University of Montana Professor Dan Pletscher received the Distinguished Service Award from the Montana Chapter of the Wildlife Society during the organization’s annual meeting held last week in Whitefish.
Pletscher has directed UM’s Wildlife Biology Program for the past 19 years. In that time, he has mentored more than 1,000 students, both graduate and undergraduate. Many of those former students are now in management positions at places like Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and World Wildlife Fund. He’s added five new faculty positions and two endowed chairs to the program and made it one of the nation’s top-rated wildlife biology programs. In 2010 UM recognized Pletscher with the Presidential Faculty Award for Distinguished Accomplishment.
Pletscher has served the wildlife biology profession as president-elect and president of the Montana Chapter of the Wildlife Society. He served for seven years on the editorial board of the national Wildlife Society and chaired the International Affairs Committee. In 2009, Pletscher was awarded honorary lifetime membership in the Wildlife Society. He’s also been awarded honorary lifetime membership in the Boone and Crockett Club. Pletscher served as president of the National Association of University Fisheries and Wildlife Programs from 2001 to 2003 and has been a board member of The Nature Conservatory Montana, Craighead Wildlife/Wildlands Institute, Northwest Connections and many more.
The Distinguished Service Award is presented annually by the Montana Chapter of the Wildlife Society for cumulative, past, current and/or continuing achievements in wildlife conservation. Pletscher joins 32 past recipients of this award.