2020 FWCB and Conservation Sciences Spotlight - Virtual

cropped image of cormorants

This year's Conservation Sciences Spotlight Event will include undergraduate and graduate student awards, presentation of the Early Career Alumni Award to owl biologist Jon Slaght and the Distinguished Career Alumni Award to wetland biologist and former DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr, and “Thesis-in-Three Minutes” presentations by graduate students.

The Spotlight will conclude with the Distinguished Professor Lecture by Francie Cuthbert, who will speak on Recovering a conservation reliant endangered shorebird: Four decades of science and progress in the Great Lakes.


Thursday, October 1, 2020: Virtual Spotlight Event

2020 FWCB Alumni Award Winners

Tom Landwehr holding fish

Tom Landwehr, the 2020 FWCB Distinguished Alumnus, has been one of Minnesota’s most influential conservation leaders for over 30 years. After completing his BS and MS degrees in Wildlife Biology (’80, ’86) at the University of Minnesota, Tom began his career with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as a research biologist. Over the next 17 years, he also held several positions at MN DNR including serving as the Commissioner for two terms. Tom was also the State Conservation Director for Ducks Unlimited for five years and the Assistant State Director for The Nature Conservancy of Minnesota and the Dakotas for 7 years. Tom now leads the non-profit organization, Saving the Boundary Waters.



Jonathan Slaght is the 2020 Early Career Alumni Awardee. Since completing his MS ('05)  and PhD ('11) at the University of Minnesota, Jonathan has served as the Russia and Northeast Asia Coordinator for the Wildlife Conservation Society. He manages research projects involving endangered species such as Blakiston’s fish owls and Amur tigers and coordinates avian conservation activities along the East Asia-Australasian Flyway. Jonathan’s work has been featured by the BBC World Service, the New York Times, The Guardian, Smithsonian Magazine, The New Yorker, and Audubon Magazine, among others. His recently published book, Owls of the Eastern Ice, received rave reviews and is a bestseller. He also authors a blog for Scientific American about his fieldwork titled “East of Siberia.” You can follow him on Twitter.