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Tim O’Donnell Receives George Award

This past spring, Timothy P. O’Donnell was honored with the 2009-10 John L. George Student Conservation Award.  The award is given annually to an undergraduate student in the Wildlife and Fisheries major at Penn State who embodies the spirit and dedication of Dr. John L. George.

The George Award recognizes a student in good academic standing who has committed himself/herself to public service on behalf of the conservation of natural resources, particularly regarding the necessity of protecting and maintaining healthy habitats for wildlife and plants.

O’Donnell, a native of Feasterville in Bucks County, graduated in May 2010.  In addition to his major, he completed a minor in Marine Science.  He was president of the Marine Science Society where he coordinated and participated in service projects including clean-ups of Sayers Lake and Raystown Lake in Pennsylvania, and Ocean City beach in New Jersey.  He also participated in a service project at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center to improve one of the hiking trails.  As an aquarium volunteer, he fed organisms and cleaned the aquarium at the HUB on campus on a weekly basis.  As a member of Xi Sigma Pi honor society, he maintained and improved the woodcock trail at Shaver’s Creek.  He also served on the Rules and Regulations Committee for THON.

O’Donnell conducted undergraduate research.  Under the direction of Dr. Todd LaJeunesse in the College of Science, he studied algae from the coral communities off the coast of Taiwan. 

 “Coral reefs are among the most diverse communities on Earth,” said Tim, “and I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in research that will guide the management of coral reefs in the future.”

This fall O’Donnell will attend the Grice Marine Laboratory at the College of Charleston to pursue a master’s degree in marine biology.

Dr. John L. George was the driving force behind the establishment of the Wildlife and Fisheries Science program in the School of Forest Resources at Penn State.  In 1963, he was appointed as the first wildlife faculty member of the School, and worked tirelessly for the expansion of the program into a full academic major, a dream that became reality in 1981.