SSAR is pleased to announce receipt of a major donation from Dr. William S. Parker, member of the society for more than 50 years. The funds are split 80% for the Conant Grants-in-Herpetology program and 20% for the Dean Metter Memorial Award. Both of these programs provide grants to support graduate student research. The Conant Grants-in-Herpetology program supports student research in seven categories—conservation, field research, laboratory research, travel, international, herpetological education, and undergraduate research in herpetology. The Dean Metter Memorial Award supports field research anywhere in the world, but with preference for work in his home state of Missouri. Bill’s generous donation will help to further the careers of many future professional herpetologists. When asked why he chose to donate to these two particular funds, Bill said, “Receipt of similar grant monies greatly enhanced my graduate research experiences.”
Bill Parker received his BA degree from Wabash College in Indiana in 1964. He received his MS degree from Arizona State University in 1966, working with Martin J. (“Jack”) Fouquette and Wendell L. Minckley. From 1966 to 1967 he was a Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Kansas, working with Henry S. Fitch, and from 1967 to 1970 he served as an Artillery/Air Defense Officer in the U.S. Army. Bill returned to graduate school and earned his PhD from the University of Utah in 1974 under the direction of Harold F. Hirth. He served as Professor of Biology at Mississippi University for Women from 1974 until 2007 and is currently Emeritus Professor of Biology at that university. Bill’s research interests have focused broadly on reptile ecology. Throughout his long career he has published dozens of journal articles, symposium contributions, and book chapters on the ecology of lizards, snakes, and turtles. His subjects have included horned lizards, desert spiny lizards, leopard lizards, fence lizards, desert iguanas, banded geckos, box turtles, slider turtles, whipsnakes, rattlesnakes, and more. Many of his publications were co-authored with William S. Brown on snakes and Eric R. Pianka on lizards.
From January 1991 through March 2006, Bill served as Managing Editor of Journal of Herpetology. He saw the journal through 61 issues during those years, a record-long period spanning the terms of four consecutive editors. Bill retains a certain amount of pride in having helped so many authors, including those from over 50 different countries, complete their publication experience.
Bill has long been actively involved in volunteer work, including a local crisis phoneline, local animal shelters, local arts councils, and local photography contests. His current interests include photography, travel, classical music by women, reading, and philanthropy. SSAR thanks Bill for his long-time dedication to the society, which now includes his generous support of student research.