The Golden Eye is given by the Rhode Island Natural History Survey for making one or many notable natural historical observations and bringing them to the attention of the community. In short, the Golden Eye is awarded for having a Golden Eye!
For reporting their extraordinary field find(s), past winners of the RINHS Golden Eye Award include:
2016 Aaron Hunt for his energy and initiative identifying over 1,300 species, mostly arthropods, on Block Island and submitting over 5,500 images of them to bugguide.net.
2015 The Zabel Family for discovering mosquito fish (Gambusia holbrooki) in Dundery Brook, Little Compton.
2014 Dale Denelle for discovering and reporting a beluga whale in Narragansett Bay.
2012 David Prigmore for “rediscovering” and reporting the State Endangered diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) on Rhode Island’s South Shore.
2011 Ray Hartenstine for finding, and accurately identifying, the invasive Oriental shrimp (Palaemon macrodactylus) in the Providence River estuary.
2010 Mandy Gaudreau for finding, and describing, the distribution of chytrid fungus in Rhode Island. The fungus has been linked to population declines and even localized extinctions of numerous amphibian species.
2009 Doug McGrady for finding, and documenting, over a dozen rare plant sites in the state.
2008 Matt Ricker for finding the first water chestnut (Trapa natans) in Rhode Island, a highly invasive freshwater plant.