Awards and Honors

Awards and Honors
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Robert W. Dickerman

In 2011 Western Field Ornithologists established the Harry S. Swarth Award in Western Field Ornithology, to honor a body of work that significantly advances field ornithology in the west. The award’s name commemorates Harry S. Swarth (1878–1935), a giant of field ornithology who worked in much of western North America during the late 19th and early 20th centuries and who contributed more than 200 publications to the literature.

In March 2015 WFO’s Board of Directors selected Robert W. Dickerman as the award’s first recipient and looked forward to presenting the award in June, at its annual conference in Billings MT. Tragically, however, Bob suffered a stroke later in March and passed away on April 25, 2015, unaware of the honor WFO intended to bestow upon him.

McCaskie

Bob Dickerman with RWD 27413, a Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris), Free State, South Africa, January 2011.

Before his death WFO honored Bob with a Festschrift issue of Western Birds. The Auk memorialized Bob’s life with a gracious obituary.

McCaskie

In September 2015 Bob’s friends, family, and colleagues gathered in the Bird Division of the Museum of Southwestern Biology at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque to reminisce about Bob and to honor his memory. An array of specimens that Bob had prepared and studied was laid out on a table. On the wall, a photograph of Bob that was taken at a skin preparation workshop in May 2004 hangs above his Swarth award certificate.