Dr. John R. Fischer, director of the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCWDS), recently received the 2016 C.W. Watson Award from fish and wildlife agencies in the Southeast. This is the highest award presented by the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA), which is a consortium of state agencies that have the primary responsibility for management and protection of the fish and wildlife resources in 15 states, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands.
“Dr. Fischer’s extensive research and associated wildlife disease experience, which spans more than 25 years, has been critical to informing state fish and wildlife agency conservation strategies for decades,” said Gordon Myers, SEAFWA president. “His knowledge, understanding of the state and federal wildlife management systems, and ability to bring people to consensus on often divisive issues have enabled him to contribute immensely to the conservation of fish and wildlife worldwide.”
Dr. Fischer has worked with SCWDS for 24 years and has led the group for more than 16 years. Founded in 1957 to help monitor the health of wildlife populations and provide expertise on diseases, SCWDS is based within the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Department of Population Health.
The C.W. Watson award is presented to the individual who, in the opinion of the Award Committee, has made the greatest contribution to wildlife or fish conservation during the previous year or years. It is presented jointly by the Southern Division of the American Fisheries Society, the Southeastern Section of the Wildlife Society, and the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.