Awards - Available Awards


Canadian Section Awards


The Canadian Section of The Wildlife Society - Ian McTaggart-Cowan Lifetime Achievement Award

Ian McTaggart Cowan Photo

 Ian McTaggart Cowan


The Ian McTaggart-Cowan Lifetime Achievement Award (CLAA) is awarded by the Canadian Section of The Wildlife Society (CSTWS) to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the understanding, conservation, and/or management of wildlife in Canada over their career. The Award is named for Dr. Ian McTaggart-Cowan, a founding pioneer of the wildlife profession, an honorary life member and former President of The Wildlife Society (TWS), and recipient of the TWS Aldo Leopold Award.

The Award will be presented at the CSTWS Annual General Meeting and the recipient will receive free registration and a $1,000 CAD travel award to attend the meeting. Nominees are eligible for the award for up to 3 years after nomination.

The nominee for the CLAA will have made an outstanding contribution to wildlife biology, conservation, education and/or management in Canada throughout her or his career. These accomplishments may have been made in management, education, research, or administration (or any combination therein) and have noticeably advanced the field of wildlife biology and management and/or enhanced wildlife conservation and education.

The CLAA recognizes achievements in the wildlife profession that have received, or are worthy of, national recognition.

The CLAA is open to any wildlife professional, practicing or retired, whether or not they are a member of the CSTWS and/or TWS.

The evaluation process is guided by the nominee’s lifetime contribution. The evaluation of the nominees needs to consider:  the relative magnitude of the contribution; whether or not the contribution has received (or is worthy of national recognition); and that contributions to wildlife biology, conservation, education and/or management are of equal value, but that contributions to multiple facets of the wildlife profession are of greater

Nominations for the 2022 Cowan Award are to be submitted in digital form by email to the Chair of the CSTWS Awards Committee ( by 1 January 2022.

Nomination materials consist of: 

  • Complete nomination form 
  • A letter highlighting the significance and breadth of the contribution of the nominee
  • A CV of the nominee
  • High-quality digital photograph of the nominee


TWS Awards


TWS Professional Awards

ALDO LEOPOLD AWARD: The highest honour bestowed by The Wildlife Society is the Aldo Leopold Memorial Award for distinguished service to wildlife conservation. The basic selection criterion is the significance of an individual’s contribution(s) to the wildlife field. Recipients receive a medal, plaque, and honorary membership in The Wildlife Society. (Individual). For more information, click HERE.

CAESAR KLEBERG AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN APPLIED WILDLIFE RESEARCH: This award recognizes those who have distinguished themselves in applied wildlife research. While the Aldo Leopold Award recognizes individuals for much broader contributions and is truly a lifetime achievement award, the Caesar Kleberg Award is focused on those whose body of work, in both inquiry and discovery, has resulted in the application of management and conservation “on the ground.” The award includes a plaque and commemorative medal; it includes conference registration, travel expenses, and a small honorarium. (Individual). For more information, click HERE.

Jay N. "DING" DARLING AWARD FOR WILDLIFE STEWARDSHIP THROUGH ART: Named for wildlife artist and conservation leader Ding Darling, this award encompasses and recognizes any type of artistic item or accomplishment that promotes, achieves or benefits wildlife stewardship.  It could be an actual artwork piece(s), an endeavour such as organizing a wildlife art effort (e.g., the Junior Duck Stamp Program), a photograph or digital image, an artistic conservation information delivery structure or process, or another medium that can be effectively described as an artistic way of promoting collaboration to support wildlife stewardship.  The key consideration is to acknowledge vision, concept, design, and realization of artwork or art form that emulates what Ding Darling would have seen as conveying his message and values about land, water, and wildlife conservation. (Group or Individual). For more information, click HERE.

DIVERSITY AWARD: Recognizes outstanding efforts in promoting ethnic and gender diversity in the natural resource professions, especially wildlife conservation and education. Activities may focus on encouraging ethnic and gender diversity in the workforce, academic enrollment, or organizational membership. Individuals include anyone participating in a natural resource field. Organizations include public agencies, institutions of higher education, companies, and non-governmental organizations. (Group or Individual). For more information, click HERE.

GROUP ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: The Group Achievement Award recognizes an organization's outstanding wildlife achievement that is consistent with and/or assists in advancing the objectives of The Wildlife Society. The organization selected can be private or governmental, and its activities have been primarily regional, national, or international in scope. Accomplishments, while they may be long-term, should be of significant importance within the last three years. The tendency has been to honour private organizations working for wildlife resources as allies to governmental professional organizations. (Group). For more information, click HERE.

SPECIAL RECOGNITION SERVICE AWARD: The Special Recognition Service Award is intended to honour any person or group who has made an outstanding contribution to the wildlife profession; the general areas of wildlife conservation, management, or science; or a specific area of endeavour, species, community, ecosystem, region, etc. In addition, any person or group who has made such a noteworthy contribution in a discrete area over the short or long term is eligible for nomination for a Special Recognition Service Award. (Group or Individual). For more information, click HERE.


TWS Service Awards

FELLOWS PROGRAM: This award recognizes members who have distinguished themselves through exceptional service to the wildlife profession. TWS Fellows serve as ambassadors of The Wildlife Society and as such are encouraged to engage in outreach and other activities that will benefit and promote TWS and the wildlife profession. TWS Fellows are appointed for life. (Individual). For more information, click HERE.

JIM MCDONOUGH AWARD: Through Jim McDonough's generosity and long-time support for professional excellence in wildlife management, a trust and an award program have been established. Jim McDonough is noted for his many years of research on cottontail rabbits and white-tailed deer in Massachusetts. He has been a leader in the Northeast Section and New England Chapter for many years. This award was established in 1988. (Individual). For more information, click HERE.

HONORARY MEMBERSHIP: Honorary Memberships are intended to recognize continuous outstanding service to any area or areas of concern to The Wildlife Society. Any practicing or retired wildlife professional that is a member of The Wildlife Society and has made continuing valuable contributions to the wildlife profession over a long period of time is eligible for nomination. (Individual). For more information, click HERE.

CHAPTER, STUDENT CHAPTER and STUDENT CHAPTER ADVISOR OF THE YEAR AWARDS: Active and effective chapters and student chapters are needed to achieve The Wildlife Society's goals, many of which are best addressed at the state/provincial or local level. Chapters and student chapters also strengthen the Society's membership recruitment and retention efforts by providing opportunities for member involvement in Society activities. The Chapter and Student Chapter of the Year awards pay tribute to and recognize exceptional achievements by these important units of The Wildlife Society. (Group; Advisor: Individual). For more information on these awards, please click Chapter of the Year AwardStudent Chapter of the Year Award or Student Chapter Advisor of the Year Award.


TWS Education Related Awards


DONALD H. RUSCH MEMORIAL GAME BIRD RESEARCH SCHOLARSHIP: The Donald H. Rusch Memorial Game Bird Scholarship was established to honour the memory of Don Rusch, whose career in the wildlife profession included research on game birds in Canada, the United States, and South America, and whose contributions greatly improved our understanding of ruffed grouse and Canada goose population ecology in particular. Applicants must be registered in a master's degree program (in even-numbered years) or doctoral degree program (in odd-numbered years) in wildlife biology, zoology, ecology or a related discipline at a university in North America, and must be a member of The Wildlife Society. Awards are based primarily upon project merit, but also consider the candidate's academic achievement, field experience, appreciation of hunting (personally and professionally), and career interests. (Individual). For more information, click HERE.

EXCELLENCE IN WILDLIFE EDUCATION AWARD: The Excellence in Wildlife Education Award celebrates exemplary teaching and contributions to the improvement of wildlife education by honouring individual faculty members. Eligible faculty should be actively engaged in undergraduate and/or graduate, wildlife-related education. (Individual). For more information, click HERE.

CONSERVATION EDUCATION AWARD: It had been evident for many years that important compilations and other educational works did not fulfill criteria for the technical publication awards. Also, there was no way to cite outstanding films or other efforts in a field widely regarded as critical to the success of conservation programs. It is evident that some efforts that might qualify for recognition of this kind could have taken place over a period of several or many years. Accumulative accomplishment is quite appropriately considered in determining the eligibility of a nomination. On the other hand, single work of great significance can with equal propriety be cited. (Individual). For more information, click HERE.


TWS Publication Awards

WILDLIFE PUBLICATION AWARDS  In the past years the Wildlife Publication Awards program has broadened considerably and become more thorough in coverage. Candidate materials are found in the entire scientific literature of wildlife biology and management, primarily technical journal articles, monographs, bulletins, books, and edited works. Diverse subject disciplines are eligible for consideration. However, the Committee will not consider fishery publications, since these are the prerogative of the American Fisheries Society. (Group or Individual). For more information, click HERE.