Conserve Wildlife Blog

Archive for the ‘Women&Wildlife’ Category

Women & Wildlife 2019 Inspiration Award Honoree Gretchen Fowles

Wednesday, October 16th, 2019
Gretchen and Fly, the ENSP sniffer dog who helps track rare wildlife.

Join us to honor Gretchen and the four other 2019 Women & Wildlife Award Honorees on Wednesday, November 13th at 6 PM. Purchase events tickets and find more information.

Gretchen has been a biologist/GIS Specialist with NJ’s Endangered & Nongame Species Program (ENSP) for the past 15 years. She grew up in western Massachusetts, received a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Carleton College in Minnesota, and spent her summers while in college as a wilderness ranger in Wyoming and assisting with black bear research in North Carolina. After living in Oregon and Vermont for a few years, working as a vet tech and volunteering for conservation organizations among other things, she then went on to earn a Master’s degree in Wildlife Ecology from Idaho State University studying bighorn sheep.


Women & Wildlife 2019 Education Award Honoree Giselle Chazotte Smisko

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

A life-long interest in nature led Giselle Chazotte Smisko to pursue a B.S. in biology at Bucknell University with a focus on ecology and botany.  Upon graduating in 1979 she started working as a part-time naturalist for the Morris County Park Commission and realized she needed to learn more about fauna the public would want to see on the walks.  That brought her to Len and Diane Soucy who were rehabilitating wild birds. 


Women & Wildlife 2019 Legacy Award Honoree Wilma Frey

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019
Wilma Frey with her well-worn copy of the Highlands Regional Master Plan, completed in 2006. Photo by: Sandy Perry.

Wilma Frey is the Senior Policy Manager at the New Jersey Conservation Foundation. She has more than five decades of environmental and planning advocacy experience and masters’ degrees from Harvard Graduate School of Design and Harvard Kennedy School of Government, fifteen years apart. Wilma has fought to stop oil and gas development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, battled the PennEast Pipeline here in New Jersey, enjoys dancing and has learned the secret to giving frogs and toads head scratches.



Friday, June 28th, 2019
Several past winners of CWF’s Women & Wildlife Awards celebrate at the 2018 ceremony

Women in science have come a long way since a National Geographic editor once called Jane Goodall “The blond girl studying apes.” That ‘girl’, of course, went on to become a world renowned researcher famous not only for her meticulous field studies of chimpanzees, but also as a tireless advocate for the natural world.

While much progress has been made, girls considering a career in science still struggle to find role models. For 14 years Conserve Wildlife Foundation has been celebrating women who protect New Jersey’s imperiled wildlife and inspire the next generation of women leaders.


In Memoriam: Pete Bacinski

Monday, April 15th, 2019

Story by Rick Weiman, CWF Board of Trustees

Pete Bacinski 
Photo from New Jersey Audubon

There is a hole in my heart this week after hearing about the passing of my friend Pete Bacinski. I met Pete many years ago when he used to lead NJ Audubon Sussex County weekends jointly with the Weis Ecology Center.