MEMPHIS, Tenn. – March 13, 2014 – Ducks Unlimited announced the winners of the 2014 Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards yesterday during the 79th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference held in Denver. This year’s recipient in the Research/Technical category is Dr. Alan Afton.
Dr. Afton is the Assistant Leader – Wildlife for the U.S. Geological Survey at the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and Adjunct Professor in the School of Natural Resources at Louisiana State University
A Kansas native, Dr. Afton received his B.S. degree in Wildlife Biology from Kansas State University in 1973. He went on to develop Masters and Doctoral projects on breeding biology of northern shovelers and lesser scaup. At the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources research center in Bemidji, he studied the migration ecology of diving ducks, particularly lesser scaup. In 1988 he moved to Louisiana State University. Dr. Afton became an expert in waterfowl social behavior, incubation ecology, and reproductive energetics. His studies included scaup population biology; northern pintail winter ecology and management; lead-shot management; effects of spinning-wing decoys and electronic calls; coastal marsh management; and winter ecology of gadwall, mallards, and canvasbacks. He is currently leading a multi-year study of scaup migration ecology in a continuing quest to shed light on the long-term decline of this species. In addition to teaching two graduate-level courses at LSU, Dr. Afton has supervised 16 Masters and six PhD students and served on many graduate-student committees.
“Regardless of the specific subject, Dr. Afton’s research is characterized by the great care and rigor he brings to study design, as his student’s will attest,” said DU Chief Conservation Officer Paul Schmidt. “A critical thinker with a critical ear and eye, Dr. Afton is widely respected for his scientific accomplishments, his mentorship of young conservation biologists, his efforts to enhance communication in our field, and for all that he has done to advance understanding of waterfowl biology and inform conservation.”
Ducks Unlimited’s Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards are presented annually in six categories to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the conservation and restoration of North America’s wetlands and waterfowl. To view a complete list of the 2014 Wetland Conservation Achievement Award winners, please visit www.ducks.org/wetlandawards.
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org. Connect with us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/DucksUnlimited, follow our tweets at twitter.com/DucksUnlimited and watch DU videos at youtube.com/DucksUnlimitedInc.