News Archive

Biology Professor Receives Award

Thelma Dalmas honored with Virginia Society of Ornithology's highest honor

9/28/2006 9:45:16 AM


LYNCHBURG – Thelma Dalmas, an adjunct biology professor, recently received the Myriam P. Moore Award by the Virginia Society of Ornithology (VSO) at its annual meeting.

The award recognizes a VSO member for long and continuous service to the VSO, demonstrated devotion to the principles and objectives of the VSO, dedication to perform all jobs and assignments for the VSO at the highest level and for being an outstanding example for members to follow in contributing to the ornithological efforts of the VSO. The Myriam P. Moore Award is the VSO’s highest honor and has only been given on one other occasion, when it was instituted and awarded in 1983 to its namesake.

“It is especially fitting that Thelma received this award named for Myriam as Myriam introduced Thelma to birdwatching,” said Rexanne Bruno, VSO publicity chair. “Early in their marriage, Thelma and her husband, John, often spent their free time searching for wildflowers, not birds. In the spring of 1970 they happened to be at Licklog Springs looking for flowers. They met a woman there who was settling a turtle in the water near the springs. That woman was Myriam Moore. Myriam, who passed away earlier this year, was from Lynchburg. Through Myriam’s influence and friendship Thelma and John’s interests quickly grew to include birds.”

Dalmas joined the VSO in 1972. She was the VSO treasurer from 1979 to 1991, vice-president in 1996 and 1997, president in 1998 and 1999, and was recently elected to be the Membership Secretary. In addition, she is the VSO local chapter liaison, the VSO representative to the Important Bird Areas Technical Committee, has compiled and published the VSO Speakers Directory since 2001, and handles all incoming VSO mail and requests for publications.

Dalmas is also active in the Lynchburg Bird Club. She served as the president of the local bird club twice, the newsletter editor, the co-chair for the VSO Annual Meeting when it has been held in Lynchburg in 2004 and often leads local field trips. She and Moore started the bird club seed sale which is the club’s only fund raiser. She and her husband have organized and compiled the data for the local Christmas Bird Count for twenty years and have conducted a local Breeding Bird Survey for over thirty years. She also co-edited The Birds of Lynchburg, Virginia and Vicinity(2003 edition) and Virginia's Birdlife(1979 edition).

Dalmas taught in the Amherst County and Lynchburg City school systems before joining the biology faculty at Longwood University, where she taught until she retired. She continues to teach as a part-time adjunct biology faculty member at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College. She has also written the Naturally Speaking column in The News & Advance for the past 25 years.

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CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of College Relations