Kevin Honness Memorial Scholarship


The Great Plains Natural Science Society has established a student research award in honor of Kevin Honness, whose remarkable outlook on life and passion for wildlife was an aspiration to everyone who knew him. Kevin Honness worked professionally for 20 years in federal and non-governmental roles in Africa and throughout the United States on bighorn sheep, wolves, and as a fisheries biologist. From 1998 to 2008, Kevin worked for the Turner Endangered Species Fund as a field biologist focused on restoring a self-sustaining population of swift fox to the mixed-grass prairie of South Dakota. His most recent endeavor was working toward a Ph.D. in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at South Dakota State University. Kevin was devoted to conservation of imperiled wildlife species and his tireless contribution to the swift fox recovery was his life’s work.

The Honness Scholarship will be awarded each year (30 April) to a student member of the Great Plains Natural Science Society. Two awards, one for graduate students and one for undergraduate students ($250 each), are available each academic year; preference will be given to students conducting research in the Great Plains. Applications will be accepted each year from 1 November until 31 March.

Students interested in applying should fill out the GPNSS Honness Scholarship Application Form and return it along with an unofficial copy of transcripts, CV, and one letter of recommendation by 31 March to:

Dr. Shubham Datta, Secretary-Treasurer
The Prairie Naturalist
Dakota College at Bottineau
13 Highview Estates Road
Bottineau, ND 58318
Email: theprairienaturalist at


Graduate Student Award

2016  – Drew Davis. Research:

2015 – Lily Sweikert. Research: Human dimensions of habitat loss in the Plains and Prairie Pothole ecoregion.

2014 – Shubham Datta. Research: Breeding ecology of ferruginous hawks and golden eagles in north-central and western South Dakota.

2013 – Cari-Ann Hayer. Research: Fish assemblage structure, trophic ecology, and potential effects of invading Asian carps in Missouri River tributaries, South Dakota.

Undergraduate Student Award

2016 – Ryan DuFour. Research:

2015 – Austin Wieseler. Research: Associating genetic diversity and Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae prevalence in bighorn sheep.