Courtney A. Tye Memorial Graduate Student Scholarship
We are pleased to announce that Brian Smith is the 2016 recipient of the annual scholarship for graduate studies, administered by the Florida Chapter of The Wildlife Society. Brian is expected to graduate with his Master of Science in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation in 2016.
Brian has been researching the ecology of Burmese pythons, mostly with the USGS, for over 5 years. His Master’s project will help determine the range of environmental variables that predict python activity, which will help managers optimize surveys and removal efforts. This involves using bio-logging GPS tags to monitor python activity at a fine temporal scale, during both the breeding and non-breeding seasons. He also has experience with tagging sea turtles, tracking crocodiles, alligators and black bears, collecting gray wolf genetic samples, and studying swift fox, cheetah and benthic invertebrate ecology. Brian is lead author or co-author on 6 peer-reviewed publications and has presented at a number of regional scientific meetings, include the national Wildlife Society Conference in 2014. After graduation, Brian plans to apply to Ph.D. programs and eventually to be a faculty member at a university conducting wildlife research and teaching and mentoring.
The FLTWS Graduate Student Scholarship was established in 2012 to recognize and financially assist graduate students pursuing a career in wildlife biology at a 4-year school in Florida. In 2014, the scholarship was renamed the Courtney A. Tye Memorial Graduate Student Scholarship in honor of a respected FFWCC employee and graduate student scholarship applicant, who was tragically lost to the conservation community. Applicants for the scholarship are judged based on career interest, research relevance, contribution to Florida wildlife, demonstrated leadership, professional potential, TWS involvement, financial need, and recommendation from a professor. The Florida Wildlife Federation and the National Wild Turkey Federation co-sponsor the scholarship. As this year’s recipient, Brian will receive a check for $3,000 and present his research findings at the FLTWS Spring Meeting, 13-15 April 2016 in Gainesville, FL.
Chair, FLTWS Scholarship Committee