Distinguished Naturalist Award

William Whitman Bailey (1843-1917)  Botanist, author, first chair of the Natural History Department at Brown University. Posthumous Distinguished Naturalist Award 2009.

William Whitman Bailey (1843-1917) Botanist, author, first chair of the Natural History Department at Brown University. Posthumous Distinguished Naturalist Award 2009.

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.

How to Nominate a Distinguished Naturalist

Distinguished Naturalists are selected by the RINHS Board of Directors. To nominate someone, send a letter or email to the Natural History Survey office or contact a member of the Board of Directors. In your correspondence please describe the ways in which your nominee excelled in one or more of the three criteria. Include as much specific detail as possible as we may not be personally familiar with your nominee’s work. Decisions are announced during the annual Natural History Week Celebration. However, nominations may be made at any time. Past, unsuccessful nominations are kept and reconsidered every year so if you’ve nominated someone in the past who did not win, you are not required to re-nominate them though you may wish to provide additional information on your nominee if you feel it would strengthen the nomination.

Recipients of the RINHS Distinguished Naturalist Award

2016 Steve Reinert
2015 Linda Green
2014 Charlotte Sornborger
2013 J. Stanley Cobb
2012 Peter B. Lord*
2011 Alfred L. Hawkes
2010 Douglass H. Morse
2009 Lisa Lofland Gould
2008 Richard Enser
2007 Christopher Nerone*
2006 Elise Lapham*
2005 Roger D. Goos*
2004 David L. Emerson*
2003 Hugh Willoughby
2002 Grace Klein-MacPhee*
2001 E. Douglas Rayner*
2000 Prentice K. Stout
1999 Francis C. Golet
1998 Douglas L. Kraus*
1996 Richard L. Champlin*
1994 Irene H. Stuckey*
*Recipients who have sadly passed away since receiving their Distinguished Naturalist Awards

Posthumous Distinguished Naturalist Awards

In 2000, the RINHS Board of Directors began a tradition of giving Posthumous Distinguished Naturalist Awards to natural historians who have helped form the basis of today’s knowledge. The posthumous awards have gone to:

2016 Jon Boothroyd (1939-2016)
2015 Roland C. Clement (1912-2015)
2013 Scott W. Nixon (1943-2012)
2010 William H. Drury, Jr. (1921-1992)
2009 William Whitman Bailey (1843-1917)
2008 Ken Weber (1943-2007)
2007 Gil George (1922-1999)
2005 Elmer A. Palmatier (1912-1995)
2004 C. Robert Shoop (1935-2003)
2004 Harold Nelson Gibbs (1886-1970)
2003 Harry Hathaway (1869-1946)
2002 Les Sirkin (1933-2000)
2000 Mark Gould (1946-1999)
2000 Elizabeth Dickens (1877-1964)