The Nicole CHADWICk memorial scholarshiP

Honoring a mentor, a friend, a sister


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All of us have met people who dedicate themselves to making the world a better place. They work harder, put in longer hours, go that extra step and they find a way to encourage those around them to aim higher. Some of us have been fortunate to work with perhaps a single individual who reflects these qualities; giving us a blueprint for greatness. Few people have been able to call someone like that their boss. Fewer still have been able to call that boss a dear friend. I was given Nicole Chadwick. She was my boss, my colleague, my mentor, my friend and, I am fortunate enough to say, became very much like my sister.

Nicole Chadwick was more than a wildlife biologist. She was one of the preeminent Red-cockaded Woodpecker experts and was highly respected for her knowledge and her approaches to ecosystem management. Losing her tragically in May 2019, the conservation world lost more than a biologist. We lost a dynamic force and a clear voice for species that have no voice to advocate for themselves.

For two decades, she worked to recover populations of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers in South Carolina and the Southeast, as well as restoring portions of the imperiled longleaf pine ecosystem. While she was laser-focused on the recovery of the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, she took a holistic approach to managing the species and delighted in recovering other populations in the ecosystem; such as Northern Bobwhite Quail, Wild Turkey, Atlantic White Cedar, Sandhill Milkweed and Pitcher Plants.

The finest examples I could have ever been given of pouring your heart and soul into work that truly matters were provided on a daily basis while working with Nicole. I, along wth countless other naturalists and biologists, owe Nicole a debt that can never be repaid.

It is a debt; however, that must be repaid, nonetheless. But, how do you work to repay that debt and honor the legacy of one who gave so much to conservation and to making sure others are lifted to do the same work? The Nicole Chadwick Memorial Scholarship aims to do just that.

The South Carolina Wildlife Federation will award the Nicole Chadwick Memorial Scholarship to deserving female students pursuing degrees majoring in environmental studies and conservation in South Carolina. While losing Nicole left a void that will never be completely filled, this scholarship will provide a way to encourage and assist others like her to excel in environmental stewardship.

Please check out the following link and, if you are able, feel free to donate:

http://www.scwf.org/chadwick-fund

A phenomenal biologist in her native habitat. Nicole was a well-rounded and accomplished naturalist, not simply an endangered species biologist.

A phenomenal biologist in her native habitat. Nicole was a well-rounded and accomplished naturalist, not simply an endangered species biologist.

Banding Red-cockaded Woodpecker nestlings.

Banding Red-cockaded Woodpecker nestlings.

One of her legacies will always be making sure you enjoyed work that was often hard and took long hours to complete.

One of her legacies will always be making sure you enjoyed work that was often hard and took long hours to complete.