Conserve Wildlife Blog

Honoring women working in wildlife

December 7th, 2010

Nominations for this year’s Women and Wildlife Awards

Since the first Women and Wildlife Awards in 2006, we have had the distinct honor of highlighting and celebrating the work of twelve women who dedicated their professional or volunteer lives to the protection of wildlife populations and their habitats in New Jersey. Here’s a snapshot of the women we’ve honored and the work they’ve done.

Joanna Burger holds a great egret.

Hannah Bonsey Suthers and Joanna Burger were first honored in 2006.  Hannah has spent more than 28 years studying bird populations and the habitats that support them through the Bird Banding and Research Station that she founded on the Sourland Ridge in central New Jersey in fields undergoing succession from farmland to natural state. Joanna has been a Professor of Ecology and Evolution at Rutgers University for 25 years. For 14 of these years, she was Director of the Graduate School in Ecology and Evolution. The main focus of Joanna’s research has been to understand how animals can prosper in habitats affected or dominated by people, and their interactions with other animals.

Kathy Clark bands an Osprey nestling at a nest in Ocean City, NJ. © Doug Wechsler/VIREO

Kathy Clark and Amy S. Greene were honored in 2007. Kathy is a zoologist with the state’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program. Kathy has been instrumental in the recovery of the bald eagle in the state since the early 1980’s and in re-establishing a stable breeding population of peregrines in New Jersey.  She also leads the osprey project which has recovered the state’s osprey population to record high numbers. Amy is president and owner of Amy S. Greene Environmental Consultants, Inc. She has over 30 years of experience in the environmental field and is recognized as an expert in the field of wetland science, environmental permitting, natural resources inventory, terrestrial and aquatic ecological studies including endangered and threatened species surveys.

Dianne Nickerson holds a peregrine falcon.

In 2008, Barbara Brummer and Dianne Nickerson were honored. Barbara is the New Jersey State Director of the Nature Conservancy, she is dedicated to protecting our natural resources. But, despite a career in the corporate sector and the demands of raising a family, she carved out the time to devote to learning about (nine years of night school in pursuit of her Ph.D.), teaching about (many semesters teaching field biology at Montclair State and New York University) and sharing her passion for wildlife and nature. Diane is the Director of Mercer County Wildlife Center she has grown the center from a small volunteer based organization to one of the most highly respected wildlife rehabilitation programs in the state. She is highly regarded as a wildlife rehabilitation professional. She cares very deeply about New Jersey’s wildlife populations and for our natural environment

Jane Morton Galetto and Amanda Dey were honored in 2009.  Jane is the founder and President of Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River and Its Tributaries (CU), Jane was instrumental in the designation of the Maurice, Manumuskin, Menantico, and Muskee Rivers into the National Wild and Scenic River System. Amanda is a biologist with the Endangered and Nongame Species Program. She has worked on a variety of projects involving shorebirds, goldenwing warblers, power line rights of way, and statewide surveys of grassland and forest passerines but her landscape studies with neotropical migrants and her work with shorebirds are outstanding.

2010 Women and Wildlife Award recipient Annette Scherer.

Earlier this year, Annette Scherer and Marie Springer were honored. Annette successfully worked with Federal, State and non-governmental agencies in developing and implementing efforts to protect endangered and at-risk wildlife over a twenty-eight year career with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. She has been particularly instrumental in the protection of New Jersey’s beach-nesting bird populations, including piping plovers, American oystercatchers, skimmers and terns. Marie has worked tirelessly to protect and expand the Wallkill National Wildlife Refuge and to educate the public about its diverse wildlife. Her efforts on behalf of the state’s population of bats were instrumental in obtaining $1.9 million for research and prevention of white nose syndrome, a disease that is decimating the bat population in the north east.

Posthumous Honors:

A posthumous award was presented by Mike Daveport to honor Dr. Carol Slocum.

We have honored two women wildlife professionals who left us far too early but whose work and dedication to their science made them obvious candidates for inclusion into this exclusive group of women.

Most recently we honored Dr. Carol Slocum, New Jersey’s leading expert on seal behavior and ecology. Dr. Slocum gave 30 years to the service of science and wildlife conservation. She played a vital role in identifying threats to marine mammals within New Jersey as well as recommending potential strategies for addressing those threats. When she passed away in 2010, we were honored to be asked by her colleagues to present this posthumous award to her family. Read more about this posthumous award.

In 2008, we honored Stacy Hagan of Rutgers University Marine Station. Starting as a volunteer at the Marine Station, Stacy eventually became a fulltime employee while also completing a M.S. in the Graduate Program of Ecology and Evolution at Rutgers University. During her short career she was senior author or co-author on 17 peer-reviewed publications.

Women and Wildlife 2011

If you know anyone, professional or volunteer, who can stand next to the wonderful women and their achievements outlined above, please submit a nomination by January 21, 2010.

Also, if you would like to celebrate Women in Wildlife during national Women’s History Month in March, please join us on March 27th at Prallsville Mill in Stockton, New Jersey.

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