The Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) named Todd Ewing the 2019 Fisheries Biologist of the Year at their annual meeting in Hilton Head, South Carolina this week. Ewing is Assistant Chief of the Inland Fisheries Division with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
“Todd’s work as a fisheries biologist has made him a leader in the conservation and management of many rare and imperiled aquatic nongame species,” SEAFWA President Chuck Sykes said. “His efforts are leading to positive outcomes in waterways not only in North Carolina, but throughout the Southeast.”
Ewing began his career with the Commission in 1996 as an Education Specialist. In 2001, he became director of the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education, which offers a variety of outdoors programs to the public and educators. From 2003 to 2008, Ewing served as Hydropower Coordinator and Special Projects Biologist for the Commission.
Since 2008, Ewing has led the Commission's Aquatic Wildlife Diversity Program. In that role, he has made significant contributions to the Center for Biological Diversity's 2010 mega-petition, which was filed to protect more than 400 freshwater species in the southeastern U.S. He also helped update the North Carolina Protected Animal List, reintroduced rare fish and mussels throughout the state, and played an integral role in the development of a work plan for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to address a lengthy list of petitioned species. With Ewing’s input, a realistic plan was developed to tackle many of the petitioned species by 2023.
“Todd has distinguished himself in the area of aquatic species conservation and has repeatedly shown an ability to build diverse collaborations to accomplish tasks,” said Gordon Myers, Executive Director of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. “He is very deserving of this award.”
Ewing graduated from the University of North Carolina Charlotte with a bachelor’s degree in biology and earned a Master of Science in Biology from Appalachian State University. He is an active member of several conservation organizations including the American Fisheries Society, the Southeast Aquatic Research Partnership and SEAFWA. In addition to his work in fisheries, Ewing has volunteered with the Boy Scouts of America since 2005.
The Association’s Biologist of the Year Awards are presented to two career biologists of state wildlife agencies, one each in the categories of wildlife and fisheries, who in the opinion of the SEAFWA Awards Committee have made outstanding contributions toward wildlife/fisheries conservation.
The Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) is an organization whose members are the state agencies with primary responsibility for management and protection of the fish and wildlife resources in 15 states, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands. Member states are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.