Andersen Memorial Award


The William C. Andersen Award was established in 1982 in memory of Bill Andersen, who drowned in 1980 while canoeing the Churchill River in Manitoba during a Peregrine Falcon survey. Dr. Andersen was a chemistry professor, but his first love was raptors. He established the Ornithology Research Center at Otero Jr. College in La Junta Colorado, as a medium for raising funds for the field research he conducted with his students. His interest in raptors of southeastern Colorado grasslands naturally evolved into developing a solution to the universal problem of raptor persecution. He established a rehabilitation facility and tirelessly lectured to service clubs and school groups about the benefits of raptors. He was a strong supporter of the RRF and a number of students accompanied him to each of the annual meetings. His enthusiasm, sincerity, and humor sparked an interest in raptors among many of his students and associates. While participating in the 1980 North American Peregrine Falcon Survey, Bill and a partner were canoeing on the Churchill River in northern Manitoba. They unexpectedly encountered extremely turbulent water and capsized. Bill disappeared and presumably drowned. In that instant, raptors and raptorphiles lost one of their strongest allies.

Dr. Andersen using a Swainson’s Hawk as an education bird to raise awareness about raptor conservation issues.


The William C. Andersen Memorial Award is given to both the best student oral and poster presentation at the annual RRF meeting. This award can only be given to a student once per degree (bachelor, master, or doctorate). To be eligible, a student must be senior author and presenter of the paper or poster. If less than 5 posters are in contention, no separate poster award will be given. Information on how to prepare and give a scientific presentation and criteria used to judge the presentations are available from the committee chair. Award recipients will be announced at the banquet. Students wishing to apply for this award should indicate their interest by checking the box on the abstract submission form.

In addition, students planning to present a paper should submit a second extended abstract to the Andersen Award Committee using the form below. The extended abstract should be a maximum of 3 pages double spaced, in JRR format. The purpose is to provide a clear background/context for the study, methods used, results, and relevancy of findings. The Andersen Committee will judge the extended abstracts for quality and select the 8 best papers to be presented as oral presentations during a single Andersen Award paper session. The paper cannot be part of an organized symposium to be considered.


Poster award receives $175 and 1 year free membership to RRF and waived page charges (winner must be the primary author and the paper must reflect what the award was for)

Paper award receives $375 and 1 year free membership to RRF and waived page charges (winner must be the primary author and the paper must reflect what the award was for)

Number of Awards Issued per Year: 1 paper and 1 poster awardee

DEADLINE: Conference Abstract Deadline

Application Method: This award application requires two steps. 1) Apply online and upload your extended abstract. 2) Submit your abstract using the conference’s abstract submission process. The online application opens in January each year and closes with the conference abstract deadline.

Past Recipients

YearAmadon RecipientTitle
2021Hannah ToutonghiUsing high-resolution telemetry to describe daily and seasonal movements, habitat use, and activity of Northern Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula) in winter
2020Lily MartinEastern Screech-Owl density and the effects of anthropogenic noise in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, Georgia
2019Petra SumasgutnerAre Central Asian Golden Eagles genetically distinct? The distribution of the subspecies Aquila chrysaetos daphanea in Mongolia
2018Andrew SchmalfussJuvenile Goshawk movement ecology in the Northeastern United States
2017Beth MendelsohnGreat Gray Owls on the Range Edge: Population Genomics and Ecology of an Elusive Raptor
2016Michaela S. BrinkmeyerUsing high-resolution genetic markers to reveal American Kestrel connectivity: towards understanding kestrel population declines and the impacts of climate change on raptor monitoring and management
2015Not awarded 
2014Meghan JensenThe effect of urbanization on gene expression in a widely distributed North American raptor
2013Francisca Helena Aguiar-SilvaHarpy Eagle nesting territories in Brazilian Forests, during the past 15 years
2012Maria WheelerGenetic Consequences of Different Approaches to Reintroduction:An Example with Bald and Golden Eagles
2010Todd WhikloNest structure and breeding habitat characteristics of Barred Owls in Manitoba
2009Bishnu Prasad ShresthaStatus and Distribution of Critically Endangered Vultures; Gyps bengalensisGyps tenuirostris and Sarcogyps calvus in Dang Deukhuri Foothill Forests and West Rapti Wetlands, an Important Bird Area of Nepal
2008Ralph BuijEvaluating the impact of land-use on resident and migratory raptors in West African savannas
2007Ronald Kale MulwaSurvey of raptors in the isolated hilltop forests of Muumoni, Endau and Nuu Hills of Kitui and Mwingi districts in eastern Kenya
2006Ricardo PerezDistribution of birds of prey in Montecristo National Park, Santa Ana, El Salvador, (Evaluación del rol de las aves rapaces en el mosaico de habitats naturales y perturbados del parque nacional Montecristo y su zona de influencia, durante la estación reproductora 2007, Santa Ana, El Salvador)
2005Isabel CaballeroDNA analysis of population structure and subspecies composition of reestablished Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) populations in the Midwest
2004Muhammad IqbalCompilation of raptor notes in Sumatra, Indonesia; Sara Ress. Use of stable hydrogen isotopes to identify and assess yearly variation of natal origins among raptors migrating through the Florida Keys.
2003Heather LernerTesting hypotheses of Harpy Eagle phylogenetics and phylogeography.
1994Robert SheehyA phylogenetic analysis of the avian family Accipitridae based on molecular data
2002Timothy T. WeberNorthern Goshawk habitat on the north coastal region of California
2001Stephanie GrossmanResponses of a forest raptor community to critical habitat thresholds in central Alberta.
2001Denis BogomolovThe changes of ranges and habitats of Bright Harriers within European Russia in the twentieth century
2000 Unknown  
1999Laura PliceWinter distribution of American Kestrels
1998Sabine HillAdaptive divergence among populations of kestrels in the Cape Verde Islands
1997 No applications received
1996Samantha J. RayrouxMorphometric variation of five Northern Goshawk populations in North America
1995 Unknown