Two Mississippi State University professors and an MSU alumnus are included in Outdoor Life 25, a group of leaders, innovators, conservationists and unsung heroes who have made major contributions to hunting, fishing and other outdoor sports.
Richard M. Kaminski, Marty Brunson and James Earl Kennamer are among the 25 selected by readers of Outdoor Life magazine for their leadership, innovation and conservation efforts. This is the first year for the award.
A wildlife and fisheries professor and interim associate dean, Kaminski has spent his career studying waterfowl and educating future professionals. He has mentored more than 75 graduate students, authored numerous publications and secured more than $4 million in grants for research and educational projects. The most recent grant funds an undergraduate scholarship for students studying waterfowl and wetland conservation.
In 2006, Ducks Unlimited awarded Kaminski its Lifetime Achievement and Service Award in Wetlands Conservation and The Wildlife Society named him a lifetime fellow earlier this year.
Extension professor Marty Brunson is the driving force behind Catch-A-Dream, a national organization based at MSU that arranges and finances outdoor adventures for children suffering from life-threatening illnesses.
Chartered in 2003, the Catch-A-Dream Foundation is the vision of the late Mississippi outdoorsman, author and sculptor Bruce Brady. Since its inception, the organization has granted more than 200 hunting and fishing trips to gravely ill children age 18 and younger from 43 different states.
"We are fortunate to have professionals such as Rick and Marty who make such fine contributions to natural resources professions," said Vance Watson, vice president for the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.
MSU alumnus James Earl Kennamer also received the Outdoor Life 25 honor. Kennamer, senior vice president of conservation programs for the National Wild Turkey Federation, received master's and doctoral degrees in wildlife and fisheries from MSU.
Since joining the non-profit organization in 1980, Kennemar has forged partnerships between hunters and wildlife agencies, corporations and conservation groups in an effort to restore wild turkey populations across North America. His work has helped increase turkey populations from 1.3 million to more than 7 million.
With a readership of 5 million, Outdoor Life publishes information on fishing, hunting, boating and conservation as well as outdoor adventure stories.