“Dr. Temple’s scholarship and voluminous scientific contributions have helped reshape the entire field of wildlife ecology and management. In fact, it is difficult to identify one single contribution as being the most significant given the breadth and depth of his work.” – Buddy Huffaker
“Most academic researchers strive to excel in research and instruction and perhaps make modest contributions in outreach. Stan absolutely stands out as one who has excelled also in outreach. – William Karasov
Dr. Stanley A. Temple turned a childhood love of birds into a lifetime of research, education and conservation advocacy. Stan’s childhood mentors included Rachel Carson. As a teenager he worked at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. He developed a passion for raptors and began practicing falconry in junior high school. Stan attended Cornell University and earned his Ph.D. in 1972 while studying at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. World Wildlife Fund then hired him to launch programs for critically endangered birds on several islands in the Indian Ocean.
Dr. Temple made the move to Wisconsin in 1976, hired as a faculty member in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Wildlife Ecology. Aldo Leopold, one of WCHF’s initial Inductees, created and taught the nation’s first university wildlife management program at UW-Madison. His successor, one of Leopold’s students, was Joseph Hickey, also a WCHF Inductee. Third in line for this historic position was Stan Temple, who continued this amazing tradition for 32 more years.
Dr. Temple’s research program focused on important wildlife conservation issues that needed scientific attention. He and his students studied some of the rarest and most endangered species. He has also worked on the responses of wildlife to habitat fragmentation, human impacts on wildlife populations, and the ecology of avian predators. His pioneering work showing the devastating impact of cats on bird populations has earned him both acclaim and antipathy.
Over 10,000 students have taken one or more of Stan’s courses at UW-Madison. In addition, he advised 75 graduate students. He was a founder of the field of conservation biology and helped create an educational program focused on preserving biological diversity while meeting human needs.
Dr. Temple was able to build upon his research and education accomplishments, effectively influencing resource policy and management activities. He has influenced federal and state legislation, served many non-profit conservation organizations, and is a tireless advocate for birds and their habitats.
Now that he’s “retired,” Stan helps spread Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic as a Senior Fellow for The Aldo Leopold Foundation, researching, writing and speaking about Leopold. Comparing Leopold’s original botanical records to more recent surveys, Temple co-published new research about climate change impacts on plant phenology. He brought the history of the Passenger Pigeon alive to thousands of Wisconsinites with presentations and articles during the 100th anniversary of the pigeon’s extinction in 2014. Stan is currently retracing the steps of Leopold’s seminal late-1920s game survey of the upper Midwest. Stan Temple continues to teach and mentor students, both through the Leopold Foundation and as an Emeritus Professor at the University of Wisconsin.
As one of Wisconsin’s leading conservation biologists and educators of both future professionals and the public he has had significant impacts globally, nationally and within Wisconsin.