Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

Wildlife Wiz

Westfield State professor elected president of The Wildlife Society

Westfield State University environmental science professor and Worthington resident Dr. John McDonald has been elected president of The Wildlife Society (TWS).

Founded in 1937, The Wildlife Society strives to inspire, empower, and enable wildlife professionals to sustain wildlife populations and habitats through science-based management and conservation.

 “It is quite an honor to be elected by my colleagues across our membership to lead the society,” McDonald said. “Most of our members are in the U.S. and Canada, but we have members all over the world.  It is the highest professional recognition of which I can conceive; it means a lot to me.”

McDonald has an extensive history with TWS. A member since 1986, McDonald has served as president of the New England chapter, president of the Northeast Section, and as the Northeast Section representative to the governing council. In 2006 McDonald was elected a fellow of the society and in 2014; he was the recipient of The Northeast Section’s John Pearce Memorial award.  Established in 1951, the award is given to a candidate who has exhibited outstanding professional accomplishments in wildlife conservation in the Northeast. 

McDonald will take office as vice-president in October of this year, and then will succeed to the positions of president-elect, president, and past-president over the next three years.   As president, McDonald will run the business of the society and work closely with the professional staff at its headquarters in Bethesda, MD to ensure that they operate along the policy lines set by the council and operate within budget. 

Dr. Michael Vorwerk, professor and chair of the Westfield State University Department of Environmental Science, said McDonald is deserving of the title.

“John has a deep commitment to the wildlife profession and enjoys helping other people succeed,” Vorwerk said. “He has served as a mentor to many younger wildlife biologists and encourages them to seek out challenges. A hallmark of John's teaching is inviting wildlife and conservation colleagues to visit his classes and share their experiences with students.”

Since joining Westfield State in 2012, McDonald has created three new field-based classes:  Natural History and Field Techniques, Natural Resources Conservation and Management, and Wildlife Conservation and Management.  He is currently working to develop a Wildlife Management minor.

McDonald said he hopes his students see his new role as inspiration.


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