Awards & Grants


MT TWS Awards are given annually in recognition of Montana wildlife professionals who exemplify the values of the Montana Chapter, have made remarkable professional contributions to wildlife science and/or conservation, or to those who have made it possible for wildlife professionals to be more effective. Awards are presented at the annual meeting of the Montana Chapter. 

To nominate: submit a written recommendation for a specific award (see list below) via email, along with a compelling justification for the nomination and a discussion of the qualifications of the nominee. While there is no prescribed format, nominations often take the form a formal letter or letters, and are often supported by several agencies, organizations, or MT TWS members. Nominations will be reviewed by the Award Committee and selections will be made in late January. Nominators will be notified of selections at that time and will be asked to assist with coordinating the attendance of the awardee. 

NOTE: The person nominating a selected award recipient will be asked to prepare an abstract of the nomination package that will be read at the awards banquet. 

Nominations are due in mid-January of each year. 

Nominations must be received no later than January 13 and be sent to Megan O’Reilly ( Please feel free to call Megan with any questions about nominations 215-888- 0535.

This award is presented annually for cumulative, past, current, and/or continuing achievements in wildlife conservation. This is typically acknowledgment of accomplishments over a career. 

This award is presented annually for significant achievements in wildlife conservation anytime during the five years immediately preceding the award presentation. 

This award is presented for significant communication in media such as professional publications, popular wildlife articles, books, movies, or videos that have a relatively wide audience. 

This award is given to an individual or non-governmental organization for past, present, or ongoing efforts that enhance wildlife conservation in Montana. 

This award will recognize emerging professionals and rising leaders in the wildlife field who are drivers of professional progress in Montana. Eligible candidates will have worked in a part- or full-time professional capacity for at least 3 years, and no more than 8 years. Years need not be consecutive. Current students are not eligible. Employment may include, but is not limited to: wildlife and habitat management or research, conservation policy or advocacy, environmental education or program development, consultation, etc. Nomination procedure for the Rising Professional Award: Co-workers, supervisees, supervisors, and other professional or public associates of a candidate may sponsor award submissions. Collaborations across a candidate’s employment history are encouraged.


The MTTWS provides funding for a variety of projects and individuals that are consistent with our goals. Students, wildlife professionals, and nonprofit organizations that are active in wildlife conservation are eligible to apply.

Montana Chapter of The Wildlife Society (Chapter) funds projects consistent with its mission which is to encourage and support effective wildlife management in Montana by fostering development of current and future wildlife professionals, providing science-based information for policy and education, and communicating and collaborating with conservation organizations and the public. 

Through its grant program, the Chapter aims to provide funding for a variety of projects that are consistent with Chapter goals:

  1. To develop and promote sound stewardship of wildlife resources and of the environments upon which wildlife and humans depend;
  2. To undertake a role in preventing human-induced environmental degradation;
  3. To increase awareness and appreciation of wildlife values; and
  4. To seek the highest standards in all activities of the wildlife profession.

The Montana Chapter of The Wildlife Society also seeks to adopt and embrace these five core values:

  1. Sound stewardship of wildlife and habitat including the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation;
  2. Dedicated, passionate, and responsible wildlife professionals;3. A diversity of perspectives, backgrounds, and individuals unified behind our core mission;
  3. Integrity and ethical conduct; and
  4. A land ethic influenced by informed public input

Funds are generated through annual meeting registration, auctions, and workshop proceeds, and are available on an annual basis. The amount of funds available will vary from year to year, depending on the Chapter’s program and priorities.

Eligible uses of the funds include supplies, equipment for schools and nonprofit organizations, printing and communications. Ineligible uses include salaries, stipends, per diem and personal equipment. Students, wildlife professionals, and nonprofit organizations that are active in wildlife conservation are eligible to apply.

The Chapter will call for proposals at the Annual Meeting in February and in the Fall/Winter issue of the Chapter newsletter. Proposals are due by mid-January each year. Proposals will be reviewed by the Grants Committee and final funding decisions will be made by the Board. Grants will be awarded at the Annual meeting in February. Please note that grants to students will be awarded through their respective university. The Montana Chapter TWS is not responsible for paying indirect costs.

Proposals may be sent via e-mail to:
Claire Gower, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Please write “TWS Small Grants Award” in the subject line. Questions concerning the grant program may be directed to Claire Gower at (406) 599 1691.

Award Recipients

2023 TWS MT Chapter Award Recipients

Distinguished Service Award:  Ken McDonald Biologist of the Year Award: Brent Lonner Bob Watts Communications Award: Tom Dickson Rising Professional Award: John Kuntz Wildlife Conservation Award: Rick Northrup Wynn Freeman Scholarship Recipients: Morgan Monroe (MSU) and Deirdre Replinger (UM) Western Meadowlark Award Recipients (for other Montana colleges with wildlife programs) Hunter Bugni (UM Western) Student

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2022 TWS MT Chapter Award Recipients

Distinguished Service Award:  Montana Bear Specialists: Dan Carney, Shannon Clairmont, Stacy Courville, Kevin Frey, Jamie Jonkel, Mike Madel, Tim Manley Biologist of the Year Award: Kris Tempel Bob Watts Communications Award: no nominations Rising Professional Award: Lindsey Parsons Wildlife Conservation Award: no nominations Wynn Freeman Scholarship Recipients: Elise Loggers (MSU) and Amelia Evavold (UM) Western

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