A Colorado State University professor of fishery and wildlife biology will receive the first ever "Scholarship Impact Award" today during an awards ceremony at the university. The new award from Colorado State’s Office of the Vice President for Research and Information Technology recognizes faculty members whose scholarship has had a major national and international impact.
Gary White, whose research has focused on developing and improving quantitative techniques in wildlife research and management, has spent his career making statistical methodologies, once obscured in statistical journals, available to biologists in the form of computer software and assisting biologists with quantitative analysis of their population data.
Management of wildlife populations generally requires knowledge of the population’s dynamics and therefore requires estimates of the population size, survival rates of various age and gender classes and recruitment rates – new animals entering the population either through births or immigration.
"Dr. White is currently viewed as being among the very top wildlife research biologists, nationally and internationally," said Randy Robinette, head of the Department of Fishery and Wildlife Biology at Colorado State. "His research results and methodologies have had a major impact on the wildlife profession. He is one of the world’s leading scientists in the development of computer software for fisheries and wildlife applications."
White is a strong advocate for experimentation and rigor in field investigations, which have lead to important management insights into mule deer management in Colorado.
"Receiving this award has once again made me appreciate the collaborations I have had with my colleagues," said White. "I’ve been fortunate to have worked with dedicated, talented researchers who have contributed to the success of my research."
White has made special efforts to transfer information from academic and research settings to field and management biologists. He has offered more than 30 major workshops in the past 10 years along with a host of short courses and seminars. Nearly one-third of these computer-intensive workshops have been delivered in foreign countries.
"Although Dr. White’s research program has been outstanding, perhaps his most enduring and impressive scholarship impacts come through his teaching and service-outreach activities," said Robinette. "He is extremely helpful to graduate students outside his formal coursework. Students flock to him for advice on experimental design, sampling and analysis theory and methods and computer hardware and software issues."
White has made six professional trips to Africa to work in field research and has given intensive workshops along with presenting the keynote address at the South African Statistical Association meetings in Capetown in 1997. He has assisted with specialized software issues in Italy, France, United Kingdom, South Africa, New Zealand and Scotland.
White has been honored with several awards including the Los Alamos National Laboratory Distinguished Performance Award, The Wildlife Society Monograph of the Year and the Conservation Service Award from the Secretary of the Department of Interior in March 1999 – the highest award given by the Department of Interior for non-federal employees. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbit honored White with the award for work done on the Mexican Spotted Owl recovery program.
In 2000, White was awarded the Aldo Leopold Award and Medal for Distinguished Service to Wildlife Conservation, the highest and most prestigious honor bestowed by The Wildlife Society, the world’s premier professional society for wildlife research and management.