John Organ, division chief of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region and an adjunct associate professor in the department of environmental conservation, received the Wildlife Management Institute’s 2014 George Bird Grinnell Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to Natural Resource Conservation on March 12.
The award was conferred during the 79th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Denver.
“Over the course of his 35-year career, John has relentlessly driven to make worthwhile contributions to the natural resource profession, and he has done so with great energy and little focus on recognition,” said Wildlife Management Institute president Steve Williams, who lauded Organ for his dedication to promoting “the role of hunting in wildlife conservation, science-based resource management, wildlife diversity, international conservation, and irreproachable professionalism.”
Organ received his Ph.D. in wildlife biology from UMass Amherst. He became the first-ever assistant regional wetland coordinator for the Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wetland Inventory program, where he attained extensive knowledge of wetland ecology and mapping and frequently acted as regional wetland coordinator.
“John is a consummate professional and valued colleague who exemplifies the meaning of public service,” said Northeast Regional Director Wendi Weber. “He is an expert on a range of species and subjects – ranging from Canada lynx, river otters, spotted-necked otters, beaver, adaptive management, human dimensions, wildlife education, wildlife policy, leadership and wilderness. Conservation is not his vocation; it is his life’s passion.”
During the course of his career, Organ has served as a certified wildlife biologist, fellow and president of The Wildlife Society, professional member of the Boone and Crockett Club, senior specialist in the Fulbright Scholarship Program, permanent invited professor at the Universidad Andres Bello in Santiago, Chile, and supervisor of M.S. and Ph.D. students studying carnivore conservation and ecology in Canada, Chile and the U.S.