Joe C. Truett

Joe C. TruettJoe C. Truett, a TWS member for more than 35 years, passed away at his home in Glenwood, New Mexico, on February 27, 2011. He was 69 years old. During his distinguished career as a biologist and author, Truett engaged in diverse lines of research, from studying the impacts of industrial development on arctic wildlife habitats, to grasslands ecology, to environmental history.

Truett earned a B.S. in wildlife management from Texas A&M University and a Master’s and Ph.D. in wildlife biology from the University of Arizona. He then began working for Canadian ecological research firm LGL Limited in 1971, helping to establish the company’s U.S. affiliate, LGL Ecological Research Associates, Inc., in 1974. As vice president of research and senior ecologist, he directed large-scale projects across the U.S. West and Canada until 1991, when he went into consulting for himself.

In 1999 Truett joined the Turner Endangered Species Fund as a senior biologist. He was one of the first biologists to use translocation to establish new black-tailed prairie dog colonies, and helped reestablish populations of Aplomado falcon, swift fox, bolson tortoise, and black-footed ferret on western ranchlands. “His ability to work productively with both public and private institutions, while preserving a high level of integrity and autonomy as a scientist, was the key to his success,” says Truett’s son Sam, an environmental history professor at the University of New Mexico. Truett authored several books, including Land of Bears and Honey: A Natural History of East Texas. Co-authored with Daniel W. Lay, it was awarded Best Book of the Year in 1984 by the Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society. The Texas Chapter has set up a scholarship fund in Truett’s name. Donations can be made to TCTWS/Joe C. Truett Memorial and sent to the Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society at P.O. Box 1400, Sinton, Texas 78387.