The Institute for Applied Ecology gives an annual Ecological Conservation Award to an individual or group for outstanding contributions to habitat restoration, conservation research, or environmental education.
2016: Al Kitzman
The 2016 Ecological Conservation Award was presented to Al Kitzman for his long-term contributions to habitat restoration in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Al retired in 2014 from the Benton County Natural Areas and Parks Department after 34 years of service. He managed several natural areas and parks for their habitat and recreational values, including pioneering the restoration of prairies to support endangered Fender’s blue and Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies. Al included school kids and youth in his projects, and he is an acknowledged expert in natural area management. The award was presented on August 27th, 2016 at the Invasive Species Cook-off at the Benton County Fairgrounds in Corvallis, Oregon.
2014: Anne Steele and Elizabeth Holden
In 2014, IAE selected sisters Anne Steele (shown here) and Elizabeth Holden as joint winners for their sustained support of habitat restoration in the Willamette Valley through their contributions to Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation – Willamette Habitat Restoration. Their support will have lasting effects on species and habitat conservation. We note especially their contributions to golden paintbrush recovery (which is working!), Taylor’s checkerspot habitat restoration, and habitat restoration at many sites combined with educational opportunities for school children, incarcerated teens, and adult prison inmates. The award was presented on September 28th, 2014, at IAE’s Invasive Species Cook-off at Zenith Vineyard near Salem, Oregon.
2013: Peggy Olwell
The Institute for Applied Ecology presented Peggy Olwell, Plant Conservation Program Manager for the Bureau of Land Management, with its 2013 Ecological Conservation Award in recognition of her outstanding and ceaseless effort to conserve native vegetation on public lands. Since 2000, Olwell has been at the forefront of a national charge to develop native plants for use on public lands for reclamation after devastating fires and habitat restoration for endangered species and plant communities. She has designed and taught courses on rare plant recovery and native plant restoration, coordinated the from its initiation with the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, and leads the .
Olwell's support and oversight for the Conservation and Land Management Intern Program with the Chicago Botanic Garden has helped to shape the careers of hundreds of people through paid internships conducting conservation work on-the-ground on federal lands. Rob Fiegener and Tom Kaye presented her with the award April 11, 2013 at the closing ceremony of the in Santa Fe, NM.