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Introducing the 2016 David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellows

2016 Smith Fellows Left to Right: Paul Elsen, David Gill, Meredith Holgerson, Sara Kuebbing, and Talia Young

The Society for Conservation Biology and the Cedar Tree Foundation announce the recipients of the 2016 David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship

The Smith Fellowship, the nation's premier postdoctoral program in conservation science, seeks to find solutions to the most pressing conservation challenges in the United States.  Each Fellow’s research is conducted in partnership with a major academic institution and an “on the ground” conservation organization to help bridge the gap between theory and application.

Emerging from an impressive pool of Ph.D. applicants from around the world who competed for the Fellowship are five outstanding scientists who will comprise the David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship class of 2016:

  • Paul Elsen will complete a project titled, “Identifying collaborative conservation priorities for managing climate change impacts in topographically diverse areas” under the academic mentorship of Dr. Adina Merenlender at University of California, Berkeley and in partnership with Dr. William Monahan at National Park Service.
     
  • David Gill will complete a project titled, “The social impacts of marine protected areas: A comparative study of the USA and beyond” under the academic mentorship of Dr. Alex Pfaff at Duke University and in partnership with Dr. Michael Mascia at Conservation International and Susie Holst at NOAA.
     
  • Meredith Holgerson will complete a project titled, “Conserving both species and ecosystems: A multiple-scale approach to improving floodplain restoration outcomes” under the academic mentorship of Dr. Angela Strecker at Portland State University and in partnership with Dr. Marc Hayes at Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Dr. Michael Adams at USGS.
     
  • Sara Kuebbing will complete a project titled, “Invasion Treadmills: mechanisms that promote reinvasion of sites after removal of nonnative species” under the academic mentorship of Dr. Mark Bradford at Yale University and working in partnership with Drs. John Randall and Kris Serbesoff-King of The Nature Conservancy.
     
  • Talia Young will complete a project titled, “Conservation implications of community-supported fishery (CSF) programs: A multidisciplinary analysis of ecological, economic and social outcomes” under the academic mentorship of Dr. Simon Levin at Princeton University and working in partnership with Dr. John Manderson of NOAA and Joshua Stoll of Localcatch.org.

While the Fellows' research projects focus on urgent conservation issues, they also learn firsthand the challenges and rewards of conservation applications. The program's focus is to enlarge their professional opportunities and ensure future success by helping them build relationships in the conservation and research communities and by providing opportunities for professional development through targeted workshops and training events.

The fellowship is named after the late Dr. David H. Smith, founder of the Cedar Tree Foundation, and pediatrician, inventor and conservationist. 

The Smith Fellowship seeks to identify and support early-career scientists who will shape the growth of applied conservation biology. It’s also an opportunity for scientists to develop solutions to critical environmental challenges, said Dr. Michael P. Dombeck, executive director of the Smith Fellows program and former chief of the United States Forest Service.

“The Smith Fellowship enables young scientists to improve and expand their research skills and direct their research efforts toward problems of pressing conservation concern, to bridge the gap between research and application,” Dombeck said.

Request for proposals for the 2017 Class of Smith Fellows will be announced in June 2016.  For more information see the Smith Fellows website at www.SmithFellows.org.