Grinnell Award

Chair

Members

  • B. S. Coyner
  • G. A. Feldhamer
  • E. P. Lessa
  • P. D. Sudman

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.

2018 Joseph Grinnell Award Recipient

The 2018 recipient of the Joseph Grinnell Award is Dr. M. Denise Dearing, Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Biology, University of Utah.

At the University of Utah, Denise has taught Mammalogy, Ecology Laboratory, Advanced Topics in Ecology and Evolution, and Bio-Boot Camp.  For excellence in the classroom, she was recognized with the 2001 Student’s Choice Award, and the 2008 Distinguished University teaching award at the University of Utah.

Denise has sponsored 11 PhD students and 17 postdoctoral scholars, with whom she has published over 150 papers.  Nearly 75% of these individuals are from traditionally under-represented groups, but they now fill the ranks of various academic institutions and continue to train the next generation of mammalogists. For her achievements in mentoring, Denise was recognized by the University of Utah with the 2009 Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Scholar Distinguished Mentor award.

Denise’s career has been exemplified by pushing the boundaries of mammalogy and functional ecology, for which she received the 2014 C. Hart Merriam Award, but she has also pushed the boundaries of what typically limits full inclusion in academia, especially for women. Denise was, herself, a first generation college student who began her education at a 2-year community college. As a new Assistant professor, when she was faced with limited options for childcare at her institution, she spearheaded a campaign to create a campus childcare program eventually called Biokids. She conceived the idea, developed the resources, rallied the faculty, acquired space, and oversaw the establishment of this facility that has improved the educational and working environment for women and families.

In recognition of her outstanding and sustained contributions to the integration of education and research in mammalogy, for her success in augmenting diversity within our discipline, and for pushing the boundaries of science and inclusion, the American Society of Mammalogists names Dr. M. Denise Dearing as the recipient of the 2018 Joseph Grinnell Award.

Photo:  Dr. Denise Dearing understanding the life of the woodrats she studies by tasting a mesquite plant.

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.

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+

  • 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