Sigurd T. Olson was a pioneer loon watcher. His 1952 research paper with coauthor William H. Marshall, The Common Loon in Minnesota, continues to be cited as one of the premier baseline reports on the species. Sigurd was born in Ely, Minnesota, September 15, 1923. He was the eldest son of Sigurd F. Olson—internationally famous conservationist, writer, biologist, and the namesake for our Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute. For his contributions of scholarship to loon research and natural history, in 1986 the LoonWatch program named their new grant program the Sigurd T. Olson Loon Research Award. The award is for original research that leads to better conservation for loons and their habitats. He leaves an enduring legacy from his efforts in research and conservation to all who work with and enjoy loons.
Since its inception in 1986, the Sigurd T. Olson Common Loon Research Award (STO Award) has provided more than $40,000 in funds toward original research that has enhanced the understanding and management of loons and their habitats. LoonWatch is dedicated to the preservation of loons through education, monitoring, and research. People often ask, what can we do to help loons? The research component of our mission provides myriad answers to this question.