NEPARC Conservation Awards

2021 Award Winner

Dr. Pauley’s career was built on a solid foundation of herpetofaunal research and teaching, wildlife management agency partnerships, student mentorship, and contributions to communities through conservation outreach events.

He is regarded as a leading expert on herpetofauna in WV and the Appalachian region; throughout his career at Marshall University, he has produced more than 250 publications focused on herpetofaunal biology and conservation and has mentored more than 90 graduate students. His life’s work with the Cheat Mountain Salamander provided nearly all information used to support federal listing and the species recovery plan.  Dr. Pauley continues to foster appreciation for herpetofauna through public talks and presentations to varied groups.

In addition to his academic career, Dr. Pauley worked closely with federal and state management agencies and private landowners, consistently providing his time and expertise to ensure herpetofaunal populations in Appalachia remain viable across the landscape. He provided critical assistance with species recovery plans, management plans, and monitoring protocols and worked closely with the WVDNR, USFWS, NPS, and USFS building conservation partnerships that have spanned nearly 50 years. Dr. Pauley’s knowledge and expertise is matched only by his kindness and humble demeanor, allowing him to work closely with universities, private landowners, and the public as a respected and trusted partner that encourages groups to collaborate on common conservation goals. He has established long-running collaborative relationships with other universities which have continued even after his retirement. Dr. Pauley continues work on the WV Herp Atlas, and is writing second editions of his books The Amphibians and Reptiles of West Virginia, and A Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles in West Virginia State Parks.  Dr. Pauley also continues to foster appreciation for herpetofauna through public talks and presentations to varied groups.

Dr. Pauley’s ability to connect with the public and management agencies has had a lasting impact on herpetofaunal conservation in the region, both through practical, on-the-ground work and through an increased understanding of species conservation needs. His partnerships have resulted in better protection for herpetofauna and restoration and enhancement of habitats on public and private lands. He has impacted countless children and adults with his amphibian and reptile outreach programs. His legacy is exemplified by the impact he has on his students and colleagues, passing the torch of herpetofaunal conservation to future generations. His outreach efforts have enhanced awareness about the plight of rare and threatened species and the amazing world of amphibians and reptiles. Many who might otherwise have been uninterested or even afraid now view these species in a whole new light. Such understanding is critical to ensure that herpetofaunal conservation has enthusiastic support well into the future.

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Northeast Partners in Amphibian & Reptile Conservation is fiscally sponsored by the Amphibian & Reptile Conservancy a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit.