Steven J. Cooke, associate professor of environmental science and biology, is the recipient of The Canadian Wildlife Federation’s (CWF) 2013 Roderick Haig-Brown Conservation Award. This award recognizes an individual’s contribution to conservation and wise use of recreational fisheries in Canada. Cooke attended CWF’s Awards Banquet in Victoria, B.C. on Saturday, June 8.
Cooke has an international reputation for his work on catch-and-release practices. He is a firm believer that science-based guidelines for recreational fisheries can often be delivered through education rather than regulation. As an educator, he takes his fourth-year fish ecology class fishing so that they can better understand angler-fish interactions. As president of the Canadian Aquatic Resources Section of the American Fisheries Society, he is co-ordinating a book project to document the science and management of Canadian inland fisheries, including regional status reports, threat assessments and management strategies. His work extends beyond Canadian borders as he also recently co-authored technical guidelines for recreational fishing for the United Nations.
CWF’s awards program accepts nominations year-round in eight categories. Cooke joined seven other award winners in Victoria ranging from youth, biologists, artists, national legislators and others to celebrate achievements in conservation