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Montana Audubon Annual awards
Each year, Montana Audubon recognizes the achievements of Montanans in their work to protect birds, other wildlife, and natural ecosystems. Below you will find our most recent award winners; the complete list of individuals recognized since 1996 can be downloaded HERE.
The following people received awards at our 2013 Bird Festival in Lewistown:
Kristi was recognized as Conservationist of the Year because of her outstanding life-long work on behalf of Montana’s native wildlife, with an emphasis on “nongame” wildlife such as raptors and bats. For over 30 years, Kristi has made a career in wildlife management, working for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP), the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and The Nature Conservancy. In 2002, Kristi was selected as FWP’s first Native Species Coordinator and has served in that role, and subsequently as a Native Species Biologist in FWP Region 2 (Missoula area) ever since.
Kristi's work has paid off. For example, back in 1988, Kristi documented nesting birds of prey at Kevin Rim, an Important Bird Area – finding over 45 Ferruginous Hawk nests, ensuring that all of her data was in the Montana Natural Heritage Program’s database (many individuals do NOT get their data into the statewide database). These data were extremely valuable as Montana Audubon negotiated to redesign the Rim Rock wind farm to better protect nesting raptors. In recent years, Kristi has become FWP’s—and our state’s—expert on bat conservation, taking a leadership role in monitoring, network building amongst biologists, and constituency building with the general public.
The state of Montana—and Montana Audubon—are lucky to have such a dedicated biologists in their midst. We are honored to have Kristi DuBois as our 2013 Conservationist of the Year!
Heather has been a conservation education professional at the Audubon Conservation Education Center in Billings for just over 5 years. Since that time she has accomplished a great deal, including:
In fact, under Heather’s leadership the Audubon Center has become a showcase for exceptional place-based environmental education in the Rocky Mountain Region.
It is great to know that a new generation of the Billings community is finding a “sense of place” with the Audubon Conservation Education Center. Montana Audubon—and the greater Billings community—are lucky to have such a dedicated educator in its midst. We are proud to recognize Heather as our 2013 Educator of the Year!
Dan Sullivan was recognized because of his dedication as the volunteer coordinator of the state’s Breeding Bird Surveys (BBS) for over 25 years. The BBS is a large-scale, international program that tracks the status and trends of North American bird populations. In Montana the coordinator has lots of work to do—ensuring that 65 individual surveys are conducted annually. Dan also personally runs BBS routes himself. As of 2012, Dan had conducted a total of 35 BBS surveys, detecting a total of 145 species and counting 20,992 individual birds. Dan has also spearheaded efforts to describe and photograph all of Montana’s BBS routes, with GPS locations recorded for each stop (including start and finish points)—which will GREATLY help sustain the program long-term.
In addition to BBS work, Dan has also contributed significantly to our knowledge and understanding of Montana’s birds in numerous other ways. Specifically, he has been a member of the Montana Bird Records Committee since 1995, which reviews all documentation for species new or rare to the state and maintains the official state bird list for Montana. He has been a life-long participant in Christmas Bird Counts, the longest running citizen science survey in the world; he has also contributed approximately 7,500 records to the Montana Bird Distribution database, housed at the Montana Natural Heritage Program.
Montana Audubon applauds Dan for his decades of dedicated work!
Bob and Beverly Skinner were recognized for their outstanding work for the Charles M Russell National Wildlife Refuge (CMR NWR ) and the community of Lewistown.
Specifically, Bob was recognized for the important work he did coordinating and spearheading the development of two new management strategies designed to improve prairie wildlife habitat—patch burning and monitoring of sentinel plant species. Both of these techniques are now used in the Comprehensive Conservation Plan for CMR NWR, which will guide the refuge’s management for the next 15 years.
Beverly was recognized as a biologist for her work on bird responses to different habitat management strategies. She was also honored for her outstanding environmental education work and projects, including working with local Girl Scouts and school groups, spearheading the landscaping and associated educational information surrounding the CMR Headquarters office, and—last but not least— writing the successful $70,000 grant proposal for the city of Lewistown to receive a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Urban Conservation Bird Treaty Grant, competing against large cities such as Chicago.
We are thrilled to recognize Bob and Beverly’s hard work and decades of dedication!
Congratulations to all!
These awards were presented at our annual Bird Festival in Kalispell in 2012. We recognize these individuals and groups for their excellent work:
The following individuals were recognized for their excellent work at our annual Bird Festival in Glasgow in 2011: