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Rhode Island Natural History Survey » Awards
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Awards &Conferences &News dgregg on 13 Mar 2012

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.

Awards &Conferences &Exec's Blog &News dgregg on 26 Jan 2011

Nominations Sought for 2011 Distinguished Naturalist Award

Nominations Sought for 2011 Rhode Island Distinguished Naturalist Award

Once a year the Directors of the Rhode Island Natural History Survey seek nominations for the Rhode Island Distinguished Naturalist Award, an honor presented to one or more people annually by the Rhode Island Natural History Survey.

Over the years this award has become an expression of the deep and abiding respect our community holds for individuals who excel in their studies of Rhode Island ecosystems and in their ability to communicate the knowledge and understanding thus gained to others.

Consider the individuals who fired your interest in the natural world, served as role models for your own accomplishments in natural history, or contributed to the knowledge and protection of the organisms, geology, and ecosystems that you now enjoy. Please take a moment to nominate for this award those whom you respect and would wish to recognize.

A Distinguished Naturalist is someone who has excelled in one or more of the following categories:

• Significantly advanced scientific knowledge of Rhode Island’s organisms, geology, and ecosystems as evidenced by published books, scientific papers, and monographs;

• Is recognized as an outstanding teacher and educator to students and the public on the form, functions, and ecological significance of Rhode Island’s plants, animals, geology and natural systems;

• Contributed considerably to enhancing public awareness of the importance of understanding the natural history of Rhode Island’s ecosystems.

Currently serving RINHS staff and directors are not eligible for the award.

To learn more about past Distinguished Naturalist Award recipients, visit the DNA page of the website.

Submit nominations describing how your candidate fits these criteria by email to programadmin@rinhs.org or by mail to P.O. Box 1858, Kingston, RI 02881.
Deadline is Tuesday, March 1, 2011.

Past nominations are kept and reconsidered every year, so if you’ve nominated someone in the past who did not win, you aren’t required to re-nominate them. You may wish to provide additional information if you feel it would help the committee.

Nominations will be reviewed by the RINHS Board of Directors and
the recipient(s) will be announced in April and recognized at the RINHS annual conference April 28.



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