University of Wyoming student Dillon Herman has been selected as a recipient of the Gerald L. Turpin Wildlife Leadership Award through the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
The RMEF recognizes outstanding wildlife science college students each spring through its scholarship program, the Wildlife Leadership Awards.
Selection for the award has been a true honor, Herman said.
“We need more people in the field of wildlife biology like Dillon. He has great enthusiasm and already has a great deal of experience for someone his age. We’re pleased to offer him this scholarship as he continues his academic pursuits,” RMEF president and CEO David Allen said.
Herman became involved with the RMEF when his parents started volunteering on the Cody Chapter Committee. The Herman family had been members since the 1980s, but became more involved during Dillon’s senior year of high school.
Herman is serving as the president of the student chapter of The Wildlife Society and he led the effort to rewrite the chapter’s bylaws to make the group a recognized student organization.
A native of Cody, Herman developed an interest in wildlife biology during his early years of high school. He said he would go hunting in the fall and work in the surrounding mountains on horseback during the summer. He has been immersed in wildlife and nature throughout his life and said he did not look back once he realized he could get a college degree while working with wildlife.
Herman said that this degree has opened his eyes to “a wide array of conservation problems as well as various current management goals and tools used to study the world around us.”
Following graduation, Herman said he wants to find an introductory wildlife biology position but that graduate school is “never far off my mind.” He said jobs in biology are hard to find without prior experience, so he will be working to build up his resume with every opportunity he can get.
Herman said the award was created in honor of Gerald (Jerry) Turpin, who died from a logging accident at age 23. Turpin had a passion for the outdoors. His family and the RMEF established this award to help young, passionate biologists and conservationists.
After a lengthy application process, Herman was selected as a top candidate by the RMEF and then was interviewed by Turpin’s widow. He was selected by the Turpin family for his dedication to conservation, academic achievements and leadership abilities.
“It has given me a sense of confidence and pride to be chosen by a family I’ve never met, and I hope that I can reward them back for their efforts through my future career as a wildlife biologist,” Herman said.