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Stewart Fefer

Stewart Fefer, Project Leader

Gulf of Maine Coastal Program

Stewart Fefer grew up in the Hudson Valley of New York. He attended Bard College where his senior project highlighted the importance of Tivoli Bay to migrating ducks and contributed to the creation of Tivoli Bays Wildlife Management Area and National Estuarine Research Reserve. Fefer earned his master's degree from University of Maine where he studied nesting ducks at Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge. After graduation he inventoried seabird populations on Maine's coastal islands with the University of Maine. Fefer began his career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with the Office of Biological Services, Coastal Ecosystems Team, in 1978 and compiled the "Maine Coastal Characterization." He then worked with Refuges Office of Realty and assisted in establishing the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge.

From 1981 to 1990, Fefer worked in Hawaii as a wildlife biologist and then manager for the national wildlife refuges in the Pacific islands. During his time in Hawaii, he studied and managed seabird nesting colonies on small remote islands, as well as endangered birds in the freshwater wetlands of the larger Hawaiian islands. Fefer was instrumental in the expansion of the National Wildlife Refuge System to include Midway Atoll, Wake Atoll, and Palmyra Island.

In 1991, Fefer became project leader for Gulf of Maine Coastal Program when funds for conservation programs were scarce and land acquisition was controversial. Under his leadership, however, the program generated funding through innovative partnerships to protect and restore crucial habitats on the coast of Maine. Fefer is an avid promoter of fish and wildlife conservation projects in Maine and works with partners to build coalitions to gain support for implementation of significant on-the-ground conservation efforts.

Fefer also works with the Department of State and Department of Interior providing technical assistance in conservation partnerships involving Protected Areas in Africa, Central America and the Middle East. Fefer has been the Team Leader for building capacity for establishment and management of Nature Reserves in Oman since 2009, as an advisor with the Department of Interior, International Technical Assistance Program.

In 1995, Fefer was awarded the John Gottschalk Partnership Award by the Northeast Region of the Fish and Wildlife Service. In 1999, Fefer was honored with the prestigious Chuck Yeager Award for Natural Resource Conservation from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for his outstanding record in obtaining funding and building coalitions for coastal conservation projects. Bard College also recognized Fefer for his accomplishments in wildlife management and biological conservation in 2002 with the John and Samuel Bard Award in Medicine and Science. Fefer was also recognized with an award for his conservation accomplishments by the University of Maine in 2009 and in 2011 with the John Gottschalk Partnership Award.

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Last updated: August 13, 2014