ACTWS Professional Awards 2021

Each year, the ACTWS recognizes special contributions to the field of wildlife science and management in Alberta. As all award winners are nominated by colleagues, it is a great opportunity for peers to recognize and celebrate each other. Awards are presented at the ACTWS annual conference, usually at our evening banquet. This year, with a virtual conference, the awards were presented over video and linked to the conference platform. Each of this year’s award winners are invaluable contributors to Alberta’s wildlife through work that is insightful and meaningful. Our winners are committed to the conservation of Alberta wildlife through science and creative communication approaches. Congratulations to the 2021 winners!

Join us in celebrating these amazing people! Watch the embedded presentation videos, share this post, invite a winner or two out to a walking or patio lunch if you know them, or do something special for them.  

William Rowan Distinguished Service Award

The Rowan Award is presented to an Alberta wildlife biologist who has made outstanding cumulative contributions to the management and conservation of wildlife and their habitats. This year, we were honoured to present this award to Dr. Colleen Cassady St. Clair who embodies the high standards of this award. Colleen was nominated by Drs. Evie Merrill and Bill Samuel who commended her outstanding research programs and publications, teaching and student mentoring, and extensive public outreach. Colleen’s work has had profound influence on wildlife management across Alberta and more broadly.

Kristina Norstrom Dedicated Service Award

This dedicated service award is presented to an ACTWS member who actively and unselfishly contributes their time and resources to further the aims and objectives of the Chapter. This year, Dee Patriquin nominated Chris Olsen. Among other things, Chris coordinated with Lakeland College on multiple fronts to facilitate participation of his students in the annual ACTWS conference. Even through challenging financial constraints and other demands, Chris continued to creatively find ways for his students to attend the conference, participate in workshops and student conclaves, and ensure his students had access to a breadth of experiences. We are so grateful for everything Chris has done and continues to do for the ACTWS!

Wildlife Outreach Award

This award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to Alberta’s fish and wildlife through effective and excellent public communications. This year Lisa Wilkinson nominated Cory Olson and the Alberta Community Bat Program (ACBP). The ACBP has excelled at delivering outreach through various coordinators, volunteers, and partner organizations across much of Alberta. The ACBP conducts an array of talks to various audiences, bat walks and displays at public events, and bat house workshops. Their program contributes directly to Albertans improved understanding of bats and their habitats.

Best Wildlife Publication Awards

These awards recognize outstanding written contributions to the wildlife profession in Alberta. Publications can be books, articles, or monographs relevant to wildlife management and conservation. Publications are assessed based on originality, impact on management and conservation science, and overall presentation.

Technical Category

This year’s winner for the technical publication award are Susanne Schindler, Kathreen E. Ruckstuhl, and Peter Neuhaus for their paper published in Animal Behaviour entitled: Male mating behaviour affects growth of secondary sexual traits: a mechanism for rapid phenotypic change. This paper will be very important in bighorn sheep management and conservation. Learn more about this important work in the video below.

Popular Category

The winner for the popular publication is Michael Stock for his book: The Flying Zoo. In the words of his nominator, Dr. Margo Pybus, this book “applies an enthusiastic wit that keeps every reader fully engaged regardless of their own skills, knowledge, and expertise. This little book is crammed with knowledge and wisdom, from the specific to the holistic, and a myriad of information that ensures every reader will learn far more than they ever thought they would…” Watch Michael’s acceptance video below to learn more about this great book!

Larry Norman Comin Photo Award

This award gives members an opportunity to share their exceptional photographs of incredible wildlife poses, beautiful landscapes, and stunning moments in nature. This year’s winner is Aimee Weir who captured the amazing photo of a waxwing displayed as part of this post. The judges said the composition was well done and the technical quality was above average. Aimee talks about how she captured this special wildlife moment in her acceptance video.

Learn more about our annual awards.

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