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.

The Rhode Island Natural History Survey 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.

In particular, we want to identify those who have excelled in one or more of the following areas:

  • Made significant contributions in the advancement of scientific knowledge of Rhode Island’s organisms, geology, and ecosystems as evidenced by published books, scientific papers, and monographs
  • Recognized as an outstanding teacher and educator to students and the public on the form, functions, and ecological significance of Rhode Island’s biota and natural systems
  • Made significant contributions in enhancing public awareness of the importance of understanding the natural history of Rhode Island’s ecosystems

How to Nominate a Distinguished Naturalist

Distinguished Naturalists are selected by the Natural History Survey Board of Directors. To nominate someone, send a letter or email to the Natural History Survey office indicating it is an “award nomination” 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 unsuccessfully in the past, 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.

For more details see the Call for Nominations (PDF)

Recipients of the Rhode Island Natural History Survey Distinguished Naturalist Award

*Recipients who have 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:

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