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Forest Service Honors the Monarch Lab at Wings Across the Americas Conservation Awards Ceremony

Mar 21, 2014


  • Conservation Stories
  • MJV Partnership News

On March 12, 2014 the US Forest Service gathered to honor outstanding achievements in bird, bat, butterfly and dragonfly conservation. The Wings Across the Americas Conservation Awards ceremony was held as a part of the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Denver, CO.

Among the award recipients was the University of Minnesota Monarch Lab, a partner of the Monarch Joint Venture and one of the leading monarch conservation and education programs in the country. Dr. Karen Oberhauser was present at the event to receive the Communities in Conservation award on behalf of past and present Monarch Lab staff and graduate students. For over 20 years, the Monarch Lab has served to link academic research with community outreach programs associated with monarch conservation.

The Monarch Lab brings together research and instruction by connecting teachers with scientists. The Monarchs in the Classroom (MITC) program reaches people of all ages with educational materials, curriculum guides, and professional development courses for teachers.  Through funding from the US Forest Service, the National Science Foundation, the Minnesota office of Higher Education and Medtronic foundation, the Monarch Lab has directed workshops for K-12 teachers, who gain knowledge directly from scientists and expert classroom teachers on scientific principles, conservation, and tools for how to bring their new expertise to their classrooms. Programs such as these have allowed the Monarch Lab to touch thousands of teachers, students, and citizen scientists with their message on monarch conservation and education.

Others who received awards were:

  • The Dragonfly Conservation Award was given to the Barton Fen Restoration Project whose aim is to protect the federally endangered Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly.
  • In the Research Management & Partnership category, the award went to Monitoring and Conservation of Black-Backed Woodpecker in Burned Forests.  Since 2008, several organizations have been working together to better integrate the habitat needs of the bird into forest management plans.
  • The Bat Conservation Award went to the Bat Cave Gating Project on the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri. The project’s goal is to protect the bats by closing nearby user-created trails and installing a chute gate and a flyover gate at the entrances of a bat maternity cave.
  • The International Cooperation Award went to the Migratory Shorebird Project: Connecting Communities of the Americas through Research for Conservation for their study of the Western Sandpiper and the Pacific population of the Dunlin.