Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Jim Rorabaugh Receives Meritorious Service Award
Southwest Region, November 1, 2010
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Jim Recieving Service Meritorious Award, Nick Carrillo, November 1, 2010, AESO
Jim Recieving Service Meritorious Award, Nick Carrillo, November 1, 2010, AESO - Photo Credit: n/a
Jim's Award, Jeff Humphrey, November 1, 2010, AESO
Jim's Award, Jeff Humphrey, November 1, 2010, AESO - Photo Credit: n/a

For his excellence and outstanding contributions over the past 19 years with the Service, and 30 years total with the Federal government, Jim Rorabaugh was granted the Meritorious Service Award of the Department of the Interior. Jim has demonstrated a dedication to both resource management and to the scientific grounding needed to make it effective, which made him a remarkable leader for conservation in the Southwest. 

Jim has published an extensive array of peer-reviewed literature that has provided outstanding contributions to scientific understanding and the application of science in the conservation and recovery of listed and sensitive species in the U.S. and México.  He has worked with partners with diverse interests to develop collaborative recovery and conservation plans and projects, and he has educated his staff, agencies, landowners, and others about the remarkable reptiles and amphibians found in the Southwest. The depth of his knowledge of the literature, his understanding of issues and the Endangered Species Act, and his solution orientation have made him highly credible with all parties and enabled him to consistently implement science-based conservation and recovery.

Through  Jim's leadership, ranchers and other private citizens have joined scientists in determining the best way to implement recovery of endangered frog and salamander species on private lands, enabling recovery teams to develop recovery plans that are both scientifically defensible and politically and socially acceptable to implement.  This extensive public participation has helped lead the way to a new, and more successful, collaborative approach to conservation in the Southwest. 

Jim has also successfully sought external funding and led implementation of on-the-ground recovery actions for several amphibian species, including conserving land, building breeding facilities, restoring habitat, eliminating non-native predators, and establishing new breeding populations in the wild.  With Jim's assistance, the Service is pursing the establishment of a new experimental, non-essential herd of endangered Sonoran pronghorn on Department of Defense training grounds, which will be a significant step forward in the recovery of the Sonoran pronghorn.

Jim has shown bi-national stewardship by helping the Service establish professional relationships with biologists and resource managers in México to promote cooperative conservation and understanding of cross-border species of mutual interest. He developed and instructed Amphibian Monitoring and Conservation Workshops in México to build capacity for the conservation of amphibians in northwestern México.  These workshops, held in Spanish, have resulted in the training of over 45 Mexican biologists, resource managers, and university students on amphibian identification, inventory, monitoring, and conservation. 

Contact Info: Nick Carrillo, (602) 242-0210x203, nick_carrillo@fws.gov
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