Science Excellence



Science Awards


The Science Awards were established to recognize that effective wildlife management and conservation is founded on innovative scientific inquiry and principles. As the Service faces increasingly complex challenges, the value of current scientific information is rapidly increasing. The awards are meant to recognize the outstanding efforts of the agency’s scientists and technical staff.

View the nomination guidelines for the Service's Science Awards

View the list of past Science Award Winners



2016 Rachel Carson Award for Exemplary Scientific Accomplishment:
Grand Canyon Humpback Chub Team, Arizona Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office
Rick Deshler, Michael Pillow, Dennis Stone, Randy Van Haverbeke, Jim Walters, and Kirk Young

The Grand Canyon Humpback Chub Team determined how to successfully translocate endangered humpback chub in the Grand Canyon and pioneered new technology for the long-term tracking and detection of these fish. These efforts have increased the numbers of humpback chub in the Little Colorado River, making progress toward recovery of this endangered species.

Learn more.


2016 Sam D. Hamilton Award for Transformational Conservation Science:
Dr. Lewis Coggins, Fishery Biologist, Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge

Dr. Lew Coggins' emphasis on solid science, diverse collaboration, and objective-driven management has helped to create an unprecedented atmosphere of cooperation in the management of Chinook salmon on the Kuskokwim River. His work in creating a new generation of Chinook salmon harvest prediction models and a structured decision making framework has been indispensable in helping refuge managers meet their conservation objectives for escapement and harvest, launch a ground-breaking Community Harvest Permit system, and improve the complex biological, social, and political shoals of salmon management in Alaska.

Learn more.


2016 Science Leadership Award:
Dr. Paul Henson, State Supervisor, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office

Dr. Paul Henson is dedicated to a "whole office" foundation in science and encourages staff at the OFWO and its four state satellite offices to find robust, high quality scientific support for the conservation measures the office is putting forward. He also leads by example in advancing pragmatic approaches to accomplish conservation goals such as recognizing the importance of the timber industry infrastructure to northern spotted owl recovery and working with private landowners and the ranching community to conserve greater sage-grouse.

Learn more.


Last updated: March 21, 2017

Please send comments, suggestions and questions for this Web site to: Megan Cook at megan_cook@fws.gov

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Home Page | Department of the Interior  | USA.gov  | About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  | Accessibility  | Privacy  | Notices  | Disclaimer  | FOIA