INSIDE Chico State
0 March 14, 2002
Volume 32 Number 12
  A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico
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Biologist Honored for Contributions to Wildlife Management Education

Jon Hooper, professor in Recreation and Parks Management, has been named the Raymond F. Dasmann Professional of the Year for the Western Section of the Wildlife Society. The award is given to a professional in the field who has made an outstanding contribution to wildlife management and understanding.

Hooper, a certified wildlife biologist, has had a long career as a biologist and educator in California. He has taught at CSU, Chico since 1978. Hooper’s accomplishments include the following:

Teacher of numerous “Natural Resources Communication Workshops” since 1975 in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Maryland, Montana, Oklahoma, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia, including a yearly workshop sponsored by The Western Section

Member in Phi Kappa Phi

Reviewer for the Western Section Transactions since 1989

Research design consultant for the California Department of Fish and Game and the National Military Fish and Wildlife Association

Research with the Department of Defense on animal welfare and rights in 1992

Professional affiliations with The Wildlife Society, National Military Fish and Wildlife Association, Park Rangers Association of California, National Association for Interpretation, and North American Association for Environmental Education

Membership in local, state, and national citizen groups, including National Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Legislative Fund of America, Butte Environmental Council, Chico Creek Nature Center, Californians Against Waste, and the Sacramento River Preservation

His research interests focus on the human dimensions of natural resources management with a key interest in the consumptive and nonconsumptive use of wildlife resources. From 1973 to 1978, Hooper was a staff research associate with the Wildlife and Marine Resources Extension at the University of California, Davis, teaching wildlife conservation, marine science, and environmental communication courses.

“My mission is to dispel misconceptions about wildlife and how natural systems operate. I want people to make up their own minds about how wildlife should be managed, but base their decisions on facts, not fallacies,” said Hooper. One implication of this mission is to address the issue of death of animals in the wild with people. Most people have no experience with the cruelty of natural deaths in the wild.

Hooper used the example of the effect of wildfire on wildlife and its ultimate contribution to a cycle, which benefits most species. “Most wildlife gets out of the way of the fire. As the forest comes back, opens up, and new vegetation explodes, populations of wildlife also increase,” he said.

He was, in his words, “stunned,” to hear of this prestigious award from his peers. “It is a career capstone award,” said Emilyn Sheffield, chair of Recreation and Parks Management.

“I have such respect for the wildlife biologists who have received this award in the past. I’m humbled to be in their company,” said Hooper.

After almost 30 years teaching and working in the field, the wild still thrills him, as does introducing others to the wild. “I’m still like a little kid. The other day I was with students on a field trip and we heard sandhill cranes flying above. We were all amazed at how close they sounded yet how high they were. The more I know, the more there is to know,” said Hooper.

Hooper teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in parks and natural resources management, environmental education and interpretation, public relations, and conflict resolution.

Kathleen McPartland

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