Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) has announced the creation of an endowed chair in wetland and waterfowl conservation position at the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

As of July 1, Mitch Weegman, an avian ecologist, will take on a teaching position and a research program that will address pressing environmental issues in the Department of Biology.

“Saskatchewan, and more broadly the Canadian prairies and parklands, are legendary for wetlands and waterfowl,” says Weegman. “Even as a kid, I read about and dreamed of visiting these landscapes. Launching the chair is the honour of my lifetime and I’m looking forward to getting started.”

The new position is a the result of a partnership between DUC and USask and is a faculty position that is established in perpetuity, through the support of donors, to focus on targeted areas of research.

“Establishing the endowed chair alongside our longtime partners at USask is one of the most exciting achievements in our organization’s 83-year history,” says Karla Guyn, CEO for DUC. “We’re thrilled to have someone of Mitch’s talent leading, challenging and inspiring the next generation of conservation scientists who will help ensure our natural environment is safeguarded now and into the future.”

Weegman was recruited from the University of Missouri, where he served as assistant professor of avian ecology. He holds a PhD in biological sciences from the University of Exeter. Part of his new role at USask will be to train future scientists, conservationists, and wildlife managers studying at USask.

DUC and USask launched a $5 million fundraising initiative to support the new position’s research and to create student awards.

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