2015 Kolshorn Lecture & Awards Ceremony
Monday, September 28, 2015
Tracking wildlife, advancing conservation: pioneering studies of Antarctic seals, sea otters, and wild horses
Dr. Donald Siniff
33 McNeal Hall
Awards Ceremony: 4:30 PM
Kolshorn Lecture: 5:00 PM
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Ecosystems impacts and population consequences of the Ross Sea Antartic cod fishery.
415 Alderman Hall
This year's Distinguished Alumnus and Kolshorn Lecturer, Dr. Don Siniff, exemplifies the important contributions FWCB alumni make to conservation and ecology near both poles of the earth. Don earned his PhD in Wildlife at the University of Minnesota in 1967. After completing his doctorate Don was hired to be part of the University's newly formed Department of Ecology and Behavior Biology. He launched his 35-year research career just as electronics and computers were creating new opportunities for tracking wildlife. Don and his colleagues pioneered wildlife research methods capitalizing on new radio-tracking technology. These studies greatly advanced our understanding of the ecology and behavior of a wide range of animals, including wild horses, sea otters, and Antarctic seals.
Much of Don's research focused on Antarctic marine mammals-- Weddell, leopard, and crab-eating seals-- resulting in 75 scientific papers. The Weddell Seal project, initiated in 1968 (Photo, page bottom), continues today yielding important insights into the population dynamics of these long-lived marine mammals. Moreover, through the 50 PhDs and MS scientists he trained, Don created the foundation for current marine mammal conservation and mammal management in North America and beyond. Don's scientific advances have been central to marine mammal conservation as evidenced by the long list of technical panels and committees on which Don has served including: Commissioner, Marine Mammal Commission; National Research Council Committee to review the Bering Sea Ecosystem; Consultant for the State of Alaska and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Damage; Member, National Research Council, Committee on Polar Research; Member, California Sea Otter Recovery Team; and Convenor, the Scientific Committee of Antarctic Research Group on seals.