The C. Hart Merriam Award is given to eminent scholars in recognition of outstanding research in mammalogy over a period of at least 10 years. C. Hart Merriam was the first chief of the Division of Economic Ornithology and Mammalogy of the United States Department of Agriculture (the precursor of the national Fish and Wildlife Service), and a founding member of the American Ornithologists' Union, the National Geographic Society, and the American Society of Mammalogists. Among other contributions to mammalogy and science, he developed the concept of "life zones" to classify biomes found in North America.
Dr. Mark S. Boyce of the University of Alberta is the 2017 recipient of the C. Hart Merriam Award. He obtained his B.S. from Iowa State University, his M.S. from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and his Ph.D. from Yale University; he also was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Oxford. Dr. Boyce served as a Professor at the University of Wyoming, and held the Vallier Chair at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point. He currently is the endowed Chair of the Alberta Conservation Association at the University of Alberta. Dr. Boyce, who is a life member of ASM, has a prodigious record of publication, including >270 scientific papers and 6 books. He remains exceptionally active with 70 papers published in the past 5 years, many with his numerous graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. Professor Boyce has significantly advanced the state of scientific knowledge in several distinct areas of mammalogy. His publications cover an extraordinary range from the conceptual and theoretical development of the survival of small populations, the analysis of habitat requirements of animals, and threats to survival of species from human hunting, agriculture and other disturbances. Mark is probably best known for his mathematical approaches to ecology, although he is also a first-rate naturalist and experimentalist. His research on Resource Selection Functions is widely cited, and used for animal populations world-wide. Dr. Boyce’s research also has made substantial international contributions to the conservation of mammals. In 2007, he was the Safari Club’s International Conservationist of the Year. Mark also is a Fellow of the Wildlife Society, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and last year received that Society’s Romanowski Medal for contributions to environmental sciences. He also received the Astech Award for leadership in science in Alberta.