HSU Alum Wins Another National Wildlife Award

Aug 01, 2006
Humboldt State University graduate student and alumnus Dominic Bachman will be honored at the National Meeting of the Wildlife Society in Anchorage, Alaska, September 23-27, for one of 10 awards and scholarships he has amassed with his path-breaking work with the Aleutian cackling goose population in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties.

Bachman ('04), who is pursuing graduate research at HSU on how to attract Aleutian geese to local public land, will receive a $2,000 Donald H. Rusch Memorial Game Bird Scholarship from the society, an international nonprofit scientific and education association founded in 1937 and dedicated to wildlife stewardship. Presented annually, the scholarship is named after the internationally acclaimed wildlife ecologist and author at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who died in 1999.

The Rusch award is Bachman's second at the national level. The California Waterfowl Association previously recognized his graduate work, which he is conducting in collaboration with two faculty from Humboldt State's Department of Wildlife, Drs. Jeffrey Black and Matthew Johnson.

Bachman also holds a biologist's position with the prestigious Student Career Experience Program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Research to buttress the management of Aleutian geese and lure them to public land is crucial locally. Once endangered, the birds now number nearly 100,000 and they feed on pasture grass in the spring, competing with the North Coast's dairy and ranch industries.

This fall, Bachman will plant clovers on a portion of the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge to test whether the protein-rich plants can bring in the geese. The work embodies HSU's institutional commitment to independent research that simultaneously benefits the community, the economy and the environment.

"In Humboldt, Dom has immersed himself in all things related to waterfowl," Dr. Johnson says, "from hunting to tending wood duck nest boxes."

Bachman's past was prologue: he grew up in a place renowned for attracting ducks and geese, the Ogden Bay Waterfowl Management Area in Utah. His father is the biologist supervisor there.

Professor Johnson, who heads to Jamaica this fall on a National Geographic Society grant to study insect-eating birds, recounts with pride how Bachman made his way to the Arcata campus from Ogden. "Dom's passion for waterfowl runs deep, and he pursued his love of the birds by enrolling at Utah State University to study wildlife management. While he was there, the HSU Wildlife Conclave club visited for a student competition and, as usual, HSU triumphed. The win—coupled with some partying after the competition—convinced Dom it was time to transfer to Humboldt State."

Bachman earned his B.S. degree in Wildlife at HSU in 2004.

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