Greenville-based wildlife biologist receives top MDIFW honor
AUGUSTA –- Scott McClellan, a wildlife biologist in the Greenville office, was honored with one of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (MDIFW) highest honors, the Kenneth Anderson Award, given annually to the member of the department who has made exemplary contributions towards the enhancement of the state’s inland fisheries and wildlife. McClellan was one of several employees honored for their outstanding service to the department and state.
“Scott’s commitment to the department and state, his multiple talents, and his work ethic make him an outstanding choice for this award,” said MDIFW Commissioner Judy Camuso. “Scott’s work with a variety of species and programs has made him an invaluable member of this agency.”
McClellan is active in the department’s moose and lynx programs, including moose capturing and collaring, and the moose aerial surveys; he works tirelessly on the lynx project, including collaring lynx and led the field crew of the department’s lynx program for six years. He has worked on several species atlas projects, adding valuable species information to the bird atlas, bumblebee atlas and the amphibian and reptile survey for some of the more remote areas in Maine. He also has been invaluable to the black duck banding and turkey radio telemetry studies.
Mike Coulombe of the Sidney Regional Office was honored for his work as the administrative assistant. Coulombe was termed a consummate professional for his work with the public on a diverse array of subjects, and how he is always informative and respectful with everyone. He also was commended for his unmatched work ethic that goes well with his sense of humor, and how he tackles his duties with a desire to do the best job possible.
Courtney Moulton of the Augusta headquarters was commended for her work as the media and graphics supervisor in the Information and Education division. Moulton joined the department almost a year ago in December, and during that time she has done a masterful job integrating herself into the department, as she took on an enormous workload with an extremely positive attitude. Among the many projects she has managed and completed include redesigning the fishing web pages, creating a warden hiring web page, a K9 web page and others. Her fresh take and innovation are a welcome addition to the department.
Matt Lubejko of the Augusta headquarters was honored by the fisheries division for his outstanding work, strong positive attitude, work ethic, technical skills, and his commitment to the department. Lubejko started in 2017, and since that time has provided significant contributions to a variety of fisheries projects. He was integral in the completion of the department’s online angling regulation tool, the fisheries strategic planning process including leading several public working groups, and serving as chair of the alewife interaction committee. Lubejko was also commended for being always ready to assist others on projects, as well his collaborative work ethic.
The Fisheries and Hatcheries Division presented a teamwork award to Merry Gallagher of the Bangor research office and Josh Royte of the Nature Conservancy. The pair worked on a collaborative project to create a statewide GIS dataset of prioritizing wild trout and salmon stream habitats, focusing on Maine’s wild brook trout. Gallagher coordinated with all regional fisheries staff across the state and the pair visited regional offices as well as conducted Zoom meetings to finalize this important wild trout habitat database that includes decades of stream data collection and professional knowledge. The completed project will be a vital tool in guiding management and conservation Maine’s native trout and salmon.
David Russell of the fish health lab in Augusta was honored as the hatcheries section employee of the year for his important work in protecting the state’s fisheries resources. Russell is the department’s fish pathologist, and his role is to both maintain the health of the fish the department stocks, as well as monitor the health of Maine’s wild fisheries. He has worked hard authoring fish health perspectives to guide and support department policy, increased biosecurity at our state hatcheries, improved screening for pathogens, screens fish importation requests to eliminated outside threats and assists other agencies. Russell was cited for being a team player, who is always willing to contribute their time and expertise.
Sarah Spencer of the Bangor office was named the wildlife division’s employee of the year for her work on a variety of statewide projects on a wide range of species that included New England cottontails, bats, waterfowl, peregrine falcons and lynx. Spencer possesses an array of knowledge on a wide variety of wildlife, habitats and forestry that serves her well as a wildlife biologist that works as a liaison between MDIFW and the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. She plays an important role in the conservation of white-tailed deer wintering habitat in northern, eastern, and western Maine. Spencer was noted for motivation, and willingness to accept challenges and complete tasks. She is also very involved in public meetings and sporting shows, and many staff have noted what a pleasure it is to work with her.
The entire hatcheries section received a teamwork award for their outstanding work and commitment to completing the 2020 spring stocking schedule during the COVID-19 pandemic. The hatcheries division, with many staff members working remotely and alone, completed stocking over half a million fish on an accelerated, earlier than normal schedule. Staff voluntarily worked overtime while working under newly implemented safe working practices while expediting the stocking process. The entire division worked together to complete this extensive effort, and make the spring stocking program a success.
“It is a pleasure to honor these outstanding members of our department, and recognize them for their outstanding work in protecting and enhancing Maine’s fish and wildlife,” said Camuso. “The department and the state are very fortunate to have such dedicated employees.”