2018 Morafka Award Announcement

Morafka Award Details

Dr. David J. MorafkaIn honor and memory of Dr. David J. Morafka, distinguished herpetologist and authority on North American gopher tortoises, the Desert Tortoise Council, with the aid of several donors, has established a monetary award to help support research that contributes to the understanding, management and conservation of tortoises of the genus Gopherus in the southwestern United States and Mexico: G. agassizii, G. morafkai, G. evgoodei, G. berlandieri, and G. flavomarginatus.

Award Amount

$2,000 to be awarded at the Desert Tortoise Council’s Annual Symposium, depending on the availability of funding and an appropriate recipient.


Applicants must be associated with a recognized institution (e.g., university, museum, government agency, non-governmental organization) and may be graduate students, post-doctoral students, or other researchers.  They must agree to present a report on the results of the research in which award funds were used at a future symposium of the Desert Tortoise Council.

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated on the basis of the potential of the research to contribute to the biological knowledge of one or more of the above gopher tortoise species, and to their management and conservation. Important considerations are the significance and originality of the research problem, design of sampling and analysis, preliminary data supporting the feasibility of the research, and the likelihood of successful completion and publication.