Conservation Action Prize
Call for Nominations
Previous Recipients of the Conservation Action Prize
The Harris Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis presents the
Conservation Action Prize to recognize individuals who are particularly
active in the frontline of biological conservation. The award honors individuals intimately involved and successful
in seeking solutions to conservation problems, developing conservation
strategies, implementing programs that conserve natural resources, habitats
and biodiversity, educating the public on issues pertaining to biological
conservation, or providing leadership through example. These individuals
are rarely recognized publicly for their dedication; yet, their work underpins
the day-to-day successes in the conservation of biodiversity and habitats.
The prize recognizes conservationists active in Missouri and Illinois
as well as those active nationally or internationally.
- the prize honors the “unsung heroes”
of conservation; those physically conducting work in the field that
otherwise would go unrecognized by many of their peers or the general
- individuals should have a minimum of five
years experience working in conservation;
- individuals may be conservation professionals,
volunteers, or academics with significant local or national conservation
- the prize is open to individuals working
in the bi-state region (Missouri and Illinois) as well as those based
in tropical countries;
- nominations should be sent to the address
below and should include a letter that outlines why the nominee deserves
the prize, a list of their accomplishments, curriculum vitae and up
to three supporting letters.
Previous Recipients of the Conservation Action
Felipe Cruz, Director of Technical Assistance for the Charles Darwin Foundation, Galapagos Islands was born on Floreana Island, one of the five inhabited islands in the Galapagos. His interest in the natural history of the Islands began at an early age and he attended the local elementary school until he was twelve when he traveled, for the first time, to mainland Ecuador to continue his education.
Felipe began work as a field assistant with the Charles Darwin Research Station in the early 1980s. His first project on the dark-rumped petrel saved this bird from extinction and has become one of the most successful conservation projects in the Galapagos. He then worked with the Galapagos National Park Service as Head of Protection and later as its Deputy Director.
In 1997, Felipe returned to work for the Charles Darwin Research Station, this time with a focus on the Marine Reserve. His primary role was in conflict resolution aimed at the production and approval of the Special Law for Galapagos. A key component of this law was the extension of the Marine Reserve to forty nautical miles.
He was appointed Technical Director of the Isabela Project which had as its goal, the ecological restoration of the island. Felipe devoted his time to building and supervising the team of hunters working on the eradication of goats from Pinta Island; pigs, donkeys and goats from Santiago Island; and goats and donkeys from Isabela Island. The Isabela Project was ended in June 2006, achieving far more than was planned and is now regarded as a shining example of practical conservation.
In 2006, Felipe started his current position as Director of Technical Assistance for the Charles Darwin Foundation. In this role, he is responsible for the Foundations department that focuses on capacity building within the local community. Felipe is also a member of the General Assembly for the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galpagos Islands.
Whitney R. Harris, Dr. Patricia Parker, Felipe Cruz, Anna Harris and Dr. Graham Watkins at the Whitney and Anna Harris Conservation Forum held at the Saint Louis Zoo on Wednesday, November 5, 2008 following the presentation of the Conservation Action Prize to Felipe Cruz.
"Wolf" Guindon has devoted himself to the
conservation of the cloud forests of Monteverde, Costa Rica. His
love for this area began with his arrival in Costa Rica in 1951 as
one of the original Quakers seeking to establish a new life in this
peace-loving country. He is a founding member of the Monteverde
Conservation League and has been intimately involved in many
conservation efforts including working with local farmers to replant
trees and create small forests on their farms (bosques en fincas).
Wolf worked with George Powell to establish the Monteverde Cloud
Forest Reserve and in 1972, transferred the administration of the
Reserve to the Tropical Science Center that Wolf joined and later
became the coordinator, a position he held from 1974-1984. His
rapport with local farmers and landowners facilitated land purchases
and the expansion of the reserve. He developed trails and protected
the forest from poachers and squatters. Wolf was a founding member
of the Monteverde Conservation League in 1986 and participated in
negotiations for the land purchases to create the largest private
reserve in Costa Rica: El Bosque Eterno de los Nios that
surrounds the Cloud Forest Reserve. In 1998, he received awards
presented by Costa Rica's President Miguel Angel Rodriguez from the
Ministerio del Ambiente y Energia and Sistema Nacional de Areas de
Conservacion for "distinguished work in support of and
consolidation of the system of National Areas of Conservation."
Wolfs knowledge of the natural history of the area is legendary
and this has greatly aided conservation efforts, research and
education programs. His capacity to work with people, to defuse
confrontations and resolve disputes with regard to human dignity and
without violence has greatly facilitated the conservation of
Monteverde forests. He has championed collaboration among
conservation organizations and has been successful in getting people
to work towards the common goal of safeguarding biodiversity within
the reserves he loves.
Mark Jenkins, Senior Warden, Meru National Park
and Bisanadi and Mwingi National Reserves in Kenya obtained his Diploma in
Agriculture from the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester, United Kingdom
in 1986. He joined the Kenya Wildlife Service in 1989 and, for three
years, trained and led a quick response, anti-poaching team operating mainly
throughout northeast Kenya and Tsavo National Park. He learned techniques
in elephant capture in the Kruger National Park and worked with the Natal
Parks Board in South Africa as a conservation team member involved in the
safe capture, care and relocation of antelope and rhino. From 1995-1997
he worked in the Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda providing advice on
rehabilitation of the park decimated by years of warfare. Prior to accepting
his current position, Mark worked in the Niassa Game Reserve in Northern
Mozambique rebuilding basic infrastructure and training a ranger force. Meru
National Park is recognized nationally as one of the most effectively managed
National Parks in Kenya.
Director, Conservation Science, The Nature Conservancy (Missouri Chapter)
has been involved with conservation planning, natural area assessment, management,
restoration, and research for more than twenty-five years, with particular
emphasis on vegetation, and fire ecology. Recent work has concentrated
on vegetation and fire ecology of mid-western prairies and woodlands, developing
assessment and ecological monitoring protocols for terrestrial vegetation,
and eco-regional conservation planning. In addition to numerous articles
and reports, he is the author of two plant field guides, North Woods Wildflowers
and Tallgrass Prairie Wildflowers, and co-author of Discover Natural Missouri
and Distribution of Illinois Vascular Plants.
Director of the Belize Zoo, is an environmental activist and ardent campaigner
against ill-advised development projects in Belize. She has created
one of the world's most remarkable zoos. In 1982 she was invited to
care for the animals to be used in a nature film in Belize. Funding
for the film ran out and Sharon, left with the animals, established the Belize
Zoo. She has written two children's books about the animals of Belize,
and both have become popular throughout the country. She broadcasts
a weekly radio program that is conservation-based and has influenced attitudes
of children as well as top-level government officials. She has been
instrumental in getting laws passed to protect the natural resources of Belize
and in 1991, a new 30-acre zoo and its Tropical Education Center opened to