Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit honored by U.S. Geological Survey

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has received the Excellence of Science Award from the U.S. Geological Survey.

John Organ, chief of cooperative research units for the federal agency, based in Reston, Virginia, noted that the Pennsylvania unit was honored for the quality of its science, the applicability of its science to state cooperators, and the integration of basic and applied science in its work.

"The Pennsylvania unit, led by Duane Diefenbach, does an outstanding job of meeting cooperator research information needs," Organ wrote. "Both the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission repeatedly state that they are highly dependent on the high-quality and timely research information provided by the Pennsylvania unit."

Diefenbach, adjunct professor of wildlife ecology, Tyler Wagner, adjunct professor of fisheries ecology, and David Walter, adjunct assistant professor of wildlife ecology — all on assignment in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management — are very productive, Organ pointed out, having published 65 papers over the last four years. "They are highly engaged with their state cooperators," he added.

The Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit is a very important component of the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, according to Mike Messina, professor and department head. "The unit's contribution to the department's research and graduate education missions is substantial," he said. "Our relationship with the co-op unit is truly mutually beneficial to Penn State and our federal partners."

The co-op unit's scientists recruit and support graduate students, plus serve on the committees of other students and teach graduate courses, Messina explained. "They also serve on important departmental committees, and in many ways, function very much like Penn State faculty."

For its award, the Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit will receive a plaque and a one-year add-on of $1,500 to its base funds.

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Last Updated June 12, 2017