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USGS Scientist Receives Prestigious Award for Bear Research in Montana
Released: 11/10/1999

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
Michele Banowetz 1-click interview
Phone: 970-226-9301

U.S. Geological Survey scientist Katherine Kendall has received the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Superior Service Award for her outstanding leadership in the study of grizzly and black bears in Glacier National Park, Mont. and the surrounding area.

Kendall’s outstanding leadership and more than 20 years of research in Glacier National Park, and previously in Yellowstone National Park, have resulted in a nationally recognized research program that has contributed to the better understanding of bear ecology and management.

"USGS is bringing interdisciplinary, collaborative efforts like this one to bear on the problems affecting America’s natural heritage," noted USGS Director Charles Groat. "In addition to using innovative methods and state-of-the-art technologies, Kendall’s studies span entire ecosystems and are cooperative efforts involving multiple agencies and scientists."

Kendall’s most recent study explores the use of noninvasive genetic sampling and DNA fingerprinting techniques to monitor grizzly bear populations in Glacier National Park and surrounding areas. Using such innovative methods, Kendall is providing baseline data on the grizzly population and, equally important, protocols for long-term monitoring of this threatened species. The study involves nine federal, state and tribal agencies and spans a two million acre area centered on the park.

Kendall is also one of the foremost authorities on declining whitebark and limber pines, key food sources for grizzlies in the northern Rockies. Her research on pines in Glacier, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton National Parks as well as other areas of Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho has helped managers in the United States and Canada begin managing to conserve whitebark and limber pine ecosystems.

"Kendall has been recognized by both the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service for her career-long contributions to park science and natural resource management," stated Dr. Rey Stendell, director of the USGS’s Midcontinent Ecological Science Center in Colorado, the office that oversees Kendall’s work. "Her dedication, hard work and quality research provide crucial information for grizzly bear conservation. We are very proud of her accomplishments."

Kendall received her undergraduate degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia and her graduate degree in Fish and Wildlife Management from Montana State University. She and her family reside in Columbia Falls, Mont.

For more information on Katherine Kendall, please visit http://www.mesc.usgs.gov/glacier/staff/kendall.html, or for in-depth information on her grizzly bear DNA fingerprinting study, visit http://www.mesc.usgs.gov/glacier/beardna.htm.

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