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"Each honoree shows there are many different ways we can go about protecting our communities and protecting our planet." Carol M. Browner, Former Audubon Chair

Rachel Carson Award Honorees

Please click on year to jump to that year's honorees, then click on photo or name to view biography.

 
2013    |    2012    |    2011    |    2010    |    2009    |    2008    |    2007
         2006    |    2005    |  2004
2014

Ellen V. Futter

Ellen V. Futter has been President of the American Museum of Natural History since 1993. During her tenure, the Museum has been in one of the most active periods of growth in its history, including strengthening and expanding its longstanding leadership in science education, and extending the role of museums more broadly in the formal education system. Over the last two decades, the Museum’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation has advanced a global mission of environmental science, as well as education and outreach about conservation. In 2006, with the establishment of the Richard Gilder Graduate School, the AMNH became the first American museum authorized to grant the Ph.D. degree and in 2011, the Museum launched the nation’s first free-standing museum-based Master of Arts program in teaching, focused on Earth science. These programs leverage the Museum’s unique resources to create innovative programs in post-secondary education, helping to prepare the next generation of scientists, science teachers and scientifically literate citizens. In recognition of her leadership in education, Ms. Futter was designated a commissioner on the Carnegie-IAS Commission on Mathematics and Science Education and, in March 2010, testified before the House Committee on Science and Technology on the issue of STEM education. Before joining the Museum, Ms. Futter served as President of Barnard College for thirteen years where, at the time of her inauguration, she was the youngest person to assume the presidency of a major American college.

Kaiulani Lee
Kaiulani Lee has more than thirty-five years of experience in theater, film and television, starring in over a dozen plays on and off- Broadway. For the past twenty-two years, Lee has been performing her one-woman play, “A Sense of Wonder,” based on the life and works of Rachel Carson. “A Sense of Wonder” reminds the audience of the monumental stature and influence of Rachel Carson, of how precious our natural world is, and of just how dramatic and difficult the challenges can be for those who stand to protect the truth. Lee’s performance is profoundly moving and the play is an immense vehicle promoting environmental education and activism. It has been performed at over one hundred universities, the Smithsonian Institute, the Albert Schweitzer Conference at the United Nations, at the Department of Interior’s 150th anniversary, and on Capitol Hill, bringing Miss Carson’s voice once again to the halls of Congress. In 2007, Bill Moyers celebrated Lee’s work with an hour-long interview on Bill Moyers Journal. “A Sense of Wonder” was later filmed by award-winning cinematographer, Haskel Wexler, featured at film festivals across the globe and aired nationally on PBS. In 2011, Miss Lee’s second play, “Can’t Scare Me...The Story of Mother Jones,” opened at the Atlas Theater in Washington, D.C. She has been nominated for the Drama Desk Award on Broadway and has won the Obie Award for “Outstanding off-Broadway Achievement.”

Nell Newman

The daughter of actors Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Nell Newman grew up in a rural Connecticut home where she had an early introduction to natural foods. After receiving a B.S. in human ecology, Nell worked at the Environmental Defense Fund, served as Executive Director of the Ventana Wilderness Sanctuary, working to reestablish the Bald Eagle in central California and as Development Director for the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group, the non-profit responsible for the captive breeding and restoration of the Peregrine Falcon in California. Nell’s commitment to organic foods and sustainable agriculture led her to convince her father to establish an organic division of Newman’s Own. She won him over by creating a completely organic Thanksgiving dinner, and then suggesting organic food products for the new Newman’s Own Organics® line. Newman’s Own Organics: The Second Generation® launched in 1993 with business partner Peter Meehan, bringing “great tasting products that happen to be organic” to the American public. Over two decades later, the company produces over 100 organic products and continues to promote the idea that organic food can be delicious, profitable and accessible to all. Nell currently serves as a board member of the Wholesome Wave Foundation, EcoTrust and Allergy Kids.



2013
Marian S. Heiskell
Conservationist and Philanthropist

Marian S. Heiskell is a lifelong conservationist and leader in numerous public and philanthropic activities focused on preserving green spaces in New York City and across the nation. She was a citizen founder of the iconic Gateway National Recreation Area, one of the country's largest urban national parks. She is the Honorary Chairman of GrowNYC, former Chairman of The New 42nd Street, Inc., and a driving force behind the restoration of 42nd Street and Times Square. She is also Chairman of the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy; a member of the Board of Directors of Audubon New York; a member of the Board of Directors of the 42nd Street Development Corp.; and an Honorary Life Trustee of the Community Service Society of New York. Mrs. Heiskell is proud to have been the granddaughter, daughter, wife, sister, and aunt of the Publisher of The New York Times. She is a former member of The New York Times Company Board and also served as the first woman Board member of several other corporations, including Ford Motor Company, Merck & Co., Inc., and Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc.
Lady Bird Johnson
First Lady and Environmental Pioneer

As a child, Lady Bird Johnson paddled under the great cypress trees of Caddo Lake in northeast Texas, learning to love the land. She devoted much of her life to preserving it. After her husband, Lyndon Johnson, was elected President in 1964, she made conservation her cause. She beautified parks, small and large, and thousands of miles of highway. "Though the word beautification makes the concept sound merely cosmetic, it involves much more: clean water, clean air, clean roadsides, safe waste disposal and preservation of valued old landmarks as well as great parks and wilderness areas," Mrs. Johnson said. The Highway Beautification Act of 1964 is her legacy, but the Johnson administration's legacy includes nearly 200 environmental laws. At the age of 70, she created the National Wildflower Research Center, now the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, in Austin, Texas, to demonstrate the value and beauty of native plants which are threatened worldwide.


2012

The Reverend Canon Sally Grover Bingham
President, The Regeneration Project/Interfaith Power & Light

The Reverend Canon Sally Grover Bingham, an Episcopal priest and Canon for the Environment in the Diocese of California, was one of the first faith leaders to fully recognize global warming as a moral issue. She is founder and president of The Regeneration Project and its national Interfaith Power & Light campaign, which mobilizes religious communities to address global warming. The Rev. Bingham serves on the national boards of the Environmental Defense Fund, the Environmental Working Group, and the advisory board of the Union of Concerned Scientists. In 2012, she received the Rachel Carson Award from the Audubon Society. The Rev. Bingham is the lead author of Love God Heal Earth, a collection of 21 essays on environmental stewardship by religious leaders, published by St. Lynn's Press. 

L. Hunter Lovins
President, Natural Capitalism Solutions

As President of Natural Capitalism Solution, Hunter Lovins helps companies, communities and countries implement more sustainable business practices profitably. Hunter has worked in numerous countries, and was recently asked to participate at a conference at the United Nations on reframing the economy. Over her 30 years as a sustainability thought leader, Hunter has written hundreds of articles and 13 books. A founder of the field of Sustainable Management, Hunter has helped create several MBA programs and currently teaches Sustainable Business at Bainbridge Graduate Institute in Washington State, the University of Denver and Bard College. Hunter has won dozens of awards, including the European Sustainability Pioneer award, the Right livelihood Prize (the alternative Nobel), Time Magazine has recognized her as a Millennium Hero for the Planet, and Newsweek called her the Green Business Icon.

Janette Sadik-Khan
Commissioner, New York City Department of Transportation

Janette Sadik-Khan has served as the Commissioner of NYCDOT since 2007. Internationally recognized for her expertise in transportation issues, public policy development and innovative finance, Sadik-Khan has implemented an ambitious program to improve safety, mobility and sustainability throughout NYC, and ensure a state of good repair on the city's roads, sidewalks and bridges. Sadik-Khan has overseen a series of innovative projects, including creating more pedestrian space in Times Square and along Broadway from Columbus Circle to Union Square, the planning and launch of seven Select Bus Service routes, the addition of 300 miles of bicycle lanes, the installation and design of 50 plazas citywide, and the publication of a Street Design Manual and Street Works Manual that define new standards for creating more durable and attractive streets. 



2011
Maya Lin
Artist, Architect, and Environmentalist

Maya Lin has maintained a careful balance between art and architecture throughout her career, creating a remarkable body of work that includes large-scale site-specific installations, intimate studio artworks, architectural works and memorials. A committed environmentalist, Lin's work draws inspiration from the landscape, interpreting the world through a twenty-first century technological lens. Her work asks the viewer to reconsider nature and the environment at a time when it is crucial to do so. She is now working on her last memorial, "What is Missing?", a monument manifested as a webpage, video works, and multi-sited installations that raise awareness of the current global extinction crisis.
Sigourney Weaver
Actress and Environmental Activist

Acclaimed actress Sigourney Weaver is well-known, both on and off the screen, for her dedication to the conservation movement. A vocal advocate for the protection of mountain gorillas, Sigourney won an Academy Award nomination and was awarded a Golden Globe for her role as primatologist Dian Fossey in "Gorillas in the Mist." In addition, she serves as Honorary Chairperson of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International. Sigourney has also been a friend of the oceans, speaking out against deep sea trawling before the 2006 United Nations General Assembly and narrating NRDC's "Acid Test," an in-depth look at ocean acidification. Sigourney is recognized for giving voice to Discovery Channel's "Planet Earth" and for her lead role as Dr. Grace Augustine in James Cameron's poignant blockbuster, "Avatar." Sigourney is currently starring on Broadway in Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.


2010
Suzanne Lewis
Superintendent, Yellowstone National Park

On February 10, 2002, Suzanne Lewis began her duties as the superintendent of Yellowstone National Park. She managed more than 2.2 million acres, a staff of 400 and has an annual base budget of more than $36 million, the largest operating budget of any national park in the National Park Service.
Isabella Rossellini
Actress, Director, Writer & Environmental Activist

Ms. Rossellini is also a wildlife activist and dedicated trainer of Labrador puppies for the blind. She has written three books: "Some of Me," "Looking at Me," and "In the Name of the Father, the Daughter and the Holy Spirits: Remembering Roberto Rossellini." Between movie and film making projects, she lectures at performing arts centers throughout the United States and Canada. Among her latest contributions to conservation is the educational Green Porno series done for the Sundance Channel- these films focus on the sex life and mating habits of the animal world, charting a fascinating and brilliantly surrealist direction in teaching a subject that might otherwise be quite tedious.
Dr. Beth Stevens
Senior Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, Environment & Conservation The Walt Disney Company

As senior vice president of Corporate Citizenship for The Walt Disney Company, Beth is responsible for developing and enabling the implementation of the company's environment and conservation programs. This includes the work to minimize the company's footprint, conserve nature for future generations, and help kids develop lifelong conservation values through nature exploration. Beth joined Disney to help open Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park. Her first role was as Conservation and Science Director, and then she ultimately was promoted to Vice President of Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park and Disney's Animal Programs division. Beth is currently serving on the boards of the Jane Goodall Institute and the World Environment Center. She is past president of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and past board member of the International Rhino Foundation and Trinity Preparatory School, Winter Park, FL.
Fernanda M. Kellogg
Former President, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation

Fernanda Kellogg is former president of The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, established in 2000. She was appointed to this position in 2004. In her role, Ms. Kellogg oversaw the Foundation's mission to provide grants to nonprofit organizations dedicated to the education and preservation of the arts and environmental conservation.


  2009
Dr. A. Sylvia Earle
National Geographic Explorer in Residence; Founder, Deep Search Foundation

Called "Her Deepness" by the New Yorker and the New York Times, a "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress, and Time Magazine's first "Hero for the Planet," Sylvia Earle is an oceanographer, explorer, author, lecturer, Explorer in Residence of the National Geographic Society, Leader of the Sustainable Seas Expeditions, Council Chair for the Harte Research Institute at Texas A & M, Corpus Christi, Founder and Chairman of Deep Search, and formerly the Chief Scientist of NOAA.
Sally Jewell
Secretary of the Interior

As Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell leads an agency that serves as steward for approximately 20 percent of the nation's lands, including national parks; oversees the responsible development of energy on public lands and waters; and upholds trust responsibilities to American Indian tribes and Alaska Natives. Previously, Jewell served as President and CEO of REI. During her tenure, REI nearly tripled in business to $2 billion and was consistently ranked one of the 100 best companies to work for by Fortune Magazine. Before joining to REI, Jewell spent 19 years as a commercial banker. Jewell began her career as an oil and gas engineer. An avid outdoorswoman, Jewell enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest and recently climbed Vinson Massif, the highest mountain in Antarctica. Jewell is a graduate of the University of Washington. She and her husband, Warren, have two adult children.
Elizabeth Cushman Titus Putnam
Founding President, Student Conservation Association

Liz Putnam is the Founding President of the Student Conservation Association. In her 1955 thesis at Vassar College, she conceived of a modern day Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to address a growing crisis in our national parks. Liz proposed matching student volunteers with conservation projects that would benefit both students and the environment. Today, SCA is the nation's leading provider of conservation service opportunities and leadership training for youth. Still active as SCA's premier ambassador and honorary director, Liz has received numerous awards for her work, among them, the Presidential Citizens Medal, the President's Volunteer Action Award, the Department of Interior's Conservation Achievement Award, the Garden Club of America's Margaret Douglas Medal, Rachel Carson Awards from the National Audubon Society and Chatham University, the Society of Women Geographers Outstanding Achievement Award and The Corps Network Legacy Achievement Award.
NBC Universal's "Green is Universal" Initiative
Elizabeth Colleton, Jane Evans and Susan Haspel

Green is Universal Launched in May 2007, Green is Universal is NBC Universal's ongoing green initiative dedicated to raising awareness, effecting positive change to the environment, and substantially greening its own operations.


2008
Teresa Heinz Kerry
Philanthropist

Teresa Heinz Kerry, a pioneer in the field of venture philanthropy, is one of the nation's leading environmental advocates. Currently chairman of the Heinz Endowments and the Heinz Family Philanthropies, Mrs. Heinz established The Heinz Center in honor of her late husband, Senator John Heinz.
Bette Midler
Founder, New York Restoration Project

Celebrated entertainer Bette Midler founded the New York Restoration Project (NYRP) in 1995 in the belief that clean, green neighborhoods are fundamental to the quality of life, and that every community in New York City deserves an oasis of natural beauty.
Jean Clark, Norma Dana, Marguerite Purnell, Betsy Barlow Rogers and Phyllis Wagner
Central Park Conservancy

By 1980, Central Park was mired in a cycle of neglect due in part to inadequate funding, leading to disrepair and crime. This dynamic group helped restore Manhattan's crown jewel, and the first public park built in the U. S., to its former luster.

2007
Frances Beinecke
President of the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

Frances Beinecke is the president of NRDC. NRDC is a leading nonprofit environmental group that works to preserve clean air and water, protect people's health, preserve wild landscapes, and build a clean energy future. In 2010, Ms. Beinecke was appointed by President Obama to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. She joined Energy Secretary Chu's Energy Advisory Board and currently serves on the Advisory Board of the MIT Energy Initiative. She also serves on the boards of the World Resources Institute and the Energy Future Coalition. Ms. Beinecke received a master's degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She participated in the Leadership Council of Yale School of Forestry, the Yale School of Management's Advisory Board and a former member of the Yale Corporation.
Majora Carter
Founder and Executive Director of Sustainable South Bronx

Majora Carter is an internationally renowned urban revitalization strategy consultant, real estate developer, and Peabody Award winning broadcaster. From 2001-8, she founded and led Sustainable South Bronx and through it, was responsible for the creation and successful implementation of numerous green-infrastructure projects, policies, and job training & placement systems. Majora built on that foundation with innovative ventures and insights into urban economic developments designed to help move Americans out of poverty. In 2012, she co-founded Startup Box South Bronx, a technology education and entrepreneurship program in, and for the South Bronx community, designed to seed the ground for community participation in accessible and lucrative economic growth trends. She continually sets new standards of excellence with projects within the South Bronx, while expanding her reach nationally and internationally. Her philanthropic pursuits and business interests have all pointed toward greater self-esteem and economic potential for low-income people everywhere.
Laurie David
Author, Producer and Environmental Advocate

Laurie David works on a variety of environmental, food and agricultural issues. Her most recent book, The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time, is an inspirational, practical and green guide to the vital family dinner ritual and how to accomplish it in today's busy world. She is working on her second cookbook, The Family Cooks, which is scheduled to be published Mother's Day 2014. Laurie was a producer of the 2006 Academy Award winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, executive produced the HBO documentary Too Hot NOT to Handle, and she received the prestigious Gracie Award for producing the TBS comedy special Earth to America! She also authored the bestselling book Stop Global Warming: The Solution is You! and co-authored The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming, which has been published in over eight languages.
Deirdre Imus
Founder and President of the Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology

Author of the Green This! series, Deirdre Imus is also Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer and serves on the boards of several children's health organizations.

2006
Kathleen Bader
Former President and CEO of NatureWorks LLC

Kathleen Bader was identified as one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in International Business by Fortune Magazine in October 2001, and profiled by Forbes for her work in corn-based polymers in 2005.
Margie Ruddick
Landscape Designer

Margie Ruddick is recognized internationally for her environmental approach to landscape design and is the recipient of the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt 2013 National Design Award for her career achievements. Margie has pioneered a design language that integrates ecology, urban planning and culture. Garnering numerous awards during a 25+ year career, Margie fosters the idea of nature in the city through projects including New York's Queens Plaza and Trenton Capital Park on the Delaware River. Ruddick's international work includes the Shillim Retreat in India and the Living Water Park, the first ecological park in China. A graduate of Bowdoin College and Harvard's Graduate School of Design, Margie has taught at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Parsons School of Design and Schumacher College in England. Her forthcoming book is Wild by Design.

2005
Kay Kelley Arnold
Vice President of Public Affairs, Entergy Corporation

As a law student, Kay Arnold worked for Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, later becoming a member of his cabinet as the Director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage. Today she manages the Entergy Foundation and giving programs, political action committees and grassroots programs, low-income programs and other community programs.
Bernadette Castro
Former Commissioner, New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Bernadette Castro became famous to New Yorkers at age four when she was able to easily open her family's Castro Convertible sofas in their television commercials. In doing so, she helped to build the multimillion dollar convertible furniture company and became the most televised child in America. Bernadette sold the furniture division in 1993 and entered a 12-year career in government as a member of Governor George E. Pataki's cabinet, serving as Commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the State Historic Preservation Officer. Bernadette diligently pursued public-private partnerships to fund many capital projects throughout State Parks, and under her leadership, New York State won the national Gold Medal Award as "The Best State Park System in the Country" in October 2003. As part of Governor Pataki's environmental/open space team, more than 1 million acres of New York land was protected. Bernadette, however, is now back in the private sector and has re-launched the heritage brand her parents started so many years ago.
Dr. Mae Jemison
Founder, BioSentient Corporation

Dr. Mae C. Jemison is founder of BioSentient Corporation, a medical technology devices and services company focused on improving health and human performance through physiologic awareness and self-regulation. She is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine; an inductee of National Women's Hall of Fame, National Medical Association Hall of Fame and Texas Science Hall of Fame; and winner of the Kilby Science Award.
Margaret Wittenberg
Whole Foods Market Vice President of Global Quality Standards

With over 35 years of experience in the natural and organic foods industry, Margaret joined Whole Foods Market in 1981 as one of the company's original team members. She was a pioneer of the company's legendary quality standards and developmental work, and, in her role as Global Vice President of Quality Standards since 1998, implemented the multi-stakeholder collaboration model that has become the company's signature approach. Throughout the years, Margaret has served on advisory panels for many key domestic and international organizations related to seafood sustainability, farm animal welfare, agricultural genetic engineering, and sustainable and organic agriculture, including the USDA National Organic Standards Board. She is a member of the Marine Stewardship Council's Stakeholder Council and currently serves on the board of directors for The Organic Center, the American Botanical Council, and the Whole Kids Foundation. Margaret has authored several books on the topics of exploring, preparing, and enjoying the spectrum of nutritious, great tasting foods, her most current being, "The Essential Good Food Guide" published by Ten Speed Press, which will be released July 2013.

2004
Jayni Chase
Environmental Activist and Philanthropist

Acting on the belief that positive environmental change must begin with the education of our children, Jayni Chase founded the Center for Environmental Education in 1988 and authored Blueprint for a Green School, published by Scholastic in 1995. Currently Jayni is the Founding Chair of the GREEN Community Schools initiative, being implemented by the direct-service organization, MGR, in 5 cities. She serves on the boards of MGR, the Alliance for Climate Education, the USGBC Center for Green Schools, Friends of the Earth and the NY Harbor School. Jayni is one of Al Gore's Slide Show Presenters. She's participated in the Clinton Global Initiative 2007-2012. Most recently, she's received the prestigious Connie Award in Education from NWF and the Audubon Connecticut Environmental Leadership Award.
Lynn Chase
Wildlife Artist, Philanthropist

Lifelong conservationist Lynn Chase, has been inspiring people with her depictions of wildlife in art, dinnerware and giftware for more than 30 years.Lynn is pivotally involved in many conservation interests worldwide and was honored with Audubon's Rachel Carson Award in 2004.
Maria Rodale
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Rodale Inc.

Maria Rodale is the CEO and Chairman of Rodale Inc., a global healthy lifestyle company with a mission to inspire and enable people to improve their lives and the world around them. Rodale Inc. engages with more than 70 million people around the world, publishing some of the best-known health and wellness lifestyle brands, including Men's Health, Women's Health, Prevention, Runner's World and Organic Gardening, and is one of the largest independent book publishers in the United States. Through Maria's leadership, the company continues to find new ways to connect with audiences seeking healthier lifestyles and inspired design, recently launching RODALE'S, a new eco-luxury online store. Maria is the author of Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe and a blogger at Maria's Farm Country Kitchen.
Peggy Shepard
Executive Director, West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc.

Peggy Shepard, co-founder and executive director of WE ACT For Environmental Justice (WE ACT), based in West Harlem, has successfully combined grassroots organizing, environmental advocacy, and community-based participatory research to become a national leader in advancing environmental health, policy, and the perspective of environmental justice in urban communities - to ensure that the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment extends to all. Her work has received broad recognition: the 10th Annual Heinz Award for the Environment, the Jane Jacobs Medal for Lifetime Leadership from the Rockefeller Foundation, and an Honorary Doctor of Science from Smith College. She is a member of the NYC Sustainability Advisory Board and the NYC Waterfront Advisory Board, and an adjunct lecturer at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health.
Alice Waters
Chef, Author, Restaurateur

Alice Waters opened her landmark Berkeley restaurant Chez Panisse in 1971. She is an internationally-known chef, author, and restaurateur whose steadfast vision pioneered a culinary philosophy based on using only the freshest local ingredients, picked in season. She also created the Chez Panisse Foundation, a non-profit organization that seeks to establish a public school curriculum and school lunch program where growing, cooking and sharing food at the table gives students the knowledge and values to build a humane and sustainable future.
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