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Two Southeast Region employees nominated for national science awards

Every year, the Service honors science leadership through three national awards. This year, the Southeast Region has two nominees for those awards, Bill Uihlein and Yvonne Allen. Both have demonstrated visionary leadership and innovation in helping the Service use science to address complex problems.

Allen, an ecologist from the Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks Landscape Conservation Cooperative, has been nominated for the Rachel Carson Award. This award recognizes scientific excellence through the rigorous application of science to a conservation problem.

A woman posing for a selfie in front of a raging river.
Photo courtesy of Yvonne Allen.

Allen created a methodology to map flooding frequency over a long-time frame for a large area of the south-central United States. The approach was originally developed to help understand annual variability in habitat conditions for alligator gar at refuge and landscape scales, but has since been extended to include water quality parameters such as temperature and turbidity. Yvonne carried this work beyond her office’s needs and created a tool to help water quality monitoring and conservation planning efforts for several states in the Southeast. As her work has become more widely known, land managers and planners across the Southeast have sought her input on diverse issues from aquatic connectivity to hypoxia (inadequate oxygen in body tissue), to waterfowl habitat assessments.

A man with greyish black hair in front of a sea-side rocky cliff.
Photo courtesy of Bill Uihlein.

Bill Uihlein, assistant regional director for Science Applications, has been nominated for the Sam D. Hamilton Award. This award recognizes innovative application of science.

Over the last five years, Uihlein has provided leadership to Landscape Conservation Cooperatives in the Southeast and nationally. He has also worked with the broader conservation community to conserve and restore landscapes across the region capable of sustaining fish and wildlife populations in the face of rapid population growth and land-use change. He envisioned and facilitated development of the Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy (SECAS), a broad state-led collaborative that includes state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, private companies, and others working together to achieve conservation outcomes across the region. SECAS has become a guiding framework for conservation in the Service’s work with partners.

The third award is the Science Leadership Award, which recognizes supervisors who empower their staff to accomplish scientific work and engage in the scientific community, and who champion the use of science in conservation decision making. The Southeast Region had no nominations for the Science Leadership Award this year. However, the region’s Science Committee is committed to identifying scientific excellence and promoting it through the national science awards in 2018. If you are aware of scientific work that deserves recognition, please contact the Science Committee via email at: Nominations for the 2018 awards will open in October 2018.

Award winners will be recognized at the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in March. Learn more about the awards and past winners.

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