The Legacy of George Melendez Wright (1904-1936):
George Melendez Wright´s contribution to elevating the role of science in the National Park Service (NPS) is unparalleled. As a park naturalist, Wright spearheaded the first wildlife survey ever conducted in the NPS system to determine original and current wildlife conditions, identify causes of adverse changes, and recommend actions that would restore park wildlife to its original status. The findings in this landmark survey helped formulate the first wildlife-management policies in the Service and instituted science as a vital ingredient in park management decisions. Wright also led collective efforts to identify habitat and landscapes of highest value for public protection and enjoyment. This fellowship recognizes and memorializes Wright´s commitment to science-based decision making and embraces his philosophy of protected area management that promotes ecosystem health and resilience.