MS DU Honors Dr. Curtis Hopkins


       Each year the Ducks Unlimited Scholarship Program awards scholarships to graduating high school seniors who are members of DU. The scholarship program, which is open to all senior student members with a 2.8 or higher GPA, is targeted to student volunteers who have shown an exceptional level of commitment to wetlands conservation through participation in their DU Varsity (high school) chapter and/or local DU community chapter.  Beginning in 2022, students will be able to apply for the Dr. Curtis Hopkins Varsity Scholarship. The $500 scholarship was established in honor of Dr. Hopkins 30-year career with Ducks Unlimited.

      Hopkins served as an assistant ranger and wildlife biologist with the US Forest Service prior to joining DU in 1981 as Regional Director in North Mississippi. Working for the U.S. Forest Service, Dr. Hopkins initiated the first wood duck nest box program on Delta National Forest in the early 1970s, and he was instrumental in developing initial plans for Greentree reservoirs on the Forest. Hopkins went on to become DU’s first private lands conservation director, during which time he prepared the first North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant proposal for private lands work in the duck-rich delta of Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.  He was also instrumental in developing the first cooperative agreement between DU and the UDSA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), which enabled DU to deliver Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) restoration. This arrangement continues today, with DU delivering significant amounts of the WRP work in Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas

      The profound influence of his early work in cooperation with private landowners reverberates through the efforts that continue to this day. Hopkins went on to serve as Regional Director for the Southern Region in 2007, a role he held until his retirement in 2013.