Welcome new Vice President and Student Representative

The Western Division is proud to announce Cleve Steward as the new Vice President and Jane Sullivan as the new Student Representative.  For their contact information please see the Officer’s page.

University of Montana Professor Involved in Tragedy

As many of you may know, Dr. Fred Allendorf has been through a tragedy.  On February 28, an avalanche was triggered in a gully on Mount Jumbo that ends at the home where Fred, Michel (his wife), and children have lived for over 20 years.  The avalanche demolished the home, and buried Fred, Michel, and an 8 year old boy from a neighboring house.  All three people were recovered from the snow and wreckage in the following hours, and rushed to the hospital.  The boy, Phoenix, was released from the hospital.  Fred remained in serious condition with 17 broken ribs, several broken vertebrae, and some internal bleeding, but prospects for his recovery at the time were good.  Sadly, Michel passed away two days after the tragic accident.

Fred has been a Regents Professor Emeritus in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana.  His research interests are evolution, population genetics, and conservation biology, and his primary current focus is on the application of genetics to the conservation of animals and plants.  He and co-authors have written a well-known conservation genetics book (Conservation and the Genetics of Populations) that is published by Wiley-Blackwell.

Fred is currently doing well and is living with his daughter in Mazomanie, Wisconsin where he continues to heal from his injuries.  His physical injuries are healing slowly, and it may take considerable time for him to recover from some nerve damage to his foot.  The good news is that he we will be moving back to Missoula and is making plans to teach a conservation genetics course in Costa Rica this month.  In addition, there has been a wave of support for Fred from people all over the world.  This support is critical because Fred lost literally everything in his life, and insurance won’t come close to helping him recover.  The “Fred Allendorf Fund” has been established for those wishing to make financial contributions to help Fred and his family recover.

Many members of the Western Division AFS have been impacted by this tragic event and have stepped forward to help where they can.  The Montana Chapter AFS has pledged $4,500 to contribute to the “Fred Allendorf Fund.”

To further support this effort, the Western Division AFS has created a fund to supplement the “Fred Allendorf Fund”.  We encourage our membership to open their hearts and contribute.  Please send a check of any size to Travis Neebling (Western Division AFS Secretary/Treasurer) at Wyoming Game and Fish Department, 3030 Energy Lane, Casper, WY 82604.  Alternatively, you may donate online through the PayPal donate button to the right (please type Fred Allendorf in the special comments box).