Jackson Award

Mission & History



  • Elmer M. Finck
  • Meredith Hamilton
  • Duane A. Schlitter
  • Robert Sikes
  • Robert Timm

History and Mission

The Jackson Award Committee was established in 1977 to recognize members who have given long and outstanding service to the American Society of Mammalogists. The committee evaluates nominations and recommends a recipient to the Board of Directors.  The award is named in honor of Hartley H. T. Jackson, a man who was instrumental in founding ASM and who served the Society in numerous roles over many years.

2023 Hartley Jackson Award Recipient.

The 2023 recipient of the Hartley H. T. Jackson award for service to the ASM is Dr. Robert M Timm.  Robert Mark Timm was born on 28 August 1949 in Lincoln, Nebraska and grew up in the small town of Wilber, SW of Lincoln.  He got his start in biology early on. Among his early memories are watching ant lions in the yard, catching and rearing caterpillars to see what kinds of butterflies or moths would emerge, and fishing for crawdads at the local “crick.” His father taught him how to hunt and fish in an era where there was abundant wildlife. He could walk or take his bicycle to hunt or fish long before he could drive and was usually accompanied by his best friend, his dog. His mother would cook the game he brought home as long as it came into the house fully cleaned and ready to cook. Bob started working in his father’s meat market grocery store early on. One of his first jobs was assisting the butchers at area farms when they butchered livestock. He salted hides for preservation that weighed more than he did rubbing rock salt thoroughly on the flesh side. The use of salt as an antibacterial agent and to pull moisture out of skins to lock the hairs in became one of his standard techniques in preparing scientific study skins in the tropics in later years when he became a mammalogist. During his high school years, he handled many aspects of the butchering process, and an adult, he regularly assists friends when deer or chickens need to be butchered. His parents, especially his mother, showed remarkable tolerance for a wide array of pets including raccoons, turtles, salamanders, and insects. He was a good student in high school although he found his other interests far more engaging.
Bob Timm prepping an animal

In 1967, he enrolled as a zoology major at the University of Nebraska-Kearney not having any idea what he would do with the degree. He was fortunate to get hired on the first day by the mammalogist there, John Farney, to manage the dermestid beetle colony and care for the live animals in the department—jobs he held throughout his undergraduate years. He would continue to work with dermestids for the rest of his career and published papers on various aspects of their biology. The biology department had several excellent teachers that fostered and focused his education and many of the biology courses took advantage of the ready access to the nearby Platte River and Nebraska sandhills for field trips. He combined his interest in mammals and arthropods to undertake a study of the ectoparasites of meadow voles, which would eventually become two of his first scientific papers.

Elmer C. Birney had taught at Kearney for a year prior to taking a faculty position at the University of Minnesota and contacted his former colleagues looking for students for his new graduate program. Bob started in the master’s program in Department of Ecology & Behavioral Biology and Bell Museum of Natural History in 1971. He was fortunate to arrive in the Museum along with a vibrant community of new, young faculty and their active graduate students. Elmer strongly believed that students, especially students that needed direction, should do a master’s degree and Bob was anxious to expand upon his knowledge of mammals and learn the Minnesota fauna. They selected the most remote and poorly documented region of the state, the northeastern Arrowhead Country, for Bob’s master’s thesis, a “mammals of…” type project that was a format well established at Elmer’s alma mater, the University of Kansas. Bob’s thesis was published in 1975 as the “Distribution, natural history, and parasites of mammals of Cook, Minnesota.”

For his Ph.D., he transferred to the Department of Entomology, Fisheries, and Wildlife on the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus receiving his Ph.D. in 1979; Roger D. Price, a louse systematist, served as his primary advisor. Throughout his graduate career, he continued to work with Elmer as his editorial assistant on the Journal of Mammalogy when Elmer was the editor. Elmer’s editorial rigor and attention to detail in the Journal and with his and his student’s publications was instilled in Bob. Elmer got Bob actively involved in ASM committee work his first year of graduate study, and Bob continued that practice getting his own graduate students at the University of Kansas involved in the Society. 

The most career-changing course Bob took as a student was the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) Tropical Ecology course taught in Costa Rica. He was hooked on the tropics, and various aspects of Neotropical mammal ecology and systematics would form the basis of his research career. One of his research projects on the course was documenting that several species of bats actively modify leaves of specific plants for roost sites.  That the minute and poorly known white bat, Ectophylla alba, modified the leaves of Heliconia for roosts. Subsequently, Bob and other researchers have since documented many aspects of this tent use in bats that were previously unknown.

Bob joined the Zoology Department at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago in 1980 as the curator of mammals. This position allowed him to work with an outstanding international collection of mammals, meet scientists and students from all over the world, and the time and resources to pursue international research and education. There he and entomologist colleague Steve Ashe were able to expand upon Bob’s observations as an OTS student in Costa Rica on amblyopinine beetles and their mutualistic relationship with Neotropical rodents…and…. 

In 1986, Bob joined the University of Kansas (KU) as curator-in-charge of mammals in the Natural History Museum and as a faculty member in the Department of Systematics and Ecology.  There he was able to combine his research, teaching, and mentoring interests for both graduate and undergraduate students.  He regularly taught mammalogy, diversity of organisms-type courses, undergraduate biology, and graduate student specialty courses.  Kansas was pleased to have him teach with the OTS’s international programs and Bob coordinated the Costa Rican graduate Tropical Ecology course and a graduate course on Neotropical bats, served as resource faculty for some 27 other graduate courses, several undergraduate courses, and served as one of the faculty members when OTS was establishing a new undergraduate program in South Africa.  For OTS, he served on the Assembly of Delegates, Advisory Board for the Las Cruces Field Station, Education Committee and regularly reviewed proposals.

Bob enjoyed his teaching and mentorship roles at KU and was awarded the University-wide Kansas Provost’s Award for Leadership in International Education (2004), College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Graduate Mentor Award (2007), and was nominated several times by the graduating seniors in biology as their “Favorite Professor.” He served as chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary. In 2002, he was elected to rank of Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Because of Elmer Birney’s mentorship and direction, Bob continued as an active member of the ASM serving on an array of committees, in a number of editorial roles, on the Board, as Vice President (2002–2004), President-Elect (2004–2006), and President (2006–2008). In 2017, he was awarded the ASM’s Joseph Grinnell Award. He has chaired 5 committees (Archives, Editorial, Honorary Membership, Informatics, and Planning and Finance) and served on 8 others.

His research has focused on ecology, evolution, and in recent years conservation of mammals, and in host–parasite interactions. He has published more than 200 technical papers, two books, and a number of Web-based publications. Two of his publications were selected for inclusion in Discover magazine’s top science discoveries for the year

Past Awardees

Click here for past recipients of the Hartley H. T. Jackson Award.

To Nominate

Nominations for the Hartley H. T. Jackson Award

The Hartley H. T. Jackson Award honors individuals with a long and outstanding record of service to mammalogy and the American Society of Mammalogists. Nominees should have extensive service in areas such as governance of the Society, special projects of the Society, editing of the Journal of Mammalogy or Mammalian Species (Editors, Associate Editors, or others), and/or serving on multiple committees of the Society.

Candidates may be nominated by any member who is familiar with the candidate’s service to the Society and mammalogy in general. A letter of nomination (two pages maximum) should describe the candidate’s extensive service and should elaborate the reasons this person should be considered for the award. The letter of nomination, a curriculum vita for the nominee, and up to four additional letters of support (all incorporated into a single PDF) should be sent to Ed Heske (eheske@unm.edu) by 1 March. The recipient will be announced at the annual meeting of the Society. Nominations are not retained from previous years. Please send any questions about the award or the nomination to Ed Heske.

Nominations should include a statement regarding adherence to the ASM Code of Professional Conduct. For example:

As a part of preparing this nomination, I have read and understood the American Society of Mammalogists' Code of Professional Conduct (here). To the best of my knowledge, the individual I am nominating exemplifies the high caliber of professional conduct that the ASM expects and promotes as required to be eligible for this award, as well as to retain this recognition should they be the award recipient.

Click here for past recipients of the Hartley H. T. Jackson Award

Download a PDF version of the nomination procedures here.


HARTLEY H. T. JACKSON AWARD for long and outstanding service to ASM


  • 1978—William B. DavisTexas A&M University
  • 1979—William H. Burt, University of Michigan


  • 1980—Bryan P. Glass, Oklahoma State University
  • 1981—No recipient
  • 1982—No recipient
  • 1983—J. Knox Jones, Jr., Texas Tech University
  • 1984—Oliver P. Pearson, University of California, Berkeley
  • 1985—Sydney Anderson, American Museum of Natural History
  • 1986—Murray L. JohnsonBurke Memorial Washington State Museum
  • 1987—Donald F. HoffmeisterUniversity of Illinois
  • 1988—Karl F. KoopmanAmerican Museum of Natural History
  • 1989—No recipient


  • 1990—Marie A. Lawrence, American Museum of Natural History
  • 1991—John O. WhitakerJr., Indiana State University
  • 1992—B. J. VertsOregon State University
  • 1993—J. Mary TaylorCleveland Museum of Natural History
  • 1994—Robert J. BakerTexas Tech University
  • 1995—James A. LackeyState University of New York—Oswego
  • 1996—Don E. WilsonSmithsonian Institution
  • 1997—Clyde JonesTexas Tech University
  • 1998—Gordon L. Kirkland, Jr.Shippensburg University
  • 1999—Elmer C. Birney, Bell Museum of Natural History and University of Minnesota


  • 2000—Richard W. Thorington, Jr.National Museum of Natural History
  • 2001—Suzanne B. McLaren, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
  • 2002—H. Duane Smith and Dahnelle SmithBrigham Young University
  • 2003—No recipient
  • 2004—Hugh H. GenowaysUniversity of Nebraska State Museum
  • 2005—Alfred L. GardnerU. S. Geological Survey Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
  • 2006—David M. "Chip" Leslie, Jr.U. S. Geological Survey and Oklahoma State University
  • 2007—Barbara H. BlakeUniversity of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • 2008—Michael A. MaresSam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History and University of Oklahoma
  • 2009—Glennis A. Kaufman, Kansas State University



  • 2020—Elmer J. Finck, Fort Hays State University
  • 2021—Meredith J. HamiltonOklahoma State University
  • 2022—Robert Sikes, University of Arkansas Little Rock
  • 2023—Robert Timm, University of Kansas
  • 2024—David Huckaby, California State University, Long Beach

Hartley H. T. Jackson

Vernon Bailey (R) and Jackson (L)The Hartley H.T. Jackson Award was established in 1977 to recognize individuals who have given outstanding service to ASM.  The award is named in honor of Hartley Jackson (1881–1976), a man instrumental in founding the American Society of Mammalogists.  The first meeting was held in 1919, but Jackson had envisioned forming a society for the study of mammals since 1902, when he was in college.

Hartley was interested in birds and mammals from an early age, starting a bird collection when he was 11 and turning his attention to mammals when he was 14.  His first publication, at age 16, was a note on screech owls, and his next, as a student at Milton College, was on meadow voles of Wisconsin.  While in college, he saw the advantages of the organizations fostering ornithology, and he recognized the value of a society for mammalogists.  He discussed his idea with friends and later with colleagues, but they were not very encouraging.  Still, he carried his dream.

In 1910, after receiving a Master’s degree from University of Wisconsin, he was hired by the United States Biological Survey to work on their mammal collection; a career he was to follow for decades. He continued to talk about a society for mammalogists and thought of possible ways to make it happen; gradually some colleagues became interested.  However, it was not until December 1918 that there was any action, when the head of the Biological Survey, E. W. Nelson, appointed a committee to consider forming such a society and asked Hartley Jackson to chair it.  Hartley apparently convinced the committee, for not only did they decide it was a good idea to form an organization of mammalogists, but they went right to work on it, making a list of prospective members, gathering funds, and drafting rules and bylaws.  They worked feverishly for 3 months, with Hartley’s wife, Anna, helping with typing lists and documents (on a typewriter they rented for her).  By the end of March they had received more than 250 favorable responses, and in April 1919 they held their first meeting - with 60 of the charter members present.  ASM was born! 

Jackson held several offices in the new Society, including President, Corresponding Secretary, Editor of Journal of Mammalogy¸ and member of the Board of Directors.  In 1920 he also pushed to establish an endowment fund, especially to fund publications.  Here was a man who embodied service to ASM – as founder of the Society and of the Reserve Fund he got us off to a firm start.

When Hartley Jackson began his career with the research staff of the Biological Survey, he took charge of their growing mammal collection.  Over the next 41 years he moved through various positions and numerous reorganizations of the Survey.  He also studied for a Ph.D. degree at nearby George Washington University, completing it in 1914.  Jackson initially did field work, much of it in Arizona and Wisconsin, but with his advancements in the Survey he spent more time in supervisory positions and less on his own research.  His main research interest was the mammalogy of his native state of Wisconsin, particularly the distribution and taxonomy of mammals and Merriam’s concept of life zones.  He spent years working on his primary publication, the book Mammals of Wisconsin, and finally saw it published in 1951, the year he retired.


  • Aldrich, John W.  1977.  In memoriam: Hartley Harrad Thompson Jackson.  (1881-1976).  Journal of Mammalogy 58:691-694.
  • Anon.  1919.  American Society of Mammalogists: by-laws and rules adopted April 3, 1919.  Journal of Mammalogy 1:49-51.
  • Hoffmeister, Donald F. 1994a.  Hartley H. T. Jackson and the American Society of Mammalogists.  Journal of Mammalogy 75(1):i-ii.
  • Hoffmeister, Donald F. 1994b.  The importance of the United States Bureau of Biological Survey in the formation of the American Society of Mammalogists.  Journal of Mammalogy 75(3):i-ii.
  • H[ollister], N.  1919.  Editorial comment.  Journal of Mammalogy 1:47-49.


Mammals of Wisconsin

  • Fig. 1.  Hartley Jackson (right) with colleague Vernon Bailey, 1937.  Photo from the files of the Biological Survey Unit, United States Geological Survey Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.
  • Fig. 2.  Hartley Jackson, 1957; photo courtesy of The Washington Biologists’ Field 
  • Club.
  • Fig. 3.  Mammals of Wisconsin, first published in 1951.  From website of University of Wisconsin Press, http://uwpress.wisc.edu/books/0474.htm (accessed 13 November 2013).