The Great Smoky Mountains Conservation Association announces the availability of the James T. Tanner Memorial Fellowship to support research in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Other than the requirement that the studies be directly related to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, there is no limitation to the subject matter. Results of any proposed research are intended to help the natural and human history of the Park or to improve the management of the Park’s natural and cultural resources. A special emphasis is placed on projects that demonstrate an applied research approach and produce lasting results for conservation of the Park’s resources.

The award consists of a maximum amount of $15,000 per year (an increase from the previous $10,000 maximum). Awards may be extended for a longer period if justifiable. Special grants also may be made for unusual needs. Recipients of the award is selected by the Executive Committee of the Association. The award is granted in January of each year. Past grant awards can be found online here.

Applicants should submit a detailed proposal and vita. Proposal guidelines: provide 4 copies of the proposal or as a pdf file via email to jclark1@utk.edu; maximum of 5 single-spaced pages, including the names and affiliations of the investigator(s), a statement of research needs, proposed methodology, expected outcomes, and an itemized budget, including other sources of support for the project. Proposals that do not adhere to these criteria may not be considered. Each app

Submit proposals to:

licant should name two people who are familiar with the applicant and the proposed research and who can help evaluate the proposed project.

Proposals should be received at the address below by 20 December for consideration of funding in the subsequent year.

Submit proposals to:

Joseph D. Clark, Chairman
Fellowship Committee, GSMCA
U.S. Geological Survey,
Southern Appalachian Field Branch

University of Tennessee
2512 Jacob Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996
Email: jclark1@utk.edu
Work: 865-974-4790
Attn: James T. Tanner Memorial Fellowship


James Taylor Tanner, a member of the AOU since 1933 and Elective Member since 1947, was born in Homer, New York, on 6 March 1914 and died in Knoxville, Tennessee, 21 January 1991. He attended Cornell University and did graduate study under Arthur A. Allen. His master’s thesis was on “Sound Recording a Natural History Museum.” His Ph.D. dissertation was “Life History and Ecology of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker,” based 21 months of field studies in the great Singer tract in northeastern Louisiana, the last refuge for this nearly extinct species. This was published as the National Audubon Society’s Research Report No. 1 in 1942 and subsequently, in book form by Dover. Many years later Tanner similarly visited almost inaccessible areas in northern Mexico, but failed to find the Imperial Woodpecker.

Tanner taught at East Tennessee State University from 1940, before serving in the Navy during World War II, reaching the rank of Lieutenant Commander. From 1947 until retirement in 1979, he was at the University of Tennessee.

He founded the ecology program there and directed more than 50 theses and dissertations in cooperation with seven university departments and the ecology section of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

From 1940, Jim was a valued member of the Tennessee Ornithological Society, serving as editor of the Migrant (1947-1955), as state president (1971-1973), and as Curator (from 1974). He was one of the first recipients of the Society’s Distinguished Service Award. He did extensive field work involving cooperative projects within the Knoxville Chapter, the state Atlas, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Tanner also was in charge of grants to graduate students in the Great Smoky Mountain Conservation Association. He published over 50 articles in refereed journals and Audubon Magazine. His Guide to the Study of Animal Populations was published by the University of Tennessee Press.

For more information about James Tanner and the Ivory-billed woodpecker, by the Knoxville History Project, go here.