Wildlife Conservation Society scientist honored for field research, informing environmental stewardship,  and inspiring future scientists

Bozeman, MT (July 8, 2013) –The Wildlife Conservation Society announced that WCS Senior Conservation Scientist Dr. Joel Berger has been awarded the prestigious 2013 Aldo Leopold Award from the American Society of Mammologists (ASM)—an award that recognizes outstanding lasting contributions made by an individual to the conservation of mammals and their habitats.

In 2002, ASM established the award to honor the memory of its former member and “father” of wildlife ecology and management, Aldo Leopold. Previous winners have included such distinguished names as E.O. Wilson and WCS’s George Schaller.

In its announcement, ASM lauded Dr. Berger for his research across five continents along with his work with local conservation organizations including educating and training local scientists and students and advising governmental agencies. Some of Dr. Berger’s research highlights include: the long-distance migration by mammals and conservation of migration corridors; the effects of predator reintroduction on the ecology of prey species and the structure of vertebrate communities; the effects of climate change in the Arctic on demography and persistence of musk ox; and the conservation of large mammals in Bhutan, Tibet, and Mongolia.

Along with his position at WCS, Dr. Berger holds the John J. Craighead Chair of Wildlife Conservation at the University of Montana. He has a host of honors to his credit including being awarded the LaRoe Memorial Conservation Award in 2009 from the Society for Conservation Biology. He has twice been selected as a Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Sciences and twice received the Rolex Foundation's Meritorious Project Award.

Dr. Berger’s efforts continue to serve to inspire the next generation of scientists and citizen supporters of conservation. Along with mentoring 17 graduate and post-graduate students, Dr. Berger has communicated the importance of conservation to the public through the media, and his work continues to influence public policy.

Stephen Sautner: 718-220 3682; ssautner@wcs.org

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.