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Rhode Island Natural History Survey » 2012 RI Distinguished Naturalist Award to Peter Lord
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Awards &Conferences &News dgregg on 13 Mar 2012 02:38 pm

2012 RI Distinguished Naturalist Award to Peter Lord

RINHS is pleased to announce that the Board of Directors has selected Peter Lord as recipient of the 2012 Rhode Island Distinguished Naturalist Award.

The Rhode Island Natural History Survey will award its 2012 Rhode Island Distinguished Naturalist Award to Providence Journal environmental reporter Peter Lord, who also serves as the journalism co-director of the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting at the University of Rhode Island. The award presentation will be part of the Natural History Survey’s 16th annual Ecology of Rhode Island conference, Trends in Human – Wildlife Interaction, on Thursday, March 29 at the Quonset O Club in North Kingstown.
The Rhode Island Distinguished Naturalist Award is presented annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to the advancement of the scientific knowledge of Rhode Island’s environment and organisms, is recognized as an outstanding teacher and educator about the natural world, and/or has significantly enhanced public awareness of the importance of understanding Rhode Island’s ecosystems. Previous recipients include Dave Emerson, Frank Golet, Grace Klein-MacPhee, Douglas Kraus, Prentice Stout, Irene Stuckey, Hugh Willoughby, Roger Goos, Richard Enser, Lisa Lofland Gould, Douglass H. Morse, and Al Hawkes, with posthumous awards going to Elizabeth Dickens, Harold Gibbs, Mark Gould, Harry Hathaway, C. Robert Shoop, Les Sirkin, Elmer Palmatier, William Drury.

A resident of South Kingstown, Lord will be recognized for his significant contributions to public education and outreach through his reporting on environmental issues and by preparing the next generation of environmental journalists through his teaching and leadership at the Metcalf Institute.

Lord has been a Providence Journal reporter since 1979 and the paper’s award-winning environmental reporter since 1981, when he began covering such topics as water pollution, hazardous waste, suburban sprawl and declining biodiversity. He has reported on every major environmental story in Rhode Island in recent decades, and he regularly reports on a wide range of natural history topics. With his experience and connections, Lord was a perfectly authoritative choice to write the Rhode Island chapter in Charles H.W. Foster’s book, “Twentieth-Century New England Land Conservation: A Heritage of Civic Engagement,” which was published in 2009.

Lord has traveled to northern Alaska to write about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, to the Shetland Islands to cover an oil spill, and to Belize, Guatemala and Costa Rica to write about development pressures on forests. In 2002 the U.S. State Department invited Lord to take part in a two-week tour of Brazil, lecturing to journalists and journalism students about environmental journalism.

“Peter’s contributions to improving public understanding of environmental issues in Rhode Island cannot be overstated,” said Sunshine Menezes, executive director of Metcalf Institute. “He is very deserving of this recognition.”

The award will be presented during the opening of the Natural History Survey’s annual conference, which this year focuses on trends in human-wildlife interactions, a topic that Lord has reported on extensively. Pre-registration for the conference is required. The fee, which includes lunch, is $35 for RINHS members, $55 for non-members, $20 for students and seniors. To register, call the RINHS office (401) 874-5800 or visit www.rinhs.org/conference. Note – the deadline for registration is Friday, March 23.

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