USGS Ecosystems Science Leaders Receive the 2023 Presidential Rank Awards
Ecosystems Mission Area Associate Director Anne Kinsinger and Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Senior Research Scientist David Mech were among four USGS recipients of this year’s Presidential Rank Awards.
Presidential Rank Awards are the most prestigious honor in the federal career civil service. They are given annually by the President to recognize and celebrate career Senior Executives (SES) and senior career employees — Senior Level (SL) and Scientific or Professional (ST) — for exceptional performance over an extended period of time. Recipients of this award are acknowledged as strong leaders, professionals, and scientists who achieve results and consistently demonstrate the strength, integrity, industry, and relentless commitment that signify excellence in public service.
Award winners are chosen through a rigorous selection process that focuses on leadership and results. They are nominated by their agency heads, evaluated by boards comprising private citizens, and approved by the President.
Anne Kinsinger (SES) has been tireless in developing a broad portfolio of innovative science advancing the conservation mission of the DOI and other partners throughout her 30 years of public service. As the Associate Director for the Ecosystems Mission Area, Anne delivers scientific tools and research that enable DOI’s mandate to manage over 70 percent of all federal public lands for the benefit and enjoyment of the American people. The science she provides has prevented the need for federal protection of species, assisted in the recovery of protected species, helped to detect and prevent the spread of invasive species throughout the nation, developed new user-friendly tools for land management, and generated critical science for climate adaptation. Recognizing the hazards of wildland fire and drought, which are occurring at scales never seen before in human history, she has created the collaborations and strategies needed to address these issues that threaten a large portion of the American public. Her exemplary leadership has resulted in expanded partnerships with DOI and its bureaus, other federal and state entities, Tribes, and non-governmental stakeholders.
David Mech (ST) with the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center has devoted his 60-plus-year career to the study and conservation of wolves and to public education about them. Wolves were listed as an endangered species in 1967 by the Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966 and legally protected in the 48 contiguous states by the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973. The wolf was traditionally reviled and officially persecuted until its ESA listing, when it then gained a strong positive public following. Thus, the animal has been controversial for decades, with both pro and anti-wolf constituents promoting questionable material about it, which then fostered the need for obtaining and publicizing as much objective scientific information as possible. Dave’s dedicated research and writings for the DOI have led the field since then not only through his personal endeavors but also through his training of biologists and public relations efforts.
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