Lifetime Achievement Awards

Susan Loeb: 2014

Susan with detector at Tree 380

Dr. Susan Loeb, a Research Ecologist with the US Forest Service (USFS)-Southern Research Station (SRS), was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 19th Southeastern Bat Diversity Network meeting. Since the early 2000s, Dr. Loeb has been an important contributor to SBDN as a Board member, committee chair, and host of an annual meeting and a bat blitz.

In 1999, responding to a directive from the USFS SRS, Dr. Loeb began developing a research program on bats. Having found some significant gaps in our knowledge, she then devoted the her research studies towards answering basic questions about bat ecology and conservation, as well as identifying best practices for the study of bats.

Dr. Loeb has been a co-PI on several Indiana bat studies, ranging from understanding the species’ roost ecology to assessing the effects of climate change on the future distribution of the species. She has also led several studies on Rafinesque’s big-eared bats, including a statewide survey in South Carolina. Dr. Loeb co-organized a symposium on the ecology and conservation of big-eared bats, and then served as an editor for the symposium proceedings. Dr. Loeb has made techniques a central focus of her research. This has included studying best practices for detecting Rafinesque’s big-eared bats over large areas and for weatherproofing acoustic detectors, as well as using stable isotopes to understand bat movements. Dr. Loeb has co-authored many refereed publications on bats, including two influential book chapters that synthesize our knowledge about the effects of forest management on bats. More recently, Dr. Loeb has been instrumental in launching the North American Bat Monitoring Program.

Dr. Loeb continues to direct research projects on bats in the Southeastern United States and has a productive research lab at Clemson University, where she is stationed.

David Saugey: 2011

During the annual meeting in Louisville I was presented the 2011 SBDN
Achievement Award. I was beyond surprised and cherish this award more than any other I
received during my career and involvement with bats. I thank the awards committee, my
nominators, whomever they were, and my good friend Dennis Krusac for reading the
presentation materials at the award ceremony. Bats and my participation in SBDN have
allowed me to make many lifelong friends and to work in the field and share a cold beer
with them and many memorable characters that have been the icing on the cake of my life.

I can’t quite remember what I said upon receiving this award but wanted to acknowledge one person that I know I failed to mention, not because I didn’t want to but because that
blur thingy set in due to being caught completely off-guard.

In 1972 I was a sophomore at The University of Arkansas at Little Rock where I had the good fortune to make the acquaintance of and take classes under mammalogist Dr. Gary Heidt. Taking his class,”Natural History of the Vertebrates” opened my eyes to a world of animals I had never experienced and lit a fire of curiosity in me that has never dimmed. Gary included me on a long-term flying squirrel project that introduced me to fieldwork and he always took time for field trips during this class, Mammalogy, and Advanced Field Biology where we studied animals in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
Gary also was the person who encouraged me to attend graduate school at Arkansas
State University that led to a thesis on gray bats under Dr. Rick McDaniel which
eventually led to my career as a biologist with the United States Forest Service. I had a
wonderful, long (34.5 years), enriching experience working for the Forest Service from
where I retired last December. I am quite certain that without Dr. Heidt’s friendship and
guidance many of the wonderful things I have seen and experienced would have never
happened. I often turn and look back down the road of my life and career and remind
myself how fortunate I have been thanks to this friend and mentor. Therefore, I dedicate
my SBDN Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Gary Heidt without whom I might have never
explored the wonderful world of bats.

Troy Best: 2010


Best, Professor of Biology and Curator of Mammals at Auburn University, a Lifetime
Achievement Award at the combined 15th annual meeting of SBDN and the 20th annual
meeting of the Colloquium on the Conservation of Mammals in the Southeastern United
States. Troy is a founding member of both organizations and was honored at the
2009 annual SBDN Colloquium meeting as one of the five founders responsible for
championing the need for a Colloquium in the Southeast. 

Since 1993, 11 of Troy’s students have completed graduate degrees (10 MS, 1 PhD) on various topics of bat
biology and 3 MS students are currently involved in research that includes the
ecology of bats in Alabama, use of stable isotope analysis to determine bat
migration patterns, and ecological associations of bats in southern Alabama. Troy
has an extensive service record to numerous professional organizations that
includes having served SBDN on the Board of Directors, as President, host of two
SBDN Colloquium annual meetings, and as Alabama Coordinator to SBDN. 

Troy has authored or co-authored numerous books, research papers and posters on a wide
variety of topics that include 42 peer-reviewed research papers on bat biology.
Perhaps one of his most widely distributed books is the well known Bats of the
United States co-authored with Dr. Mick Harvey, 2003 SBDN Lifetime Award recipient,
and Dr. Scott Altenbach. Dr. Best attended Eastern New Mexico University at
Portales (BS) and earned his MS and PhD at the University of Oklahoma, Norman. Dr.
Best has contributed to bat conservation in the Southeast, across the United
States, and internationally through his efforts in teaching, research and public

Robert R. Currie: 2009


During its 14 Annual Meeting , SBDN’s membership had the pleasure
of presenting its Lifetime Achievement Award to
Mr. Robert Currie for championing the protection and recovery of
endangered species, particularly bats and cave/karst systems, nationwide, for over
30 years. Partnerships to facilitate recovery goals have been the hallmark of Bob’s
conservation work. Particularly noteworthy are partnerships forged with
professional and amateur cavers in the speleological community, The Nature
Conservancy and many other organizations. Bob has been especially active in efforts to recover the Indiana, gray, and Virginia big-eared

In the realm of information and education, Bob has worked tirelessly to
educate the public and other agencies about the importance and plight of our
imperiled bats and their habitats. He has organized and given presentations at
innumerable bat/cave conservation workshops throughout the country targeting
teachers, school children, conservationists, and agency personnel.

In recognition of his leadership and many accomplishments in protecting bats and in
education about bats, Bob received the Distinguished Service Award from
Bat Conservation International in 1995 and he was honored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service as a Recovery Champion in 2002.

Download Dave Saugey’s award presentation speech and more photos of the award ceremony.
Bob Currie-SBDN_Lifetime_Achievement_Award_2009

Michael J. Harvey: 2003


In 2003, Dr. Michael J. “Mick” Harvey was recognized by the Southeastern

Bat Diversity Network for his lifetime commitment to bat research and
conservation activities in the Southeastern United States. The award
was presented during the 8th annual SBDN and 13th annual Colloquium on
the Conservation of Mammals. He received his B.S. in 1958 from Eastern
Illinois University. Dr. Harvey
attended Stephen F. Austin State University for his M.A. under Dr. Robert
Packard. In 1966, he joined the faculty of Memphis State University and
was awarded his Ph.D. in 1967 from the University of Kentucky where he
worked under Dr. Roger Barbour. Dr. Harvey became Professor of Biology
at Memphis State in 1975 and in 1985 moved to Tennessee Tech University
as Biology Department Chair. He retired in 2000 and was appointed Professor

Wayne Davis: 1996


Dr. Wayne H. Davis is a retired Professor of Biology who taught at the University of Kentucky from the early 1960s until he retired in December 1994. Wayne contributed numerous papers on bat biology and natural history including pioneering work on homing behavior and migration of bats. Wayne conducted exhaustive banding studies of bats early in his career that have helped provide numerous longevity records for bats recaptured decades later. Wayne coauthored several texts on bats, including Bats of America published in 1969. Perhaps less well known are Wayne’s contributions to the genesis of the North American Symposium on Bat Research which annually brings together hundreds of scientists and managers to discuss topics related to bats, and the publication Bat Research News, a quarterly periodical that he founded in 1960 as Bat Banding News.


 Appreciation and Service Awards


Dac Duc Vuong: 2013 Special Service Award


Duc Dac Vuong was born in Sontay, Vietnam on February 2, 1943. He completed high school in Gia Dinh, Vietnam, July 1964, and was awarded his Bachelors Degree as an Engineer of Animal Husbandry, Saigon, Vietnam, September 1968. Affectionately known as Dr. Duc by his colleagues, he obtained his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the State University of Liege, Brussels, Belgium, on July 4, 1974.

After immigrating to the United States, Duc began his 37-year career with the Arkansas Department of Health on April 26, 1976. During the last 25 years of his career Duc worked in the ADH Rabies Laboratory. During that time he processed and retained over 3,000 bat specimens until positively identified by a trained bat biologist. This treasure trove of species has provided important biological, distribution, occurrence, natural history and rabies information for Arkansas. These data have been particularly important in our understanding of tree bats because of their solitary nature and well-hidden roost locations that make acquiring information on juveniles difficult. Tree-bat data, particularly on the common and wide spread red bat, have been of special interest because it tests positive for rabies more frequently than any other bat species submitted. Additionally, these data have helped us establish some baselines to which future frequency of submissions can be compared. These comparisons may help us monitor the decline or recovery of species from environmental challenges, such as habitat loss, or diseases such as White Nose Syndrome. Dr. Voung has helped facilitate the acquisition of these important data by saving the specimens, providing location information, and assisting at identification sessions.

SBDN values and appreciates Dr. Vuong’s effort and cooperative spirit and recognizes how important he, and the Arkansas Department of Health Rabies Lab, have been to bat conservation and biology in Arkansas with implications for the entire southeastern U.S.

This Special Service Award was presented on behalf of Dr. Joy O’Keefe, President of the Southeastern Bat Diversity Network, and SBDN’s membership. Little Rock, Arkansas. May 16, 2013.

Maria A. Leza: 2011 Service Award


Dr. Leza was awarded the 2011 Service Award “for her longterm volunteer service as SBDN’s webmaster.” A note from Aleida: In 2000, then President M.K. Clark asked me if I would like to create a web site for SBDN and become its webmaster, a position I accepted. During this time, I have never met any member of SBDN or gone to any meeting or event yet I’ve had a virtual seat from which it has been very gratifying to observe SBDN mature as an organization due to the effort of dedicated people like M.K. Clark, Darren Miller, Joy O’Keefe, David Saugey and Tim Carter to name just a few. My heartfelt thanks for the award; it has been a pleasure and an honor to serve the SBDN community.

Mary Kay Clark: 2010 Service Award


In 1996 the Fifth Colloquium on the Conservation of Mammals in the Southeastern United States met jointly with the newly formed Southeastern Bat Diversity Network. This first SBDN meeting was “chaired” by Mary Kay Clark who had been the driving force to create this new organization devoted to the study and conservation of bats in the Southeast. Due to the informal nature of the organization Mary Kay was fondly named “Dictator for Life”, a position she held for many years until SBDN required more formal structure.

Since those days, Mary Kay has continued to devote much time and energy to SBDN while serving on various committees and in numerous positions including Steering Committee Chair, SBDN President, Board Member and Bat Blitz Committee Chair. Mary Kay was a member of the local committee that organized and hosted the 2004 North Carolina SBDN Bat Blitz and has participated as a team leader in every Blitz hosted by SBDN. She also helped organize the Big-eared Bat Group within SBDN which resulted in the Big-eared Bat Symposium held at the University of Georgia in March 2010. A graduate of Campbell University (BS) and North Carolina State University (MS) Mary Kay worked for 28 years as Curator of Mammals at the North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences. She also served as the Southeastern Bat Conservation Director, a position jointly sponsored by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and SBDN.

Mary Kay was presented a Service Award by President Darren Miller (see photo) on February 18, 2010 during SBDN’s 15th annual meeting held in Asheville, North Carolina. The award reads “For your role as the founding force behind SBDN and your continued dedication and contributions to the organization.” Appropriately, the award features a beautiful photograph of Rafinesque’s big-eared bat

Chester O. Martin: 2008 Certificate of Appreciation


Chester O. Martin, Senior Wildlife Biologist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg, Mississippi, was presented an SBDN Certificate of Appreciation in late January 2008 upon the occasion of his retirement after 37 years of federal service. The Certificate, presented before a large gathering of family, colleagues and friends at the Engineer Research and Development Center, cited Chester’s many contributions to bat conservation, education and management including mentoring students and professionals, acting as an advocate for bats on Corps and military installation lands, serving as President of the National Military Wildlife Association, and as founder of the Mississippi Bat Working Group. SBDN members in attendance included Mary Kay Clark, Alison McCartney, Darren Miller, and David Saugey.

Timothy Carter: 2007 Service Award


On February 17, 2007, the previous year’s award winner, Dr. Darren A. Miller, (Southern Wildlife Project Manager for Weyerhaeuser Company) presented the 2007 Service Award to Dr. Tim Carter (Ball State University). This was the second such award to be given to a member or supporter of the SBDN. The award was created to recognize outstanding service and contributions to the organization. Tim has been an active SBDN member since its inception and has facilitated the group’s efforts in many ways, including serving on the Board of Directors, as Treasurer, and a member of multiple committees. The award was a beautiful framed color photograph of an Indiana bat, (Myotis sodalis) with a dated plate on the frame describing the service award.

Darren Miller: 2006 Service Award


On February 16, 2006 the SBDN President, Dr. Troy Best (Auburn University) presented a Service Award to Dr. Darren A. Miller (left), Southern Wildlife Project Manager for Weyerhaeuser Company. Darren has been an active SBDN member for many years and has facilitated the group’s efforts in many ways, including providing conference call service for various SBDN committees over the years and funding student participation at bat blitzes.

This was the first such award to be given to a member or supporter of the SBDN. The award was created to recognize outstanding service and contributions to the organization. The award was a beautiful framed color photograph of a red bat, (Lasiurus borealis) with a dated bronze plate on the frame describing the service award.


Other Awards

2012 Wildlife Society's Outstanding Group Achievement Award


Recently, SBDN was recognized by The Wildlife Society (TWS; with TWS’s Outstanding Group Achievement Award. This award is conferred to recognize “an organization’s outstanding wildlife achievement that is consistent with and/or assists in advancing the objectives of The Wildlife Society.” SBDN was specifically acknowledged for Bat Blitzes, response to WNS, facilitation of bat conservation across the Southeastern U.S., and mentorship opportunities for students. In 2011, SBDN received the Wildlife Management Excellence Award from the Southeastern Section TWS. To see a list of past winners, go to:

2010 Wings Over The Americas Award


On March 25, 2010, SBDN was recognized by the U.S. Forest Service with a prestigious 2010 Wings Across the Americas Award for its leadership and participation in bat conservation through Bat Blitzes on National Forest and other public lands. The awards ceremony occurred during the 75th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Darren Miller, President of SBDN, accepted the award on behalf of SBDN from Tom Tidwell, Chief of the Forest Service (Darren’s acceptance speech – PDF).

In addition to recognizing SBDN, the Forest Service honored 10 “Partners” with individual awards. These partners played a significant role in Bat Blitzes and include Jackie Belwood, Tim Carter, Mary K. Clark, Matina Kalcounis-Rüppell, Dennis Krusac, Susan Loeb, Darren Miller, Joy O’Keefe, Blake Sasse, and David Saugey. In addition, 28 Forest Service employees and 27 additional partners representing academia, biological consultants, museums and state and federal agencies received certificates among whom were Lynda Mills, Megan York-Harris, Sybill Amelon and Gary Peters.

2008 Wings Over The Americas Award


Forest Service (FS) scientist Susan Loeb received honors at the WINGS ACROSS THE AMERICAS ceremony (pdf – 800 Kb) held in Phoenix, AZ. Wings Across the Americas is a FS program that represents an integrated and collaborative approach to conservation across agency program areas. The annual awards ceremony celebrates exceptional work that conserves birds, bats, and butterflies and their habitats across the Americas, recognizing the important roles that these sometimes overlooked species play in the environment and in relation to human concerns. Several SBDN members were recognized as part of the award: Eric Britzke, Mary Bunch (SCDNR), Robert Currie (USFWS), and Dennis Krusac (USFS). Dr. Loeb leads a comprehensive research program on the ecology and conservation of southern forest bats which is part of the SRS Upland Hardwood Ecology and Management Research Unit, and serves the research needs of managers in a variety of ecosystems throughout the Southeast. Susan Loeb Wins Wings Across the Americas Awards (pdf-90 kb).

2008 Legends Award


Dennis Krusac, Endangered Species Specialist in the Southern Region, was honored as the U.S. Forest Service’s 2008 recipient of the American Recreation Coalition’s (ARC) Legends Award. The Legends Awards recognize outstanding federal employees for their efforts to enhance the nation’s outdoor recreation opportunities and resources. Mr. Krusac’s development of outreach programs for mentally and physically challenged children, as well as minority students, and widely emulated accessible fishing facilities for children, senior citizens and disabled anglers were highlighted during the ceremony. He was applauded for his significant contributions to the success of the 2007 Atlanta Recreation Forum, which provided a showcase of his efforts to reach minority youth in Atlanta. Mr. Krusac’s work with inner-city Atlanta minority youth culminated in a 2008 “More Kids in the Woods” $80,000 grant focused on minority teens in partnership with the National Wildlife Federation and several other non-traditional partners. USFS_Krusac_Legend_Award text (pdf – 68 kb).

2006 Chester O. Martin Award


Alison McCartney (formerly Sherman) and Darren Miller jointly received the Chester O. Martin Award for outstanding service to the MS Bat Working Group. The awards were presented by the working group’s founder, Chester Martin (right) on Jan. 18, 2007 at the MBWG annual meeting in Jackson, MS (MS Museum of Natural Science).

2006 Service Award


On February 16, 2006 the SBDN President, Dr. Troy Best (Auburn University) presented a Service Award to Dr. Darren A. Miller (left), Southern Wildlife Project Manager for Weyerhaeuser Company. Darren has been an active SBDN member for many years and has facilitated the group’s efforts in many ways, including providing conference call service for various SBDN committees over the years and funding student participation at bat blitzes.

This was the first such award to be given to a member or supporter of the SBDN. The award was created to recognize outstanding service and contributions to the organization. The award was a beautiful framed color photograph of a red bat, (Lasiurus borealis) with a dated bronze plate on the frame describing the service award.

2006 Community Partner Award


Dr. Timothy C. Carter, Ph.D. received international recognition as the 2006 Community Partner of the Year from the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) for contributions to wildlife habitat conservation and environmental education at the Unimin Corporation’s Tamms/Elco Plant in southern Illinois. The Community Partner of the Year award goes to one organization or individual for making a significant contribution to a corporate site’s wildlife habitat enhancement programs.

A mutual interest in bat conservation made it easy for Dr. Carter to strike up a relationship with the Tamms/Elco’s wildlife restoration program in 1998 where the wildlife team had initiated a bat habitat restoration program. Dr. Carter has worked extensively on the federally endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) and helped to restore the abandoned mines at Tamms/Elco as habitats for the Indiana bat and other types of bats most notably at Unimin’s abandoned Magazine Mine. The ongoing effort at that mine has gained Dr. Carter widespread recognition for helping to restore populations of the Indiana bat.

Speaking about Dr. Carter, Rick Fox, head of the wildlife team says, “You need to get out of his way!” As a dedicated community partner, Tim has taken visitors into the Tamms/Elco mines, developed educational activities for a great variety of visiting groups and media, including the Chicago Tribune and Smithsonian magazine. His dedication to and enthusiasm for the Tamms/Elco wildlife restoration efforts is also evident through his facilitation of academic research. He has advised two Southern Illinois University graduate thesis projects and worked with groups from the University of Illinois, Humboldt State University and Indiana Bat Recovery Team on utilizing the mines for research.

Dr. Carter, an Assistant Professor at Indiana’s Ball State University, is an expert in his academic field of zoology and has published widely on bat conservation.

Student Awards


Best Overall Presentation: Chad Williamson

Best Student Bat Presentation: Daniel Istvanko

Best Student Poster: Josiah Maine


Best Overall Presentation: Chad Williamson

Best Student Bat Presentation: Scott Bergeson

Best Student Poster: Vanessa Rojas

Student Travel: Joey Weber


Best Overall Presentation: Angie Larson

Best Student Bat Presentation: Kristina Hammond

Best Student Poster: Hannah Blair

Student Travel: John Grider


Best Overall Presentation: Joe Johnson

Best Student Bat Presentation: Scott Bergeson

Best Student Poster: Daniel Schaefer

Student Travel: Evan Pannkuk


Best Overall Presentation: Joe Johnson

Best Student Bat Presentation: Laci Coleman

Best Student Poster: Jannelle Bowcook

Student Travel: Rebecca Hoffman


Best Overall Presentation: Michelle Gilley

Best Student Bat Presentation: Michael Bender

Best Student Poster: Kristen Lucia


Best Student Bat Presentation: Chris Rice

Best Student Poster: Michael Bender

Student Travel: Leigh Stuemke


Best Student Presentation/Travel: Chris Rice

Best Student Poster: Marianne Moore


Student Travel: Raquel Marchan

Best Student Presentation: Lindsey Shiflet

Best Student Poster: Tyler Harris



Best Student Poster: Erin Gillam


Best Student Presentation: Shane Prescott