Ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Here's to Our Future, RMEF Announces 2012 Scholarship Winners

Starkey Experimental Forest & Range (Oregon)
Way back in 1986, the late Whitney Houston sang the words “I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.” That principle, if followed, means a brighter future for all of us.

Here at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, we are proud to provide our youth with an avenue to excel via the Wildlife Leadership Awards. Established to recognize, encourage and promote leadership among future wildlife management professionals, the program awards scholarships to college juniors and seniors chosen for their leadership ability, dedication to wildlife conservation and scholastic achievements. Awards include a $2,000 scholarship and one-year RMEF membership. So far, the scholarship program awarded a total of $227,000 to 147 students across the U.S. and Canada.

We’re pleased to announce the 2012 recipients of the Gerald L. Turpin Wildlife Leadership Award are Dillon Herman of Cody, Wyoming, and Colin Wait of Durango, Colorado. Both of these men, though relatively young in age, already have vast experience in wildlife biology, wildlife management and love spending time in the great outdoors.  
Dillon Herman

Dillon is a Wildlife Biology and Management major at the University of Wyoming. He is the president of the student chapter of The Wildlife Society and led the effort to rewrite the chapter’s bylaws to bring the group into compliance as a recognized student organization. He also assisted the RMEF Cody chapter the past six years, including work as a member of the donations committee. Herman spent the last seven years as a self-employed horseback weed sprayer with a goal of helping to control or eradicate noxious weed species encroaching on wildlife habitat, much of it on remote public land. He was also an active participant in both 4-H and the FFA.

“My work at RMEF banquets helped me decide I wanted to study large ungulates and their relationships with carnivores as a profession,” said Herman. “These intricate relationships, lethal and nonlethal, are critical in understanding habitat selection and populations viability. Elk and bears have been my favorite wild animals since I was young, and this scholarship can help me give back to these wild populations.”

Colin Wait
Colin is a Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology major at Colorado State University. He immediately joined the student chapters for the Society for Conservation Biology and The Wildlife Society once arriving on campus. He participated in volunteer work days, helped plan a tracking trip to Yellowstone and organized a series of guest lecturers. He also spent the last decade as a volunteer for Colorado Parks and Wildlife by performing maintenance on state wildlife areas, spraying weeds, conducting fence repair, carrying out projects to improve habitat, working harvest check stations, and trapping, transplanting, stocking and counting various species.

“My admiration for wildlife, ecology and the interconnectedness of nature has instilled a passion of preserving biodiversity and many different diverse niches in the Rocky Mountains,” said Wait. “I want to contribute to wildlife management by finding ways for humans and animals to coexist. Garnering public support for preservation of natural resources for future generations while continuing inevitable human development is vital.”

Congratulations Colin and Dillon. The future looks brighter already.

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