William R. Elliott Receives National Award Jul 31, 2007 8:58:44 GMT -5
Post by Sharon Faulkner on Jul 31, 2007 8:58:44 GMT -5
William R. Elliott Receives National Award
On July 27, 2007, Dr. William R. Elliott (“Bill”) received the Honorary Membership Award from the National Speleological Society at their convention in Marengo, Indiana. The certificate is “in recognition of his outstanding contributions to speleology,” signed by the NSS Board of Governors. NSS is the world’s leading cave exploration, science and conservation organization with 12,000 members.
The Honorary Membership has been awarded each year since 1941 to outstanding scientists and conservationists, including foreign speleologists, and includes life membership in the Society, although Dr. Elliott has been a member for 39 years. The last Missourian to receive the honor was in 1989.
Bill has been the cave biologist for the Missouri Department of Conservation, Resource Science Division, in Jefferson City, since 1998. His duties include research, conservation, management, education, and recreation in caves owned by the Department, and cooperative work with private and public cave owners. He is involved in karst land management issues and public policy.
Bill grew up in Georgetown, Texas, where he began caving at age 15. He joined the NSS in 1968, and he soon was involved in cave exploration, mapping, bug collecting, Mexican cavefish, bats and cave photography. He began finding new species, and over the years ten new species, including a new genus, have been named after him by scientists.
Bill’s biology degrees include a bachelor’s from the University of Texas at Austin, and M.S. and Ph.D. from Texas Tech University. He studied cave life in Mexico, Belize, and many states from Texas to Alaska. He has published numerous scientific articles, and he has trained hundreds in cave ecology and management. His specialties include cave protection, bat studies, millipede taxonomy, biogeography and macrophotography. He has appeared in several videos on caves.
Bill is a Fellow of the NSS and a board member of the Missouri Caves and Karst Conservancy. He is the former Editor and Data Manager of the Texas Speleological Survey (TSS). He is a past director of the TSS and the American Cave Conservation Association. He received the TSS Outstanding Service Award in 2002. In 2006, he received a Special Achievements in GIS Award from ESRI, the makers of ArcMap, for his papers on cave biogeography and conservation. He is active in Bat Conservation International, Missouri Speleological Survey, and the NSS Biology Section. He is Chair of the next National Cave & Karst Management Symposium, to be held in St. Louis, October 8-12, 2007.
Bill has a web site with many photos of cave life and information. Just Google “biospeleology” or go to www.utexas.edu/tmm/sponsored_sites/biospeleology/
Bill and his wife, Gayle Unruh, like to travel, camp, hike, watch wildlife and canoe. His family resides in Texas, California and Kansas. He is a licensed Sport Pilot and President of the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Chapter #429 in Jefferson City.
Reposted with permission of author.