Ducks Unlimited honored Mississippi State University Professor Rick Kaminski at the 71st North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference, in Columbus, Ohio, by awarding him its Wetland Conservation Achievement Award. Because of his life-long commitment to wetlands and waterfowl, Dr. Rick Kaminski distinguished himself as the research professional deserving this award.
"Through his pioneering research, Kaminski has contributed immensely to waterfowl management as we know it today," said Dr. Curtis Hopkins, DU's director of conservation programs for the southern region. "DU has hired 13 of his graduate students, and we expect his future research endeavors will continue to advance our knowledge of wetland and waterfowl management."
This annual conference is a forum for natural resource professionals and provides an opportunity for organizations to honor the achievements of those dedicated to protecting natural resources. Each year during a special awards breakfast at the conference, DU proudly recognizes individuals from the U.S., Canada or Mexico who have made exceptional contributions to wetlands and waterfowl conservation in North America.
Wetland and waterfowl research projects help ensure the success of DU's wetlands conservation programs on millions of acres throughout North America. In recent years, DU helped fund two of Dr. Kaminski's graduate students who evaluated waterfowl food resources in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. Their research focused on the abundance of waste rice in harvested rice fields and seed abundance in managed moist-soil wetlands. The results are currently used by waterfowl managers in conservation planning for wintering waterfowl populations.
"One of Rick's passions is recruiting the next generation of waterfowl enthusiasts," said DU's Director of Conservation Planning Dr. Tom Moorman. "He has helped organize numerous youth waterfowl workshops at Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge to provide kids a unique opportunity to hunt, learn about and spark their interest in waterfowl."
Dr. Kaminski has mentored more than 75 graduate students, authored 80 peer-reviewed scientific publications and is credited with being one of the first scientists to conduct a wetland management experiment testing waterfowl use and aquatic insect response to various wetland management regimes.
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands ¬- nature's most productive ecosystem - and continues to lose more than 100,000 wetland acres each year.