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Animal Behavior Society
Animal Behavior Society

Working towards a better understanding of animal behavior

Grants & Awards



Penny Bernstein Distinguished Teaching Award



History of the Award: The Distinguished Teaching Award is one of the annual Animal Behavior Society career awards that recognize contributions to the field of animal behavior. Since the first recipient, Jane Brockman (1995), distinguished recipients have included among others, Gail Michener (2000), John Alcock (2007), Bill Eberhard (2009), Dan Blumstein (2010), Sylvia Halkin/Stan Braude (2011), David Miller (2012) and Alexandra Basolo (2013). In 2013, the Society changed the name of the award to the Penny Bernstein Distinguished Teaching Award, in recognition of the contributions made to animal behavior education by the late Penny Bernstein.

Award Criteria: Nominees must be ABS members. Members and members-elect of the Executive Committee are not eligible for nomination until 18 months after completion of their service on the Executive Committee. They must have a sustained record of excellent teaching in the classroom or informal education setting (e.g., zoos, aquaria, museums, 4-H programs, research labs, field stations, environmental centers). They should have a reputation among peers and students for excellence in educating people about animal behavior.

Please consider nominating a colleague whose educational accomplishments you admire!

It is easy to know about our colleagues’ research by reading publications; it is much more difficult to know about their teaching excellence. Please take this opportunity to recognize colleagues who have demonstrated a sustained record of highly effective and innovative teaching.

Persons wishing to make a nomination should complete the nomination form found in the link above, and submit it, along with a one-page letter providing evidence to support the nomination, and include names of at least two additional peer reviewers and two current or former students or program participants. Names of Department chairs, directors, supervisors, or colleagues may be helpful if you are not at the same institution as the nominee. Please note that self-nomination is permitted. The Education Committee will solicit supporting materials from the nominee and the peer and student reviewers suggested by the nominator, and will review all materials received to select the awardee.

The recipient of this award receives recognition, a plaque from the Society, and the opportunity to organize an education-related event at an annual meeting. Nominating letters should be submitted no later than November 30, 2019, to: Darren Incorvaia (incorva1@msu.edu) .

The Education Committee will solicit supporting materials from the nominee and the will contact peer and student reviewers suggested by the nominee.

The recipient of this award receives recognition, a plaque from the Society, and the opportunity to propose and organize an education-related event at an annual meeting.


Previous Recipients

Distinguished Teaching Award Year Awarded
H. Jane Brockman 1995
Rudolf Jander 1996
James L. Gould 1997
Douglas K.Candland 1999
Gail R. Michener 2000
Katherine Wynne-Edwards 2001
Robert W. Matthews 2002
George H. Waring 2005
Michael Noonan 2006
John Alcock 2007
William G. Eberhard 2009
Daniel Blumstein 2010
Sylvia Halkin 2011
Stan Braude 2011
David Miller 2012
Alexandra Basolo 2014
Linda S. Rayor 2015
Peggy Hill 2016
Jennifer E. Smith 2017
Susan Riechert 2018