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Professor emeritus establishes Murie fellowship

Submitted by Marmian Grimes
Phone: 907-474-7902


University of Alaska Fairbanks graduate students studying caribou now have access to a new travel grant established to honor Olaus Murie, one of Alaska's first caribou biologists.

Wildlife management professor emeritus David Klein, along with several other donors, established the Olaus Murie Caribou Fellowship in 2004. The fellowship will award its first grants this year. The grants are designed to help students attend and present their work at conferences, symposia and workshops.

"International conferences on caribou are often held in towns above the Arctic Circle where caribou are hunted and managed. These meetings are invaluable to students working on the biology of caribou but the travel costs are often prohibitively high," said Perry Barboza, chairman of the wildlife program in the UAF College of Natural Science and Mathematics. "The Olaus Murie Caribou fellowship meets a continuing need for graduate students from UAF to present their research to local, national and international audiences."

Murie began working for the U.S. Biological Survey in the 1920s; his initial assignment was to study Alaska caribou herds. He was the first to describe the discrete existence of most of Alaska's caribou herds in his monograph, "Alaska-Yukon Caribou," published in 1935. His ecological training and competence in the field allowed him to conduct wildlife studies that became essential to the development of wildlife management policies at the time. He later played an important and supportive role in the establishment of the Alaska Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Alaska in 1950, which led to the creation of the graduate program in wildlife biology and management.

CONTACT: Perry Barboza, wildlife program chairman, at 907-474-7142 or via e-mail at ffpsb@uaf.edu. David Klein, professor emeritus, at ffdrk@uaf.edu. Marmian Grimes, UAF public information officer, at 907-474-7902 or via e-mail at marmian.grimes@uaf.edu.