2017 Biodiversity Science and Conservation Award Winners

2017 Biodiversity Science and Conservation Award Winners

  Oct 30, 2017   btugwell

The University of Wyoming’s Biodiversity Institute presented lifetime achievement awards to Ron Hartman, of Laramie, and Fred and Stephanie Lindzey, of Centennial, during an award ceremony September 28th, 2017, at the UW Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center.

As the curator of the Rocky Mountain Herbarium since 1977, Ronald Hartman built the organization into an institution befitting the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains, ranking in the top 2% of herbaria across the nation and in the world. His prodigious, systematic fieldwork documented more plant specimens from Wyoming than any other person is likely to ever amass in a lifetime (93,393 specimens). He championed 50 (total) UW graduate studies in floristic inventories, a flagship for graduate training in botany, in which 22 graduate students conducted their work in Wyoming. His vascular flora work represents the largest and most detailed body of biodiversity information for any group of macro-organisms in Wyoming and the Rocky Mountains. He is a taxonomic authority who published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and taxonomic treatments, described over two dozen new species, has been a major contributor to national initiatives such as the Flora of North America project, and he has enhanced the legacy of Aven Nelson who put RM at the hub of documenting botanical diversity in the state and region. He has been a key supporter of technological advances that make biodiversity records widely available, such as on-line specimen databases and specimen images. Hartman’s work started before “biodiversity” became a topic of biological interest and environmental attention, leaving a lasting legacy and window into the flora and landscapes of Wyoming and the western United States.

Since moving to Wyoming in 1985, Fred and Stephanie Lindzey have promoted biodiversity conservation in a myriad of ways. Their contributions include Fred’s tenure as a researcher in the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and his time as a Wyoming Game and Fish Commissioner, their participation in USFWS’ private lands Safe Harbor program to reintroduce the critically endangered Wyoming toad, and their property’s designation as a MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) site for almost 20 years. Currently, the Lindzeys are leading the charge to establish a corridor of conservation easements along the Little Laramie River, providing wildlife in the Laramie Basin with a stretch of well-managed, contiguous habitat. Last, but most definitely not least, the Lindzeys willingness to open up their property to University of Wyoming undergraduate classes and graduate projects over the years has supported the education of countless future natural resource professionals in the state. During his career, Fred authored over 100 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and reports on species including mountain lions, moose, pronghorn, swift fox, elk, mule deer, black bears, and grizzly bears and mentored 35 graduate students, many of whom still work in the intermountain west today. Throughout Fred’s career, Stephanie earned the titles of biologist and conservationist in her own right. She has been instrumental in welcoming groups of citizens and biologists onto their ranch near Centennial to allow the public to view and interact with Wyoming’s wildlife on one of the most beautiful private properties in the state.

Ron Hartman and Fred and Stephanie Lindzey, were nominated by individuals from around the state and beyond, and selected by a panel of biodiversity experts from throughout Wyoming and representing university, private and public sectors. The award was created in 2013 to publicly thank individuals who have dedicated their lives to increasing public and professional understanding, appreciation and conservation of biological diversity in Wyoming. It is distributed in odd-number years. The inaugural awardees were Chris Madson, of Cheyenne (Biodiversity Conservation Award) and Bob and Jane Dorn, of Lingle (Biodiversity Science Award). 2015 awardees were Richard Baldes of Fort Washakie (Conservation) and Wayne Hubert, Laramie (Science).

The UW Biodiversity Institute works to foster the understanding, appreciation and conservation of biological diversity through innovative research, education, outreach and by engaging a broad audience in the scientific process. In this setting, scientists and citizens, students and educators, come together to share a wealth of perspectives on the study and appreciation of biodiversity -- from microbes to poetry and ecosystems to economics.

For more information about the Biodiversity Institute and the Biodiversity Science and Conservation Awards, visit www.wyobiodiversity.org.