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Hammonds, Jokerst, Scott receive 2013 OWAA Madson Fellowships

MISSOULA, Mont. — Outdoor Writers Association of America is pleased to announce that Julie Hammonds, Gail Jokerst and Gillian Scott have been selected as co-recipients of the 2013 OWAA John Madson Fellowship. The fellowship is an annual grant program that funds continuing education opportunities for OWAA members. This year’s recipients will share the total award of more than $2400 for reimbursable expenses related to attending educational opportunities of their choice.

Julie HammondsJulie Hammonds is a writer/editor who specializes in communicating about wildlife. She has been the associate editor of Arizona’s wildlife magazine, Arizona Wildlife Views, since 2005, and has contributed more than 30 feature articles to the magazine. Her stories have garnered awards from OWAA, the Association for Conservation Information, and the annual writing competition hosted by Writer’s Digest magazine. She has also edited two books for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Julie has a degree in conservation from UC Berkeley, where she first expressed a desire to write about the natural world for a living. Now that her dream of writing and editing stories about wildlife and wild places has come true, it’s more than her job: It’s a craft fueled by passion for the natural world. She blogs about nature writing at Hammonds will be using her fellowship to attend the Institute for Grassland Ecology. Taught by expert faculty, the institute will cover the important ecological role the grasslands of southeast Arizona play within our region, how its unique plant and animal communities differ from those around it, conservation threats to grasslands, and management strategies that are used to safeguard this ecosystem.

Gail JokerstBased across the river from Glacier National Park, Gail Jokerst began freelance writing 21 years ago. Her work has received several Excellence in Craft Awards and has appeared in over 25 publications such as Michelin’s USA West, The Christian Science Monitor, and the Spokesman-Review. She has covered a diverse range of topics with the short list including conservation easements and grizzly bear DNA research, hiking, bicycling, birding, and organic farming. Aside from penning outdoor stories, Gail has taught writing classes at Flathead Valley Community College and Principia College. An avid baker, she spends almost as much time in her kitchen as she does working and playing outdoors. Last year she published a cookbook interspersed with essays and trail-friendly recipes, which you can read about at With this fellowship grant, Gail is taking an on-line creative nonfiction workshop through the University of California at Berkeley. Her goal is to explore storytelling strategies and learn to effectively apply them to outdoor nonfiction prose pieces be they in the form of memoirs, essays, features, reviews, or interviews. She is using her funding for an online class in creative non-fiction writing.

Gillian ScottA newspaper page designer and editor by day, Gillian Scott has been regularly writing and blogging about the outdoors since 2009. A native New Yorker, she is an Adirondack 46er, a longtime member of the Adirondack Mountain Club (currently serving on the board of the Schenectady chapter), and the president of the Friends of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail. Her work has appeared in the Albany Times Union, Explore, Adirondack Sports and Fitness, Adirondack Explorer and Backpacker. She enjoys hiking, paddling, backpacking and cross-country skiing and is learning to climb. She will be attending the Wildbranch Writing Workshop in Vermont.

OWAA’s Madson Fellowship is funded through the John Madson Fellowship Fund, an endowment that thrives primarily through OWAA member contributions and fundraising efforts. Its goal is to enhance professional communication skills for OWAA members. The fellowship program is designed to honor the legacy of John Madson, one of OWAA’s most talented, respected and honored legends. Applications are evaluated by a committee of past OWAA Jade of Chiefs conservation award winners.

For more information on the Madson Fellowship, visit

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