Vertebrate Pest Conference
Vertebrate Pest Conference
Vertebrate Pest Conference
University of California
Vertebrate Pest Conference

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Walter E. “Howdy” Howard Lifetime Achievement Award

The Vertebrate Pest Council is pleased to announce the formation of The Walter E. “Howdy” Howard Lifetime Achievement Award.  This award has been established to acknowledge the tremendous lifetime contributions of individuals in the Vertebrate Pest Management profession.  The first Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented at the 28th Vertebrate Pest Conference in February 2018.

The nomination process for the award will be announced on this website in the summer of 2019. Potential candidates include scientists, agency personnel, educators, program managers, industry personnel, or any other qualified professional; both national and international candidates are equally welcome to apply.  Nominees should be considered an expert in the field of vertebrate pest management and should have been an attendee/participant at several to numerous Vertebrate Pest Conferences throughout their career.  Areas of excellence should include one or more of the following categories:

  1. Advancement or development of management tools used to minimize damage or conflict caused by vertebrate pests, with a special emphasis on environmentally safe methodologies.
  2. Advancement in undergraduate and graduate education in vertebrate pest management and associated disciplines.
  3. Implementation of effective and innovative outreach efforts focused on the safest, most efficacious, and most cost-effective strategies for vertebrate pest management; targeted groups could include agency personnel, pest control professionals, and private citizens.
  4. Effective fostering of education and research programs on vertebrate pest management.
  5. Effective oversight of large management or regulatory programs designed to coordinate vertebrate pest management activities among regulatory agencies, non-governmental organizations, and/or private citizens.
  6. Any other area associated with research, education, and management of damage or conflict caused by vertebrate pests that showcases excellence at the highest level.

Applicants can be self-nominated or nominated by colleagues.  Nomination materials should include a nomination statement highlighting the nominee’s greatest contributions, a CV, and letters of support from three professionals familiar with the nominee’s accomplishments.

Walter E. ‘Howdy’ Howard

The Walter E. “Howdy” Howard Lifetime Achievement Award is named after a true pioneer and pillar in the vertebrate pest control profession.  Born in 1917, Howdy’s love for biology began as a young child.  He graduated from U.C. Berkeley, served three years during WWII, primarily focusing on disease and parasite control, and completed his M.S. and Ph.D. at the University of Michigan.  He joined the faculty at U.C. Davis in 1947 as professor of Wildlife Ecology.  During his lifelong tenure at Davis, he developed the field of vertebrate ecology including vertebrate pest control, making UC Davis a premier international research and teaching institute in this field.  His research focused on rodents impacting agriculture and public health, predators especially coyotes and the politics of dealing with wildlife-human conflicts.  He was committed to making state and federal agencies good stewards of wildlife populations and their habitats, and that the political structure ensures wildlife populations and humans coexist. Howdy is especially known for his perspective on the balance of nature and his direct challenge of the arguments posed by groups who are opposed to controlling wildlife populations. Howdy’s impact on our profession and personal legacy live on today through the 44 Ph.D. and M.S. students he advised and mentored at U.C. Davis and the countless professionals influenced by his personal interactions and writing.  It is with great honor that we name this award after Howdy.

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