The 2016 recipient of the Joseph Grinnell Award is Dr. Joseph A. Cook, Professor of Biology, Director of the Museum of Southwestern Biology, and Curator of the Divisions Mammals and Division of Genomic Resources at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Joe's career exemplifies the integration of teaching and research; he has mentored nearly 40 graduate students and 10 postdoctoral fellows, supervised more than 50 undergraduate research projects, and mentored over 85 high school students. With these students, he has published over 180 scholarly works.
Joe regularly teaches Mammalogy and Tropical Biology courses and many students note that these are the best classes they have ever taken. He has remained committed to maintaining a rigorous field component in these courses providing students unique hands on learning opportunities “in the environments where organisms exist and the threats to them are observable.” Students note his commitment to training “broadly educated students who are thoughtful, aware and engaged.” And that he “gives people the tools they need, puts them in situations where they can succeed and challenges them to do so.”
Joe is widely recognized for his career-long commitment to broadening diversity in the STEM disciplines and to stimulating academic development of local, minority, and native students across South, Central, and North America. The intellectual nexus for this geographically and culturally diverse community has been: fundamental ecological and evolutionary research firmly rooted with natural history collections. Joe has led initiatives like the UNO program to immerse student scholars in ecological and evolutionary research, the AIM-UP program that integrates natural history collections into undergraduate education, and the ISLES program that links university researchers, public school teachers and natural resource agencies to stimulate museum-based learning.
In recognition of his outstanding and sustained contributions to education and for his tireless efforts to create a diverse new generation of scholars, the American Society of Mammalogists names Dr. Joseph Anthony Cook the 2016 recipient of the Joseph Grinnell Award.