This award acknowledges and celebrates the organization’s heroes: people or other organizations that have made extraordinary contributions—of time, things, money, expertise—that substantially advanced the Survey’s longevity and its mission.
Distinguished and golden-eyed naturalists are critical for meeting the Survey’s mission and are fittingly called out through our other awards. In 2020, however, the board of directors recognized that credit for the Natural History Survey’s success is owed to people whose most important contributions were not necessarily natural historical in nature . . . whose hard work and generosity are not likely to be recognized with a Distinguished Naturalist Award but nonetheless deserve recognition. Throughout the Survey’s history, and especially around the time of the founding, it relied on volunteer accountants and attorneys, artists and editors. Our way through critical junctures was smoothed by timely introductions to people and organizations. Inspired ideas or exceptional donations of money or of time made our greatest accomplishments possible. And so we have the Founders’ Award for Exceptional Service.
2022 Helen Lusi
2021 Joyce Valentine Kenney
2020 The Sharpe Family