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A Lifetime of Conservation Achievement Recognized

Senior Fellow Stan Temple to be Inducted into Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame

The Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame (WCHF) recently announced its 2020 class of inductees, and the Aldo Leopold Foundation is beyond pleased to share that Senior Fellow Stan Temple is among the distinguished few. Each year WCHF inducts two or three individuals that have demonstrated significant contributions “to conservation programs, projects, public understanding, and conservation ethics within the state of Wisconsin and the nation.”

Many inductees have been scientists, others have been educators, some have been managers and practitioners, and others have been politicians and journalists. Some have primarily had their impact in Wisconsin, others have influenced conservation nationally and even internationally. Stan Temple, Wisconsin’s leading conservation biologist and educator of both future professionals and the public has had disproportionate impacts globally, locally and of course, within Wisconsin.

“Stan Temple’s many accomplishments could fill the lifetimes of many individuals. I am in awe of how much he has done, all without ego and always with a smile and a story.” – David E. Blockstein, Ph.D., Senior Adviser, Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences

During his 32 years on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin’s Department of Wildlife Ecology, Stan was the first person to hold the Beers-Bascom Professorship in Conservation. Stan’s scholarship and voluminous scientific contributions have helped to reshape the entire field of wildlife ecology and management. In fact, it is difficult to identify one single contribution as being the most significant given the breadth and depth of his work. His conservation scholarship and impact include endangered species such as the California Condor, Peregrine Falcon, Mauritius Kestrel, Grenada Dove, Trumpeter Swan, Whooping Crane, and the Calvaria tree of Mauritius. The continued existence of these and other species is due in no small part to Dr. Temple’s creative and persistent approach to science.

“Dr. Temple’s writings, teachings, and conservation actions have forged an effective approach to slowing species extinctions. Today, conservation practitioners owe a great debt to Dr. Temple for the role he has played in the approaches we take to conserve biodiversity.” – Richard L. Knight, Professor Emeritus of Wildlife Conservation, Colorado State University

When consideration is given to the 10,000-plus students he taught, and importantly the 75 graduate students he advised and mentored, Stan’s impact on the fields grows even further.

“During Stan’s tenure as faculty at UW-Madison he was a dominant point person for ornithology and conservation biology on our campus, an exemplar par excellence of a scientist whose teaching and research were demonstrably voluminous and impactful, and a faculty member with an astounding international reach and reputation while at the same time a trusted, dependable, and helpful colleague locally within the department.” – William Karasov, Professor and former Chair, Faculty Director of BioHouse, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Having Dr. Temple as my mentor was a gift that I never foresaw. He was the consummate professor in every dimension and served as my template during the past three decades on how to act in the public spotlight of academia.” – Richard L. Knight, Professor Emeritus of Wildlife Conservation, Colorado State University

In addition to his studies and instruction on endangered species, Stan has been a vocal advocate for their protection. Having testified as an expert witness to the U.S. Congress and Wisconsin State Legislature, he has selflessly volunteered his knowledge to help shape legislation and policy, including the reauthorization of the Endangered Species Act.

Stan Temple talks cranes

Stan Temple discusses the Leopold-Pine Island Important Bird Area and its significance for fall sandhill crane staging during one of the Leopold Foundation’s crane tours. Image courtesy of Discover Wisconsin.

Stan has helped to guide many important conservation and science organizations as well, including The Nature Conservancy (both nationally and in Wisconsin), the International Crane Foundation, the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology, the Wisconsin Academy of Arts, Sciences and Letters, the Society for Conservation Biology and the Aldo Leopold Foundation.

“His ornithological expertise and groundbreaking research on how habitat fragmentation impacts birds and other wildlife helped The Nature Conservancy develop a conservation design for the Baraboo Hills project that would ensure the long-term viability of this critical conservation area.” – Mary Jean Huston, State Director, The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin

After his retirement from the UW-Madison, Stan transitioned and expanded his service to the fields of wildlife ecology and management. Currently serving as a Senior Fellow for the Aldo Leopold Foundation, he has addressed general and academic audiences all across the country informing and inspiring them to adopt and implement Aldo Leopold’s vision of a land ethic. Arguably his reach, and thus impact, has actually grown since his retirement and taking on this role of a statesman for an ecological conscience helping Wisconsin to realize Leopold’s challenge of “living in a place without spoiling it.”

“Stan Temple’s commitment to building an enduring conservation ethic is almost unparalleled. After his brilliant and productive academic career, Stan has been tireless in sharing his vast knowledge and expertise with audiences across the country. It is such a delight to witness people leaving his programs informed and inspired to take action on behalf of nature.” – Buddy Huffaker, Executive Director, Aldo Leopold Foundation 

Stan’s list of contributions are many and span academia, research, instruction, practice, and advocacy – much like those of Aldo Leopold, who with John Muir, was the first inductee into Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame. It is only fitting, that Stan is bestowed with this great honor and joins their company. Congratulations, Stan, on this well-deserved award!

For More on Stan’s Accomplished Career

A Life Saving Threatened Species by Terry Devitt

De-extinction: A Game-changer for Conservation Biology a TEDx Talk

Dr. Stanley A. Temple Biography & Career