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.