ED N. HARRISON, born in Cody, Wyoming, on September 29, 1914, was a passionate natural historian. He was an active wildlife photographer, and an avid collector of bird skins, eggs, nests, and natural history books. In 1956, Ed established the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology (WFVZ), with C.V. Duff, J.R. Pemberton, Frances Roberts, and William Sheffler serving as founding members on the Board of Directors. The WFVZ was formed at a time when many natural history museums were unwilling to add eggs to their holdings or continue to keep them, and so a respected repository for egg collections was needed. Thus, the Foundation was well-poised for becoming an important ornithological institution. Ed himself contributed approximately 11,000 egg sets, 2,000 nests, and 1,700 study skins after the founding of the WFVZ. In addition, he worked diligently to acquire other collections and to fund field expeditions to expand the Foundation's holdings, resulting in what is now one of the world's largest collections of bird's eggs and nests, and one of the largest bird reference libraries in western North America. These collections already have proven to be vital to conservation of national and international bird species.
Ed Harrison climbing to check a nest.
In tribute to Ed, who died on September 25th, 2002, and to his love of birds and natural history, the Western Foundation has started the Ed N. Harrison Memorial Scholarship Fund. This fund will provide one $300 scholarship annually to graduate students conducting field research projects on the breeding biology of birds. Projects should investigate questions that directly relate to the breeding biology and conservation of bird species in Central or South America. Scholarships will be awarded for use toward field equipment and travel. Applications will be accepted from February 1 to March 30, 2012, and awards will be made by the end of April 2012.
If you are interested in applying for this scholarship, please contact Dr. Linnea Hall, Executive Director of the Western Foundation first before sending your application. Applications should be limited to 4 pp., and should include a synthesis of your thesis or dissertation proposal (and please identify which degree it is you are working for) as well as the objectives of your study; the importance of this work for the conservation of the species; methods; and timeline. Also include a brief statement describing how the money will be used for equipment or travel for the project. Note that travel to ornithological meetings will not be funded; only field-related travel (this includes vehicle rental and fuel, plane flights to Central America, etc.). In your initial e-mail message please indicate the school you attend, when you plan to finish, and the name of your major professor and other graduate committee members.
If you are interested in contributing to this fund, please contact us, and note that all donations will go toward the student scholarships. No money will be spent on Western Foundation operating expenses or other projects. In addition, since the Western Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization, any donations made to the Ed N. Harrison Memorial Scholarship Fund are tax-deductible.
Ed Harrison checking a California Condor egg.