Grinnell Award

Chair

Members

  • Brandi S. Coyner
  • George A. Feldhamer
  • Marjorie D. Matocq
  • Bret S. Pasch
  • Phil D. Sudman
  • Rebecca Terry
  • Robert M. Timm
  • Patrick Zollner

History and Mission

The Joseph Grinnell Award was established by the Board of Directors in 1996 to honor individuals who have made outstanding and sustained contributions to education in mammalogy over a period of at least 10 years. The award recognizes excellence in education in the broadest sense. It encompasses not only the traditional roles of teaching undergraduate and graduate students in academic institutions, but also educational activities such as production of materials for federal, state, or local agencies, public education through creation of museum displays, and enhancement or encouragement of education through stewardship activities. Candidates may be nominated by colleagues, supervisors, students, or others familiar with their devotion to, and execution of, their educational activities.

2020 Joseph Grinnell Award Recipient

The 2020 recipient of the Joseph Grinnell Award is Dr. Tad Theimer, Professor of Biological Sciences and Curator of the Museum of Vertebrates at Northern Arizona University.  Dr. Theimer has taught Mammalogy, Ornithology, and Wildlife Management for nearly two decades, and he occasionally offers a course in Vertebrate Museum Techniques as well. 

Tad has received numerous awards for his pedagogy, but these are matched by student appreciation.  His students describe him as an incredibly knowledgeable, caring and inspiring educator and mentor. One nominee noted that “when taking his classes it is difficult to make it over the long weekend until you can once again attend his lecture.”  Another wrote that Tad makes students “feel that you are the most important person in the room, that your success, not his, is what is important to him.”

Tad has graduated 6 PhD students and 22 MS students, and currently supports 4 PhD and 2 MS students, and mentoring 5 undergraduates. He also serves on graduate committees for 12 additional PhD, and an astonishing 32 additional MS students.

Tad also maintains a busy research program but relentlessly includes students in his efforts, generally giving them the opportunity to lead the authorship of papers; indeed, 80% of his publications at NAU have graduate or undergraduate co-authors, and students are the lead on most of these.

When informed of this award, Tad referred to it as “a bolt out of the blue”, noting that “[i]t seems too fortunate to receive an award for doing something that I love to do”.  A broadly trained wildlife ecologist, he claims to have “been blessed with great graduate students, wonderful collaborators, remarkable research opportunities and the greatest gift: getting to share my passion for mammalogy with undergraduates whose open-eyed wonder and enthusiasm has stoked my fire for almost three decades. A teacher is only as good as their students, and mine have been the best anyone could ask for.  If I have any advice for folks just starting out in teaching, I would say, spend as much time thinking about HOW you are going to teach a particular lesson, and WHY you are teaching the material you are, as you do thinking about WHAT you are going to teach.” , and the ASM is proud to honor him with the 2020 Joseph Grinnell Award.

In recognition of his outstanding and sustained contributions to the integration of education, research, and conservation in mammalogy, the American Society of Mammalogists names Dr. Tad Theimer as the recipient of the 2020 Joseph Grinnell Award

Streaming Presentations 

ASM Members can log into the Business Office site and stream presentations from past winners!

Past Awardees

Click here for past recipients of the Joseph Grinnell Award.

Nominations for the Joseph Grinnell Award

The Joseph Grinnell award recognizes excellence in education in the broadest sense. It encompasses not only the traditional roles of teaching undergraduate and graduate students in academic institutions, but also educational activities such as production of materials for federal, state, or local agencies, public education through creation of museum displays, and enhancement or encouragement of education through stewardship activities.

Candidates may be nominated by colleagues, supervisors, students, or others familiar with their devotion to, and execution of, their educational activities. A letter of nomination, maximum length two pages, should detail the candidate's excellence in education in mammalogy and should elaborate the reasons why this individual should be considered for this award. The committee appreciates clear evidence of excellence in teaching or mentorship or the high quality of other educational products.  Such evidence could include summaries of teaching evaluations, student comments, student success, or other assessments of the effectiveness of educational activities.

The letter of nomination, the candidate’s curriculum vita, and up to 4 additional letters of support should be sent to Marjorie Matocq by 1 March (mmatocq@cabnr.unr.edu) as a single PDF document. The recipient will be announced at the banquet of the annual meeting of the Society. Nominations are not retained from previous years.

Nominations should include a statement regarding adherence to the ASM Code of Professional Conduct. For example:

As a part of preparing this nomination, I have read and understood the American Society of Mammalogists' Code of Professional Conduct (here). To the best of my knowledge, the individual I am nominating exemplifies the high caliber of professional conduct that the ASM expects and promotes as required to be eligible for this award, as well as to retain this recognition should they be the award recipient.

JOSEPH GRINNELL AWARD for excellence in education in mammalogy

1990-1999

  • 1997—B. Elizabeth Horner, Smith College
  • 1998—James L. PattonMuseum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley
  • 1999—Philip Myers, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan

2000-2009

  • 2000—Robert J. BakerTexas Tech University
  • 2001—Timothy E. Lawlor, Humboldt State University
  • 2002—John B. BowlesCentral College, Pella, Iowa
  • 2003—David J. SchmidlyOklahoma State University, Texas Tech University, and Texas A&M University
  • 2004—Norman A. SladeUniversity of Kansas
  • 2005—Mark S. Hafner, Museum of Natural Science, Lousiana State University
  • 2006—Jerry R. Choate, Fort Hays State University
  • 2007—Peter D. Weigl, Wake Forest University
  • 2008—R. Mark BrighamUniversity of Regina
  • 2009—David M. ArmstrongUniversity of Colorado

2010-2019

  • 2010—Enrique P. LessaFacultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la Republica Montevideo, Uruguay
  • 2011—George A. FeldhamerSouthern Illinois University
  • 2012—James H. BrownUniversity of New Mexico, Albuquerque
  • 2013—Ricardo Ojeda, CONICET (the Argentine  national research agency), Instituto Argentino de Investigaciones de  las Zonas Aridas, Centro Científico Tecnológico
  • 2014—Troy Best, Auburn University
  • 2015—Robert C. DowlerAngelo State University
  • 2016—Joseph A. Cook, University of New Mexico
  • 2017—Robert M. TImm, University of Kansas
  • 2018—M. Denise DearingUniversity of Utah
  • 2019—Donald Kaufman, Kansas State University

2020+