Gwilym S. Jones

Governor Francis W. Sargent Conservation Award to Nuttall Member Jones

On September 22, 2009, Gwilym Jones PhD, mammalogist, professor of biology at Northeastern University and NOC member since 1996, received the Commonwealth's Gov. Francis W. Sargent Conservation Award for his contributions to conserving the natural resources of Massachusetts.

Jones, of Framingham, is the eighth recipient of the award established in 2000 by the Department of Fish and Game's (DFG) Fisheries and Wildlife Board to honor the former governor and noted conservationist who directed the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) in 1963 and 1964.

Betty Anderson, Gwil Jones (with Gov. Francis W. Sargent Conservation Award) and Paul Kress at award ceremony. Betty was the 2007 recipient of the award. Paul Kress of Carlisle was the first ever recipient, in 2000. (MassWildlife photo by Marion Larson)

"On behalf of the Patrick Administration, I congratulate Dr. Jones for all that he has done to preserve biodiversity, protect habitat and restore common and endangered wildlife across the Commonwealth," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles. "Massachusetts is fortunate to have such a committed environmental steward."

Jones received the award—a hand-carved wooden loon decoy created by Geoff Walker of Hank Walker Decoys of Newbury—at a ceremony held at the New England Wildflower Society's Garden in the Woods in Framingham. State officials on hand included EEA Undersecretary for Environment Philip Griffiths, DFG Commissioner Mary Griffin, MassWildlife Director Wayne MacCallum and members of the Fisheries and Wildlife Board. The board selected Jones after reviewing nominations from a selection committee.

Jones was the first chairman of MassWildlife's Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Advisory Committee when it formed in the early 1980s. This committee provides MassWildlife with advice on the conservation and protection of more than 400 species of wild plants and animals. During his tenure as chairman, Jones assisted in the establishment of the first Massachusetts endangered species list, prior to passage of the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act. He also served on the Fisheries and Wildlife Board from 1986 to 1999.

"We are very proud that we have an individual of Dr. Jones' caliber, who has dedicated his skills and talents to so many of the important wildlife protection policies and programs undertaken by our agency," said Commissioner Griffin, whose department includes MassWildlife.

Jones earned a doctoral degree from Indiana State University, a master's degree from Purdue University and a bachelor's degree from Hanover College. He served in the U. S. Naval Reserve as a mammalogist in Vietnam, Taiwan, Indonesia, and the National Naval Medical Center in Maryland. In 1976, Jones came to Massachusetts to teach at Northeastern University, where he began as an associate professor of biology and served most recently as director of the university's Center for Vertebrate Studies Marine Science Center in Nahant.

"No one is more qualified to receive this honor than Dr. Jones, a professional's professional," said MassWildlife Director MacCallum. "Dr. Jones has done great work for both the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and for an amazing array of international, national, regional, state and local conservation organizations and wildlife agencies." Jones has served as a consultant for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the University of Massachusetts Boston, the Boston Zoological Society, the Green Briar Nature Center, and the Massachusetts Audubon Society. He is a member of the American Society of Mammalogists, Bat Conservation International, and the Nuttall Ornithological Club and a charter member of the Society for Marine Mammalogy.

Jones has won several prestigious awards in the fields of teaching and biology including Excellence in Teaching awards from Northeastern University in 1987, 1992, 1994 1996, and 1997. In 1991, he received the Rocky Bridges Conservation Award from the Gun Owners' Action League, and in 1990 was named Conservationist of the Year by the Massachusetts Wildlife Federation. He received a special Certificate of Appreciation from the US Environmental Protection Agency in 1998.

"Dr. Jones has made incredible contributions to wildlife conservation in Massachusetts through his work on the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Advisory Committee, the Fisheries and Wildlife Board, and with his critical policy role regarding the importation and liberation of wildlife in Massachusetts," said Fisheries and Wildlife Board Chairman George Darey. "We appreciate his continued conservation efforts on local and national levels."

Jones is a member of a number of professional societies including the American Society of Mammalogists, the Society for Marine Mammalogy (charter member), The Wildlife Society, Bat Conservation International and of course, the Nuttall Ornithological Club. He was guest editor for The Northeastern Naturalist in 2001 and 2005.