The Suzanne L. & Joseph T. Collins Award2019-02-11T15:20:23+00:00

The Suzanne L. & Joseph T. Collins Award

The Collins Award was established in 1997 by The Center for North American Herpetology in recognition of the scientific and artistic achievements of Suzanne L. Collins and Joseph T. Collins, whose life-long study and conservation of the native herpetofauna of Kansas is amply demonstrated in their extensive and excellent writings and photography, both academic and popular, about these animals. The Collins Award, established by an initial generous contribution to CNAH from Westar Energy, is a trust in perpetuity controlled exclusively by CNAH, and will increase in amount through reinvestment. The award is minimally $1000.00, making it the largest annual state award for any biological, wildlife, or conservation organization in Kansas. It is also the largest national award given annually for research on or photography of amphibians, turtles, and reptiles. The recipient of The Collins Award, at the request of CNAH, is chosen by the KHS Awards Committee, which is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the KHS Executive Council; it is presented on the occasion of the annual meeting before the assembled membership. The recipient must be present to receive The Collins Award or another recipient will be selected.

Specifications of The Collins Award:

In even-numbered years, The Collins Award shall be bestowed upon that member of the KHS who, in the preceding two calendar years, accomplished the following: Had published a paper of academic excellence on the systematics, ecology, or conservation of a native species of Kansas amphibian, turtle, and/or reptile in the Journal of Kansas Herpetology, Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science, Herpetological Review, or the Journal of Herpetology, and/or presented a lecture of excellence on the systematics, ecology, or conservation of a native species of Kansas amphibian(s) and/or reptile(s). To qualify for The Collins Award, a portion of the field work or observations must have occurred in Kansas, or the systematic data must have been based in part on Kansas specimens. Individuals eligible for The Collins Award must be KHS members when they do the research, when the paper is published, or when the talk is given. Further, the KHS requires individuals who present papers to signify they are eligible for The Collins Award when they submit the title of the talk to the KHS Meeting Chairperson or just prior to giving the talk at the annual meeting; those individuals that publish a paper that meets the criteria must submit three copies of the published version to the Chair of the KHS Awards Committee in order to be considered for The Collins Award.

In odd-numbered years, The Collins Award shall be bestowed upon an individual who accomplished the following: Was chosen the best in a juried competition featuring the art of photography in portraying amphibians, turtles, and/or reptiles, said competition to take place under the auspices and on the occasion of the primary meeting of an appropriate organization or society in Kansas. To qualify for the The Collins Award, the art work must portray or be based on those species native to Kansas. The KHS is looking for striking images of Kansas herpetofauna that depict interesting behavior or include portraits of species in a natural habitat or setting. Images will be judged on originality, technical excellence, composition, color, action, drama, and overall impact. Entry to the competition constitutes agreement by the photographer to allow the winning photograph to be published by CNAH/KHS on its web site or in publicity releases. Entrants retain all other rights to the future use of their winning photograph. A total of up to five photographs may be submitted as prints. Prints must be mounted for display purposes. The back of each photograph must bear the photographer’s name, address, telephone number, and entry number (1-5). The identity of the photographer will not be revealed to the members of the KHS Awards Committee. All entries must be delivered and set up by the photographer in the judging room by 10:00 am on Saturday of the KHS annual meeting. Photographers are responsible for their entries at all times. The KHS assumes no responsibility or liability for any photographic entries.

Former Recipients:
1998 – Paper/Presentation Travis W. Taggart Kansas City, Kansas
1999 – Photograph Gregory A. Sievert Emporia, Kansas
2000 – Paper/Presentation Emily C. Moriarty Austin, Texas
2001 – Photograph Daniel D. Fogell Omaha, Nebraska
2002 – Paper/Presentation John F. Cavitt Manhattan, Kansas
2003 – Photograph Larry L. Miller Topeka, Kansas
2004 – Paper/Presentation Dwight R. Platt North Newton, Kansas
2005 – Photograph Larry L. Miller Topeka, Kansas
2006 – Paper/Presentation Henry S. Fitch Lawrence, Kansas
2007 – Photograph J. Daren Riedle Canyon, Texas
2008 – Paper/Presentation Dustin J. Wilgers Manhattan, Kansas
2009 – Photograph Paul Rodriguez Omaha, Nebraska
2010 – Paper/Presentation George R. Pisani Lawrence, Kansas
2011 – Photograph Gregory A. Sievert Emporia, Kansas
2012 – Paper/Presentation William J. House Emporia, Kansas
2013 – Photograph Curtis J. Schmidt Hays, Kansas
2014 – Paper/Presentation Walter Meshaka Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
2015 – Photograph Josh Mead Hays, Kansas
2016 – Paper/Presentation George R. Pisani Lawrence, Kansas
2017 – Photograph Jacob Basler St. Marys, Kansas