Wildlife Biologist of the Year Award

Author: NCWRC blogger/Wednesday, September 30, 2020/Categories: Blog, Wildlife Management

Wildlife Biologist of the Year Award

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Wildlife Management Division has selected Chris Kelly as the Biologist of the Year.  Chris, who joined the Commission in 2005 as a wildlife biologist in the Wildlife Diversity Program, was selected by a panel comprised of her peers from the agency. She has remained in that position since, working diligently to conserve Wildlife Action Plan Species of Greatest Conservation Need.

"I am grateful to be in a position these past years where I can grow and have a positive impact on wildlife conservation," Chris said. "I am fortunate to work and collaborate with some incredible people."

Chris exceeds all expectations of a wildlife biologist, always portraying exceptional initiative, leadership and passion. As project leader for Carolina northern flying squirrel conservation, she has made great strides to increase survey efficiency and knowledge of the species ecology, which led to her promoting spruce restoration. She is a founding member of the Southern Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative, helping plant approximately 26 acres of spruce restoration with another 30 acres planned this year.

Chris has been a leader and collaborator in conservation efforts on peregrine falcons, golden-winged warblers, cerulean warblers, golden eagles, northern saw-whet owls, barn owls, nightjars, American kestrels and bald eagles. She constantly brings together many traditional and non-traditional conservation partners and establishes innovative monitoring protocols, research and management techniques.

She exemplifies professionalism in the field of wildlife conservation, has been a mentor to many current professional biologists, and is highly respected among her peers. Our most sincere congratulations go out to Chris Kelly for this well-deserved recognition.

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