rachael Urbanek became a member of TWS in 2004 and has since expanded her membership to subunits that reflected the region in which she resided, including state chapters, regional sections, and working groups. Additionally, Urbanek was the faculty advisor of the Arkansas Tech Student Chapter from 2014–2015 and, upon arriving at UNC Wilmington in 2015, started working with the students to establish a student chapter. She has been the faculty advisor of the now established Seahawk Wildlife Society Student Chapter at UNCW since 2017. A major contribution Urbaken has made to TWS was her work on the Increasing Agency Membership Sub-Committee. Urbanek, Amy Carrozzino-Lyon and former TWS president Gary Potts led a survey of TWS members to understand perceived and desired member benefits at each level of TWS. This research culminated in a peer-reviewed publication in the Wildlife Society Bulletin and many recommendations to improve member benefits across all levels of TWS. Urbanek has provided exceptional service to TWS and based on her current involvement and dedication, will continue to serve TWS and the wildlife profession.

Christopher Moorman

Chris Moorman is a Certified Wildlife Biologist and professor and interim associate head of the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at North Carolina State University. Moorman has been involved with TWS at national, sectional, state and student levels for over 25 years. He served on the Honorary Membership and Special Awards Committee from 2001 to 2004 and was chair of the committee in 2002 and 2003. He has been active in the Urban Wildlife Working Group and also is a member of the Renewable Energy Working Group. He was chair-elect, chair, and past-chair of the Urban Wildlife Working Group from 2007 to 2013. He served on the Program Committee for the working group’s International Urban Wildlife Conference in 2007 and 2017. Moorman was an associate editor for the Wildlife Society Bulletin from 2002 to 2004 and co-chaired the Contributed Paper Subcommittee for the Annual TWS Conference in Raleigh in 2016. Moorman was hired at NC State University as an assistant professor and extension wildlife specialist in 1999. As an extension specialist, Moorman developed a nationally recognized extension program related to wildlife management in rural and urban settings. He trained over 100 county extension agents, 15,000 landowners and citizens and 3,000 professionals.

Mike Chapel

Mike Chapel has been a member of TWS since 1977 and an active member of the Western Section. He has held positions as president, treasurer and bookkeeper of the Western Section and president and Chapter representative of the Western Section San Joaquin Valley Chapter. Chapel has recently served as the Western Section representative on the TWS Retired Wildlife Professionals Committee and leads the Western Section Retirees Work Group. Until his retirement in June of 2012, Chapel was employed for 32 years by the U.S. Forest Service. He began his federal career managing a wildlife program, featuring a mule deer habitat research and management project, on a ranger district in the southern Sierra Nevada. From there, he managed fish and wildlife programs on two national forests in the Sierras. As a district ranger, he later supervised all land conservation planning and management programs on the 220,000-acre Nevada City District. For the last 20 years of his professional career Chapel worked as a representative of the Regional Forester’s Team in Sacramento.

Click here for a complete list of 2021 TWS award winners.

Header Image: Krysten Zummo, a Stewardship Associate for the Mississippi Valley Conservancy, is one of the 10 TWS members chosen as 2021 TWS Fellows. Credit: Courtesy Krysten Zummo