Nicole Chadwick Memorial Scholarship Fund

As a way to honor the impact that Nicole Chadwick had on wildlife conservation in South Carolina, this fund was created to provide scholarships to women studying an environmental field at a South Carolina college or university. Priority will be given to high-achieving and/or first-generation students.


Nicole Chadwick (3/4/1974-5/22/2019) worked tirelessly in managing Red-cockaded Woodpecker (RCW) populations and Longleaf Pine ecosystems in South Carolina. She earned degrees from both Auburn University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), with a focus on wildlife biology and endangered species management. Beginning her career at SCDNR in 2000, Nicole was RCW Project Leader, where she monitored populations of the endangered species on public lands throughout the state and even wrote a Red-cockaded Management Plan for Sandhills State Forest. She also took over the Safe Harbor Program, a new idea at the time in SC, and grew it exponentially, enrolling numerous private landowners and countless acres of longleaf habitat in the cost-sharing conservation program.

She would go on to become the lead Wildlife Biologist for Fort Jackson’s Endangered Species Management Program in 2007. Growing the population of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers on the installation was her primary task; but, as was always the case with Nicole, she started several other incredible conservation programs. She began Fort Jackson’s MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) banding station, created a nightjar survey route on the installation, continued and expanded surveys for rare and endangered plants, as well as becoming an integral part of the fort’s prescribed fire team. Along the way, Nicole became one of the most respected biologists in the southeastern United States, revered and respected for her expertise and work ethic. She was routinely contacted by other biologists and was frequently consulted on projects throughout the longleaf ecosystem.

She was a loving mother to three sons, taking every opportunity to get them outdoors and teach them the value of the resources. Nicole took her sons on hikes at Congaree National Park and fishing along the state’s rivers and streams, instilling in them an early appreciation for conservation. She loved the piney woods of SC and she was a great ambassador for the natural resources of the Palmetto State.

With all she had going on personally and professionally, Nicole always made time to assist with projects outside of her primary work areas, volunteering her time and talents to nearly every translocation of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers in South Carolina. From the ACE Basin RCW reintroduction program to capturing birds for translocation to the Great Dismal Swamp, Nicole could be counted on to be there to make the efforts go smoothly. That same willingness to give also extended to taking time to teach and encourage colleagues and those who wished to work in wildlife, forestry and ecology.

In just 45 years of living and 20 years of working, she left a lasting legacy of unflagging commitment to the betterment of natural resources in South Carolina and the world around us.

Nicole teaching a Midlands Master Naturalist class about Red-cockaded woodpeckers, and demonstrating the banding procedures.

Nicole teaching a Midlands Master Naturalist class about Red-cockaded woodpeckers, and demonstrating the banding procedures.