2019 Jackson Award - Edward J. Heske

The recipient of the 2019 Hartley H. T. Jackson Award for service to ASM is Edward J. Heske.  Following a highly productive career as a mammalian ecologist at the Illinois Natural History Survey and adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois, Ed retired from INHS (in 2016) and moved to Albuquerque (home of his postdoc with Jim Brown), where he is now associated with the Museum of Southwestern Biology, University of New Mexico.

Ed is a Patron Member of the ASM.  He first joined in 1980 while a PhD student at the University of California, Berkeley, where he received an ASM Grant-in-Aid for his research on the California vole.  He has remained productive throughout his career, with over 100 peer-reviewed publications and one book, thematically spanning the ecology and natural history of mammals; population and community ecology; reproductive biology and socio-ecology of rodents; and consequences of habitat fragmentation, habitat loss, and land conversion for mammalian ecology. 

The Hartley H. T. Jackson Award recognizes individual ASM members who have given long and outstanding service to the Society, and Ed has a record that exemplifies service in many forms, including elected positions, editorial positions, and service on a number of ASM committees.  In addition to his outstanding teaching, research, and publication career, Ed has devoted a large part of his professional career in service to the ASM.  He was elected to three terms on the Board of Directors before election to President-elect, followed by President and Past President (the latter includes life-long membership on the Board of Directors).  He has accumulated a total of 48 committee-years of service on seven ASM committees, including serving as Chair of three important committees – Grants-in-Aid (GIA), Resolutions, and Planning and Finance.  He is well-remembered for presenting the Host Resolution at ASM Annual Meetings for five years (including dressing up as God and a polar bear for some added humor), and also chaired an ad hoc committee to address the problem of declining membership in ASM in 2012.  While these efforts highlight Ed’s dedication to the ASM, his main activities have been in support of ASM publications and our student programs. He served as Associate Editor, Editor for Special Features, and Editor-In-Chief (twice) of the Journal of Mammalogy.  As Chair of GIA, he re-structured and enlarged the committee, developed a new method for ranking the increasingly large number of proposals, and continually pushed for increased funding.  Ed was an activist President, and one of the things he is most proud of is acting on a suggestion by his predecessor (Michael Mares) and promoting the establishment of the Travel Awards program.  During the initial years of this program, Ed contributed personal matching funds to increase the number of awards that could be supported, and he – somewhat shamelessly – sold raffle tickets at the Annual Meeting to add more funds to the program, until the Travel Awards program became an ASM tradition with sufficient Board support. This level of commitment to ASM typifies Jackson Awardees, and members such as Ed make this the great society that it is.