Auburn University wildlife specialist receives Governor’s Conservation Award

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Jim Armstrong, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences professor and Extension Wildlife Specialist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, received the prestigious Conservation Communicator of the Year award at the 2015 Alabama Wildlife Federation, or AWF, Governor's Conservation Achievement Awards banquet held in August in Prattville.

The Alabama Wildlife Federation, established by sportsmen in 1935, is the state's oldest and largest citizens' conservation organization. Awarded for over 40 years, the Governor's Conservation Achievement Awards are one of the most respected conservation honors granted in the state to recognize individuals and organizations who promote and exemplify leadership of wildlife and natural resources conservation.

According to the federation, the program is designed to bring about a greater knowledge and awareness of conservation practices and projects and to give recognition to those persons and organizations that make outstanding contributions to the natural resource welfare of the community and the state.

"It was nice to receive the award and be recognized by others who are involved in managing our natural resources," Armstrong said.

Armstrong was chosen as Conservation Communicator of the Year for his career-long contributions toward wildlife management. As chairman of the Wildlife Society's Wildlife Damage Management Working Group, his efforts contributed to the pioneer of emerging discipline of wildlife damage management associated with urban spillover into wildlife habitats.

He is recognized for his contributions toward the Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program and training manual, a state-wide and nationally implemented program designed to help youth develop decision-making skills through the practice of wildlife management.

Armstrong's service with the Planning Committee for the Berryman Wildlife Institute, whose mission is to "promote and fund research and education activities associated with wildlife damage management," was also noted by the AWF. As a professor, Armstrong's leadership of graduate level research has focused on the development of wildlife management strategies to address the detrimental effects of coyote population expansion.

In addition to Armstrong's leadership and research interests, his role within the Alabama Cooperative Extension System has enabled him to extend immeasurable benefits to Alabamians and effectively communicate the Alabama Wildlife Federation's conservation message to the general public.

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