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J. B. Owen Memorial Award

J. B. Owen (1916 - 2001) was a longtime TOS member and known to thousands in East Tennessee for his columns about birds in Knoxville newspapers. J. B. Owen was an active member of KTOS from 1947 until his death and was awarded the TOS Distinguished Service Award in 1990.

In recognition of his accomplishments, the Knoxville Chapter established the J. B. Owen Memorial Fund. An annual J.B. Owen Award is made by the Fund to support a project that promotes the welfare and conservation of birds in Tennessee. An annual award is made by the Fund in the expected amount of $350 to $750 to promote the study of birds in Tennessee through research, conservation, and environmental education.

The Fund was established in 2002 and to date has given out over $7,000 in awards to support such diverse projects as research into the reproductive success and natal dispersal of American Kestrels; the study of the relationships between Cerulean Warblers and timber harvest; investigation of the potential impacts of hemlock decline on nesting Louisiana Waterthrushes in the Walker Valley; construction of an observation platform at Kyker Bottoms and TWRA’s Golden Eagle tracking project.  Awards have gone to the Foothills Land Conservancy to acquire wetlands and establish conservation easements and to Ijams Nature Center and the Clinch River Raptor Center for their educational and rehabilitative work with injured raptors. No matter how small or how extensive the project the J.B. Owen Award is open to anyone with a project that promotes the welfare and conservation of birds in Tennessee. 

Applicants are encouraged to submit:

  • Cover letter with short project description and applicant contact information.
  • Resume
  • Brief project proposal, of one to three pages, showing topic of the project, problem to be addressed, objectives, expected results and significance, deliverables (for example, written report, journal article, presentation), project location and project schedule.

Each year applications are due by June 1 and should be sent, preferably by e-mail, to cpgobert@hotmail.com or mailed to Carole Gobert, 1304 Barcelona Drive, Knoxville, TN 37923.  The J.B. Owen Committee of KTOS will evaluate applications and will typically announce the Award winner or winners the following September.