THE WILLIAM I. SPENCER CONSERVATION GRANTS PROGRAM:
Investing In Excellence
Supporting the development of new knowledge is an important element of the Boone and Crockett Club’s mission.
Cecily M. Costello
Kinship, population dynamics, and spatial organization of black bears.
The Boone and Crockett Club’s Conservation Grants Program, supported by endowments honoring conservation leaders William I. Spencer and Tim Hixon, contributes to this goal by assisting researchers or graduate students who have chosen to pursue careers in the wildlife profession. New knowledge, applied in creative ways by competent and committed professionals, is essential to the future of wildlife conservation and management. Since 1948, the Boone and Crockett Club has been investing in research and career development through its Conservation Grants Program. The early careers of some of the wildlife profession’s brightest and best were assisted by B&C conservation grants. Examples include David Mech’s early wolf and moose studies on Isle Royale, Lynn Rogers’ landmark work on black bears in Minnesota, and Maurice Hornocker’s pioneering research on mountain lions in Idaho. Today, as then, conservation grants serve the dual purpose of developing new scientific information and seeding the early careers of aspiring wildlife professionals. It does this through modest grants (usually $15,000 or less) toward selected research projects. Typically, the grants are leveraged by additional resources that the graduate students and researchers develop to support the overall program of study.
The Conservation Grants Program (formerly called Grants-in-Aid) was the Club’s sole research instrument until the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Ranch was established in 1986 and the Boone and Crockett Club’s Professorships were established about 5 years later. The Conservation Grants Program complements these other programs, but remains unique in its wide solicitation of proposals from graduate students across the U.S. and Canada.
The Boone and Crockett Club’s Strategic Plan recognizes a 3-part goal for the program:
- Support the Club’s mission to promote the guardianship and provident management of big game and associated wildlife in North America by funding research that will be of benefit to managers and policy-makers.
- Complement the Club’s other research programs (Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Ranch, Boone and Crockett Professorships) by supporting the work of others at diverse locations across North America.
- Assist and encourage promising graduate students who have chosen careers in the wildlife profession
2013 Research Theme: Managing for big game habitat in the face of energy development
Sustaining habitat in the face of expanding energy development (wind, oil & gas, coal, solar, and nuclear) is one of the key challenges in managing for big game habitat across North America in the upcoming decades. Landscapes fragmented by open-pit mines, wind towers, well pads, pipelines, seismic and transmission lines, and roads can lead to direct (destruction or modification) and indirect (changes in behavior and ecological interactions) effects on big game that may have dramatic consequences locally, and cumulatively over large regions. As part of the Club's efforts to foster conservation of habitats on public and private lands, we are soliciting applications to support research that provides information for science-based management of big game habitat in the face of energy development. Because most past research on this topic has been reactive and designed to mitigate small-scale disturbances for meeting regulatory stipulations, preference will be given to studies funded by multiple partners and that are of sufficient duration and rigor that address: (1) consequences for individual fitness of animals or population consequences of modifying big game habitat, behavior, or community dynamics resulting from energy development; or (2) the best approaches to assess and or mitigate cumulative effects of energy development at large scales.
The 2013 request for applications is open from March 1st – October 15th 2013 and is issued in the Boone and Crockett Club newsletters during this period. Normally, grants provided by the Conservation Grants Program typically are for $15,000 or less. Projects that are based on multi-partner collaborations are strongly encouraged. Recipients of grants in the previous year may be eligible for an additional year of funding if noted in the original application and progress is deemed satisfactory in the September project report. The Boone and Crockett Club does not pay administrative or overhead costs.
Application and application guidelines are now available.
See past projects and researchers for information about projects previously funded by the Boone and Crockett Club.
If further questions, contact Dr. Evelyn Merrill, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, 780-492-2842; firstname.lastname@example.org.