COLLEGE STATION – Longtime West Texas wildlife expert Dr. Dale Rollins has received a Superior Service Award in the specialist category.
Rollins recently retired as a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service wildlife specialist at San Angelo, however he has continued to serve as the quail project leader for the Reversing the Quail Decline Initiative, said Dr. Jim Cathey, associate department head and program leader in the department of wildlife and fisheries at Texas A&M University, who nominated Rollins for the honor.
The award was presented Jan. 8 during AgriLife Extension’s Centennial Conference in College Station.
Throughout his 26-year AgriLife Extension career, Rollins has delivered quality research-based outreach education to the people of Texas, Cathey wrote in his nomination of Rollins.
Rollins has successfully involved AgriLife Extension agents in youth leadership activities associated with Texas Brigades youth camps, result demonstration work such as the Texas Quail Index, and adult training opportunities including Quail Masters and Appreciation Days for quail, deer and predators, Cathey wrote. He has also successfully melded Texas A&M AgriLife Research with AgriLife Extension activities to translate findings and sound conservation practices to students, producers and natural resource professionals.
“Although Dale is often credited with initiating the popular Texas Brigades youth camps, he will quickly tell you it is because he ‘hunts with good dogs,’ a ‘Daleism’ conveying high praise for hardworking people collectively working for a common goal,” noted Cathey. “This collaborative effort of AgriLife Extension personnel, state and federal natural resources professionals, landowners and member of the Texas Wildlife Association are now seeing the fruits of their labor pay off, as the young people they taught are now entering the conservation workforce. Likewise, several of Dale’s 16 graduate students are now well-recognized academic researchers and accomplished wildlife biologists.”
Cathey noted that Rollins has gained monetary program support of $10.9 million. These contracts and grants can be noted as $916,000 for AgriLife Extension, $810,000 for the Bobwhite Brigade, and $8.7 million for the Rolling Plains Quail Research Foundation, which Rollins helped to create.
Rollins’ contributions to natural resources extend to several professional organizations he has served in various leadership capacities including: Wildlife Society Bulletin associate editor; president of the Texas Chapter of the Wildlife Society; and board of directors member of the Texas Wildlife Association.
His many honors include: Outstanding Contribution to Range Management for the Texas Section, Society for Range Management; Hero of Conservation, Field and Stream Magazine; Outstanding Achievement Award-Conservation Education, The Wildlife Society, and a previous AgriLife Extension Superior Service Award given in the team category.
“Dale has devoted his career to providing educational resources that have changed the lives of a wide audience ranging from landowners to youth,” Cathey wrote. “His efforts elevated the plight of quail to a national state of awareness and his work will help to assure that this important game bird will thrive across our state,” Cathey concluded.
The Superior Service Awards recognize AgriLife Extension faculty and staff members who provide outstanding performance in Extension education or other outstanding service to the organization and to Texans.