KNOXVILLE, TN — The National Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC) and the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) are honoring three individuals, one in memoriam, for their significant contributions to quail science over their careers during the Eighth National Quail Symposium (Quail 8) here next week.
Dr. Leonard “Lenny” A. Brennan and Dr. L. Wes Burger are receiving the National Quail Symposium Award of Excellence, and Dr. Robert “Bob” J. Robel is being honored with the National Quail Symposium In Memoriam recognition.
Currently a professor and endowed chair for quail research at Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute and Department of Animal and Wildlife Sciences at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Dr. Brennan previously served as director of research at Tall Timbers Research Station in Florida. His career contributions include his leadership on the first-ever national quail plan in 1992, his editorship of The Journal of Wildlife Management, The Wildlife Society Bulletin and the award-winning book, Texas Quails: Ecology and Management, as well as various editing roles in the proceedings of Quail 4, Quail 7 and Quail 8. He also served in leadership positions on the steering committees of the Southeast Quail Study Group and the National Bobwhite Technical Committee, as well as authoring or co-authoring more than 180 scientific publications and more than 100 extension and popular articles. In 2016, Dr. Brennan received the NBTC Award of Excellence.
Currently associate director of the Mississippi State University (MSU) Forest and Wildlife Research Center and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station in Starkville, Dr. Burger was previously a research and teaching professor at MSU and did graduate work studying bobwhites in Missouri. Career contributions to bobwhite conservation include his leadership of the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Bobwhite Restoration Project and National Conservation Practice 33 monitoring program, his roles with the steering committees of the Southeast Quail Study Group and the NBTC, the Midwest Bobwhite Research Initiative, the Ames Plantation Quail Task Force, Tall Timbers Research Station, the NRCS Conservation Effects Assessment Project and the North American Bird Conservation Initiative. He authored or co-authored 14 book chapters, 52 symposia proceedings and 90 peer-reviewed scientific publications, with much of it focused on bobwhite ecology and management.
Dr. Robel (1933-2013), who was a professor emeritus at Kansas State University when he died, will be honored for his research on upland game birds, especially bobwhites and prairie chickens. In his 50 years on the university’s Division of Biology faculty, Dr. Robel mentored hundreds of students who are now in the wildlife field. Results of his and his students’ research have results in more than 250 peer-reviewed publications. His many career honors include the University of Idaho Centennial Distinguished Alumni Award and induction into the Alumni Hall of Fame, Utah State University College of Natural Resources Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award, Kansas Governor’s Conservationist of the Year award, Kansas Outdoor Writers Association Proud Kansan Award, and the Kansas Chapter of the Wildlife Society’s Outstanding Professional Award.
The awards will be presented on Friday, the symposium’s concluding day.
Headquartered at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture’s Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, NBCI is an initiative of the National Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC) to elevate bobwhite quail recovery from an individual state-by-state proposition to a coordinated, range-wide leadership endeavor. The committee is comprised of representatives of 25 state wildlife agencies, various academic research institutions and private conservation organizations. Support for NBCI is provided by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program, state wildlife agencies, the Joe Crafton Family Endowment for Quail Initiatives, the University of Tennessee, Quail and Upland Game Alliance and Park Cities Quail.