Consultant, Speaker, Writer

Dr. Jack Ward Thomas is a consultant, speaker and writer in the arena of conservation. His career as a wildlife biologist began in 1957 with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, where he was involved in both management and research activities. He joined the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service in 1966 and ended his career as a research scientist in 1993 as Chief of the Forest Service. During his 27-year career as a research scientist with the Forest Service, he received 18 Outstanding Performance Awards and became one of three Forest Service scientists ever to attain the most senior rank afforded to research scientists. In 1993, he was appointed Chief of the Forest Service and was designated Chief Emeritus of the Forest Service in 1997. He also joined the faculty of the University of Montana in 1997 as the Boone and Crockett Professor of Wildlife Conservation and was named Professor Emeritus after his retirement in 2006. He has received a number of awards, including USDA awards for Distinguished and Superior Service; 21 Forest Service Superior Performance Awards; the Federal Statesman Award; the Aldo Leopold Award of the Wildlife Society; the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Society for Conservation Biology; Outstanding Professional of the Year Award from the National Wildlife Federation; and the Distinguished Service Award from Oregon State University. On the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the U.S. Forest Service, he was recognized as having made the most significant contributions to Forest Service research in the agency’s first century. Dr. Thomas is a member of the Wildlife Society (Texas Chapter President, Regional Representative, National Council Member, National President, Honorary Member); the Society of American Foresters (Elected Fellow); the American Ornithological Society (Elected Fellow); the Society for Range Management; the American Society of Mammalogists; the Wilson Ornithological Society; and the American Fisheries Society. He has also served on the Advisory Boards of the General Accounting Office, the National Academy of Sciences (Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources), the Forest Trust of Canada, Bear Trust International, Global Forest Science and the National Forest Museum. Dr. Thomas holds a B.S. in Wildlife Management from Texas A&M University, a M.S. in Wildlife Ecology from West Virginia University and a Ph.D. in Forestry from the University of Massachusetts. Each of those institutions have designated him a Distinguished Alumnus. Thomas has been awarded Honorary Doctorates by Lakehead University in Canada and Lewis and Clark College.