The Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) named Felicia Sanders the 2020 Wildlife Biologist of the Year at their 74th annual meeting, held virtually Oct. 26-28. Sanders is the Coastal Bird Conservation Project Supervisor for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), where she has worked since 2001.
“Sanders has led the state's coastal bird management and built an internationally recognized program,” SEAFWA President Paul Johansen said. “Throughout her career, she has been a dedicated champion for coastal birds, and her work has dramatically improved the understanding and conservation of these species.”
Sanders' many conservation accomplishments include designation of five coastal island seabird sanctuaries and the designation of the Cape Romain - Santee Delta Region as a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network Site of International Importance. Dedicated to helping the next generation of conservationists excel, she has also mentored numerous wildlife professionals and served on 10 graduate committees.
“Felicia is a model wildlife biologist, a recognized expert in her field, and an effective advocate for wildlife conservation,” said SCDNR Director Robert Boyles. "If we could bottle her enthusiasm and dedication for the resource, South Carolina would have an army of folks committed to being stewards for coastal birds."
Sanders graduated from Duke University with a bachelor's degree and from Clemson University with a master's degree in wildlife and fisheries biology.
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.